Pacing Ourselves To Create Peace In Marriage

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Every marriage, including our own, desires peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our relationships, peace with our children. Ultimately peace comes from Christ Himself, but there is also a form of peace that comes from having a good and healthy pace in life. When we have bad and unhealthy routines, try to do too much at once, or set high and lofty expectations of ourselves or others, we can get ourselves into an unsustainable pace. Jennifer and I are there now and are trying, In Christ, To find our way back to a healthy and more enjoyable pace of life, and our hope is to invite you along this journey with us as we explore some ideas about how to find this healthy pace.

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– Hi, and welcome to the “Marriage After God” podcast.

– We’re your hosts, Aaron and Jennifer Smith.

– We have been married 15 years and have five sweet children, who are growing up way too fast.

– We love God and we love marriage.

– And we love to be honest about it all.

– Marriage is not always a walk in the park, but we do believe it has a powerful purpose.

– So our goal here is to open up the conversation to talk about our faith and our marriage.

– Especially in light of the gospel.

– We certainly don’t have all the answers, But if you stick around, we may just make you laugh.

– But our hope is to encourage you to chase boldly after God’s purpose for your life together.

– This is “Marriage After God”.

– Hey, welcome back to another episode of the “Marriage After God” podcast. We’re glad you’re here, Jennifer’s laughing. ‘Cause she gets nervous when we’re starting these things. Every time. She’s like, “This isn’t in my notes. What do I do? What do I do?” You just talk to them. Play “Little Diddy”.

– I was hiding that from you for a long time.

– Or you were waiting to pull that out of me? Well,

– You’re welcome.

– Yeah. All right. So today we’re gonna be chatting about this little idea of the importance of pacing ourselves.

– For the purpose of peace. Peace in our lives.

– Pace and peace, is that intentional? You think God was like, “I want those words to be real close together”? So that’s what we’re gonna be talking about today is peace and pace, or pace to get peace. That’s really what it is.

– It’s not a funny episode, but I feel like I got the giggles.

– You got the giggles?

– Yeah.

– You’ve been looking at a computer screen for quite a while, so you’re like-

– I’m delirious.

– A little bit delirious, I think that’s okay. So you take it from here.

– Well, before we get started, I just wanted to let you guys know that one of the,

– You got this. All you gotta do is read it.

– I don’t know why this is so hard for me right now.

– Okay.

– Sorry, guys.

– But you just do it, you got this.

– Okay, redo.

– Take a breath.

– Can we cut that?

– Pace yourself? This is gonna work. You guys, she’s laughing hard right now.

– What’s in those gummy bears?

– They’re all natural, so, all right. I’ll do it, it’s okay. So we just wanna let you all know that one of the ways that we support this podcast, is by you all picking up copies of our books. We’ve written quite a few books and we wrote them to bless and benefit marriages around the world. And so we wanna invite you, two of the books that we have that actually helps with pace, is our devotionals, “Wife After God” and “Husband After God.” They are 30-day marriage devotionals with daily topics to focus on based off specific scriptures. And there’s also an included daily prayer. They’re brief, but they’re doable, and you can do them alone, or you can do them with your spouse. We’ve been selling ’em for years, people have loved them. Why don’t you read some of these reviews real quick?

– Yeah, since I got myself together over here.

– You got yourself, yeah, you got it.

– So this first one is from Travis, he said, “Wonderful materials, very helpful to my marriage. God used these books to really help us out of a dark place. Biblically based and true to God’s word and character.” And then Heather said, “We have been using the books together each night since we received them. After nearly 25 years of marriage, we are looking at God’s design with fresh eyes and reaping the benefits of seeing our marriage as a reflection of his love story.”

– Well those are awesome, and that’s our hearts for these, is that we would draw people back to God’s Word, that we would help people see God’s vision for their marriage like God’s shown us. We’re not marriage experts, but we do love leading people to Christ and pointing them back to the thing that changes us, which is the Word of God. So this show is supported by people like you purchasing our books. If you wanna go pick up a copy of our books today, our devotionals, you can go to shop.marriageaftergod.com.

– So today’s topic was actually my idea. I was inspired by it from an experience that I had that I’ll go into in just a little bit. And it’s probably something that we all should revisit every year. Maybe multiple times throughout the year. Just this idea of evaluating our pace and how fast or slow we’re going in life, what’s pressuring us to do that? And really after last week’s episode on life transitions, I feel like this is a really good follow-up.

– It’s a great follow-up actually.

– Yeah.

– And I think it’s super necessary in this day and age. I was literally in the car just talking to the kids and I was saying, “You know why we have you guys do work with me and we work out?” I was like, “If it was 200 years ago, guys, you’d be out working in the fields all day, and all of you’d be washing clothes out of a bin with a wash board.” She’s like, “A what?” And I’m like, “Well, that’s how they used to wash clothes, it was with their hands.” Life forced pace generations ago. But nowadays, we have so many things that help us with things, that we can fill our lives with a lot of things.

– Yeah, so I was also thinking about everybody like me, who are preparing their kids for going back to school, maybe a lot of you already started, but just-

– Yeah, ’cause that’s coming up.

– Yeah, and trying to figure out what your pace going into the new school year. And so I hope that you specifically find gems in today. I hope that it really blesses you with that idea of going back to school. Something that I love to do in our homeschool and getting back to school with the kids, is an all about me time. Sometimes we take one, two, three days, just-

– All about you, Jennifer?

