Life is busy. Extremely busy. Too busy for my liking a lot of the time. I would much prefer a slower-paced life with more margin. More time to relax. More time to read. More time to spend with friends and family. Less worry. Less calendar events. Less meetings and appointments. Less information plowing through our brains each day.
In accepting the reality of my busy life, though, I am slowly learning that I must protect myself if I am going to thrive in life rather than merely survive.
How is your life going?
Are you surviving or thriving?
We have some valuable assets we must learn to protect:
Protect your time.
There is much competing for our time. Know your limits. Figure out what works well for you. Try not to overcommit. It is okay to say “no”, even to good things. In the year 2011, we have more great opportunities than one can handle. Ask God what He wants you to do.
Protect your heart.
The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23).
When our hearts are weighed down with negative emotions, we are unable to function fully up to speed. Fear, worry, anger, jealousy, disappointment, heartache - all of these emotions paralyze us and prohibit us from living the abundant life God wishes for us.
Protect your thoughts.
Negative thinking leads us on a spiral downward. If we do not catch ourselves, we can find ourselves in a rut – dwelling on negative thoughts that encourage negative emotions and negative actions, besides causing havoc to the peace of our souls.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Protect your rest.
I am continually trying to improve the amount and quality of sleep I get each night. I fail tremendously, yet I plod on, knowing that sleep plays a major factor in our mood, energy, and health for the day.
Besides getting good sleep, be sure to take mental and physical breaks when needed. Sometimes I will just go up to my bedroom for a short breather when I need to get away from the hustle and bustle of my home. It helps me to regain my focus and feel more ready to handle what comes next.
Protect your relationships.
Relationships are the crux of life. We were not made to be loners. God made us to be in relationship with one another and to work hard at maintaining good relationships. The Bible exhorts us to love, forgive, serve, and bear with one another. When we are at peace with each other, we feel encouraged and motivated to handle the issues of life.
Brian and I are learning that, as our load has exponentially increased over the years, we must strive to keep our marriage solid. Stress in life can quickly diminish the love and fervor of a marriage if we are not cautious. Frequent connection, communication, and pursuit of understanding are key to protecting our marriages.
Protect your walk with God.
The cares of life can creep in and we find ourselves following the steps of Martha rather than Mary. We are so busy with taking care of our homes and families that we forget simply to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him. We must prioritize and protect our time with God. We must escape from the crowd, as Jesus did, and have quiet, intimate moments with our Lord so He can fill us, change us, and draw us closer to Him. That is the ultimate protection for our lives because He will enable us to do the rest!