Monday, July 23, 2007

Do More. Or Be More?

I've read articles about how kids today are busier than ever. I'm not even sure how some parents get their kids to all the activities they have. I have three kids and let me tell you, activities make our lives a lot busier. Right now, we are in the midst of trying to make decisions about what the kids will be able to do this fall. We can only do so much and we want to be sure that they have "down time", but it's so hard. There are so many things to get involved with out there and my kids seem to want to do everything.

In the spring, my daughter was involved with her first CYT (Christian Youth Theater) production. And now she's hooked. It's a big committment (for her and for us) so that's all she's allowed to do. My second daughter is unsure and the third daughter, well, she's easy.

But all my wonderings about what to do with my kids made me wonder about y'all.

Do you feel overscheduled? Or do you not do anything?
How do you decide what to do and what to let go of?

I have a tendency (and always have) to take on too many things. I have lots of interests and if I'm not careful, I can find myself buried. It's the same with my writing. I have to work hard to pick and choose what I focus on so I don't end up going in too many directions.

But it's sometimes hard to figure all of that out, don't you think? Well, here's a simplified version of my process:

1. Take a look at everything I have "on my plate".
2. Assign a code to each thing. "No choice" would go to the things that I have to do. For you all that might be school. "My choice" would go to the things that I choose to do, but don't necessarily have to. "Ditch" would get assigned to anything that I could easily give up if needed.
3. Then I go through the "My choice" and "Ditch" sections one by one through prayer. I ask God to give me wisdom about the things I'm doing. And you know what? God is always faithful to give me an answer - but honestly? Sometimes it's not what I want to hear.
4. Be obedient to what God showed me. And usually, that means making a choice to let something go.

Let me give you an example. I have an extensive theater background and because of this, I am always asked to help out with drama things, and I've even been convinced to try and start drama teams and things like that at church, many, many times. Well, one day I found myself sitting at a drama team meeting and I felt like God just asked me "What are you doing here?" And I certainly didn't have a good answer for Him. It took me a few weeks to extricate myself from what I had gotten involved with but I learned an important lesson. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean that's what you SHOULD be doing it. Drama was distracting me from the hard work (and patience) that was required to be a writer. Drama was my comfort zone, the easy choice and it is not what God wanted me doing.

Activities are one of those things that the enemy can use against us. You see, it's just as effective for the enemy to keep us too busy for God as it is to try to get us out of church altogether. Why try to convince us to give up on God when he can simply make us too busy to even notice we're not listening anymore?

So what about you? How busy are you? Try out the process above and then let us know what you discovered. Come on now, I 'fessed up. What about you?

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