Does Your Calendar Have White Space?

Does Your Calendar Have White Space?

Photo Credit: Scott Foster

Photo Credit: Scott Foster

As I glanced at my calendar this morning, I immediately thought of you. I wondered if your calendar looked anything like mine.

Not that we’d have the same appointments or to-do lists. Your work schedule and errands are probably very different. Many I’m sure.

Maybe you have lunch planned with a friend or a hair appointment with your stylist. I don’t have either of those on my calendar, although that sounds wonderful. But I’ve got a whole bunch of other things listed.

As I looked at my color-coded calendar with all those dates, times and appointment details, I realized I had very little white space filled in. Very little. And I wondered if that’s the case for you too.

When summer officially started last month I kept thinking my family’s schedule would slow down, be less packed and include plenty of free time.  So far, that hasn’t been the case.

This week I’m determined to start scheduling white space into my weekly calendar. Yes, scheduling it, because if I don’t, it won’t happen. That’s already proven true over the last 4 weeks.

I’m convinced that white space is not only healthy for us; it’s God honoring.

If we don’t allow time in our daily schedules to slow down and exhale, we might be missing out on some great God moments.

Those tender times when God is trying to whisper in our ear or show us something profound that would completely change our perspective.

If we’re running 90 miles per hour through our day, we’ll be to frantic and distracted to hear His voice.

Could it be that God is trying to speak to us, but we’re too busy to listen?

This hurry-rush-rat-race (which we refer to as our schedule) is creating static in our minds and weariness in our hearts.

Are you up for a little experiment? Let’s agree to schedule 30 minutes of white space into our daily routines for the next 7 days. Here are some ideas of what our white space can look like:

  • Read a few chapters from your favorite book – or the one that’s collecting dust on your nightstand.
  • Take a walk or ride your bike through the park.
  • Lay outside on a lounge chair or hammock in the shade.
  • Grab a cold beverage (mine would be diet Pepsi) and look through a magazine (mine would be HGTV).
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Grab your camera and take some pictures outside.
  • Catch up on your journaling.
  • Take a 30 minute power nap.
  • Go for a ride in your car and play that favorite cd of yours (a little bit louder than normal).

Get the idea?

Now, it doesn’t have to be at the same time each day and it shouldn’t take the place of your daily quiet time with the Lord.

What’s important is that you schedule it and stick to it. Also, pray and ask God to join you for those 30 minutes each day.

I know He will.

Let’s promise we won’t feel a smidgen of guilt for doing this either. The world is not going to come to an end if we take 30 minutes to relax, recharge and reconnect with God.

If you’re like me, you’ll have to remove some things from this week’s calendar to fit in the white space. But it will totally be worth it.

Now it’s your turn:

Leave a comment below and share some favorite activities(s) you’re planning to include during your white space this week. You just might give someone else a few great ideas too.

If you’re looking for daily encouragement, I’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter. Here are the  links:  FACEBOOK   TWITTER

I have a devotion running this Friday on the Proverbs 31 Encouragement For Today site. I hope you stop by to join me. I’ll post those details later on this week.

Until then, have a great week and stay awesome!

Leah

Comments

  1. I’m going to commit to playing with my children 30 minutes every day…playing like really playing and paying attention and laughing! I have found myself half-heartedly “playing” with them and I know this time in my life is going to go so quickly! Thank you for this challenge! You are great!

  2. Interesting that I find this today after several days of being away from the office. I am embarrassed to tell you however (this woman believes in truth) that for three days I did nothing but catch up on the piles of paper work (billing statements) at home that accumulated over the last 15 years. Ouch!!! Yet after shredding for hours/days God decided it was time to REST. My husband is very good at sensing just what I needed and God used him to pack up the car and go out to a lake 1/2 hour from home this past Saturday. It was a blessed day filled with NOTHING just RESTING. Our eyes came upon a beautiful treasure in the water along with families of Geese swimming, sail boats, a few men fishing and just PURE BLISS QUIETNESS. It was surely just what this woman needed from the business of life. REFRESHING TO MY SOUL.

  3. Thank you! This was just what I needed to hear! My husband is constantly working too. Then I feel guilty for resting when he is in the yard working all day! This post made me stop and think and prompted me to take a RELAXING (instead of our usual hurried) walk with my husband. (My pace made him slow down too)

    • Carol, thank you for sharing your thoughts on my blog. I hope the walk with your husband was wonderful for both of you. 🙂
      Leah

  4. Ann Marie Peterson :

    Grab a homemade latte and call a friend to catch up.

  5. I already take a bit of down time with 30 minute naps and have been trying to get myself to take a break and let my dog enjoy being outside instead of rushing her through her business so I can get back to work. The difference now is that I no longer feel guilty about taking a nap or break from work even if I am behind. that is something I have no control over and can work myself to death every waking hour and still not be caught up.

    • Lori, I’m so glad you’re already including great white space into your days. I’ve heard that power naps are essential when it comes to working at our optimum potential. It gives the brain time to recharge.
      Leah

  6. Thanks for the reminder, Leah! My husband tends to be a workaholic, so I often feel guilty taking a few minutes to relax. Thank you for reminding me that God wants you to rest, and it’s ok to take time for yourself.

    • Mandy, I’ve have to fight those guilty feelings too, but I know that resting is important for my body, mind and soul. If Jesus took time to rest in the midst of His very busy & high demanding days, I think we should too. The graphic I included on this post was actually a quote from Jesus in Mark 6:31. He was talking to His disciples about getting rest.

  7. Hi Leah: I spend my 30 minutes every morning before work walking up the hill behind my house. I go 1 1/2 miles. I talk to God and ask him to experience my day with me. I look at all the beauty he has made around me (mountains, trees, flowering cactus, bunnies, deer). It is quiet and nobody around. I absolutely love this time with God and the added exercise I get. It’s my favorite time of the day.

  8. I think I’m one of those odd people that already has some downtime and I don’t feel guilty when its there. I try not to schedule my kids in too many activities. We normally don’t do camps in the summer. I feel that they need downtime during the summer months too. I’ve leaned to lower my expectations of myself and how much to accomplish in a day.

    • Jessica, you’ve made such a wise decision for you and your children. I recently read that children are struggling with stress at much earlier ages now due to the added demands placed on them through school, sports and social activities. You’re a wise mom!
      Leah

  9. I plan to read a book I started on vacation. Also, just relax and listen to one of my nature sound CDs.

    • I love the idea of listening to a nature sounds CD. I typically listen to piano music when I’m resting. The melody seems to make my heart sing. 🙂
      Leah

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