Today’s post is one that I have been contemplating blogging about for a few weeks, and have finally just decided to just do it. Im not entirely sure what was holding me back other than its a more personal part of my life, directly related to my faith, and I don’t often share that in this particular space. But, I do want to share this with you. Whether you believe in God or not, whether you think the bible is legitimate or not, I really believe that this topic covers a broad spectrum of people. Christian, or not.
Our small group (gathering of people from our church who we “do life” with, meet with on a regular basis, and take care of one another) has been going through a series by North Point Ministries where Andy Stanley is a pastor. You may have heard or him, or not. His sermons and series are gaining more attention and I have yet to hear one that I don’t agree with wholeheartedly. The current series we are going through is titled…
The entire series is about how we like to pack in as much as possible, check off our to do lists, and end up missing out on real life things that actually matter. In the first sermon he quotes a Hospice nurse who has written books on her experience. As she spends time with people who are in their last days, she would ask many of them what they would do differently or if they had any regrets. The number one regret? They worked too hard/too much. She says that every single male she spoke with mentioned this. Women did as well, but every. single. male. said that to her.
You have to come at this in a balanced way of course. This is not an excuse to be lazy, or to say you are just going to hang out all the time. For one, life just doesn’t work that way. And, if you are Christian, that isn’t what God says about work. However, God did create a sabbath. He forced his people to stop working, and trust him. For me, thinking about taking a day off sends me into a panicky place. I may start sweating, start creating lists of how to catch up, and rush to my computer to “just do a couple more things.” Can you imagine living thousands of years ago where LITERALLY if you don’t work you dont eat? That is a different kind of panic, yes? But, God said…rest. Take a day and rest. Trust me to provide and rest.
If you’re not Christian, this idea of rest is still super important, which you probably already know. Running yourself ragged is a sorry way to live life. Its a sorry way to treat your spouse and loved ones. Its a sorry way to treat yourself.
Everyone has limits, yes? And, everyone’s limits are different. Some of my friends in this industry travel all over, teach photographers multiple times a year, shoot double the weddings I do, do life things like family events, church activities, etc… and are happy in that place. Me? Thats not for me. I like shooting 20 weddings a year, and taking on one to two second shooters to pour into throughout the season. Thats about my limit as far as work goes. Because if I added any more it would take away from the other things that are oh-so important to me: spending LOTS of quality time with our church family, our biological families, serving in our church, alone time to recharge, time to work in the yard, time to work on our house, etc…
We need to have breathing room in our lives. We need to have some space between the pace we are running our lives at now, versus our limits. Jared and I have been working on this for the past few weeks, adding new boundaries to our lives. We no longer are allowed to be on our phones while ALSO watching TV. We put our phones away within 30 minutes of finishing the work day so we can really be focusing on each other and talking with one another. We don’t pull our phones out when we are at dinner with friends, or with each other. Except for the Camera App (NOT Instagram) and to answer calls/texts. Are you noticing a theme? For us, our phones, aka Social Media Apps, are what keep us from having that breathing room. We waste so much time on them, and it’s for nothing. I want to challenge anyone reading, Christian or not, to really consider the breathing room in your life. If you have some time, watch the series. It’s WONDERFUL. Truly. Or, just watch the intro…it’s really funny!!
Anyone else have rules like this? Are you successful in it? Have you been thinking about this, but not acted on it yet?