Pick your spheres.

There are only so many hours, lunches, hard conversations, pep talks, social media follows, and text messages to go around. There’s only so much of my heart left after pouring into a vibrant life with my family and a best friend or two. How do you fit it all in? The answer is, I don’t.

I do absolutely pick and choose, though. I weigh the cost. I try to get the best bang for my buck when it comes to relationships, prioritizing the ones that bring God the most glory and me the most good. What’s the point in spinning your wheels to impress a random coworker about whom you know nothing, or maintain a superficial (potentially unhealthy) friendship with someone who sits near you in class? If it’s worth it, by all means, go for it. If you feel called to those people, do the work for those people. But I’ve lived to see the beauty of spheres, and I’m not going back.

You see, God gives us these spheres of influence, these circles of people with whom we share orbits and routines and life events. When we bump up against these people, we make an impact. And the best part is, we get to listen to the Lord’s voice and then choose our spheres based on his leading.

So although I spend time with a certain group of people at work and certainly have an opportunity to leverage my influence for their good, they shouldn’t be getting the bulk of my time and energy right now. While I work to keep peace with them and share Jesus and a laugh with them when I can, God hasn’t asked me to give those folks a minute more than the time we spend working together. And I know because I asked him. And he spoke very clearly to me about where to leave it on the field this season.

These days, I throw everything I’ve got towards the students I lead – specifically, 11th grade girls. And by extension, that sphere includes their parents, their siblings and friends and boyfriends, and the beautiful adults I serve alongside. This group holds the souls I cherish and pray for daily. These are the ring tones that can get me to pick up my phone at any hour of the day or night. These tender hearts take up the blocks of time I could be spending at happy hour with coworkers or just laying around with my husband and teenagers watching Netflix. These girls are the ones who make my heart ache, the ones for whom I carry a simple but heavy burden… to make sure they know that they are seen, known, and loved.

You’re right. There are only so many hours in the day. We all carry full plates. The question is, though, are we filling them up with the right stuff? Because I’ve done the math. There’s actually quite a bit of free time and heart space up for grabs. You just gotta pick your spheres. The next daughter of the King who asks me how I do it all might get a little too much eye contact and a little much pep talk.

Because the answer is simple. I hold it all up to the Lord. And then I ask him what he wants me to do with it all. And then I ask him to help me fit it in. And he does, every single time.

2 thoughts on “Pick your spheres.”

  1. Rach, this is so beautiful. And challenging. And timely. I feel I’ve been evaluating and thinning my circles lately for the same reasons (and feeling the tension from those who don’t understand that “I can’t do it all”, nor do I want to.) This was freeing. Thank you!

  2. Mmmhmmm. As I am 9-ish weeks from birthing my first child (WHAT?!) I have been thinking about spheres a lot lately. People have been suggesting that I sign up for mom groups, do this class, attend these meetings… and I just keep thinking about my people. My family. My friends like family. The women whose hearts are on my mind every week. I don’t want to get to the end of the weeks with a full schedule but an empty heart. Or a drained mind and a drained spirit. Then my people don’t get a whole me. A free me. A joyful me. Spheres and seasons. It’s about consistently asking God where He wants me and what He wants me to do with what’s in front of me. Thanks for the reminder, Rach.

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