Living a More Balanced Life

I’ve always had this problem where I work to exhaustion.  Whether in school or at work, all of my energy gets focused on the task at hand and then, when the task is completed, I get sick for a few days.  Sure enough, it happened to me again right before Christmas.

Advent is a very busy season for pastors.  There are special services to plan for, Christmas Cantatas to attend, volunteers to call upon, parties and social gatherings to visit, mission projects to give to, and year-end giving to raise so to get through the expensive, less-generous winter months.  Add in a wedding anniversary, district and conference commitments, and family Christmases, my December was crammed full of “to do’s.”  This year it all caught up with me the Monday before Christmas.  I barely got off the couch for two days sick and exhausted.

“Why do I keep doing this to myself?” I wonder every year.

Have you ever wondered that question?  I’m guessing you have at some point, if not regularly like me.  On Sunday, I challenged people to make this year different than last year.  Here are some ways this year is going to be different for me than last.

Bill Hybels, in one of his annual Global Leadership Summit addresses, talked about “energy bursts.”  He contended that people only have so many energy bursts, and he differentiated different types: daily, weekly, seasonally.  For Bill, he thinks categorically in a “6×6” format.  6 weeks.  6 contributions.  “We can’t sprint for 6 months,” he reminded me (duh! right?).  But we can run daily, weekly, and seasonally if we plan appropriately.

I think I am going to use this approach for my Word of the Year: BALANCE.

I am going to think daily, weekly, and seasonally through the four areas of worship, love, work, and play.  Here are some of my six week goals for the four areas that will “done” by the end of February:

Worship

  • discover new worship music
    • I need to find some new Christian music that I actually enjoy.  I miss listening to worship music.
  • I will read Galatians and Ephesians for my own personal benefit/devotions.  NOT work related.  This will be done in the mornings before I begin working or else they won’t happen…I know myself too well.

Love

  • I will start going on TWO dates a month with Kate.  We worked our way back up to having a date monthly, but we need to spice things up.  People keep warning us about that “7 year itch” (thank you, people who keep telling us about this btw…NOT! :P).  I don’t want that.  Kate and I need to hangout more and not get lost in kid-related-stuff.
  • My daughter and I will start having weekly Daddy-Daughter dates again.  I miss those and cherish our times alone together.  Plus this will get me out of the house more and will give Kate some personal time.

Work

  • personal work:
    • I am going to read two books a month.  This month is just one since I’m starting mid-way through January:
      • Doing the Math of Mission, by Gil Rendle
    • I am going to start working out three days a week again.  I have a feeling it’s time to pull the trigger on getting that YCMA personal trainer
  • church work
    • I am going to start my work day praying in the sanctuary.  I won’t open my laptop until I have prayed first.
    • I am going to work hard on our current visioning series – For Such a Time as This – and get leaders signed up for the ministries we are launching during Lent.
    • I will need to be thinking through what we’ll study during Lent too…

Play

  • I’m going to start taking care of me.  One activity a day that “fills my soul”
    • wood-working
  • I am going to check off a “bucket list” item when I go skiing in Colorado with my brother in law at the end of January.
  • I am going to build that West Elm nightstand I’ve been talking about for a month.  That will require that I:
    • build a box-joint table saw jig
    • purchase wood and paint
    • find the legs I want to put on it
  • I am going to do some awesome things for my 30th birthday
    • go tubing with kids/families from the church
    • have a party with friends that may or may not involve jumping on trampolines at Sky Zone!

There are my lists.  I don’t think I’ve overdone it.  I have that tendency, so I’ll give this list a shot for the next two weeks and amend it appropriately.  I hope there is BALANCE within this list.  I want there to be an appropriate amount of tension that “fills my soul” and challenges me enough but not too much.  We’ll see how it goes!

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