Since moving to Colorado last year, A & I have been on a journey of simplifying – simplifying our schedules and our commitments in an effort to live a slower and more intentional life. Not one that is full of unnecessary busyness and stress, but one full of joy and contentment, adventures and rest.
Through this process, I created a list of 7 things I don’t do (and encourage you to do the same!) as a way of upfront saying these are things I won’t give in to. I have found that if we are able to clearly define our boundaries and put them in place ahead of time, it is much easier to say “no” in the moment as opposed to being tempted to give in, overcommit, or feel guilty for not doing something enough. Read More »
Do you ever feel stuck, unmotivated and overwhelmed? Tempted to give in to the pressures around you and say yes to just one more thing, even though you really don’t want to do it? Or what about those “shoulds”? Like, well I “should”sign up and volunteer for (yet another) charity and I “should” super duper deep clean my home every other day and I “should” work later in the evening so my boss doesn’t think I’m a flake? Read More »
Time is finite. We all know that right? 60 minutes in every hour, 24 hours in every day, 168 hours in a week, 52 weeks in a year. Everyone has the same amount of minutes in an hour and hours in a day. And we can’t buy, steal, or beg for more time. So if we can’t add more time to our day, what is our alternative option? To continue to run ragged, stressed, and worn out, unable to fully focus because we are so hyped up on coffee and sleeping pills? I sure hope not. Read More »
Read previous posts in this “Finding Rest” series here and here.
As I have recently been sharing, the term “busy” is no longer a part of my everyday vocabulary. After years of wrestling with anxiety, competition, perfectionism, and overcommitment, I have realized that busyness is not a game to win or competition to engage in. The lie I continued to buy into was that my to do list defined me and busyness was a badge of honor. But while I’m over that game and strive to live a life full of intentionality, margin, and breathing room, there are still times when life gets a little too full or the temptation to compete with busyness grows. When those moments come, I have five little habits that I practice to help reduce stress, realign priorities, and lead with grace.Read More »
Last Monday, I shared some of my own journey through changing my lifestyle and why Andrew and I are removing “busy” from our vocabulary. I love how Blair from Blair Blogs describes it – she wants to live a full life, not a busy one. Isn’t that something we all want?
Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some more practical ways to we can change our approaches to busyness and our schedules as well as some intentional ways to overhaul your day and week. It has been a really slow process for us, a process of breaking our own thought patterns and systems of approaching our days. We have had to train ourselves to not instinctively respond “yes” when someone asks us to do something, changing our muscle memory to something entirely different than we’ve known most our adult lives.Read More »
I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Friday night, the end of the first week back at school, my spring semester of junior year of college. I was at home in my apartment and let’s just say it had been a week. I was trying to go to bed early, figuring that if I got a good night of sleep then the stress, the fatigue, the anxiousness and worry would disappear. Read More »
I love a good motivational quote, to do list or schedule reboot. I also believe that how we begin our Mondays truly sets the tone for our week or, as age-old mantra goes, “Never miss a Monday”. Whatever it is about the beginning of a new week, Monday sets the tone. Because of this, I am setting out to begin Monday’s well. To start with a fresh week, a clean to do list, a delicious breakfast, extended time in scripture. If Monday truly sets the tone for the week, that don’t we surely want to do whatever we can to make sure that tone is a good one? Read More »
Being able to rest, to have a regular rhythm of time to recharge, is so crucial for our emotional, physical and spiritual rest. When we pause for a couple hours, days or even weeks, we are surrendering the control we think we have and choosing to trust that the God who created the heavens and earth is trustworthy enough to hold our to do list and responsibilities in the palm of his hand. Taking time of is also proving more and more important for our emotional and creative health (here’s a great Ted talk on this subject).
As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about this topic! My husband and I have been observing a weekly day off for about a year now and it is such a rich time to slow down, take things a little easier, and recharge for the week ahead.
So, where to begin?
Pick one day a week. A and I both work at our church which means Sundays (the day Christians typically assume is their Sabbath) are not days off but instead are days we’re “on”. Because of this, we observe our Sabbath day off from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. If you can’t pick a whole day to begin with, start with a morning, afternoon, or even two hours. Are you a mom with young kids? Maybe you can trade childcare with another mom where they take your kids one afternoon for a couple hours and then you take their kids the next week? Or maybe you take one of your lunch breaks a week to, instead of working on other projects or running errands, you can read a fun book or grab lunch with an encouraging friend?
Figure out what makes you energetic. What gives you life? What did you enjoy doing as a kid in your free time? Do you like to bake or be outdoors? Do you like to read cheesy young adult books (no shame there!) or slowly drink coffee on your back porch? If you spend a majority of your work days in an office, in front of a computer, then you might want to spend your Sabbath outdoors or doing something physically, getting your hands dirty. However, if you spend your time out of the house, putting in long commutes or doing a lot of manual labor, a day off means taking long naps and watching a really good movie.
Have grace with yourself. These transitions take time. Perhaps your next four weeks are already so scheduled and you can’t possibly get out of these commitments, which means you must then sit down with your spouse, kids, or roommate and look at the possibilities of taking a day off five weeks from now. And some weeks may be easier to make this work than others. But trust me when I say it is so important! It will be worth it! But you have to have grace with yourself in the process.
Stand in the long line. Cardiologist Dr. Meyer Friedman, one of the first to describe the type A personality, offered this practical advice to his patients (from Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) “Practice smiling. Purposely speak more slowly, stop in the middle of some sentences, hesitate for three seconds, then continue. Purposely say, ‘I’m wrong’ at least twice today, even if you’re not sure you’re wrong. Listen to at least two persons today without interrupting even once. Seek out the longest line in the bank. Verbalize your affection to your spouse and children.” The purpose of this is to have enough space and freedom to slow down, to create breathing room, to take in the sights and sounds around you. It’s crazy how shallow our breath can be during the day as we race from one thing to the next – find the ways to rest and create breathing room in your life, one Sabbath a time.
// What causes you to recharge? What do you love to do in your free time?
As I’ve shared here before, Sabbath observance is something that is near and dear to my heart. But what does it mean for us as 21st century Christians who are no longer tied to the old Law? First, some background… At the beginning of the book of Exodus, we find the Israelites enslaved in Egypt under […]