Imagine your day as an empty cup, waiting to be filled. Every single morning, you get to choose how to fill up that cup. But there are just so many choices, so many opportunities, so much to do, and so much fear that if we don't add that "one more thing" to our schedule, we are going to be missing out.

But are we filling our days with what matters? Do we get to the end of the busy day and grieve because we feel drained, unfulfilled, and distant from our families?

The weight of "have-to's" and "need-to's" fill up every minute of our day, while simultaneously crushing our hearts, spirits, and dreamer hearts.

How can I DREAM when I can barely BREATHE?

Over-extending yourself and (pridefully) believing that "I can do it all" will bring you to the brink of exhaustion and un-fulfillment. I've been there.

Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

I need this reminder daily.

Our rejuvenation comes from being with God and resting in Him, surrendering our efforts for His strength. God desires us to exist and operate as His daughters, not slaves to a taskmaster named Busy. There is a better way.

Fill your cup with the right things


Let's go back to that little daily cup... Let's pretend it can either be filled with sand or with rocks. 

Rocks= anything that is a big-picture goal/vision/dream/necessity that you are working on

Sand= anything (could even be "good"!) that is not vital to your life or family vision.

If we fill the cup with our rocks first, the most important things don't get lost or forgotten, and we still have room for some sand.

BUT if we fill first with sand- our rocks won't fit- and you will go on living frustrated and overwhelmed because you seem to be always striving, yet never accomplishing. 

Set your priorities

We must put our priorities in order. Priority - a thing that is regarded as more important than something else

There are big-picture priorities we must establish, and then there are the practical actions to make sure those priorities remain IN ORDER. Prioritizing is literally re-ordering so that the most important things come first.

    Make an appointment to meet with God one-on-one. Begin with thanksgiving for all that God has gifted and entrusted you with. Then, surrender the ideas of what you think you should be accomplishing hourly, daily, and weekly. Consider how you currently spend your days, down to the minutes and hours, and be honest with yourself about distractions and all the "unimportant" things you fill your days with.

    Allow the Holy Spirit to work with you, and label your top priorities.  These are your rocks.

    Then draw a line across the paper, and list some other things you love and want to spend time on. This is the sand.
    Our highest priorities must be put in our cup first. With a clear schedule (empty cup), the rocks fit easily into the cup. You can place and stack as necessary. 

    Schedule your rock items and don't let them be moved around
    Once you have filled your cup with rocks, you will have some spaces around those rocks. This is where you can pick and choose lesser priorities to fit in around the edges. 

    You never want your sand items to prevent you from your rocks. This is not to say "sand" items aren't good-- they just didn't make your best list. It's ok! At different seasons of your life, priorities shift and can be reordered. You must be honest with your current situation and circumstances.

    If your rocks are set, and you have space and time for your sand items-- do them.
    White space is margin, and we need plenty. Not every minute, every night of the week, and every Saturday and Sunday need to be filled. In fact, they shouldn't be. We need margins around our high priorities to keep up with our hearts and homes, and to stay rested and rejuvenated. 

    Friends, feel free to hang up your superwoman cape and rest in the grace that all that GOD has intended you to accomplish, you will be able to do. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as you establish your priorities and vision, put the rocks in your cup first, then fill in the sand. 

    Today, if you are feeling overwhelmed and weary, go to Jesus and let Him give you rest. Carve out time to spend with the Lord and  evaluate your current priorities, make your rock/sand list, and begin to make changes where you need to so that you have enough margin in your life and heart to not only just breathe, but dream. 

Further Recommended Reading: THE BEST YES, by Lysa Terkeurst


About Marianne Sloan

Marianne Sloan is passionate about Jesus, her family, and living simply, intentionally, and with great joy. She has found that there is no greater life fulfillment than following hard after the God who has created her, knows her by name, and who loves her. The wife to Luke, and mama to four, Marianne and her family live in beautiful Tennessee. She is a homeschool-mom, web-designer, and nature-lover. Spending her days raising and teaching her four littles keeps her hands full, but when she's not mothering, working or teaching, she loves to read, write, garden, and run. You can connect with Marianne on her BLOG {mariannemsloan.com} and INSTAGRAM {@marianne_sloan}.