– No, not all about me, no, all about-

– ‘Cause that would be very nice.

– All about me in quotations, where we talk about their likes, their dislikes, how old they are, what grade they’re in, you get this little sheet and you fill it out, and then we usually do like a painted self portrait, which is really fun. That’s my favorite part because the kids always express themselves very-

– Differently.

– Uniquely. So I thought today would be fun with a lightning round of all about me for you and I, for our listeners.

– Oh, that’s funny, I didn’t realize that that was what this was, but okay, cool.

– I mean, why not? So we could just take turns going back and forth, asking a question and say what’s on the top of your mind. Fine?

– Okay, so-

– You willing?

– Are we gonna go through these questions real? Those are good. Okay, I’m gonna ask you first, what’s your age?

– 36, although I keep telling everyone 37, I just keep forgetting, I don’t know. I don’t know.

– I’m 38 and some change.

– Getting old.

– Yeah, I’m getting old.

– Okay, how tall are you?

– Pretty sure I’m 6’1″.

– We’ll, at least used to be.

– I think you start growing shorter after a certain age. At 40? Is that what happens?

– I’m five five five.

– Five, five, five?

– 5’5″ and a half.

– 5’5″ and a half, okay. What was your favorite subject in school? Was it all your AP classes?

– No, but I really love history.

– Oh man.

– It incorporates art and writing.

– I wish I had a better history experience in school because growing up, or being older now I wish I liked history more, but that was my least favorite subject. And to be honest-

– Hold on, I don’t think the next question was, why don’t you like your sciences school subject? Just say what’s your favorite.

– My favorite subject in school was probably my psychology class I took.

– Alrighty then. What’s your favorite color?

– I always say green, but that’s just because it’s always been green.

– Is it really pink?

– It’s probably, yeah. So actually it’s green, but I don’t know if-

– You’re really confusing on these questions.

– sorry, I’m a complicated person.

– You’re that kid when we’re doing all about me, we had to keep crossing out the answer and putting another one? Okay, and I’m getting stuck on answering all these questions, but my favorite color is blue. You ask the next one.

– What’s your favorite food or meal?

– Dessert.

– It counts? Just all desserts?

– I like burritos.

– Burrito desserts? Okay.

– Don’t give me a reason to laugh. My favorite food is pizza probably.

– Yeah.

– Easily. I can eat that almost anytime.

– I concur. What’s your favorite hobby, interest, liking up to doing?

– I like to keep those secret.

– What?

– I like just to spend time with my friends, like going on.

– Me?

– Yes, you of course. You’re my favorite hobby, babe.

– You like to go to the movies?

– I used to a lot more, not so much anymore. But yes, spending time with a good friend.

– Okay, my favorite hobby is doing something crafty, artsy, painting, something like that.

– And you know what? I’m just gonna say this-

– Or excursions.

– You haven’t done that in a long time and I think you should just go do something artsy one of these days.

– Thank you, I appreciate that.

– I’m just gonna give you-

– Permission?

– An hour, to go and you’re just gonna…

– You’re wonderful. Okay, what’s your favorite game to play with me?

– Favorite game to play with you, it’s definitely not Phase 10, or-

– We’ve fought about that way too many times.

– Or Catan, or, I’m just kidding. I’m supposed to say what my favorite game is. Actually, what is it?

– Tag?

– Tag, I don’t know.

– So obviously you need to play more games with me.

– How many games do we play just us? I’m trying to think, I don’t why I’m thinking-

– Well, I don’t wanna tell on us, but our last week’s challenge was we were supposed to play a game together.

– Oh no!

– We didn’t do it, we failed.

– No we didn’t.

– So now we gotta do-

– We didn’t do our own challenge?

– Sorry, everyone gets a pass for the first week challenge.

– So technically we’re recording this within this, we still have time.

– Okay, we’re gonna play a game this week and figure out what’s our favorite game to play.

– Yeah.

– All right, mine lately has been pickelball, which is a little bit more active.

– Oh, okay. I’m not even thinking like outdoor games.

– It’s okay, it’s not your fault.

– Pickleball is actually a lot of fun. I would say that one.

– Okay.

– Okay, I’m gonna say it’s that one.

– Let’s go do that this week.

– Okay. What are three words that describe you? That’s an easy one I think.

– To describe me or you?

– I’m being facetious, because it’s a lot of words to have to pick.

– We can skip this question.

– Okay, what do you want to do when you grow up?

– I wanna be like you.

– What?

– No, I don’t. I mean, I do, I feel like I stuck my foot in my mouth.

– You wanna be like, that’s cool. If you wanna be like me.

– I just wanna have fun.

– What do you wanna be when you grow up? You wanna have fun, okay.

– I wanna be a, I’m gonna say the good thing, I wanna be a better father when I grow up.

– Oh, that’s really sweet. I’d love to be a guitar player, right now I’m in-

– That is what you wanna be, you wanna play some instrument when you get older.

– So can I just explain really quick? I was practicing the piano last year and then we packed it up and put it away when we moved. And so I told Aaron, I really wanna play an instrument, maybe I should get a guitar. And so him and Elliot really kindly bought me this guitar and I started trying to practice, but Aaron said that all my years of fake strumming and air strumming have messed me up.

