Thursday, September 18, 2014
9 STEPS TO AN UNBALANCED LIFE - By Heidi McLaughlin
A balanced life is over-rated. Before you call me a fanatic and burn me at the Time Management whiteboard I want to ask you. “So how is time management” working for you?”
Over the past ten years we have been saturated with “how to” steps for managing our most precious commodity-time. I was the day I threw my palm pilot into the garbage that I realized I had become a slave to time management. With all the information on how to de-clutter, time management workshops, fat day timers, computer and i-Pad calendars and every piece of technology known to mankind to help us with our 24 hour days, we are still rushing, sighing and feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
A balanced life sounds like a wise, wonderful concept; but what happens when our finely tuned “one hour increments” in our day timer fall behind and we fall apart? In a question and answer period at one my conferences someone asked me the question, “So Heidi, how do you manage your time?” It had been a long time since I looked at my daily life and this question evoked some serious evaluation. I became acutely aware that I am so blessed to be a mom and grandmother; able to still work four days a week, write books, speak across the country and mentor younger women. It made me realize that I am able to describe my life the way my youngest granddaughter’s face lights up when she is delighted about something and exclaims: “That’s yummie!”
I am deeply passionate about leaving my fingerprint on the earth in a meaningful and powerful way. The bible inspires me with this truth: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NIV). Here is what those words mean to me:
1. Say “Yes” to Yummie. God has given all of us gifts and passions to make our lives, and this world a better place to live. Ask yourself this question, “What makes my heart pound? What keeps me awake at night dreaming, thinking planning? What do other people say I am good at?” Those are gifts God has given each of us. How dare we not use them?
2. Say “No” to clutter and useless, meaningless tasks. Why do we feel it necessary to fill our days with things that have no value; meaningless tasks that rob us of our passions and smiles?
3. Pray and ask God for His wisdom how to live each day. Do this before you create another calendar event into your i-phone and the two alerts to keep you on track..
4. No, we are not responsible for everything that happens in everyone’s life.
5. Get proper rest. Fatigue makes cowards out of us. It makes us vulnerable and before we know it, we are caving in and signing up for another thing that will rob us of more energy.
6. Realize there are seasons of being totally out of balance. I just finished a difficult season of caring for my mother before she died; challenging disruptions at work and speaking at many conferences. My life has been totally out of balance for a few months, but my heart is still pounding with passion and purpose.
7 7. Realize this life is about relationships and not process. The bible reminds me of this in such a powerful way: “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath” (Psalm 39:5 NIV). The breath of God within each of us is more important that the petty little tasks that consume our hours.
8. If you don’t know your gifts or passions, ask God to reveal them to you. He will gladly do it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 NIV).
9. Create your own “magical trash can” and get rid of all the “shoulds” that are robbing your joy.
God has given you and me the “breath of life” on this planet to make a beautiful and powerful impact on mankind. I don’t believe God ever meant for us to be chained to a time machine. As energetic, smart people, God fearing people living in this 21st century, we must take the time to discover our strongest gifts, passion and the purpose that God has given us. Having clarity about our daily purpose will fill our life with pure pleasure and satisfaction. It’s time to stop, smile and say “yes to the yummie.”
Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at: www.heartconnection.ca
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