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 first...so 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:
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."