RUNNING A MARATHON WILL CHANGE YOU FOREVER. I am not a runner by trade or preference, though I used to be athletic–before marriage and children. However, running a marathon taught me some lessons–or reminded me of truths–that I will be forever grateful for. Last year, in my 39th year, Leah tricked me into running a marathon. It started out harmlessly enough with, “Wanna go for a walk?” How could I refuse? Then it became, let’s just run a mile. Then there was a 5K, later followed by a 10K. The 10K was a stepping stone to the half marathon which
Not making your real priorities your actual priorities makes for misery.
While working feverishly on all the pressing projects and knocking out deadlines for everyone else, you look around and realize that the whirlwind flashing past you is YOUR LIFE! Like a rat in a wheel you are chasing after every type of perfect: happy boss, happy husband, happy job, happy client, happy kids, happy body.. while you slowly go crazy and lose perspective of what is most important to you.
I have found it easy to lose perspective. I have a lot of pressures: marriage, employees, clients, kids, friends and every one of them is important. This spring was exceptionally high stress and I hit a wall. I had nothing else to give–not to my business, not to my family, not to my Creator. I was empty. It was the moment of asking, “What is it all for anyways? Why am I so out of sync? Why am I so unhappy, so……miserable?”
The answer became apparent with some stepping away: I was not putting first things first and I was trying to do it all by myself.
Priorities and Prayer
It is humbling to realize that sometimes what you want most is actually the thing you have been neglecting. In my most stressed out moments, I longed for the simple pleasure of cleaning my kitchen or folding my laundry. But the reality is, the neglect of those most basic tasks were the basis of my stress. When I finally just dropped everything to re-center, I started with the basics of decluttering and routine tasks. I realized then the damage I was doing to my joy by not taking care of the most important tasks first, in this case, the care of my home and family.
Setting priorities is never a done deal. Priorities will change as circumstances change. It is necessary to evaluate regularly whether or not your are committing your time and energy to the most important things at the time. For me, I know that the two constants in my priorities are God and my family. The challenge is always keeping those things at the head of the list.
How to Re-Set your Priorities
- Make a list of your priorities
- Next to each item, answer the question “Am I living as though this is important to me?”
- If not, ask ” What can I do to make this a priority again?”
- Pray for the grace necessary to do what is required of you–the greatest misery is trying to do it alone.
How do you manage to keep first things first in your life?
Why do we value the imperfect, in things and nature but reject the same imperfections and flaws in ourselves and others? I recently ate at a lovely restaurant that had beautiful finishes and impeccable food. The lighting was rustic, the chairs vintage and the table crafted of wood that has seen many decades come and go. There was more than just a charm–there was a deep beauty that permeated the materials. The knots and twists wrought into the wood over years of growth yielded a completely unique plank that made this place feel special and important. But why is a
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson When you grow a garden, you grow yourself. My primary occupation is working with clients to improve the value of their lives and their homes through professional landscape design. I help people make the most of what they have, show them how they can make it better and walk with them through the process of creation and beautification. One thing about landscaping, and more specifically, gardening, is that you can’t help but grow yourself. When you try something new or
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