Feel Off-Course? Ask Yourself This One Question

Does your life feel off-course? Do you end up distracted by one thing after another and get nothing done? As yourself this one question.

Hey y’all, Tiffany here. Do you feel off-course?

Tell me if this sounds like you:

You wake up with the kids, and get them breakfast.  While making breakfast, you realize the kitchen is dirty.  As you clean it, you find hand towels that definitely have been there a while, so you head over to the laundry room to start a load.

On the way, you trip over shoes that your kids left on the floor after coming home from yesterday’s doctor’s visit (at least your garage is organized)…..which reminds you that you have some doctor and utility bills to pay.  As you start to pay the bills, you realize your gas bill is way too high, so you head on over to Pinterest to find ideas on how to spend less on gas.

Feel off-course yet?

You get distracted by “the best brownies in the world” and “10 ways to make your home look great.”  Eventually, you see a casserole that reminds you it’s time to start dinner.  You head to the kitchen to make cheesy potatoes, only to realize it’s still messy from that morning.

And you realize that you’re still in your pajamas (even though you know your style is a form of self-care).

See where I’m going with this?  By the end of the day, you feel like you’ve gotten nothing accomplished – just started a bunch of projects.  The house is still messy, the bills are still unpaid, and you gave up and had frozen pizza for dinner….for the third time that week (and it’s only Wednesday.)

In fact, your life feels like a scene from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

Mine feels like that.  Quite a lot.  In fact, today is turning into one of those.  (This post is only getting written because I made the TV a temporary babysitter.)

In fact, days upon days of this eventually turn into years where it feels like nothing is accomplished.

BUT……this post is not about how to do more.  You can’t.  You’re already doing so much.

Instead, this post is about how to do less!

What Feeling Off-Course Means

“We need to learn how to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

~Omar Bradley

Imagine that life is journey on the ocean.  You have a final destination you want to get to.  What is it? 

(And I don’t mean “getting the house clean” or “be the perfect parent”!)

Is your final destination to be retired, with spouse and children around you?  Is it to be a missionary in a third-world country? What is the final place you want to get to?

Mine may seem a bit grandiose and cliche, but I want to be in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven, surrounded by my family, friends, and Savior.

Whatever your final destination is, you need to get there!  But as you make the decisions that you do, are you setting your course by the fixed stars, or are you setting them by the lights of every ship that goes by?

Are you focusing on spending quality time together as a family, or are you distracted by each activity, camp, and sports team that comes along? Do you get off-course by things that distract in the world?

Are you so caught up on the passing ship of a clean house that day (which you know will just be that messy again tomorrow), that you miss the constant star of taking time in prayer?

Did the passing ship of the stress of getting to school on time mean you missed the star that was a teaching moment in your child’s life?

The key is to slow down, take a deep breath, and spend a minute evaluating where you’re at.

If you feel off-course, asking this question

When you start feeling stressed, overwhelmed, burdened, busy, or burned out, stop and take a breath.  Ask yourself, “Is this a star?  Or is a passing ship?”

If it’s a passing ship, is it really one that you want to follow?

For me, the answer is usually no.  No, I don’t want to go off on this alternate path that will take me away from my final destination.

And the beauty of this is that the stars will always be there!  No matter how far off-course you get, you will always have the constant starlight to help you get back on track.

Yes, cleaning the house is important.  Getting to school is important.  Feeding your kids is important.

But remember –  PBJ’s do count as feeding your kids!  We had them for lunch and dinner twice last week.  (Peanut butter has protein, bread is a grain, jam has fruit, and they had a glass of milk…..so it’s a balanced meal, right?)

But as you do all of these things, just make sure that you’re not taking on too much.

Is what you’re doing helping you get to your final destination? 

Is the attitude you have as you do these seemingly mundane tasks helping your spouse and children reach theirs as well?

If not, what can you do to change it?  Take a minute and go stargazing.

Tiffany first published a version of this post on The Crazy Shopping Cart

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