My Struggle on How to Find Time for the Important Things in Life
Do you struggle to make time for the things that really matter to you?
I believe that we all know that we should make time for the things that are important to us but the reality is that it is more easily said than done.
Days and weeks fly by and I find myself being so busy that it seems to be difficult to even remember all the things we did. I get into the “hamster wheel” mode and another task or chore absorbs all of my energy and focus.
Life is busy and pulls us in all directions. There are so many wonderful and fun things to do. We have people in our life who need our help and we carry expectations in our heart on how our fulfilled life should look.
For years my long “to do list” paired with my high standards and expectations on how things have to get accomplished totally controlled my life. There was not much margin for spontaneity. I cannot deny my deep German roots. Germans are hardworking, efficient and very disciplined people. These “Schnitzel Republic” traits are not negative by all means. In my case they got out of balance and as a result I spent a lot of my precious time pursuing things that added little value to our life and I often neglected the things or the people that I treasure in my heart.
When I look back every season in my life has its own beauty and purpose. I see the handiwork of a father that created me and intimately knows every cell of my German DNA.
SHIFTING MY THINKING THROUGH LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES
The process of shifting our mindset is very challenging but necessary. We all have things and responsibilities in our lives that seem to block our view and influence our goals.
Shifting my mindset forced me to look at our life honestly and to question how I live and where I spend the majority of my time. Asking myself the important question of whether or not I have to accept everything in my life the way it is.
Shifting my mindset allows me to be open for a different approach in a situation or in life.
Shifting my mindset is the key to allowing myself the freedom to reprioritize my day.
Shifting my mindset helps me to focus my energy on what matters most to me.
Shifting my mindset helps me to say “NO” more often.
The process of shifting my mindset started with the birth of our daughter Dominique when our life rhythm came to a complete halt and the old ways and routines became too cumbersome to keep up with.
The external pressure of attending her medical needs with little or no sleep was so extreme that my strong-willed and high disciplined “Me” had to surrender after several failed attempts to jump back into my old and so comfortable routine as a mom and wife.
1. Corinthians 1:9 says “For God is faithful through whom you were called into Fellowship with His Son Christ Jesus.”
This was the very first time I listened to my deep need to spend more time in God’s Word. I often was too tired to read but in my need to find hope and strength to walk through another day I chose to read and seek His Word and presence.
One verse in the Bible would often walk with me through the entire week and reminded me to stay focused on the blessings and rejoice in His presence by worshipping Him despite my circumstances.
MY PRESENCE WITH GOD SHIFTED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Spending time in His Word made me realize that God loves me and wants to have an intimate relationship with me. He created me because He wants to be close to me. In Genesis 3:8 we find out that God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden. They walked in intimacy and closeness in perfect harmony. He walked with them because He loved them and wanted their fellowship. Fellowship with us is so important to God that He sacrificed His one and only son for our sins to open the door to forgiveness and fellowship with Him forever.
HIS PRESENCE ALLOWS ME TO BE PRESENT WITH OTHER PEOPLE
I realized that being in His presence allows me to be present with the people that God places into my life. The value of my vertical relationship translates over to my horizontal relationships. Dominique’s heart failure in 2011 renewed and intensified my desire to be conscientious about being present in the moment and to create time with my husband, children, family and friends.
MORE PRESENCE PROVIDES MORE MEMORIES AND INTIMACY
My new mindset helps me to enjoy the special moments God gives me. I am now present when God blesses me with a beautiful sunrise, a cup of coffee with my very busy young figure skater Ben or a short phone call with Alexander or my sisters.
I am present when my husband comes home after a long day at work and we can sit together to talk and catch up.
I stay the course, ever present, when my teenage girl floats in the sea of her emotions and the hormones create huge waves of anxiety. My presence gives her the stability to sail through these threatening waves.
My presence becomes her anchor.
My presence does not make the bittersweet moment of “goodbyes” easier but it makes the process of letting go smoother. I experienced that when our oldest son moved out to start college and I am walking now through a similar process with our second son who is more and more spreading his wings for take off.
In 2.Corinthians 12:9-11 Paul tells the Corinthians: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
One of my weaknesses is that I make time for the things that are important in my life but then get easily distracted by all my responsibilities, my to-do-list and desires and goals in my heart. God takes my weakness and turns it into my strength to be present with others.
Can you really be present in the moment?
Do you feel trapped in your life and wish you could make changes to spend more intentional time with others?
Does your priority list match the way you live?
Do you long for intimate relationships with the people closest to you?