Friday, May 30, 2014

"Over Commitment Syndrome"

Are you exhausted?  

Are you falling into bed each night, wondering where the day went?  

Are you frustrated because you feel like you need to either get some help or clone yourself in order to be able to do the day-to-day tasks in your life?  

When is the last time you spent quality time with your family (not watching the kids play sports or taking the family on a business trip - I'm talking face-to-face family time with no distractions)?

I get it.  I really, really get it.  I'm the "Queen" of Over-Commitment Syndrome.  My Mentor once told me, "Leslie, if you are exhausted or overwhelmed, you are probably doing something God has not asked you to do."  I believe she is absolutely right. God gives me grace to do what He has asked me to do, so if the grace is not there, I have to ask myself some tough questions.

How do I know I've made the right decision about whether or not I should commit to something?  

How can I be sure that I am motivated by right motives and not my desire to keep up with others, to prove myself, to make more money or to make a name for myself? 

The world tells me to "listen to my heart" but my heart can really fool me if I let it. Setting boundaries can be so helpful in this.

After hitting the wall about a million times in my life, I'm learning to simplify my life by taking a look at what matters most.  I listed out my priorities.  Here is what I came up with:

 Once I did this, I began to ask myself some important questions:

1.     What does God think about this? (I pray important!)
2.    What does my husband think about this? (He is the voice God uses very often in my life to help me balance my life - he sees things clearly when I can get emotionally blinded or selfish)
3.    Will this activity cut into my priorities?
4.    Will this activity enhance time spent with my priorities?
5.    Can I honestly say I'm doing this because it's the right thing to do or is there another motive in there somewhere?
6.    If I do this, what are the possible domino effects down the line in the future?
7.    Are there any other options or creative compromises I can do to make this more feasible in my life?

You see, I'm finally realizing that if my top three priorities get pushed aside in order to fulfill commitments made outside of them, I suffer and so does my family and especially my relationship with God.  I envision my priorities being protected by a big boundary, like this:

When my priorities are protected, I can make a much wiser decision.  It's been a difficult transition and I can honestly say I'm really not there yet!  It's so hard to tell people "No" sometimes. But when I consider the consequences of over-commitment and resulting neglect in my top three priorities, I begin to understand the importance of protecting them. 

Bottom line: before committing, I need to ask myself: Is this a good thing or a God thing? It makes all the difference in the world. Just because it's a good thing doesn't mean it's a God thing. Just because I’m good at it, doesn't mean I should do it. Just because there is a need, doesn't mean I am the only one who can fill it. My life should reflect my priorities and if it doesn’t, tough choices must be made. I don't want to live a life of regret!

Galatians 5:16 "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Let's Make a Sick Child Smile Again - Together!

Please GIVE NOW by clicking HERE!
One of the perks of having been on a reality show is that I get the opportunity to help support different charities through fundraisers where they invite former contestants to help out.
I wish I could support all of these incredible charities but my busy schedule prevents me from attending all of them. I do like to take the time each year to support Give Kids the World in Orlando, FL, though. This incredible organization blessed my heart when I attended this fundraiser for the first time and has continued to touch my heart for the past four years of my involvement with them.

GKTW helps children with life-threatening illnesses and their entire families smile and forget that there is a devastating illness hovering over them. For an entire week, they are treated to a Disney vacation and all sorts of other incredible opportunities to be "normal". I cannot imagine how hard their lives must be - as their new normal is hospital visits, tiring treatments and medications and the constant wonder of what the next day might bring. How heartbreaking!

What I also really liked is that they pay special attention, not only to the sick child, but also to the siblings of the sick child, who so often get overlooked with all of the dire needs of their brother or sister who is suffering.

In this summer event, many previous reality contestants come together, dress up like princesses and pirates and get to spend an evening with the children who are there. The following day, we spend the day autographing and raising money to support them. All money that is made is sent directly to the charity to support it so more and more families can be treated to this incredible opportunity!

We also get the chance to raise money prior to the event through friends and family, like YOU!  It doesn't have to be much - if everyone reading this would donate at least $5-$10, we could really make a difference together. Of course, if you want to give more, I would appreciate that, too!!

If you would like to help me out and send some precious children and their families to Disney World with me, please support me by CLICKING HERE!

Thank you and God bless you for helping out the children and their families!

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