– It’s just, okay.

– I’m really stuck on strumming.

– I did say that, but in context, she was asking me why she couldn’t strum good, so I was just trying to let her know.

– Okay, that’s what I wanna be when I grow up.

– Oh man, you are getting good. We should intro one of these with you playing a song for them.

– No.

– I’ll put my microphone on the guitar.

– No.

– Your microphone to your mouth. She’s getting good. Okay, well let’s move on. Let’s do this, we’re gonna go onto the real topic for today.

– Hopefully our listeners liked hearing about us.

– I think so. It’s funny, but I liked it.

– Go play all about me with your spouse.

– It’s actually good to do it periodically because we get so in life that we forget to just say, “Hey, who are you? Has things changed in your personal life?”

– Are your still your favorites?

– Yeah, are your favorites still your favorites? ‘Cause actually some of these favorites I don’t know if they’re my favorites. I have to go back and I have to totally self-evaluate my whole life.

– Yeah.

– Green, I don’t know. I just don’t know.

– That’s a good one.

– All right, so why are you encouraged to talk about this topic, babe?

– Well, in all honesty, our life this past probably five, six months have just felt a little chaotic, which we did talk about in last episode of life transitions, and I think a big portion of that was just losing grips on our rhythms and routines and things that had maintained for so long. And so we’re just in this space right now of relearning and relearning what our pace looks like in a new home, and even new homeschool year, ’cause I-

– Things are changing?

– I decided, Aaron decided, we decided that we’re gonna be utilizing CC, Classical Conversations Community, which is just different for me but I’m really excited about.

– So is that CCC?

– CCC. So this episode, I’m probably gonna be sharing a little bit extra on what I’ve been learning while working out with a trainer. But that’s probably the only episode. I tried looking ahead, I don’t think it comes in that much more often, so all my examples and things that I’m sharing, they have been inspired.

– Well, I’d say it’s a big deal because you’ve been really consistent with this and you are learning a lot.

– Yeah. So today’s episode, I thought about when I was working on the rower and my coach was telling me, “Hey, you need to slow down. You have way more intervals to do, and if you start out at a 10, you’re quickly gonna be at a two. Whereas if you don’t start so quickly and you say start at an eight, you’ll slowly go down to a two over time and you’ll just have more energy.”

– Well, we call that CrossFit as coming out hot.

– Okay, okay.

– When you come out hot, you’re gonna fizzle out.

– Didn’t know that, but that’s what I was doing and I was exhausting myself. And so he was trying to tell me to slow down, to reserve my energy and be able to go longer over time. And so as he’s talking me through this and I’m watching my pace come down and maintain itself better, I realized how profitable that kind of mentality would be in homeschool, in family life, in other routines that I have. In fact, I was thinking back on my homeschool journey and I remember year after year, I would start really strong in September and do all the things that I wanna be doing, and then come spring, I’m burnt out, or the kids are burnt out, or we just feel like we wanna hurry up, wanna rush through everything just so we can have a break. And then I remember somebody posting on, I think it was Instagram, a book that she was reading, “Teaching from Rest” by Sarah Mackenzie. And it’s so brief, but it’s so packed with rich goodness about your pace. It was so encouraging for me to hear it, and that one specifically about homeschool and teaching from rest to try and find a rhythm that makes things peaceful for your family. And so applying those things that I learned really helped me in incorporating rest throughout our homeschool year, and like you said, not coming in hot, or what did you say?

– Yeah, coming in hot?

– Yeah. So anyways, that’s kind of what inspired this whole thing. ‘Cause I know I’m not the only one who struggles with pacing themselves with all different areas of life.

– Yeah, tries to accomplish everything in the first month and then-

– Fizzles out.

– Fizzles out real quick.

– Gets burnt out. So I guess the practical here, the thing that I hope would stick with you guys would be to start off slow. No matter what you aim to do, whether it’s your marriage and trying to prioritize date night or the laundry.

– Pretty much anything. So you’re talking about homeschool and working out and those things, but it’s in any sense. I’ve mentioned this a lot in the past, we had a whole episode on this, about what we’re capable of, that we’re limited, but we don’t realize that we’re limited. So we always try think we can do more, we can, as my mom always said, when you wanted to eat too much, like I fill my plate with too much food, it’d be like your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Meaning like, “Oh, look how much I could put on my plate.” And then I’m halfway through it and I can’t finish it.

– Yeah, and if we do this in life or in marriage, we’re gonna run ourselves into the ground.

– We’re gonna be miserable.

– Yeah, everything. And the beauty about learning to pace ourselves is that we end up having more peace and actually more success. So going back to your analogy, just to give an example for this of the rower, if you come out hot, and I’ve done this in so many workouts, and I’m like, “Yeah,” and I’m ahead of everyone, it feels awesome.

– For about a minute-

– Yeah, for like 30 seconds, I have all this energy and it’s gone. And then I can’t even keep up with everyone because I’ve already depleted everything in myself. And so actually, if you have a good pace, those are the people that have more success.

– More progress.

