Sometimes you hear a message and it hits hard. It hits you hard like a stick in the face when you’re running during a windstorm and you can’t pull it off because it is now entangled in your hair and wet and no matter how hard you try, the speckles of stick and bark are still there. Then it hurts. So I sat there in church, listening to the windstorm and walking out unable to get rid of the sting from the stick that hit me in my face.
We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have many of the same responsibilities like shuttling kids here and there, grocery shopping, and of course we all have to eat, which means cooking and meal prep as well. I am excellent at time management and have a multitude of “things” that I fill that time bucket with. It is full, full to the brim. There are hundreds of stones in my time bucket. What I came to realize was that not a single stone in that bucket had my name on it. Honestly, I realized this a long time ago but just pushed it away, ignored it, maybe even experienced a little denial about it. But Sunday, Sunday there was no getting out of it. My pastor completely called me out. He might as well have pointed his finger right at me. The fact that there was not a single stone in MY OWN BUCKET that was for ME was a problem. I wasn’t giving myself time to reflect, time to grow spiritually and time to grow closer to God.
I like sleep. I like sleep a lot. I am in NO WAY a morning person. I tried the whole running on the morning thing when the world is yet to be awake and loathed it. I was in the habit of waking my daughter up for school at 6 am then heading back to bed to hit the snooze. Several times. I would get up at the last minute, rush out the kids and myself and it seemed to set the tone for the day. And in all honesty, how much sleep was I really getting having to hit the snooze button every 9 minutes for an hour?
After being hit Sunday (remember this is by the message, not literally), I decided I needed to make a change. In fact, as I mentioned, I knew I needed to make the change for a long time but have been a bit in denial. Denial is definitely a tool of the devil to prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. I took one sleep rock out and replaced it with a rock for myself. I know all this talk about myself may seem a bit selfish, but it’s really not. If we do not allow ourselves time to think, be quiet in reflection and just be present for our own self being, we neglect ourselves.
That one hour rock that I pulled from sleep is now my quiet time. It’s been a week. Change is hard. Change also become easier when you can see the differences. That one hour of time between 6 am and 7 am is my quiet time. I really thought about what to do with my quiet time and came to the conclusion that I would do yoga and reading. Trust me, some days this week my body has screamed at me NAMASTE IN BED, but my heart laid a guilt trip that got me up. Obedience. We obey and we continue to practice what is right until it becomes the norm, a new habit.
Yoga. I have never really enjoyed it. I have always said my personality is just not fit for yoga. I don’t take myself too seriously and all the earthy feel the ground under your feet stuff just made me laugh. Out loud. Which is not so good in a yoga class. I realize now, that I did not enjoy it because I did not take time for myself. I did not give myself quiet time. There were a million other things I could be doing than laying on a mat with my thoughts. in savasana pose. No joke. The first day at the end of the session the voice on the app aid to relax in savasana. The little timer said 60 seconds. I swear the timer was off…the 60 seconds felt like an eternity. And you guessed it, I was replaying in my head all of the things I still had to do for the morning. Clearly, I had not mastered the practice in round 1. Quiet time is hard. Being alone with your thoughts is hard. We often avoid it, fill our lives wit business, distract ourselves with social media, all just to not allow ourselves time to just be, reflect and be alone with our thoughts.
It will come. It got easier. By Friday I was not looking at the clock. I was able to tune out the daily to-do list playing through my head constantly (at least for some of it).
After yoga, I read. I don’t think it is any coincidence in God’s book that the book of choice to start this journey is Lysa Terkeheurst’s The Best Yes. It is a book about really listening to what God is calling us to do and being able to decipher when we should say YES and when we should kindly pass because there is something better in store for us.
DEFINE YOUR TIME.
I haven’t worked out in awhile. If we are being honest, my last run was probably 2 months ago. I love to run and running is a great way to have quiet time. I have yet to determine what rock needs to be dumped so that I can squeeze running into the bucket again. But because I could not fit running into my time frame right now I knew I had to do something else, thus the reason for the yoga. It suffices for my quiet time and stretches me to become more in tune to reflection all that “cheesy yoga meditation stuff” that is actually quite biblical. Plus, it is by no means denying myself physical activity. When they say feel the heat rise through your legs, that is no joke. My legs were BURNING and maybe a tad sore after.
My challenge to you is this: Define. Your. Time. Does your bucket have a rock in it with your name on it? Are you nourishing yourself physically, spiritually or likewise? What I have learned in this week that, for me, adding this time and reflection to my day has helped me to be more present in other aspects of my day and feel less pressured to get it all done. AND IT’S ONLY BEEN A WEEK! I am sure much more growth, revelations and changes will come as I continue to make a choice to not let other rocks in my bucket push this one out.