You can do anything, but you can't do everything.
I'm betting you don't. I mean you probably remember it theoretically, but daily? It starts to feel like not only can we do everything, but that we must do everything.
Let's start with a little math equation today.
For each role or activity you add to your life you have to subtract some expectations.
For each time you raise your expectations you need to subtract some activities or roles.
The variables in this equation are things like your personal capacity for chaos, your available resources of time and money, and your season of life.
Which ultimately means we could do this equation for every person that reads this post and every person would come up with a different answer. So to make these muddy waters even less clear, the math is objective, but your answer will be subjective.
So this is math week on the blog!
(I can hear you unsubscribing.) (What? You don't want to do math???)
Finding Your Values
The first step is to plug some values into our equation.
Let me be clear: You have to decide what values go into your equation.
It's important to remember that because they won't stay blank. You values are more vacuums than voids. The equations will insist on being completed and if we don't purposefully plug something in, someone else will. Culture, a billion-dollar industry, or even the communities we live in will fill the void if we don't.
You get four. Maybe five if you really need them. At the end of this I want you to be able to point to four or five values that will help you define what good enough is at the end of this week.
So here we go.
1. What Can You Not Stop Talking About?
What's bubbling over in your heart so much it's spilling out of your mouth? The Bible tells us that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Have you ever watched someone light up when they talk about their family? Their job? Their latest big adventure?
That light is the one leading you to what they value. It's the same for you. So maybe, if you don't already know, go ask someone.
2. What Gets Under Your Skin?
Okay, to be fair this could be the same answer as above if you are feeling inclined to complain. (We see that this one is especially prevalent in election years, amen?)
What's driving you crazy? What would you change if you could only change one thing?
If it can get under your skin then it matters to you. Period.
3. Where Do You Find Most of Your Time and Money Going?
Now this one might actually be more telling than the other two, because this one lives in your right now reality.
Time and money are two of your biggest resources. Where are you spending them?
4. Write Down Five Things you Value Based on the Previous Answers.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Now, Mother says take five giant steps backwards.
(Mother may I?)
Yes, you may.
Get a good look at the big picture, not just the details.
Maybe you see that you spend a significant amount of time and money on home decor and fashion. Does that mean your values are shallow and completely material? Probably not. It might mean that you value beauty and creativity. Does that resonate?
Or maybe you see that you spend a lot of resources on those things and you're not comfortable with the outcome. Possible someone else has filled in your values and it's time for you to take over.
I spend TONS of time and money on books, but it's not because I value knowing lots of stuff. It's because I value my family. One of the ways that expresses itself in my life is homeschooling my kids. I get to be with them and we build bonds and connections through books.
See what I did there? I followed the rabbit trail to my heart.
I never stop talking about light. Those first few verses in John where he talks about Jesus being the light and the life? They define me. In fact this whole concept of light defines me so much that every other value I have is an extension of light. Faith, Family, Hospitality, Simplicity.
Every single one of those is built on the premise of sharing the light of Jesus. It's the thing that I don't just want to be good enough at, it's the thing I need to be good enough at.
One last note: If you don't like what this reveals, change it. You want to value your faith, but it's not showing up in your time? Change that. You want to move your friendships up the list, start talking about ways to do that.
You get to decide what values go into your equation.
To help you out I've made a little worksheet with these four steps to help you hash it out. I encourage you before you fill out that last box to get on your knees and pray. Is this true? Is this where I want my treasure to be?
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