Hit the Pause Button

Author: Trisha Goddard
Relationships, work, ministry, studies, fun activities, and events - all these things call for our attention. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in doing what we deem important to the point of ignoring the things that we truly value, and that is when we find ourselves unbalanced.

The past few months, my washer has become unbalanced almost every single time that I do a load of wash. No matter how hard I try to carefully put the clothes evenly in the washer, when it gets to the rinse cycle, it sounds as though a tornado hit my laundry room. Have you ever heard a washer when it becomes unbalanced? The dogs go crazy. Every family member runs to the laundry room in order to hit the pause button, in order to stop the wash cycle and then carefully, spread the clothes out evenly, praying that it is now balanced.

During one of these times while I was dealing with the washer, I was pondering how my life can become like an unbalanced washer. We have had  a lot of time at home lately,  pausing from all the extra things calling for our attention, and therefore, I saw it as a great opportunity to find that balance in my relationships, work, ministry, studies, fun activities, and events.

And my need for refocusing came up in a conversation with a friend. I needed to make changes in my day, since I had committed to some ministry projects as well as two university classes. My friend and I decided to keep each other accountable, writing each other each day, at a time that works for each of us without any pressure to perform or make our day "sound good". We have found it a great way to encourage each other, show lots of grace, mention prayer concerns, and celebrate the good things. We also find that we are more refreshed, knowing that we are thriving doing exactly what God has for each of us that day. 

Are you unbalanced?  HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON. 

When you do, you will feel liberty to take the time needed to reflect on your life and make adjustments where needed. Here are four things that I personally focus on during this time, in order to start once again and thrive, doing what God has for me.

1. Know what you value. 
Is it your relationship with God? Make time to spend time with Him. Is it your spouse and children? Be intentional to make time to be with them. Is it your work, a ministry opportunity, or studies? Do it well and for God’s glory. Is it personal time for fun activities or attending an event? Enjoy that time to recharge.

2. Invest your time wisely. 
Before you say yes to something, know that it is ok to say NO or not right now. As you become intentional about investing your time wisely, you have to focus on what you value first and foremost. Therefore, when deciding whether to commit to something, you have to evaluate whether it will compliment what you truly value or hinder those areas.

3. Find your rhythm. 
What works for you? Is there a particular time of day that works best for you to strengthen your relationships as well as accomplish your commitments - house cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, personal studies, ministry, or work responsibilities? Develop a routine that works for you. Everyone’s rhythm will look different. Learn from others, but don’t do what they do. Do only what works best for you and your family.

4. Give yourself grace. 
This is a hard one, isn’t it? Did you lack discipline or fail at something that you so badly wanted to accomplish? Or maybe you are scared to take a risk? Give yourself some grace, and continue to press on, even when it means starting all over or stepping out of the comfort zone.  

In closing, when you become unbalanced, let me encourage you to hit the pause button. Take the time necessary to refocus by writing out what you value, where you want to invest your time, what your rhythm looks like, and give yourself grace as you learn to start once again and thrive, doing what God has for you!

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