Do you ever feel overscheduled, overextended or overcommitted? Me too.
Five years ago as I prepared to send my daughter to kindergarten, I kept thinking about how much time I was going to have on my hands. During her years in preschool, much of my day revolved around her preschool times and her brother’s naps. Now that she would be in school and William would only take one nap, the world was my oyster!
It went well until about two weeks into school. All my “free time” was quickly snatched up. I volunteered to be the room mom for Lila’s class. A friend asked me to lead a Girl Scout Troop with her. Soon I was planning meetings, field trips and became the cookie mom when cookie season rolled around. I attended Bible study and MOPS. I started potty-training William. And although I can’t remember the other things on my calendar that year, I do remember that it was just too much.
They were all good things in and of themselves. But too many good things at one time is not a good thing! Some of these opportunities soon became things I didn’t feel excited about or look forward to because I was overextended. There wasn’t enough white space in my calendar.
In my college publication design class we learned about the importance of white space. If there’s too much text on a page and not enough white space, readers will skim or not read an article altogether. Too much text is intimidating. Designing the page with a healthy amount of white space makes it more appealing to the eyes of readers.
The principle of white space isn’t just for designing a page; we need white space in our lives. We need it in our schedules, in our homes and in our hearts.
This is hard for me because I never want to miss out on anything and if I’m honest, I love being busy and always have. But I know that my soul needs white space. I also know I need to say yes to the most important things to me and my family and say no to things that aren’t.
“God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly unkept life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:8 MSG
Here’s the thing: we get to choose how we spend our time, our 24 hours a day, our 168 hours a week. If we’re overscheduled, it’s because we allowed it to happen.
Does that convict you too? I need this reminder just as much as anyone!
We must remember that although we are made in God’s image, we aren’t God. We are not omnipresent, we can’t be in more than one place at a time. Part of why we feel so overextended is because we are trying to cram so much into our days and weeks. We must choose what are realistically able to achieve and not feel guilty about what we can’t do (or don’t want to commit to doing). We must constantly be evaluating and reevaluating what our best yeses are in each season.
I came across this quote last week, it’s so poignant:
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Let’s make our time count toward the right things for the right reasons. Let’s schedule in some white space and margin. If we’re overscheduled and overcommitted, we leave little room to hear from God and allow Him to refresh us. We weren’t made to move at breakneck speed, we were made to live in rhythm with God and His plans for our lives.
In case you missed it: I held my Back to School Breakfast last weekend and it went so well that I’ve decided to hold another one on August 25th!
We’re going to discuss time management, life balance and making time for the things we love, including the dreams God has put on our hearts. As busy women, we sometimes don’t take an intentional pause to focus on these things for ourselves because we’re so busy taking care of other people. But it’s so important for us to carve out time for ourselves to refocus, reset and plan for the future. During this workshop, we’ll do just that!
I have space for ten ladies to join me, so get your ticket before they’re gone. Hope to see you there!