We’re one month into the New Year and my schedule for January got really full really fast. It seems like the moment January 2nd dawned, I was off to the races. I had to prepare for and facilitate several meetings on top of my normal work responsibilities, and there have been several significant, unexpected situations with family and friends that have required my time. Don’t get me wrong, these demands fall into things I truly want to do. It’s just that too many of them somehow got crammed into one month. January isn’t even over yet and I feel like I need a vacation!
As I envisioned what 2018 would look like back in December, I resolved in my heart that this would be the year I would create margin in my schedule. This way, I could do more writing, be more intentional about regular exercise, and schedule in down time so I have the energy to pursue my callings with passion!
I’m grateful for the opportunities to serve and to be there for family and friends — I just need to make sure I’m not doing all of it at once. As I lamented to a friend about how stretched I feel, she asked me a very convicting question: “Are you praying over your schedule?” What a concept!
Here are the insights I believe can make a big difference for the rest of the year if we start now:
- Evaluate EVERY need that comes up. Does it align with your goals, values and where you feel God is leading you right now? There will be fun and important things that come our way, but we need to be careful that they aren’t a distraction from what we really need to focus on. (Psalm 90:12)
- Pray over the timing. If it does align with your goals, values and mission, seek God for the best timing. Choosing to move something out to next month so we have margin this month can help create a better result. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
- Ask God, “What do You want it to look like?” For those assignments we do take on, we should always begin by asking God how to proceed. Most of us will have ideas right out of the gate, but we could find ourselves spinning our wheels before very long. Start with God and He will give you direction, ideas and strength for the task. (Romans 12:2)
Are you already feeling stretched? Take a step back and evaluate what you’re saying “yes” to. We are all part of a body of believers, the body of Christ, so that no one person has to do it all – thank God! And He has a specific purpose for you. In order to say yes to the things God is calling us to do, we need to say no to some things, and trust that God has someone else to cover them. Let’s find some margin together so we can truly make a difference in 2018!