– They don’t try and bite off more than they can chew, don’t try all these, you named the analogy, we’ve all heard it. Not coming out hot off the gate. And so it affects every aspect of our life if we can just look at anything, the way we are in our marriage, the way with our kids, our jobs, our businesses that maybe that we’re starting, finding a healthy peaceful pace and not trying to overdo it. So learning to have a pace is really about learning to make small steps of consistency and routines rather than large jumps of change.

– That’s good.

– Which is funny, ’cause in our flesh, the large jumps of change always sounds more appealing. It’s like, “Oh I just wanna get to X.” You’re like, “Well, no, you gotta get to B first,” before we can get to C and then D.

– Well, and usually when you try and do those large jumps of change, you wanna see change rapidly, and you get disappointed when things aren’t changing quick enough, whereas if you study yourself and you make small, consistent steps towards your goals and be patient, we’re gonna get in all these in a little bit. But it all kinda ties in really, really good stuff. Okay, so in talking about pace lately, Aaron, what areas have you been thinking about when it comes to pacing yourself, or what are you recognizing you need to pace yourself in?

– I have a funny story that I’m gonna bring up, but lately I’ve been seeing myself trying to do too many things at once. And I think that’s a product of me not having a good routine or pace.

– Well, and then we move into this new house and there’s boxes everywhere, there’s things to unpack. There’s always a project.

– Well, there’s tons of things. So many things, and they’re all little things. And if I was to look at them all, a lot of them don’t have to be done right away, but because of me maybe not doing enough, like being consistent and do chipping away and I did this little thing here, and that I took a Saturday morning and I did that, and I did this little thing, I don’t do anything ’cause I’m little overwhelmed by all. And then I get this little boost of energy I’m like, “Oh, I’m gonna do all this stuff,” and I don’t finish any of it, which makes more of a mess I think. Here’s an example of what I mean, by the way, this actually literally happened today. So I’m hanging out with the kids today, Jennifer’s been working on a project that we’re working on, we kind of mentioned a little bit last week, but I don’t know if you’re ready to share what it is.

– Not yet.

– Okay, we’ll keep you-

– Someone asked, is it a devotion? Yes, it’s a marriage devotion.

– So she’s working on it, and so I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna be with the kids,” and I’m letting her work away in the bedroom. And I’m trying to get all the kids to, we’re working as a family of picking up after ourselves, and this is every one of us actually. Remember Jennifer was just talking about us kind of relearning how to be. And so we have this house and all of our kids and we went from a trailer to now this big space and everything gets left everywhere all the time. And so I’m trying to work with the kids. I’m just saying, if you walk into our house right now, you’d see. So I’m in their bedroom and I’m like, “Okay guys, you’re all gonna get in here, all of you’re gonna help get Olive’s bedroom cleaned.” And they’re trying to work on it, I’m like, “Okay, cool. I have a few minutes while they’re kind of busy.” And a part came in that I’ve been waiting for, for a hot water heater. It just got dropped off and I’m like, “Sweet, I’ve been waiting for this.” So I go grab that and I’m opening up in the counter and then I walk into the bedroom and I go, “Okay, make sure you get this stuff.” And I’m like, “You guys need to stop playing around and get back to work,” ’cause they forget that they’re supposed to be cleaning.

– They don’t forget, they know you’re not watching.

– Exactly. And then I walk out and I get the part and I’m like, “Okay, cool, this doesn’t look so hard,” and I walk into the garage and I peek at the machine and I take the panel off and I put the part down and I go back inside and I’m like, “Okay guys, now we’re gonna move to Elliott’s room.” And we move into Elliott’s room and then the moment they walk in, I walk out to the garage, and scanning the machine I’m like, “oh, here it is, here’s the part.” And there’s like this little clippy and I’m like, “Oh, it looks like all the pipes are just held together by these little clips. That’s super easy, there’s no screws or nothing.” And so I just pull the clip right off, nine gallons a minute of water just start flooding my garage. And I’m freaking out, I’m trying to push the hose back in, and the clip won’t go back on and I don’t know what to do, and then finally I notice right under my nose is this big old red handle for the water shut off. And I just shut it off, praise God, it stops flowing, ’cause there was three red handles, I pulled the right one, and I’m just sitting there soaking wet and I’m like, would that work? And so finally I’m getting towels and drying up the floor, and I go inside the house and the kids are playing and not even cleaning, and I’m like, “Ah.” And all my water’s off. So anyways, just a perfect little example of trying to do too many things at once, when I could have just been focusing and doing a really good job on the one thing, I’m doing a pretty terrible job at all of the things. I don’t know if that gives you a good example, but I’m not very paced currently.

– We’re working on it, that’s how we’re doing this. We needed this for us.

– Yeah, I’m slowly trying to get back to this. And again, that’s just a comical and kind of frustrating example of the choices I’ve been making and the way I’m kind of organizing my mind and my life and my heart with my family.

– So I have a question for you.

– Go.

– Okay, so is there anything that you did this week that you were trying to change your pace or work on your routine or do, that was successful?

– Well, yeah, I was gonna get at that is, I’ve been trying to get back into a morning routine, I’m trying to get up. ‘Cause then I could get in the word, I can exercise, I have that few hours in the morning, and I did it like once, and so that’s a success. I did it once. So I’m trying to have a better pace. And at the end of the day, like I said, if I am trying to do too many things, then I’m not doing all the things well. When I could have just focused on being with the kids, which is what I should have done.

