I love the Fall, the crispness of the air, the beautiful colors in God’s creation, but I also realize with the Fall comes clean-up! I keep looking at the leaves in my yard and realize that if we don’t get them up soon they may just overtake the yard! How often do our lives become cluttered with unnecessary businesses, events or situations that drain us and at times overwhelm us. It doesn’t take long to feel cluttered and bogged down. Maybe it’s time for a little Fall cleaning. Let me ask you some simple questions. What can you let go of? What can you eliminate from your schedule? Anything? What can you discard from you life right now? What is important and what is not so important right now? How could your daily life run more efficiently? Are you trying to do it all? Do you need to ask for help? What would make things easier for you?
Without evaluation and reflection, we just keep on keeping on with the same old thing and wonder why we are so tired and run down and overtaken by the demands of life. Let me throw out some suggestions that might be helpful. First, prioritize. What is important? What can simply wait until another day? The one thing that I frequently hear from women is there are not enough hours in a day. Reality is that everyone has the same amount of time in a day. If I am a stay at home mom, I can clean my entire house today or I can clean my bathroom and tackle another cleaning project on another day. If I clean just my bathroom, I have some time for myself or family that I might not have had. Either way the house gets cleaned. What’s more important?
Second, organize. Organization includes having a place for things, and it also includes having a schedule to live by. Nothing is worse than trying to find your car keys when you are in a panic to get out the door. Can you put your hands on important documents at a moment’s notice? Do you know where things are? What about a schedule? Many times the day spins by us and we don’t know what happened. All the things we intended to do didn’t get done.
Sally called for a spontaneous lunch. You drop everything to go and then get behind on some things you really needed to do. As a result, you stay up late to catch up with your work. It’s not that the social event wasn’t important. Does it fit in with what is priority for the day and does it fit in with your schedule? If house work is important, does it all have to be done today?
Third, eliminate. What can you eliminate from your life? What can you let go of? Are you too busy? Do you have time for your family? Do you have time for you? Are you on your schedule each week? What are you doing for yourself on a weekly basis that is life giving to you? I don’t believe we were put on this earth to be self-absorbed, me first people. Real joy and satisfaction comes in life when we give and serve others; however, I don’t believe God intends us to serve everyone else until we are depleted of all energy and joy. If you don’t take time for you, you will eventually get burned out. What could you do for yourself this week that is simply fun or relaxing for you? What gives you life?
Do you know? For every woman it is different. For some, it’s a long bath with candles. For others, it’s hanging out with girlfriends or pursuing a hobby. Whatever it is, are you pursuing it intentionally? Do you have you on your day-timer or schedule? As women, we are often great at care-taking, but not so good at taking care of ourselves. Everybody else comes first and we are last on the list. If you don’t become intentional about making time for you, then trust me you will get lost in the shuffle. After all, aren’t you as important as your family, friends, and those you minister to?
If you are not nurtured and strengthened, what good are you to anyone else? When you carve out some time for you, you become refreshed and life looks so much better! What can you eliminate from your schedule so you have time for you? Finally, what about your relationships? Do you have more negative relationships than positive? Are you weighed down with too many toxic relationships? How could you change this in your life? Are there relationships that you need to eliminate because they are destructive and unhealthy? Have you created an unhealthy dependence? How could you go about finding positive and uplifting people to begin to associate with? There is a time for ministry and a time for healthy friends that you can laugh and have a good time with. Even Jesus didn’t go around every waking hour ministering to and healing people.
Fall is a great time to do some deep cleaning. Will you take the time to do some soul searching about your life? What do you need to give priority to right now? What is really important to you in this season of life? How can you organize your life so that there is time for the things that are really important to you, yourself included? What and who can you eliminate from your life to give you more freedom to be you.
I think if you will take the time to remove the clutter from your life, your life will take on new color and vibrancy just like this beautiful Fall season.