The older I get, the faster life passes – like it ain’t got no brakes. There has always been 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, but as I age, it feels like I’m losing years instead of days.
Where did 2015 come from and how did it get here so quickly? Didn’t we just ring in 2014, a year ripe with promise and the opportunity to bring Him glory?
When we were kids waiting for a birthday or Christmas, every day was a year.
Now every year is a day.
On a few rare occasions during my childhood I dared ride my bicycle down Lamborn Street, a steep hill in Helena, Montana. Steep to a child. The speed made the pedals whizz around so quickly I’d stick my legs out sideways because I couldn’t pedal as quickly as the bike was moving. When I was too scared, I would slam on the brakes, fishtail to a stop, then put both feet on the ground. I hated the feeling of being out of control.
I’m still that way, although I’ve realized there are no brakes on life’s downhill. Like the Little Rascals when they built their go-kart to race the rich kid with his store bought kiddie-car.
They had high ambitions and a good start, but no way to control the outcome.
Life can be going fine, I feel like I’m winning the race, then things start to swerve and get outta’ control. I can’t stop life, I have to hang on for the ride. But, there are things I can do to keep from getting to the point where I have actually yelled, “Stop the world! I want to get off!”
When you feel frantically out-of-control, like you ain’t got no brakes, it’s time to make decisions to control life’s ride. If you invest your time and talents wisely you can enjoy the moments, not fly through them and end with a crash-landing.
TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR LIFE AIN’T GOT NO BRAKES!
1. Say NO!
This isn’t breaking news, but you’re not practicing this advice yet, are you? I knew that, so I repeated it. I was burned-to-a-crisp with life and spiritual service before I learned to say NO as led by the Lord. We easily can fill up our days with activities and responsibilities, thinking we’re doing what is right.
This is what I’ve learned.
- Because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
- Because it’s a good way to use your talent and time, doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
- Because when you finally say NO, maybe someone else will finally say YES.
Discernment is saying NO to asks and saying YES to your calling.
2. Schedule Creative Escape
You’re not doing that, either, are you? I give you permission. Read. Craft. Write. Paint. Sew. Garden. Bake. Choose one love you’ve set aside and schedule time, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. Creative activities loosen the rubber bands that keep you wound up too tightly and helps you enjoy life.
To implement, start utilizing waiting time. Instead of being frustrated with wasted time, relax and do something you enjoy. I blogged about “purse projects”, to-do projects that can be finished in 15 minute slots. Creative time can also be a reward for finishing a task.
Make time for what you want to do. The inspiration will help you face the bazillion things you have to do.
Escaping into creative activities you love refreshes you to face have-to obligations.
3. Take a Chill Pill!
Can you change the circumstances that cause you the most agony? Have you prayed about it? Then stop worrying about it.
“Do not worry about tomorrow” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command. Accept the situation, then wait on the Lord and trust Him for the outcome. Worrying makes the trial worse, steals precious time, and keeps you from walking in peace. Chill out! He’s got it covered!
Time spent worrying is time not spent living.
4. Five Second Rule for Follow-Through
Stress can muddle your mind. You think you don’t have time to follow-through, but actually create more work for yourself. You can spend 5 seconds now, or 5 minutes later, 5 minutes now or 5 hours later.
Spill a little milk? Wipe it up before it hardens or curdles. Blow up in the microwave? Wipe it down before it hardens. Take one thing upstairs/downstairs with each trip and put it away. The dishwasher is right next to the sink, open the door and set the glass in. It takes 5 seconds, maybe 10. If you can wear clothes again, hang them up or fold them when you take them off. Dirty clothes go directly into the hamper. Yea, we tell the kids do that, but we don’t always set the example. In fact, I’ll go put my clothes in the hamper right now to prove that I’m cheerleading myself first and foremost with these tips.
Consistent follow-through keeps a job from demanding unnecessary time and energy.
5. Choose One Splurge
We can’t do it all. Since each obligation requires time or money, choose an affordable splurge with your money to save frustration and time.
I’m not a foodie. I don’t dream about creating elaborate meals or read cookbooks for fun. If I could, I would serve Wonka Pills for dinner every night. After years of making three meals a day, take-out is my favorite splurge. Foodies might hire a college kid to clean the house or the neighbor kid to mow the lawn. I started buying compostable paper plates, cups, and napkins for my busiest times. Your splurge is using money to buy time, so invest wisely and don’t squander the time.
Money can buy you time, or time can save you money. Invest both wisely.
Life ain’t got no brakes. We can’t slow down time and change the rules of creation. You can’t add more hours to your day. If you apply wisdom, consistency, trust, creativity, and discernment you can keep from careening out-of-control in a fast-paced life.
When life is in control you can relax and enjoy the ride, even when you ain’t got no brakes!
Lisa Ferrell says
Thanks for writing this. It validates my lifestyle right now. It’s so weird, and a little disorienting. I do feel like God’s giving me a break from life. Often I wonder if I should be doing more things, but I don’t want to. Thanks for helping me feel good about just being still.
Mindy Peltier says
Lisa, thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I love hearing how the Lord is working in people’s lives. Enjoy the break. I know the times the Lord has given me rest, it has been for a reason of recovery or preparation. Either way, stillness is so good and so rare.
But, it’s funny you would leave a comment, because last night you were totally on my heart about your ability to write. If the Lord ever calls you to write for Him, I would love to help you on that road. You are gifted! Maybe not called at this point, but you have the ability. Blessings!
Saying no is terribly hard for me. I’m working on it 😉
Mindy Peltier says
When you have something that you want to accomplish more than anything else in the world, you’ll be able to say NO! I had to say NO so I could write. 🙂 It’s been empowering. But, you are also saying YES to things you love and are good at, Queen of Brussels Sprouts!