Name What Matters
Fall is a season well loved by many people. The changing leaves, pumpkin flavored everything, sitting around a fire with friends, and walking in the cool crisp air bring feelings of comfort, warmth and connection. There are many new beginnings as well. A new school year with fresh school supplies, the beginning of football season, small groups starting back up, and more. The fun, spontaneous, slower pace of summer gives way to routine, commitments, and often the filling of our calendars more and more until Christmas. While this is exciting and fresh, we often get to Christmas feeling anxious, worn out and ready for space and room to breathe. What if there was another way?
The beginning of a new season is a great time to reflect on what matters to you and build your routine from there. Life certainly looks different in 2020, but all the more reason to start with what matters. Maybe the rhythm of having dinner around the table with your family each night really matters to you. Maybe you’ve been wanting to meet your neighbors and you long to show hospitality in your home. Maybe there is a ministry at your church that you have wanted to serve in but there never seems to be enough time to squeeze it in. Maybe you want to get outside and walk through crunching leaves and experience the changing season in nature. Maybe you want to travel and experience new places you have never been before. No matter what it might be, name what matters most to you.
Imagine it is New Year’s Day and you are reflecting on the fall season. How would you know it was time well spent? What would be present that would leave you feeling full? What would be absent that would have left you feeling empty and worn out?
Saying no can be a wonderful gift to yourself. As human beings, we have limits on our time, energy, and emotional/spiritual/physical capacity, and sometimes we have to say no. Why not choose ahead of time to say no to the things that don’t fit what we decided matters most?
By naming what matters and building boundaries around those pillars, some of our no’s will come naturally. If coaching a baseball team matters, maybe you say no to leading a new initiative at work that might cause you to work longer hours. If spending one night a week alone matters, maybe you say no to the game night you are invited to. Of course, everything won’t be black and white and sometimes our season of life requires more flexibility. Maybe dinner around the table matters to you, but your kids have soccer practice on weeknights and it just never seems to happen. This is an example of our limits, but we can still name what matters in the midst of them. If spending time as a family matters, maybe you sit around the table for breakfast when everyone is home instead of dinner.
When we name what matters, we can intentionally choose how to fill our time wisely and accept with grace the areas that just require endurance.
May we name what matters, embrace our limits, and spend our time with intention. If you would like additional support, please call us at 615-591-5262.
Blog written by Refuge Center Masters Level Intern, Shelby French