A week or so ago we learned that one of two power lines to our house wasn't functioning correctly and was only delivering 30% of its maximum energy to our home. The power box in our yard showed 100% power at the source but the line was faulty and the power was diffusing into the ground.
Interesting, isn't it?
I was sitting in church the day following this discovery and my mind started wandering (sorry, Pastor Tyg) about all the ways that my power, or strength, is diffused. I start every day with full potential but how is that potential diffused? Because if I'm honest, I don't always feel like I function at 100%. Do you?
I started making a list of all the things that diffuse my strength but basically it boils down to one category: DISTRACTION. I'm working so hard right now on a priority statement for my life--a statement of the things that I'm 100% committed to. Anything beyond those few things (and it's really only a few) is non-priority and likely a distraction that is diffusing my strength.
Here are some examples:
iPhone/computer. I could expand on this ad nauseum but I'm not sure I need to because you guys know what a time-suck and distraction our phones and computers are. I do NOT want to be attached to my phone OR my computer and have actually been trying really hard to take one day a week and just stay offline. It's hard--nearly impossible to stay completely offline--but geez Louise, I need a break from the constant state of connectedness.
Drama. How many little situations do we blow totally out of proportion and let consume our time, energy, and thoughts? RUN away from drama and the people who create it. It's a time-suck that diffuses your strength! I'm so not perfect in this area, and have realized that sometimes I'm the one who creates it but I'm trying to be better about realizing it and amending my behavior because any time or attention I give to that stuff takes times and attention away from my priorities!
Runaway thoughts and worry. As with drama, overthinking and worrying about things beyond our control zaps our time and our strength. I love the quote below. Again, I'm not perfect. I worry. I obsess. I overthink and create wild scenarios in my head that aren't even true. My goal is to get to a place that when I find myself consumed by runaway thoughts and worry I will quickly "take my thoughts captive." (2 Corinthians 10:5) I do this, but it's not always quickly; I seem to take the longer, more scenic route before I'm able to reign those thoughts in.
Busy-ness. We all define "busy" differently. For me, busy-ness means extracurricular activities and getting everyone in my family where they need to be while working part-time and keeping a home running smoothly (laundry, meals, housekeeping). ALL those things are good and necessary, and they keep me BUSY but you what? They're all related to my family which is my #1 priority. I think the distraction of busy-ness is more about the extra things I say YES to that take time and attention from my priorities. I used to be the volunteer queen but now I do a lot less of that and choose the things that feel realistic and enjoyable. I dropped out of my Bunco group because I decided I wanted to spend Friday nights with my family. I limit the things I say yes to that require me to be gone in the evenings and we guard our weekends fiercely.
These are just a few examples and I'm certain there are many more. I'm NOT perfect and I don't have all this figured out and my strength still feels diffused in lots of areas but I want to choose well and I want to live a less distracted life so that I can offer my full strength and potential to the things that really matter!