Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Do You Need A Buffer Zone?

It was an average Wednesday. My oldest baby was at school and my youngest baby down for her nap, so I had approximately 90 minutes to do all the things. So around the house I went, trying to multitask, but as a result, not one task was actually getting done. Or at least getting done well. Because multitasking just isn't even a thing. I guess you can call it task-switching, because that is what was happening at lightening speed.

Dishes, laundry, whatever pile was on the counter, responding to the ding on my phone, remembering I needed to reply to that email and oh yeah, we need more milk so I better stop and add that to my grocery list, and oh yeah, Clara needs a script refill so I need to stop and make that phone call.

It's like my senses were on hyper-alert and my brain was about to explode.

So I made myself stop, sit, clear my head, and laugh because oh my goodness, this was just comical.

In that moment I had to create intentional space to think clearly and logically and consciously decide what was ultimately most important in that moment.

I doubt I am the only one that gets sucked into this dilemma, the dilemma of doing all the things with so-so results, or doing a few things with exceptional results.

Have you been there? Drawn into 20 different things at the exact same time?

Life is busy, friends. All the things constantly fight for our attention. The internet is noisy. The everyday to do's just keep piling on and piling up. Busyness is a never ending cycle, or at least that seems to be the popular, cultural default.

"Hi, How are you?"

"Oh, I'm good! Just busy!"

It is almost an automatic response, as if busyness is somehow tied to holiness.

 . . .

I read the following excerpt from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and it clicked. It all became clear.

WHEN YOU APPROACH Me in stillness and in trust, you are strengthened. You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen. Since I am invisible, you must not let your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is over-stimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world.
The tangible world still reflects My Glory, to those who have eyes that see and hear. Spending time alone with Me is the best way to develop seeing eyes and hearing ears. The goal is to be aware of unseen ears. The goal is to be aware of unseen things even as you live out your life in the visible world.
Yes, I desperately need a buffer zone. And I need it daily. Not just on the days when task switching is at a high, but on the everyday. I need some space to just sit and be and not worry about what all I should or could be doing or what is happening on social media.

I need moments where I sit at His feet, with no agenda, no distractions, just a chance to listen and rest.

But buffer zones just don't appear out of thin air. I must be intentional about creating this holy resting space. Hard? Yes. At times, inconvenient? Maybe.

Yet, I find when I am able to work a buffer zone into my day, fruit follows. 

Beautiful fruit that would have otherwise been deeply hidden under a never-ending pile of "multi-tasking."

Fruit that points me to His word and the cross.

Fruit that reminds me of the real point of all of this . . . loving big and loving well and sharing His message of beauty and hope and joy.

Fruit that reminds me to strive not for this world, but for eternity.

And fruit that results from blocking out noise and resting in His truth?

I'll take that over my to-do list any day.

. . .

What about you? Do you find yourself needing a buffer zone? If so, how do you create this intentional space into your day?


  1. I was thinking about what the "buffer zone" looks like in my life, and the first thing that comes to mind is waking up early each day and going on a walk/jog by myself. The goal is always to use that time getting some exercise but also spending it talking to God, but since that is definitely multi-tasking, I admit it's not always the fulfilling buffer zone that it could be. I've been trying to think about how I can restructure my mornings to maximize that time, and I'm sure NOT checking social media for 15 minutes would be a good start, but ugh, so hard...

  2. "Over-stimulation" is a good term for it... it is easy for me to notice when the kids are over-stimulated and need some quiet time to settle down, but not so easy for me to notice it for myself until it's too late, unfortunately!


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