– So I think the practical here, ’cause mine was start off slow, yours would be, make a priority list. Make a list where you can really focus on what’s right in front of you.

– I like your workout list, you have like, you have to do this and then you have to do this, and then you have to do this.

– I think those things are important. But part of pacing yourself is actually waiting to do those extra things that don’t require your attention right now, or putting things off that would hinder what you’re trying to work on right now. Does that make sense?

– Right, so I’m trying to do too many things at once, which is not a good pace, that’s trying to go too fast now. Now, I actually got the part in, but we still don’t have hot water now. And that’s the thing is, we essentially gotta keep the main thing the main thing. So today the main thing should have been me just hanging out with the kids, helping ’em clean their rooms, helping ’em figure out their own patterns and pace. And I was talking to them, I’m like, “We gotta learn as a family to be better at picking up after ourselves.” That’s a pace thing. That’s thinking about-

– Yes, for sure.

– ‘Cause that slows us down when we don’t do that, ’cause now there’s just the sinks full of dishes, which has kind of been our thing for our whole marriage, but we’re working on that too. But yeah, keeping the main thing the main thing-

– I like that.

– Is a way of prioritizing and not trying to jam too much stuff into our momentum.

– Cool, I like that. And there’s a verse that came to my mind when we were thinking about pace, and the word endurance came to my mind. I thought about Hebrews 12:1-2, it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking at Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” And so I love that picture of endurance and running the race that’s set before us, getting rid of the things that are hindering us, and keeping our eyes on the prize.

– So I look at this as that race, that pace of inner faith, because everything we’re talking about can play out in our faith as well. Like I want to be in the Word more so then we make this crazy plan of, “I’m gonna read six chapters a day,” and then we burn ourselves out and we’re like, “Oh, I failed.”

– Yeah, because I can’t do what I sought out to do, so therefore I can’t do it on any of it.

– Or I wanna pray more, so I go and set three hours aside, and I can’t get myself to be that calm and quiet for that long, instead of just taking little steps to do it.

– That’s good.

– I’m gonna just try and I’m gonna get in Proverbs every day and I’m gonna try and pray at that same time, and I’m gonna, adding these things in to pace myself in my walk with Christ so that I don’t feel like I’m burdened in working for my salvation rather than enjoying my savior.

– Yeah. Well speaking of enjoying our savior, the next practical point on pacing yourself for peace is, we need to include rest. We need to be intentional about creating rest within our work week. And so often we feel like we’re just spinning a bunch of plates. I don’t know if you guys guys feel like that, but I feel like that often where if I’m not being intentional and pacing ourselves, we’re just spinning a bunch of plates. I like that analogy earlier of you saying-

– Not really going anywhere, but doing lots of things.

– And also that we can’t take our eyes off of what we’re focusing on doing. We believe we can’t stop or take a break between sets when you’re working out, because we feel like if we do that, we’re gonna lose our pace. And so we’re constantly just going, I feel this way with social media, especially as being someone who provides content online, I feel like I can’t keep up with the constant changing of the trend, and so I get overwhelmed so I shut down and I don’t do anything. And so anyways, it’s feeling like we’re constantly just spinning a bunch of plates and can’t stop, but that’s a lie. We actually need rest. The Lord actually created and designed our bodies for rest.

– Well, if you just think about sleep, sleep is not the same thing as rest, it’s a part of it. We would die if we don’t sleep. Literally our bodies would shut down if we weren’t getting enough sleep. But you’re right, God designed us also spiritually and emotionally and mentally for rest. That we need it. Jesus now is our actual rest from the labors of walking in sin and death. Jesus is our actual arrest.

– And He tells us to come to Him for rest.

– And He tells us to come to Him and give Him our burdens and our weights.

– Our anxieties.

– Yeah, and that He gives us rest. So in Mark 2:27, it says, “And he said to them, ‘the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'” God made the Sabbath, this idea of rest for men, for people, because we need rest. And I think we as humans and especially in the social media world we live in, rest can be a bad word actually. I feel like there’s this idea of that slowing down is looked down upon.

– Yeah, hustle is the golden word, right?

– Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for. I was writing this note down, I said that crush it sort of attitude, and I was like, “There’s another word that people use, hustle.” It’s glorified. No, no, you work 24/7. You wanna be successful. You can’t take rest, resting is lazy, resting is not gonna get you to your goal.

– Now the problem with that is as humans, we get weak emotionally and physically and mentally, we get tired.

– Not when you’re hustling.

– We get exhausted. And when that happens spiritually, what happens? Temptation comes our way, boom.

– Yeah, usually we fall in the sin, we get anger or we try and cope in negative ways.

– We’re easily frustrated or we’re snappy with each other.

– Yeah, never get that way.

– ‘Cause we lose sight of what’s right, what we should be doing.

– And so that’s something that we gotta fight against is, rest is okay. We took a pretty significant break from posting on social media because it was exhausting. And what was hard is, we had to fight that temptation to believe that we were failing what we were doing, or that we were gonna lose it all or ruin it if we didn’t do that. Which means that we’re now not even in control of what we’re doing anyway, we’re in this feedback loop of, if we don’t do it, we’re failing. Rather than we’re doing it because we want to. Rather we’re doing it because it’s a blessing.

