Leaving Room For

Have you ever been in a Starbucks and overheard a person’s coffee order? Between the temperature (130 degrees, please!), “skinny,” “grande,” “extra” this, or “less” of that, you’ve probably made half of the day’s quota for decision making just in your 10 minute coffee stop.

The other day I overheard a person in front of me ask for a normal cup of coffee (how boring could you be?) with “some room.”

So, I presume Mr. Boring Coffee was going to liven it up with some cream and/or sugar, but his comment got me thinking.

“There’s room for…” what?

In my life, is there room? For events? For emergencies and illness and the unexpected. For moments when God wants to teach me things or connect with others?

Is there room for anything else?

Earlier this year, I would have told you “no.”

Starting a new job, training for the Boston Marathon, raising $12,000 for charity with my sister, keeping up with active kids, spending time with my husband, running a Pampered Chef business on the side and doing normal chores literally left me running on fumes at the end of the day.

The kids were in bed; I was on the computer.

The family was going to a birthday party or another event on Saturday; I was teaching people how to cook a fabulous meal in a special pot in their microwave in just 15 minutes. (Really.)

Sure, everything I had committed to was “good,” hardly anyone would disagree with that. What I was missing was room, however.

Leaving room for…

In March, just a month before the Boston Marathon, a month before my new company’s huge annual event and a month before we needed to hit our goal of $12,000 raised for charity, I was done. And I knew God was telling me to close a few chapters.

The 80’s song “Burning Down the House” echoed through my head. I just knew I needed room.

I quickly shuttered my Pampered Chef business with little explanation to anyone. I stepped back from volunteering as much at church. I scrutinized my schedule, and reconsidered who and what I needed to spend my time on.

At the end of the day, I hadn’t been leaving room for. I was filling space and time, doing good things and not necessarily asking God if I should do them. I mean, they were all good, so I should just do it, right?

He definitely had some advice for me.

Many opportunities will come our way and unfortunately, if we’re not careful, they’ll crowd out the extra space we have in our lives for restoration or for being available to others and, ultimately, to God.

It took me not leaving room for almost anything but my crazy schedule to realize it.

Now, I’m grateful to be a recovering Schedule Addict and while my tendency is still to fill up my plate, the freedom I’m experiencing on the weekends to invite others into our home or grab dinner during the week is making an immense impact on my life…and on others too, I think.

We all have just 24 hours in a day and we choose how to use it…are our choices in line with our treasures? What’s truly important to us?

It’s been a valuable lesson I wouldn’t trade for all the Grande Extra Hot Skinny Mochas in the world.

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