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  • Writer's pictureTara

Long-Haul Living

John and I have been traveling the past few weeks. We decided to take our work with us and also attempt a few scattered vacation days. I can’t even tell you how refreshing it’s been. It’s such a strange season that we’re living in that allows us to do that.

Nature. Quiet. Coffee. Reading. Good Conversation.

These are some of my favorite things.

A few years ago, I really started to pay attention to the things that are life-giving to me and the things that tend to weigh me down. Certain things just cause a “heaviness” inside, don’t they?

I noticed a trend. When I ignored these things—both what is live-giving and draining, I’d struggle not to snap at people. Burnout being just around the corner.

I don’t believe God desires for us live reactively and in survival-mode.

I looked into different ways to avoid this and found a list-making practice that I love. It's fairly common in the coaching world and wonderfully simple. Which I appreciated. You write two columns (or two different pages) titled: What’s draining? What’s life-giving?

And then you name everything that you feel falls under that category. Be sure not to filter your words.

I found that looking at both is necessary to be a better steward of my time. I used the information to plan out my schedule. When a week was looking very full of things that are a bit draining, I'd try to put some equally refreshing things on the calendar for the weekend or following week. Sometimes it was adjusting a day, mid-day, to include takeout for a picnic outside instead of cooking.

I think I should also say that I don’t believe we were designed to chase a care-free life. Pretty sure Simba would agree. Responsibility and the weight that comes with it, is needed for us to grow as people and participate in building the Kingdom of God.

Some things are necessarily weighty. And some things are unnecessarily draining. Once I examined the things going on my calendar a little more closely, I got choosier.

Discerning the difference can be a bit challenging, but consistently and prayerfully considering these with my hubby, it’s gotten a bit easier.

Some seasons are just a lot. Sometimes we need to faithfully keep showing up in the midst of the a lot-ness, when it’s very difficult to get a break. And that’s ok. Jesus will meet us there.

Keep focusing on the small things that ARE possible to tweak and in your control.

Let’s take responsibility for our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. When we do, we’re better prepared to hear from God and serve in the way that He desires.

If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to make some lists of the things that are life-giving and draining to you.

Ask your spouse or roommates/family to do the same. Then discuss them and how you can encourage/support each other. You might notice better harmony in your home when you put this into practice.

Happy intentional planning! And here’s to longevity and serving God with full tanks.

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