Ever have one of those years when the Christmas decorations linger longer than you want to admit? And when the idea of eating any more of the Christmas leftovers makes chills go up your spine? Yeah, we’ve all been there and it’s just a sign that it is time to get back on track.
But it’s so overwhelming! How do you do it when you’re not even sure where the track is?
I’m offering four steps to putting the holiday hullabaloo behind us and getting back on track.
1. Draw Away
Did you know that Jesus taught His disciples to do this one? Mark 6:30-32 says, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” Obviously what was good for the disciples is good for you and me too.
Draw away…to do what?
- Draw away to breathe – just rest. Remember what Jesus said, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
- Draw away to pray. When things get really busy and deadlines are closing in, I tend to focus on the to-do list and figure out how to get it done without even thinking about praying. We need time to just sit still and go back to our Father and talk to Him and give Him our schedules and trust Him to make them work…or to change them. (More on this later.)
- Draw away to read. Get your Bible open. If you haven’t already chosen a Bible reading plan for 2017, pick one out and get started.
Draw away…where? Again, remember what Jesus said, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place…” So draw away to…
- Someplace quiet
- Someplace with some privacy
Where would a quiet, private place be? It’s going to depend on you and what distracts you. I love the idea of going to a coffee shop, but all too often I am distracted by the people doing business there – interviewing potential employees, making sales pitches on the phone. I can’t do it. It also can’t be at home because all the things that need to be done there will distract me. For me, the best plan has been to go through the coffee drive-through and then head to the reading room at our local library. Very few people go there and the ones who do expect perfect silence. Works for me, but maybe not for you. Find your place and get ready to go.
Oops, but what about Draw away…how?
If you’re a mom with little kids at home during the day, you probably think drawing away is a pipe dream. It just can’t happen. Don’t give up on drawing away yet. Let’s think about just a morning or just an afternoon. Then think about another mom that you can trade babysitting with. She needs time to draw away too. If you have relatives in the area, explain your plan to them and ask for help. Which of your relatives would not want to help you get back on track? And, if nothing else works, pay a babysitter. Just one morning, just a little time in a desolate place to get back on track.
One little note – if you’re an empty nest mom like me, look around you to see which frazzled mom needs a morning of free babysitting from you.
2. Revamp Schedules
Take an hour out of your drawing-away morning to look at last year’s schedule and to think about ways to make this year’s schedule more workable and more beneficial. Consider these things as you plan out a daily and weekly schedule:
- Your daily Bible study. I kind of harp on this, but it’s because it is essential – not just important – but essential for your spiritual health and growth. You say you only have fifteen minutes? Great, use that Bible reading plan to read a chapter or two a day. You can do it in fifteen minutes.
- Dates with your husband. Yes, you need them. Your husband needs them. Yes, they can be cheap. Google it – there are plenty of fun, cheap date ideas out there. Find them and then put it on your schedule – hopefully once a week, but you and your hubby know what will work for both of you.
- Regular mom time. More time to draw away – maybe once a quarter. Time to spend with your friends – and, yes, play dates count.
- Cleaning, work, and kids’ schedules. All the stuff that takes up the bulk of your time. Plan it out and spread it out.
And one more word about scheduling – no, wait, two more words! First, use pretty paper. There are lots of free printables on the web. One of my favorites is at https://thepostmansknock.com/category/freebies/. The second word about scheduling – hold it loosely! Schedules are meant to be a guide, not a judgment.
3. Sleep and Drink Water
Pretty simple, but I believe these two are important in getting back on track. I often try to get away with 6 hours of sleep and it never works. I need as close to 8 hours as I can get. As for water…if you’re trying to live on coffee and sodas, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Don’t kid yourself by saying your body just needs liquids. It needs water. Just drink it!
4. Throw It Away
This is your official permission to throw it away. Throw what away? Any number of things – leftover holiday food, Christmas decorations that are broken or faded or that you really don’t like, Christmas cards, all those empty gift boxes that you could use next year, and anything else that is cluttering up your life and making it impossible to get back on track. Just fill up your garbage can with them. It’s okay.
That’s it – that’s all my wisdom on getting back on track for 2017. But, seriously, do it! Take some time to draw away to breathe and pray and read; revamp your schedule (on pretty paper); take care of yourself by sleeping and drinking water; and throw away the junk that can drown you.
Get back on track and have a great 2017!
photography by Unsplash.com
I’m having Coffee for Your Heart with Holley Gerth. Join in the fun!