We all have so many circles in our lives. Circles of friends at work, school, and church. Then there's your immediate family and extended family and extended-extended family. It can feel overwhelming to keep up with so many people--making sure no one feels left out or neglected.
I don't want my friends to think I don't love them or don't care, just because I haven't called, texted or seen them lately. And yet there are people in my house right in front of me that can feel neglected pretty quickly, too, if I'm so busy pouring into the lives of my friends and co-workers.
I've been thinking about this lately, and I've been picturing all the various groups of people in my life as circles of friends. I don't want to have wide, shallow circles. I want to have tight-knit, intentionally closed circles of people whom I love and who feel loved by me. I picture them like fields on the plains of Iowa. I want to plant fewer seeds and really tend them-- water them, nourish them, weed them-- so they will be healthy and grow. I want to be like the old family farm that isn't industrialized and impersonal. I want my people to know that they are loved by me. And I want to feel loved by them.
In the last few years, I've spread my seeds far and wide. I guess I wanted to see which fields would yield a crop and grow. Now it's time to tighten those circles and drift away from the places that I'm not called to be.
Sometimes you have to walk away from something that is good to have something that is excellent.
I choose my family: my husband and my kids. I choose to pour into those relationships and carve out time for each one of them every single week.
I choose to call my parents and have meals with my in laws.
I choose to message my closest friends and say, "How are you? I miss you."
I choose to intentionally keep up with the parents of my kids' friends. Because we are doing this life together.
I choose to leave Facebook groups that clutter my newsfeed and distract me from what is really important.
I choose to unsubscribe to emails that are creating clutter and noise in my daily life.
I choose to turn off my phone and really listen as my 9 year old talks on and on and on.
I choose to turn off my crazy cluttered thoughts when I am driving my teenagers around. I'm quiet. I'm ready to listen when they are ready to talk.
I'm so far from where I want to be. But I'll never stop trying to do a little better.
I recently grabbed a notebook and wrote down the name my kids and my friends and my co-workers. I drew circles around them. These are the people I want to pour into. These are the people I'm called to.
Tightening my circles hasn't been terribly difficult, but it hasn't been easy, either. It's a process. But already the fruit of deeper, richer relationships has been more rewarding than I could have imagined. I feel a little more peaceful. I feel more calm. And it makes me want to stay in this place.
I choose to tighten my circles.
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!