Faith, Parenting, Relationships

Day 17: Living Small in our Busy Life

my boy
Streamline to the bottomline: Guiding this little guy into all God has for him and purposed for his life

I don’t even know what to say about this one.  Living small in my schedule is fuzzy for me.

Owning wisdom to know the best things to commit to…

Possessing the power to graciously say no…

and being able to adjust to the truly valuable things…

all seem to be a bit elusive.

My current life stage includes many parts and pieces. Not only do I have my things, but my husband has his things, and our three children have their things:

bible studies

school projects

work

school start times

playdates

school meetings

field trips

after-school activities

me and hubby date nights

sports

church events

school meetings

friends

Our life is driven by our interests and commitments PLUS our heavily active and growing boy-life. It’s great. I love it.

But, I don’t want to get lost in it. It’s only a season and shortly my boys will be traveling on their own way.  My opportunity to build into their manhood will soon be over. I long to be intentional in my purpose during this time.

To keep me focused, I’m trying a new motto (on mental repeat) to qualify all our activities and commitments:

streamline bottomline

Streamline:  focus on, get down to it; don’t get distracted by all the other stuff; put the blinders on to what is really important.

Bottomline: What is the bottomline for myself, our family? What values am I wanting to build into my kids?  At the core of who they are, who do I want them to be? How does our schedule reinforce that?

Here are a few of my bottomline thinkings.

1.  Things that Last Forever:

building a relationship with Jesus, church activities, bible studies, investing in others, caring for neighbors, friends, strangers…

To live small in my schedule, do I need to cut out things that are spinning my wheels and my family’s wheels on things that aren’t eternal? Or, is our schedule so packed with other things that when an opportunity to serve someone arises, we don’t have the margin to help?

2.  Character Development:

grit, perseverance, decision making, getting up when you fall down, learning to play as a team, giving sacrificially, patience, endurance, not being scared of pain, being ok with stepping out of comfort zone, trying new things

To live small in my schedule, is emphasis and time spent on self-adulation rather than character development? Do I tend to only do those things that give me (or my kids) affirmation instead of those things that may be hard and uncomfortable but grow me (or my kids)?

3. Relationship Development:

meeting new people, able to carry on a conversation, learning to share, wisdom is selecting friends, establishing boundaries in relationships, self-confidence

To live small in my schedule, am I investing in relationships and friendships that are up-lifting and growing? Am I teaching my kids to develop relationship through conversations at a healthy pace? Am I spinning my wheels so fast because I long to be known that I short-circuit a relationship to develop naturally? Am I spreading myself so thin that I’m not really investing into anyone at all?

Take a look at your schedule and streamline to the bottomline.  Pull out of those commitments that don’t streamline to your ultimate personal or family goal. Add in those activities that build into your bottomline. It’s a work in progress. But as we walk along, we may just find ourselves living small and at the doorway of something big.

smallScheduleClick here for more posts in this series.