(by the way Christian Writer rules allow for non-capitalization of "he" when referring to God. Look in your Bibles and you'll see lower case "he" is used there as well. I know more like the upper case but for the simplicity of typing quickly and to not miss one, using lower case is easier for me.)
The Lord is teaching me huge lessons on the need to pace myself. While on the surface it looks like time management, below the surface it means sensing from him what he wants me to spend my time and energy on and not going beyond.
It means sensing he will enable me to do what he wants me to do. That requires a shift from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated to trusting he's got everything under control. By his grace I CAN DO what I need to do.
A Woman's Multiple Tasks
Women have multiple tasks to complete. I don't even work fulltime and I am stretched. I have a huge house and property to manage. I have pets to care for. I have a daughter about to marry and I have my own part in it to organize. I am the person in the family who cooks dinner, cleans the garage and mows the lawn. I grocery shop. I vacuum. I change the beds. The men in the house do their own laundry thank goodness.
This weekend I cleaned the large front porch relieving it of clutter that had accumulated since fall, and spraying down the multiple cobwebs. It was on my to-do list and I'm pleased to have gotten as much done as I have.
I still have winter dog poop in the yard to pick up, more errands to run, exercise to do, pets to get to the vet, and the list goes on.
We can easily get overwhelmed with all our responsibilities.
I know well when we take on something new, something else has to shift. I've been working out at the gym since September in an effort to keep myself able to do physical things.
Things shifted in that I'm getting up earlier and running errands right after. That's all good.
But, I've injured my knee three times and dealt with chronic body aches to the point I can hardly walk. Some days I'm downright exhausted. Naps are taking over my afternoon to-do time. I don't know if all midlife women feel this way, but lately, that has described me--too tired to do all I want to do.
I've tried to PACE myself by only planning a couple of things to do each day aside from the gym workouts. That sounds find and good, but my two things per day has sometimes become one thing over several days.
Rather that becoming frustrated, I've asked God about it. He's told me I need to slow the pace down even more.
Watch Your Influencers
Once I joined my gym, I considered working out my new job. It has been good for my social and emotional health as well as my body. But the instructors are young go-getters unfamiliar with what some of us older women deal with. Their job is to motivate us, but it's easy to get caught up in their world. Most of us have much more on our agenda than merely working out and eating well!
Other members have also been influencers. One honks her horn as she drives by my house to say, "get to bootcamp!" Another goes 5 days a week almost weekly because she has paid so much into the program. She doesn't want to short-change herself.
Activities of this sort have the ability to overtake our lives if we let them. God has spoken to me that nothing should preclude his plan. He has suggested I pace myself even more. I don't have to workout 3-5 days a week. Two might actually be better for me.
God doesn't want anything in our life to become a god. He doesn't want anything to drain us so much we can't do all the small things he wants us to do.
Is there anywhere you need to pace yourself lately? Are you letting influencers dominate your thinking?
Taking on Too Much
I've met women who have recently retired. They're used to a full schedule. They feel defined by one. So they volunteer, go to groups, start small businesses, join the gym, and so on. But I've gasped at times hearing how they fill their time. Sometimes their own home life suffers because mopping a floor isn't as fulfilling as teaching a class how to knit.
I know we each have our own energy levels. Yours is not mine. But I want to caution you to remember to "be still" and know he is God. Resist the urge to scurry so much you don't hear God's voice. Don't overload your life in an effort to justify yourself. It's okay to relax and take care of yourself. It's important to seek God's best plan for your life daily than to fill it up with what you think will be fulfilling.