Sunday, February 18, 2007


Last night, James and I went to his boss' house for a night to just reflect on God - an informal time of worship and sharing. As I sat there singing songs about surrender to the cross and His majesty, I couldn't help but feel guilty. I am always SO busy studying in seminary, SO busy working in the admissions office to help students know where they can come to learn more about Him, SO busy studying my Sunday school lesson for my 8th grade girls, or SO busy working on some other ministry project. Plus, who can forget Christian fellowship (aka - a Jesus word for hanging out with my godly boyfriend and friends)?

Michelle, those seem like good things. Why would you feel guilty? Because I couldn't tell you the last time that I honestly just came before Him, recognized His presence, and stood in awe of who He is.

It reminded me of a great acronym for simplifying your life that I read years ago in Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt by Karen Scalf Linamen (a must-read for any Christian female who loves to laugh and tends to get stressed out).

When you think of management, what words come to mind? I'm sure guys think of climbing the corporate ladder and success, but not me. I think about every shampoo commercial's promise: manageable hair. I mean, get real. Does that even exist? So in an attempt to make shampoo's promise real since no bottle will ever accomplish it, let's look at 7 ways you can simplify your life with S.H.A.M.P.O.O.

1) Seize the day.

Focus on today. Learn from what happened yesterday, ask for forgiveness if neccessary, forgive yourself (a step we women sometimes forget), and MOVE ON. Yesterday happened, and you can't change it. In the same way, you can't stress about the future. Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
2) Have a garage sale.
Declutter your environment to give you time to enjoy things in life. You know that pile of clothes that you've tripped over in your room a hundred times and never picked up because they are SOO last season and you wouldn't be caught dead wearing them anyway? Take them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You'll be serving others AND you won't risk taking another nose dive into your dresser.
3) Abandon unrealistic expectations.
NEWS FLASH! I hate to break it to you, but you're not perfect. You're going to mess up. Oh, and in other news, you are the only one who expects you to be perfect. The secret's out, and everyone knows you're not perfect. So quit trying to be someone you're not, admit when you're wrong, learn from your mistakes, and press on. (Oh, and by the I am typing this, God is completely spiritually dead-legging me because He knows I need this lesson more than anyone else reading this.)
4) Minister to others.
If you reach out to someone, not only will you impact their life, but it will also help you get perspective on your own life. If you go and serve a meal at a soup kitchen, sometimes it helps you realize that maybe it's not such a big deal that your mom is SO unfair by taking your cell phone away... even though you sent 50 more text messages than your plan allowed. If you take the focus off of you and onto someone else, your life will make more sense.
5) Prioritize on paper.
At the beginning of the day, make a list of the things IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE that you need to do that day. Do #1 on the list first. When #1 is complete, go to #2 and so on. You will be amazed at how much time you waste by deciding what you should do next.
6) Obtain help when you need it.
Admitting that you need help does not make you weak. It makes you human. If you get into a situation and you're not sure how you can get out, ASK FOR HELP. Let me be more clear. For example, no matter what you cannot be two places at once. If you tell one friend you're going to come and watch her soccer game, you cannot also watch your little brother while your parents go to a party for your dad's work. But maybe you could ask your parents for permission to take your little brother to the game instead of disappointing your friend or bailing on your parents.
7) Observe moral principles.
Do the right thing. Sounds easy enough...but yet, it's not. And even if we do try to do the right thing, does that mean that life will always be easy and great? Of course not. BUT if you do try to always do what you know you should do, at least you can have peace that you did your best. Making bonehead decisions only gives you added stress to the stressful situations that you can't avoid.
So here are the 7 Principles again along with a question you can ask yourself when you get stressed out to help you keep your life as simple as possible...
SEIZE THE DAY. Will this matter 10 years from now?
HAVE A GARAGE SALE. Where will I store this?
MINISTER TO OTHERS. Am I being selfish in doing this?
PRIORITIZE ON PAPER. What can I remove from my schedule to do this?
OBTAIN HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. Is there an easier way of doing this?
OBSERVE MORAL PRINCIPLES. Is this the best choice for me?
So there you have it. As for manageable hair, I'm not sure shampoo will ever deliver. But who knew S.H.A.M.P.O.O. could produce a manageable life? Someone should call Mr. Paul Mitchell and tell him to change his slogan...

Sometime today, after you've made the commitment to attempt to simplify your life, make time to get alone with God. Thank Him for who He is and what He's done in your life. Listen to what He has to say to you, and do what He says.

Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God."

No comments:

Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"