I have been thinking a lot lately about the Scripture verse in John 11:9 "Are there not 12 hours in a day?"
Though He was using it in a different context, God put this on my heart for a reason. I tend to try to squish 20 hrs in my "12 hour day". And as a result have struggled with adrenal and hormonal imbalances.
You see, I have learned that even though we may not have physical stresses, we can create them in our mind. Pushing ourselves to do more, getting that checklist done, rushing here and there. Truly though, we don't get anymore accomplished and we are actually harming ourselves physically and emotionally.
Lydia of HomeLiving often writes on the need to do some work, but just as important is to take time to rest and rejuvenate. As women we have a lot on our plates. It almost becomes imperative that we do take the time to rest and rejuvenate, each day.
For example, I can create a "perfect" schedule that I can accomplish all the things I want done that day at home, an errand or event at church, and try to cook 3x that day. At the end of the day, where does that leave me when my husband gets off work. I'm exhausted, grumpy, and really not interested in him or his day. How does that help me, or my marriage?
Yesterday the Lord put the hours of the day subject on my heart again. I am seeing how much I try to force me will into the day and hardly have time to "listen" to Him and see where He wants my attention and work.
A daily reader I use says this: "We forget we need deal with only one day at a time, and try to crowd too much into the waking hours of that day - or we even extend it beyond the point of weariness." Later it speaks of living in the 12 hours we are given, slowing our pace and, this part I love, "If I am under pressure and setting myself deadlines ...I will stop and think, for this one day what can I do."
This too was a recent addition to this insight: Chinese medicine says we should live according to the day given, the seasons. Rising with the sunrise and resting when the sun goes down.
All of these are really causing me too look at all the things I try to get done, according to my will. And seeing how I feel at the end of the day, how my body reacts to such constant stresses. As a homemaker, I joke that I am busier now than I was when I worked full time! How true, but a shame.
When I worked long hours I used to dream of keeping a tidy home, decorating, a nice simple meal set at a table with a pretty place setting and being happy, dressed with feminine flare, and a smile when my husband came home. As soon as I started making a schedule that was too full, I lost that. All of it.
I'm not saying don't make a schedule, they are invaluable to me. I'm saying God gave us 12 hours to do work and be active, the other times are meant for resting and rejuvenation. Quiet time reading a book with my husband reading his book is an amazing way to end the day. Or he watches football to unwind and I do some crafting.
Just two nights ago my husband shared all the "things" he got done that day, and while he got a lot done he felt frazzled and was looking forward to down time. Thank goodness I had dinner done and I too was needing quiet time.
Changing my thinking, changes my choices in my day. Another tip I've learned from Lydia is to make a list, just a few things, get them done before lunch, then I have the afternoon to myself. That is what I try to do. That gives me a chance to rest in the afternoon and do something that lifts my heart. Like tea time with a pretty cup and snack!
I'm seeing that so many things I want done, really don't need done, I just want it that way. Is it worth the stress on my body? Is it worth loosing my peace and my smile over?