Five Obstacles

friday five

I’m linking up with Mrs. Disciple for #FridayFive.  We are in the midst of moving and life has felt chaotic lately.  It’s felt like there have been obstacles everywhere we’ve turned, and I’m looking forward to being settled again. Reducing the chaos often requires some self-care. Today we’re talking about just that. Removing the obstacles that stand in the way of a calmer life.

Five Obstacles to a Less Hectic Life:

1. Obligation:  I think that obligation can have a blurry line.  There are things we know we “should” do, things we “want” to do, and things we’d flat out would love to avoid. I’m not great at saying no, in fact, I’ve been known to carry guilt when I do.  Here’s the thing, though; I’ve seen the results of my efforts and the joy it can bring to others and myself.  I love that my presence makes my husband feel supported and that my kids can participate in activities they enjoy as long as I drive them.  I’ve been striving for a wider margin in my schedule.  It’s getting a little broader every month.  Still, obligation whether actual or perceived fills up a good amount of my calendar!

2. Saying ‘yes” when a “no” is needed: Oh margin, how I hunt you!  I adore my husband, my kids, my ministry, and my work.  The thing is, they often collide.  A presentation is due the same week I need to host a football coach for dinner. My kids have an activity at the same time a client requests to meet.  For me, the hardest is really the Ministry piece.  I want to love my college gifts within their love languages.  That may mean sitting on a conference call for work while sitting at a softball game.  In the midst of it all, it feels hectic.  I can’t help but feel that with my attention split I’m not actually giving my best to anyone.

3. The college life schedule: I love working with college students.  They are at such a growth stage of life, learning independence, and individual thinking. They are a ton of fun too, but for some reason, nothing seems to be able to be scheduled before 9 pm.  It’s really hard to feel serene when you are exhausted.   I’m hoping our move will alleviate a good amount of the time crunch I feel.  We’ll be close to campus opening up lunch and such for hang out time.

4. Family demands: I have discovered over the years a family member or two that has adamant opinions on how our family unit spends their time, money, and well, just about everything. I admit it’s important to me that my kids know their extended families, and some of their demands wouldn’t be unreasonable…if they weren’t requirements.  With an already crazy life, my priority is always that our family unit of four is healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  The seasons of rest come rarely and don’t last long.  When an obligation replaces a period of rest, it becomes a burden. Burdens rarely contribute a relaxed life.

5. Finances: a quick review of disappointing conversations from the past few years reveals a common theme.  That’s not in the budget.  Unfortunately, family demands play a large part in where the budget goes as opposed to wants and sometimes even needs. The reality is that very few people ever feel that they have “enough” money.  For the past few years, we’ve been stretched thinner than most around us with financial obligations in two states. Over the past six months or so things have changed a significant amount financially, but we still have financial obligations that need to be dealt with every month.  Because of this, extra jobs have needed to take priority…and of course, this adds to the hecticness!