– Yeah, that’s good. After Jesus sends out his disciples two by two, this happens in Mark 6:30-32, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while,’ for many were coming and going and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” Jesus knew the importance of rest.

– Yeah, well I read this and I don’t feel like I’ve ever even heard this before.

– Really?

– Yeah, or I’ve just-

– Your eyes are opened.

– Yeah, it’s really cool that was His encouragement. He’s like, “Good job, go take a break. Go rest for yourself.”

– But how often do we allow ourselves to rest?

– Yeah, I think we do. I think maybe we’re like, “Oh, I just need to get a little more sleep.”

– Maybe some of us, but I don’t think everybody makes that happen. Speaking of going to bed, Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil for He gives to his beloved sleep.” When I read that I was saying, I really do better when I’ve slept well.

– Well, there’s quite a few success and hustle Instagrams that I follow, just ’cause I like to get some motivations and stuff like that. And a lot of times they say, some people believe that the most successful people sleep less, but they actually sleep more.

– Like they program their sleep.

– Yeah, and that’s something that I struggle with is, and I was gonna bring it up in a little bit, but my mornings are predicated by my evenings. So speaking of sleep, I think, like I said this a second ago, rest is much more than sleep though. Yes, we need good sleep, but that doesn’t always happen. Especially if you have new babies, or like us, our kids come in, we’ve been talking to ’em about this-

– If it’s not one, it’s the other.

– Yeah, they come in and, yeah, all five of ’em, just like a train. They’re trying to get in our bed to sleep with us and snuggle. But rest is much more than sleep. A friend of mine once said, rest is doing something that recharges you. And he would give an example of, it wasn’t that he got more sleep, he would wake up even earlier sometimes, And he’d go to do a hike that he hasn’t done in a long time. And he’d come back rested like.

– Rejuvenated.

– Yeah, because he got away from the things that were stressing him, or he got to breathe fresh air and be out using his legs and muscles. So he may be more tired, but he’s rested.

– So I feel like a lot of these points that we’re making today, come back to, you have to kinda know yourself. You have to know your limits,

– Know myself. You have to know what rejuvenates you, you have to know-

– Yeah, there’s a term we’ve used, it’s something that I think we’ve been decent at. We could be better at always, but this idea of self-awareness, having an understanding of self. Not selfishness, not like everything needs to be geared to me, but understanding at least, “Oh, I’m being a jerk right now.” Or, “Oh, I’m overwhelmed.” Or, “I’m irritable.” Having these self-awareness instead of, I’m just doing things and reacting and I’m like, “Oh no, that’s not what’s going on.” Having an awareness of ourselves is a huge thing.

– So moving on to the next note that we have here for pacing yourself would be to be patient. Be patient with the process, be patient with yourself, be patient with your family.

– Be patient and wait to put the part in for when I can have my attention on it.

– Yes, exactly. This world lies to us and says that we have to keep running, keep going, keep buying, keep serving, keep doing. Does it sound familiar? Does anyone else feel it the way I feel like?

– Yeah, don’t stop.

– Don’t stop. I pulled out this quote from Ralph,

– Ralph.

– I pulled out this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson and it says, “Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.”

– That’s good because nature is patient.

– It’s so patient. You almost don’t see it in it’s working, but you know that it is because, look at the landscape of nature and life around you and it’s beautiful. And it looks like it’s really enjoying itself. I wanna be like that. Well, Jesus even brings it up several times, just about nature and how it doesn’t toil and it doesn’t worry about certain things because He takes care of them. And they just kind of do what they’re made to do. And so patience, it’s not just patience in the results, it’s more so patients with ourselves, patience with the amount of time it takes to get to that result.

– Preparing yourself for it. I have a story I wanted to share, actually about that.

– Yeah, go ahead.

– So I typically am not good at pacing myself, especially if we have some sort of appointment or something to do outside of the home, and getting five kids in the car, make sure everyone went to the bathroom and has their shoes and jackets and water bottles and all these things, it’s like, “Come on, we gotta go.” So I’m constantly rushing them. I use the word hurry a lot which, I was just thinking back to one of the episodes we shared in the past season, how I challenge myself not to use that word with them, and I’m gonna go back to that, ’cause I found myself using it a lot.

– We’ve relapsed a bit.

– Yeah. But I was taking the kids to jujitsu and I noticed that time and time again, I’d show up and this other dad would drop off his kid, but he’d always be there 15 minutes early. I knew this ’cause they were in the next class. He would come 15 minutes early, and they would kind of sit in the car and talk for a little bit, him and his son, and then his son would check up there and then he would go, and he walked so slowly, and there’s nothing wrong with him, and he just kinda looks around like he’s just got this leisure-

– Not in a hurry.

– About him, and he’s not in a hurry. And I thought to myself, “I wanna be like him. That’s who I wanna be when I grow up.”

– Somebody’s not in hurry.

– It was really encouraging, I don’t know why over here. I want to not rush my kids, I want to not hurry, I wanna pace myself and my family in a way where I’m not pushing them so hard, and can enjoy that 10 minutes in the car before we actually go into a place. And that teaches them how to arrive early and how to be prompt and all these things, and so kudos to that dad, I’m learning.

– That’s a good example.

– Oh, real quick before we move on, just about being patient is when we slow down and we’re patient with ourselves and with our family and with the pace of life that we’ve chosen. We are more flexible, which means we can be disrupted by our kids or by circumstances without being bothered. We can have spontaneous invitations or events come up, and things that the Lord plans for us to deal with, and we don’t get frustrated or flustered or anything because we’ve made time.

– Margin.

– Margin for that.

– That’s really good. It’s convicting too.

– I know. Let’s do it.

– Another tip is, and this is something that we all, it comes up all the time.

– Our flesh does it.

– Don’t compare. Something we should not do is look to left or to the right, at that friend or that couple or the social media influencer or the friend at work and compare ourselves and say, “See, look how they do it.” And I do this all the time, I see other children that are doing X, Y, Z, and I’m like, “Well, should I be doing that?” Or, “Why aren’t my kids in that thing over there?” Or a person I see on social media, another dad, another husband, and I’m like, “Wow, look at that, what they’re doing.” And it puts this burden in my heart of like, “I’m not doing enough.” Or, “I’m failing over here in that.” Which it could be something that’s good for me to be encouraged in trying to do, but the comparison is the unhealthy way of approaching that, of saying, “Look at them and look at me.”

– Yeah, there’s a difference between looking at someone’s life and being encouraged by it and saying, “Oh, I wanna adapt that goal.” Or, “I wanna try that thing.”

– Like that gentleman that’s going slow and enjoying his moment with his son.

– I’ll be honest, something I’ve caught myself doing, especially with homeschool is I look at five to 10 people at the same time and go, “Oh, look at what everyone’s doing, I wanna do all of it.” And then it’s like-

– You put it in one little bucket-

– Very unrealistic.

– Look at all these moms and how they do that.

– And then I wonder why my life doesn’t look like everybody’s. Because it can’t. We are all unique families and we all have a unique purpose that God has given us, and so we need to adapt to that first and foremost. But we just wanted to encourage you guys not to compare yourselves because then we get in this trap of feeling like we’re missing out or we’re failing.

– Well, I think the actual act of comparison is like a scale. You are on the low end, they’re on the high end. Or you’re doing the opposite. You’re prideful and you’re putting yourself up above, putting someone low. Which is much different than looking at someone and aspiring and saying, “Wow, I want some of that in my life because that looks beneficial to me.” Rather than, “Oh, look what they’ve done and look what I have not done.” That’s the difference. So Jennifer, why don’t you share the last point that we have?

– So the last one is, to check your expectations or set your expectations, I should say. Make it realistic and communicate with your spouse about what you desire for your family. What are some goals you can set to achieve, or things when you’re considering your pace of life, what do you envision, what do you want to see happen? I like to do this in our marriage, especially if I know that we’re gonna be in a season of heavy lifting, I like to sit down with you Aaron and go, “Okay, so this is what we have to do, and this is what we need to do in order to get there.” So how do you wanna do this?”

– Here’s the sacrifices that might have to happen?

– Exactly.

– Me spending more time than I’m used to, watching the kids, being with the family, which is a good thing, but could be a hard thing ’cause I’m not used to it, but that’s an expectation. It’s like, “Oh we have to”-

– Yeah, you kinda mentioned this earlier, but when I go to do my workout, there’s a whiteboard and it’s listed right on there, what I’m supposed to be doing, and I know start to finish, what my expectation is. And you when you were doing CrossFit, kinda had the same thing you could check in the night before and see. Which always drove me crazy, I don’t know how you could sleep on that. I would not check it.

– Know what that’s gonna be?

– I would not do that.

– For a while I wasn’t doing it, but yeah, I liked finding out what it was gonna be.

– It’s fun.

– Help me know if I needed to bring the right shoes.

– Okay. Well speaking of different shoes, there’s different seasons and different needs for different paces when it comes to our families. And so we need to just take all this into account, Like for us, having a newborn looks a lot different than going on a seven-week road trip across the country. And our pace of life felt a lot different in both of those circumstances, won’t you say?

– Some people go on seven-week trips and then have a newborn.

– That’s true. Some people are amazing like that. For our family, that would be very difficult, and I know-

– Or in the middle of it. But it’s a good point though, ’cause it’s one thing to set an expectation, it’s another thing that if that expectation is totally unrealistic.

– And it’s another thing if we don’t communicate our expectations, that gets messy.

– Jennifer, do you ever do that? Do you ever have a list of expectations that you don’t tell me?

– Sometimes. Yes, I’m guilty.

– So communicating ’em, and setting realistic ones that you can actually take actionable steps toward accomplishing.

– Yeah.

– It slows you down because the expectations will drop to a manageable size.

– Which is great, ’cause that’s the first tip on our episode today, slowing down. So see it all working together here symbiotically? Okay, I threw this little note in here ’cause I thought it was interesting when we talk about expectations. But one of the reasons for setting expectations is to avoid disappointment, because we know what we’re setting ourselves up for. And I was thinking about this last year, and just my own heart toward my beliefs and understanding scripture on end times prophecy, and a lot of people have been talking about it in social media lately, which is interesting, but just that heart of craving and yearning and desiring for Jesus and to be with Him one day, and knowing that that is coming. And so I pulled out James 5:8 and it says, “You also be patient, establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” And I really like that verse, and I wanted to share it with you today.

– Well, what I love about it is, this yearning and craving for the Lord’s return is a good thing, something to look for. And the Bible even tell us to hasten the day, like we desire it to come quickly, but at the same time we are patient for it, knowing that God doesn’t wish that any should perish.

– So there’s this tension of how do we pace ourselves, knowing that that will come but we don’t know when?

– But what I also love is, God made a way for us to be with Jesus now. So we don’t have to wait for His return. We get to be in His word and in prayer, and boldly go before the throne room of God.

– That’s good.

– And we can have him always at hand.

– I love that. And he’s our endurance. He’s our strength, He’s the reason that we pace ourselves.

– Well, He’s the reason we desire to learn and grow. It’s not just to be successful, we don’t share these things to be like, “Hey, here’s how to be better human beings.” When we work on these things and we grow and we mature, it’s beneficial to our children, to our spouse, to ourselves, makes us more able to be used by the Lord. There are good things all around, but we don’t do them to earn anything from God. God already gave us everything in Jesus Christ. And it had nothing to do with how good we are pacing ourselves. But if we can grow in these areas, it’s a good thing, for our family, for our ministries. So that’s what I just wanna encourage you and do a little caveat through it all.

– I like it. Okay, so I just wanted to roll through our practicals for pacing ourselves to try and get that piece in our life. So from start to finish, don’t start out full force or hot out the gate. Reserve your energy for a longevity-

– Come in hot.

– Yeah, reserve your energy for longevity.

– Next one is, make a priority list to set up for success. Cut off the outliers, in the priority list, are there things that they’re not necessary right now, but you kind of want them to be?

– That’s good.

– Put them in order and try and, as some people say, do the hard thing first.

– Include rest or else you’ll burn out.

– Yeah, and rest in Jesus. Be patient, and be allowing of disruptions.

– Yeah, that’s good. Don’t compare yourself because it steals your joy along the way.

– And then check those expectations at the door.

– With all that combined, you can have a really steady pace. Okay, Aaron, you said something in the very beginning that I just wanna reiterate because it was really profound and good, and I want them to remember it. You said learning to have a pace is really about learning to make small steps of consistency and routines. And I think these small steps, in these practical ways to pace yourself is how you increase your peace.

– And I’m trying to do that. I’m just gonna give a little note real quick, I know it’s not on the notes, but I’m gonna say it anyway. A small step I took to help myself get back into a morning routine, even though I have not been crazy successful at it,

– Crazy!

– Is I set, is that’s not crazy? I set a 5:00 AM alarm for every day of the week except for Saturday and Sunday.

– So the challenge this week, not kidding.

– Well, the challenge is not to hit snooze for an hour and a half. It’s to wake up on the first or second snooze. But because I have the alarm, that’s one step closer. It’s a small step, and I got up once or twice last week.

– Good job.

– Really. So I’m nailing it.

– That’s great, high five. Okay, all these little areas will help you overall bring a sense of health and wellness to better your marriage and your atmosphere of your home. So we hope that this inspires you and encourage you to take hold of the conversation with your spouse and do something about it.

– Take small steps.

– Unless you’re really great at pacing yourself, and then you’re just awesome.

– Some people are. And if you are, you should go encourage someone with this, and help them, ’cause a lot of people need help like us.

– Okay, the weekly challenge is,

– Well, last week’s was, play a game.

– Which we’re gonna do.

– We’re gonna do that. Sorry we haven’t. We’re gonna do it. Okay, so I guess it’s do a workout together.

– Yep, it could be something fun, it doesn’t have to be-

– Some sit ups?

– CrossFit.

– Some squats.

– Don’t come out the gate hot guys, unless you really want to.

– Pickleball is a game and a workout.

– Okay, so we’re gonna double up. You can double up like we are, if you want.

– Double up.

– It could also just be a stretch or some small weights, whatever you wanna do. We did P90X once together, do you remember that?

– That was like 20 years ago.

– That was amazing.

– We still have the DVDs.

– I know, we should do that again and record it and put on reels or something.

– Oh, man! If you guys can find P90X, you should do it.

– Have fun.

– All right.

– Have fun with it.

– Let’s pray. Dear Lord, thank you for the encouragement to evaluate our lives and how we pace ourselves. We pray we will consider the ways we get burnt out easily and make adjustments to our schedule as needed. We pray we would be better at resting. Please help us to find a rhythm that blesses our family and encourages good growth. When we do feel tired, stretched, or as if we can’t continue on, please help us to lean on you and to rely on your strength. We pray we will apply wisdom you give us in your word. We pray we would find ways of recuperating and making them a priority. When it comes to support in marriage, we pray we would have a good balance of pushing each other to press on through the hard things, but also encourage one another to rest well. We pray your will would be done in our marriage and through us, in Jesus name. Amen. We love you and we’ll see you next week.

– Thank you for joining us for another episode of the “Marriage After God” podcast.

– If you found today’s episode fun and encouraging, please take a moment to share it on social media or in an email to some of your married friends.

– Also, would you please take a moment and leave us a review? Reviews help to spread the word about our podcast.

– Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And you can always check out more of our resources at marriageaftergod.com.

– You can follow us on social media for more marriage encouragement on Facebook and Instagram, @marriageaftergod, @husbandrevolution, and @unveiledwife.

– We hope you have an incredible week, and look forward to sharing more with you next week on the “Marriage After God” podcast. ♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪ ♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

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