Our days begin early here at the Ferguson spot/farm/ranch/infested-with-bug-space.

(Not to worry.  The bugs/spiders/creepy-crawlers are outside! If they invade my indoor space they’re dead.)

Lately we’ve been slogging through some hot and humid days so Robert goes outside before 7AM to get some exercise and wrangle the foliage that never stops growing. I sit in the sun-room and cheer him on.  (Hey – it’s my quiet time!)

This morning he came back into the sun-room shortly after 8AM.  He was hunched over, gasping, sweat dripping and wheezing in pain.  He couldn’t talk – tried sitting – needed to stand – went back out on the deck to pour water over himself.  I ran to soak a cloth in cold water to drape over his head.

It took about 10 minutes before he was feeling better.

This is not the first time he’s had this kind of reaction while working or playing.  Rob is intense.  He doesn’t stop.  He’s determined and he perseveres.  He focuses on achieving a goal and pushes till he drops.  Literally.

Once the drama was done, we had a few words.

(Again, don’t worry.  The words weren’t sharp or pithy – just direct.  And the inappropriate ones stayed in my head.  Isn’t it a blessing that only God knows what we’re thinking?)

Then Robert had something to drink and eat, and went out to put away the weapons – I mean tools.  (He’d been attacking some stubborn vines and roots.  He won.)

When he came back in he’d been thinking about the experience.  We talked.  He drew  a concept that illustrated his (and my) dilemma.

In life – do we know when to stop?  Or start?

Our life is measured.  And it’s all about balance.

In the various areas of  life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, and financial – are we fully aware of when to start & when to stop?

The first 4 are inward focused – the last 2 look outward.  Think about it…

Physical In the physical aspects of our lives – our health, which includes exercise and eating – are we aware of when to start what will be healthy and when to stop when it becomes unhealthy?

Mental – In the intellectual aspects of our lives – a focus on thinking, and gathering knowledge and being plugged into data – are we aware of when to start thinking because we’re uninformed or when the mental aspects of our life are consuming us and we need to stop analyzing and get out of our ‘head’ ?

Emotional – In the emotional areas – feelings, and emotional health – are we unaware of when we’re being too involved with our emotions, and when we’re not involving our emotional responses at all?

Spiritual – In our spiritual life – our relationship with God, and His Son Jesus and serving or doing good – is it possible to be unaware that we’re bereft of a spiritual depth and need to start seeking?  And is it possible to be unaware that we’ve become zealots with a dry well, so overcome we lack any focus?  

Relational – In our relationship with others, including our spouse, what if we’re in a state of disconnection that we’re unaware we need to start a process to reconnect?  Or what if all  our energy and attention is on others that we have no reserve – could we become unaware that we need to put a stop to the interaction?

 Financial – In our financial experiences – spending and saving – are we unaware that we need to start saving?  Or the opposite, are we unaware that we’re being too frugal in a way that hurts everyone around us because our fear of lack is handcuffing our family?

Sitting in the middle?

Obviously, having a balance is important in every area.  And even though we’re all struggling in some area, every day is new.  There’s always another opportunity to either become aware we need to start – and work toward the middle.  Or become aware we need to stop – and dial it back to the middle.

Here’s the visual Robert created…

Where are we standing on this scale?

Have you – or your spouse been taken unawares?  Part of encouragement is to ask God to join you and your spouse in the journey toward awareness in all areas of life.  Lift up your spouse in prayer – and don’t forget, it’s OK to ask about yourself, too!

“What should I start?”   “What should I stop?”

 What are your thoughts on being aware – or unaware?