End-of-Year Evaluation

School for us got out last Thursday (sorry to rub it in to those of you who still have a few weeks left!). At the end of the school year, I like to look back and see where I am compared to where I was. I look back over the past twelve months and evaluate my experiences, my choices, my growth.

Last year at this time, I was exhausted – about as close to burn-out as I’d ever been. I loved everything I was doing. I was just doing too much. And the cost of doing too much was that I was stretched out thin, with very little time to relax and enjoy life. Even my devotions had become dry: just another check mark on my daily “to do” list. I finished each task relieved, not rejoicing. And I faced each new task exhausted, not expectant.

So when I looked to the  2013-2014 school year, I knew I had to make some changes. I had to cut back. So I did. I taught fewer classes, wrote fewer books, pared down the amount of ministries I was involved in at church. I took a step back and asked myself “What is God asking me to do?” I needed to say “yes” to Him and Him alone. And though that meant saying “no” to people and opportunities I loved, it was necessary.

I am so glad I did that. With fewer demands on my time, I have been able to reconnect with my husband. We  Famtalk – really talk –  for hours. It’s wonderful. I’ve had more “down time” with my kids, too. Not scheduled quality time, just time. We sit and talk while they’re doing homework, or while I drive them to sports practices. We hang out at home and watch a favorite TV show.

Best of all, my time with God has been sweeter, better, more meaningful. I have gotten to bed on time, which allows me to wake up early and have that time with Him before I begin my day. My mind isn’t so full of “to do” lists, so I can spend more time throughout the day in prayer, which makes me focus more on others and less on myself.

This year has not been without struggles, but I have had time to deal with those struggles in a healthy way. And because of that, I have grown more. I have greater peace, greater joy, and greater dependence on God as a result of simply taking the time to rest.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Mt. 11:29

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