It's no secret that Caleb and I, for the majority of our marriage, have been pretty busy people. With each of us juggling full time day jobs, a photography business, church commitments and a young adult ministry, it's a lot! That's not even to mention keeping our marriage and social calendar alive! A lot of that had to do with the fact that we knew it was temporary, which is key. We knew that in order to get out of debt quickly (within a few years), we'd have to hustle - work hard - take on a LOT of jobs. While this was true, we also didn't realize what a toll it would take on us. I knew it was getting bad when before anyone would ask us to commit to something (even a social event) they'd preface the sentence with "now I KNOW how busy you guys are, but...", and that broke my heart.
Last year is when we knew it was time to make a change. As I mentioned before, we started our own photography business, and that gave us a little more freedom to run our own schedules. I decided for my own mental health/sanity that it was necessary to only allow ourselves X amount of projects a month, no matter how much money we may lose out on.
We also decided to say no to some church commitments here and there. As much as we hated to say no when it came to volunteering, I realized that it didn't make us bad people. No one expects anyone to say yes to everything, so why was I setting this unrealistic expectation for us that we HAD to?! What was so freeing is when we actually began to politely decline, people surprised us with answers like "that's totally fine!" or "hey, thanks for at least considering!". There were no hard feelings, and my soul felt a little more free each time.
I began to see how much more available I became to not only my friends and my husband, but to Jesus, most importantly. I was able to spend my mornings in prayer, instead of rushing to get out of the door. I began to have less "clutter" on my calendar, and more intentional hangouts with my friends. Nights that used to be filled with rushing around after work were now being spent in comfy clothes and a messy bun, actually making a good dinner and spending time at the table with Caleb.
Lysa Terkeurst is one of my favorite Christian authors/speakers and she wrote a book called The Best Yes where she said "If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule, so God has room to overwhelm my soul". DANG!
I'm amazed at how much I've changed in just the few years we've been married. Not in some dramatic, life altering way, but just in the small things. I'm waking up everyday asking God to help me be the best ME I can be that day, to not get caught up in the hustle of hard work, and to just be.
I hope you can take some time this week to slow down, and be more aware of how you spend your time, and how it makes you feel. We all have the same amount of hours in our days, let's make them count! :)