In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to Dreams & Goals

"Sustainable" versus "Unsustainable"

     Are you a project starter with great intentions and a heart full of gusto, only to find that after a few weeks (or maybe months) you feel overwhelmed and like a failure because you didn’t “finish what you wholeheartedly started?”

     One word can help determine the outcome of your future projects. The word is: SUSTAINABLE. With any project, child’s activity, job, program, advanced education course, ministry, homeschool curriculum, etc. that you are considering taking on, ask yourself this very important question: “Can I realistically sustain this in my schedule over the long haul?” I realize that certain projects, such as a college course or short-term missions trip, are just that . . . short-term. However, many of us, well-meaning as we may be, take on too many commitments that simply burn us out, causing bitterness and anger, because God never meant for us to live 24/7 in fourth gear! 

     For example, our wonderful congregation that we planted almost five years ago had as one of our “goals” to have a shared meal every Sunday after church. We loved it! How great it was simply to walk across the hall from the sanctuary after church ready to eat from a bounty of comfort food! But . . . it was not so wonderful for the men committed to making it happen! Our leaders were soon burning out at the amount of preparation and clean up it took each Sunday. It was not sustainable. So, we simply switched to a once-a-month shared meal, and it has been successful now for over two years, with no burnt-out leaders!

     Another example for me was scrapbooking. I attended my first scrapbooking party and could not wait to get started! After two years of cutting, pasting, decorating and trimming pictures in a perfect circle, I found myself spending more time creating these beautiful photo albums than actually making memories with the people in the pictures! I prayed for wisdom as to how to record the memories and history of our family with the very little time I have to spare raising eight children! The Lord showed me how to photo journal instead of scrapbooking.

     Twice a year, I sit down and place our family photos in an album and simply journal the dates, places, and ages of our children. That’s it! I take about a week in the summer to record the pictures from January to July. Then we take time off at Christmas, and I enjoy recording the pictures from August to December. It’s not fancy, but I found freedom in recording our family memories in a sustainable fashion, so that when I am old and gray I have many beautiful memories to share with all my grandchildren.

     In another example, hospitality is a huge value for our family and our church. We found, however, that once a month (outside of our monthly shared meal at church) is sustainable for having a family over for a meal in our home. Maybe in another season of life we can do more.

     Once again, the question to ask yourself is, “At this season of my life, is this sustainable?” If not, then just say, “No,” or rearrange the project or activity in a more sustainable—“for the long haul”—way that keeps your heart joyful and your spirit life-giving!

     Remember God’s promise in James 1:5 (NKJV)—“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” God will give you the wisdom you need to live a lifetime of sustainable activities and projects that honor Him and touch the world around you!


Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to Dreams & Goals

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Corolla, NC with GirlfriendsTravel

Corolla, NC with Girlfriends