Living with Purpose when the Pages of Your Planner are Full
I love a good to-do list. I’m task-oriented and I love checking things off the pages of my planner as I go throughout my day. But sometimes my to-do list actually keeps me from doing the things that really matter.
Last week in my Bible Study lecture, the speaker said this…
“When we forget our identity, our life becomes all about tasks and fails to be about purpose.”
Those words really convicted me because all too often, I find myself preoccupied with tasks and as a result, distracted from my purpose. Let me paint you a little picture of what this looks like for me:
Atlas will come ask me if I will play ball with him and I’ll tell him I can’t right now because I’m folding the laundry. Then later he will ask me again, and I’ll say, “In a minute, I’m prepping dinner.” And then that night I tell him we can play tomorrow and I go to bed feeling like I accomplished a lot on my to-do list, but I missed so many God-given opportunities in the process.
Sometimes, my identity can get lost while I’m switching out all the different hats I wear everyday. Since I serve as the mom, the chef, the maid, the dog walker and the doer-of-all-the-laundry I like to refer to myself as the COO of our family. It is my job to ensure things in our house run smoothly. But that’s my job…not my purpose.
The reality is, anybody could do my job. Sometimes I actually think a monkey could probably do the job better than me. But my purpose is unique, and consequently far more important. I feel like my purpose is to point my children to Jesus. While I can try my hardest to ensure things in our house run smoothly, there’s no way I can ensure life will run smoothly for Atlas & Andi Rose. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee them the opposite. Life is filled with bumps, accidents and pitfalls and while my job today is to protect my children, my purpose is to prepare them for the sometimes bumpy rollercoaster that is called ‘life.’ If I teach my kids to look both ways before walking out into the street, I’ve done a part of my job. However, if I teach them to walk in truth, I’m fulfilling part of my purpose. But if I’m going to teach my kids those kind of lessons then I’ve got to be connected with them and I’m realizing that those connections take root when I slow down long enough to spend time with my children. But time spent playing ball with Atlas isn’t something I typically pencil in the calendar, which is absurd because shouldn’t I be strategic about making time for the things that align with my purpose?
When I think about the culture we live in, I would venture to say most of us are blinded by busyness. Between the pages of our crazy calendars and being saturated with social media, we rarely get a free minute to think about our purpose. Time isn’t free anymore. I’m never going to be given a free minute. I must intentionally carve out free time if I wish to have it. But it is in that free time where I find I’m more empathetic to my children and to the needs of other people around me – because that’s when I have time to consider my purpose.
I think this concept also applies to my role as a wife. My job is to care for my husband and the home he provides us. My purpose is to love him well, bring him good, cherish his heart and build a legacy with him for our children. But I can get so preoccupied with doing his laundry and washing his dishes that I forget my bigger purpose requires me to leave dirty dishes in the sink sometimes and just sit with him and lend him my ear after he’s had a long day.
I hope this post encourages you, just like the lecture in my Bible Study last week encouraged me. My OCD heart is so satisfied going to bed at night when I feel like I’ve accomplished all the things, but my soul is satisfied only when I feel like I’ve accomplished the most important things…and I have to remind myself daily that those ‘things’ aren’t always written in the pages of my planner.
This is for those of you who are like, “Um, I don’t even have kids and who the heck still writes in a planner when you have an i-phone…I just wanted to know where your scarf was from.” I got you too, girl. 😉
Sweater via Shop Dress Up// Blanket Scarf (mine is from last year, but the one I linked looks almost identical) // White Pants (can’t stop wearing these because they are SO comfy) // Booties are old, but similar ones are here and here //Clutch
Happy Hump Day, Friends!