It’s Only a Season
A phrase I’ve historically said to Trish when our life is busy and our schedule is full is, “Don’t worry, it’s only a season.” For the first ten years of our marriage and ministry, I would wear this phrase out.
As a pastor, this phrase came out around Easter or Christmas or the launch of a new ministry or a building program. Saying, “It’s only a season” in my mind was a hall pass to overbook my schedule, to work overtime, to stay up late on my computer, to check my phone and email during dinner. “It’s only a season” was my get out of jail free card for being a workaholic.
My credibility in saying, “It’s only a season” was pretty low, because the reality was it wasn’t a season, it was the actual pace of our life.
In December, we sat the boys down to talk to them about “a season” we were going into as a family. With the release of our book in January, life was about to get crazy. Travel, speaking, radio interviews, nights away from home, working from home…lots of things were going to change. But this time we wanted to make sure our boys (and even Trish and I) could trust that it was a season.
Here are three decisions we believe will keep a busy season a season and not the norm for your life.
1. Circle a date on the calendar
If the busy season you’re in is truly a season, circle the date on the calendar that season will come to an end. Every sport has a championship game. Then it’s the off season. You need to have a circled date on the calendar that your season will come to an end. For us, March 3rd was our circled date. We kept reminding the boys…March 3rd is our date. Without this, you’ll drift to making your “busy season” your actual life. What is it for you? Circle that date…and stick to it.
2. Celebrate the end of “the season”
For us, we love going out to eat together. So we usually celebrate the end of our busy seasons with a dinner at a restaurant and say, “We made it. This was the end of a crazy season. We got through it together. Thank you for loving us through it!” This shows value to those that have put up with the craziness of your schedule and pace. Celebrate the win.
3. Embrace the down-time
Busyness is like a drug. The more busy you are the more busy you want to be. We don’t readily admit that, but the truth is that for many of us we equate busyness with significance. So if we are busy, that means we are needed. If we are needed that means we are significant. Resist the temptation and the opportunity you will have to fill your schedule up and stay busy. Down-time is where you are replenished. Down-time is when God fills you up. Down-time is what is needed to endure busy seasons. Without downtime, burnout is around the corner.
Those are things we’re learning about navigating busy seasons. What else would you add to the list?
P.S. I had no idea that Trish was writing a post on the exact same thing today for Leading and Loving It! We wrote our posts separately and didn’t realize the crazy similarity until this morning. Read her post HERE: