With my birthday being the same day as this week’s publication date of The Alabama Baptist, it seems more than fair that I should be featured on the front page, right?
I agree, but I was unsuccessful in convincing others on staff. Oh well, at least my column was scheduled to run in this issue, so I could still sneak in a shameless plug.
And I know you are all thinking I must be getting close to 30 by now, but I will have to admit this is year 43.
Birthdays always send me into reflection mode and make me think about what was accomplished over the past year and what wasn’t. You might even remember that turning 40 in 2011 launched my journey to find balance in life — spiritual, physical, emotional, etc.
Two steps forward, one step back
The journey has been a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of experience, but I continue to make progress. My most recent single-tasking focus is actually helping quite a bit.
In fact, the overwhelming stack of undone projects is nearing a manageable level. It may take the rest of this year to achieve that level, but I’m encouraged by the ability to see the goal line for the first time.
One way I’m finding success is by using the blitzing method. My friend and mentor Terry Newberry taught me about blitzing in his book “The Boss” (www.terrynewberry.com/the-boss.html).
Bring on the dreaded
“Blitzing the most difficult or dreaded job first provides a huge sense of accomplishment and momentum,” Newberry writes. And he is right.
Once the ball gets rolling, new energy appears to tackle another project and another and another.
I’ve been working on this at home and the office. We even had a Project Blitz Week recently at The Alabama Baptist (see the May 29 issue, page 1).
It was fun to watch the weight lift from everyone’s shoulders and the energy level escalate throughout the staff.
And with new energy comes clarity and focus if we let it.
I gained a new appreciation for seeing clearly after having an allergic reaction in early May that landed me in the emergency room for five hours. My eyeballs swelled quite large and then my eyelids swelled shut — yes you may laugh at the image I’m sure you have of me right now.
Making room to hear
I could not see anyone around me, but I heard the gasps and “oh mys” clearly as I made my way through the ER waiting room. It was hard for me to be so dependent on others and not be able to see. It was an odd feeling knowing so many people could see exactly what was happening to me while I relied solely on the reports of those with me.
And while I couldn’t see at all for a while and then couldn’t see clearly for several days, I realized how much more carefully I listened when I wasn’t able to use my eyes to their fullest ability.
So many things compete for my attention and I’m constantly looking here and there and everywhere to take care of this task and that project and whatever else shows up unexpectedly. But with all the attention to daily life details, it’s sometimes hard to hear God’s still, soft voice.
Can I hear what He is saying?
What is He saying to me today? Am I truly listening to Him? Did I run right over what He was impressing on my heart because I was focused on everything else around me?
And if I’m truly honest, is it possible that I am actually more comfortable staying too busy and being too distracted to really hear Him because I’m not sure I’m ready for what He has to say?
It’s exciting when you know you’ve heard from the Lord, but it also can be pretty scary. Will I be able to follow through with what He is asking?
— Jennifer Davis Rash