This is the third in a series of articles on living with intention and purpose. The first article is titled Driven By Distraction and covers how 21st century accessibility can leave us short on real connection with God, others and our true purpose. The second article is titled First Things First and delves deeper into the outcome of not pursuing self care primarily through a real relationship with God. This reminds me of the flight attendant announcing, “If you are traveling with small children please put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before helping others”. We won’t be of much use to others in our life if we aren’t abiding in Christ and communing daily with Jesus.

This article will expand on how our significant relationships suffer when we are driven by distraction.  Apart from our relationship with Christ our relationships with those in our household have the most impact on our life, and the converse is true.

How you live out your life with your family will have eternal significance. — Michael Pfau

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So picture yourself. The end of a long and busy day. You just want to have some peace at home – to relax and unwind. After all you deserve it! As you walk through the door, however, you are greeted with some difficulty that needs your immediate attention. Got the picture in your mind? So how do you respond?

Perhaps it’s from working too many hours, or over commitment but by the time you get home the last thing you want is to serve or help your family. Often when we arrive home we are too burned out to ask our spouse how his or her day went. To invest time in our kids and what is important to them. We’ve all been there – and there is nothing wrong with having needs met by your family or relaxing. But when you are so exhausted that you get angry or shut down than consider that you may be driven by an overcrowded schedule.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” — Psalm 23

Points to Ponder:

So what can you do to not only arrive home from work with less stress but walk through life this way?

Pray – You will never have true peace unless the God of peace is filling your heart each day. This was the point of the last issue of Lifeways so please see Issue 62 for more on this.

Clean the brush – as we move through our various roles in life things can get messy – just like painting a room with different colors unless you clean the brush. So how can you clear your thoughts before you go home from work so you can be completely there? How can you clear your mind from thoughts of home so you can be completely focused on your job? Make it your goal to be fully present wherever you are.

Learn – most difficulties give us an opportunity to grow IF we look for it. So ask yourself, what is happening in my life as a result of this stress or problem? What is God trying to get my attention about? What does the Holy Spirit want to change in my life? Once you understand what God is saying to you than ‘just do it’. Obedience to what God says sounds so easy but it really can be a challenge when it comes to clearing our schedule or investing in significant relationships.

I’d love to hear how you are navigating the significant relationships in your life. Let me know if your ideas for ‘cleaning your brush’ or some other tips I can pass along. Perhaps you’d like to talk more about this. If so, I offer a complimentary 25 minute call to anyone who is considering a life coach so feel free to call, Email or pass this along to a friend who might benefit from an uncluttered life.