I often clog up any calendar white space with even more to-dos.… A hefty chunk of the reason is that in being in control of my time, I can influence others’ opinions of me.… And let’s face it, women who have control of the clock are viewed as confident and capable.
I recognize that craving such an outward appearance is utterly prideful. The Spirit reminds me to find my identity in Christ, not in a facade of capability and certainly not in others’ opinions of me.…
And she asks:
When our schedules scream, must we always shout back? What if we stepped off the treadmill of life long enough to do a little evaluation, deciding whether the problem lies in the speed to which we’ve cranked the machine’s dial and the incline we’ve set for the climb?”
The Truth About My Priorities
In October, I borrowed a phrase from Proverbs 31 Ministries and defined “a holiday-ready heart” as one that causes me to be “a woman whose love protects.”
Now that the holidays are upon us, the #1 question I have to ask is this:
Am I making accomplishments or people my priority?
And it’s a hard question, at least for me.
The Truth About Multi-Tasking
I pride myself in my ability to multi-task.
(No, I’m not going to discuss the research that says we really don’t multi-task; we just toggle back-and-forth between tasks. Whatever you want to call it, I’m good at it!)
But multi-tasking only works for tasks.
Multi-tasking does not work in relationships.
In fact, multi-tasking is one of the most subtle destroyers of intimacy.
The Truth About Intimacy
Those closest to me — my husband, my children, my family, my friends — can’t see into me if I’m a a perpetual motion machine.
Oh, my whirling dervish of multi-tasking act may impress the masses!
But it alienates me from those with whom God has called me to connect.
The Truth About My Schedule
I won’t deny that I pack my schedule full because I love impressing other people. There’s plenty of self-ish truth there.
But a far more honest explanation for my crammed calendar is that I like doing things I can do well.
And I can do almost anything well, as long as it doesn’t involve love.
Love is messy.
Love is time-consuming.
Love is unpredictable.
Love is inconvenient.
Love is vulnerable.
Love is demanding.
Love is frustrating.
And if I’m going to do something messy, time-consuming, unpredictable, inconvenient, vulnerable, demanding, and frustrating then I want some sort of end product to show for all my efforts, thank you very much!
Let me show you the wall full of dog showing ribbons, rosettes, and the championship certificate!
Let me show you the photo album of photos from that amazingly planned-and-executed birthday party!
Let me show you the pillow case and shorts I taught eight people to sew in 3 hours or less!
The Truth About Love
My testimony begins, “Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to be good…good enough to be loved.”
I have always associated accomplishments with worthiness for love.
But when I slow down long enough to just “hang out” with my family and friends, they are far happier than when I’m checking things off my lists.
When I quit doing and start “being” with them, their response is “finally!” as if they’ve been waiting for me to simply show up.
When I listen in the moment, without rewinding the past or projecting the future, they feel connected.
And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
The greatest thing I will ever “do” is love.
So I am learning to filter each schedule item, each To Do List task, each calendar event through this question:
Hi, I'm Cheri! I'm a collaborator, teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. I love helping women break free from destructive expectations through a blend of “how to” and “heart, too.” I've been married to my college sweetheart Daniel (who is my opposite personality!) for 30 years and “Mom” to Annemarie (27) and Jonathon (25).