Sometimes Our Accomplishments Are What We Stop Doing

This week Chris and I reviewed the first quarter for our new THRIVEtoday ministry. We looked at who we influenced, what we accomplished, how we grew and what we gained. (This is a big shout-out to our friend Dawn Whitestone at Whitestone Professionals for leading us through this impactful activity!)
 
We discovered some accomplishments worth celebrating. For example, we exceeded our expectations for registrations at the Joy Rekindled marriage retreats as well as the THRIVE Training held earlier this year. We reached some new people in the last month with our website; this is no small feat! However, there was something more near and dear to my heart, and it involved what I stopped doing.
 
While 2017 came to a close, we set our goals for the first quarter of this year. In addition to setting goals for what we hoped to accomplish, I added two personal goals for what I intended to stop. You see, at the time my workload was spilling into my family time. I felt God gently nudging me to make some changes. All too often, date nights with my husband turned into the time to tackle the long list of work problems we needed to solve. Frequently, when my sons returned home from school, I continued to busily multi-task. Helping with homework, preparing dinner and wrapping up “just a few more phone calls” or “a few more emails” converged to create one stressed out momma.
 
I made it my first goal to stop working and shut down my computer as soon as the boys walk in the house from school. I am excited to say I have been successful in this goal! Thanks to this change, I noticed my patience increased and I have even more bandwidth to connect with my sons in the evenings emotionally. While there have been moments this is unavoidable; overall these moments are the rare exception rather than the rule.
 
My second goal was to move my “work meetings” with Chris to time during the work week so we could protect our date nights for joy and rest. I am pleased to say I have been successful in this goal as well! We are now able to take care of work business during work time, so we can enjoy each other and talk about anything other than work during our connection times.
 
While I struggle with trying to do everything all the time, the is reality I cannot do this. In truth, things will have been neglected and stay undone. I am grateful for God’s nudging so that what remains undone and neglected is not my family or my relationship with my husband. I do not want them to receive my “leftovers” after I have prioritized everything except them.
 
The joy of meaningful time with my husband and my sons is worth the discomfort of letting things remain unfinished for a time. A more peaceful and relaxing tone in our home. My joy reserve continues to increase rather than decrease. While we have some accomplishments for the new THRIVEtoday ministry that are worth celebrating, I consider my best achievement to be what I stopped doing this year!
 
Where do you need to stop doing something to make more space for your important relationships?

Comments 4

  1. Dawn
    March 22, 2018

    Great blog! And I’m so proud of you. Thanks for the shout-out, Jen!

  2. Diane Eble
    March 24, 2018

    Your message totally hit home, because that’s exactly what God has been telling me: it’s just as important to stop, and this is a time to subtract from, not add to my life. I’m still praying for clarity on this, but I’m finding it is uncovering places where I need to trust Him more. The Joy Rekindled conference was wonderful, and I want to keep the joy building. So thanks for the reminder, and the encouragement that it can be done!

  3. Marsha Kumar
    March 24, 2018

    O how I love this blog. I am sure your children notice that they are not fighting for attention when you have last minute emails or phone calls. I am imagining more peace. So now for me. I am asking the Lord for Showing me where I need to stop doing things. Stop answering the phone during mealtime. Stop after certain hours. Hmmmm I think this is a very important message for me. Thanks so much

  4. Mary Anne Quinn
    March 25, 2018

    It can often take more courage to let go than to take on. I am finding that the key is opening up areas of my heart that need God’s healing to trust in his work more than my own. Thank you Jen and Diane for sharing your experiences and helpful insights. Jen, you inspire me every week in being a more relationally connected wife and teacher, and child of God. You, too, Diane.

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