January 12, 2012 PhilBell

Too Busy To Breathe?

Have you had those seasons in ministry and life where you just don’t seem to get a time to breathe? The last few months for me have felt that way. Between a constant barrage of family sickness, more ministry “emergencies” than normal, as well as over extending myself in some areas, it has been a challenging couple of months. Maybe you can relate?

In seasons like this it’s time to breathe, time to learn, and time to look forward. 

TIME TO BREATHE: The last couple of months have been very busy, but it means everything to stop and be filled up instead of running on empty. The last two weeks I have had to be very intentional to calve out time to be alone, read God’s Word, and be silent. It’s not easy, but it’s essential. It’s challenging to slow down when there are so many things to get done and so many people to keep happy. However, hanging in the long-haul and being effective in the short-term depends on our dependence on God. We must be ruthless with our schedules and intentional about taking time to breathe with our Father. 

TIME TO LEARN: As I take time to breathe, I am able to look back and learn from the last couple of months.  I realize there are a lot of things out of my control, but there were many things I have learned from my busy season:

– I have said “yes” to too many projects and people. It’s important to come back to a narrowed focus and challenge myself to “major in the majors, and minor in the minors…”

– No matter how much came up, it was important to change up my schedule to support my family. Even when stuff was piling up, I made sure my family did not get my left-overs…

– I need more sleep! Going to bed earlier in the last week has helped me become more efficient, more focused, and more excited about my day? Do you need more sleep?

– I need to exercise more! Working out helps me feel better and more energized. When life gets busy, my health takes a back seat… This needs to stop. The past week has been full of healthy eating and exercise. It is helping my energy levels and productivity and thus I am getting more done in less time…

A TIME TO LOOK FORWARD: Anytime I am in the midst of chaos and busy schedules, it’s important that I slow down, but it’s important that I look forward to ensure the coming months are different. Here’s what I have been doing:

– Getting the family schedule mapped out for the next few months and making family and date nights a priority. Last weekend my wife and I went out for a date and then went to Starbucks to put our calendars together…

– Planning and booking our 10 year wedding anniversary getaway!

– Getting excited about The Simply Youth Ministry Conference in March! Are you going? I am super excited. The theme: Breathe

– Planning time off after our winter retreat…

These are just a few things I have been convinced I need to do to hang in for the long-haul, be more effective today, and enjoy my life a little more? What have you had to do in your life and ministry to stay healthy?

Phil <><

About the Author

PhilBell Phil Bell is a Family Ministry pastor with over 15 years of experience ministering to families. He holds a Masters in Christian Ministry and is a national speaker, columnist, author, and blogger. He’s passionate about investing in families and equipping parents to reach the next generation for Christ. He’s originally from England and now lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife Lisa and their three beautiful kids.