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Posts Tagged ‘schedule’

 

Wow – JanuarMB900442471[1]y is over. It hardly seems possible. Why do the days, weeks, months, even years seem to speed by so quickly as we get older? Children complain often about time standing still, while most of us complain about how fast it goes.

When you really think about it, the explanation is clear. Children live for the moment. They seldom plan ahead because what is happening right now consumes them. They are focused on getting the most out of whatever they are currently engaged in.

For us it’s different. We are constantly looking ahead, planning ahead, making lists and getting into a panic because it seems we won’t have nearly enough time to complete the lists. We gloss over where we are today thinking about where we need to be tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in planning and organization. I make lists and I keep a detailed calendar. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been participating in one activity while looking at my schedule and thinking about the next activity.

And when I do check something off my list, I can’t always say it’s been done well. And I can’t always declare I thoroughly enjoyed it because I realize I wasn’t fully engaged in it at the time it was happening.

I am challenging myself this year to take more time in the moment and less time in the future. By that I mean that I will lay down the list of upcoming events and tasks and concentrate more on where I am right now. 

One of the ways I’ve started doing this is with my morning devotions. Every morning as I go through my Bible reading for the day I’m not just checking it off the list so I can complete the entire Bible in a year. I am taking the time to look for one nugget I can pull out and apply to this very day.

Today, for instance, I finished up Exodus and read about the priestly garments God designed for those who ministered to the people. God wanted the people who ministered in the temple to be easily recognizable. When they were dressed in their business clothes, no one would mistake them for anything else but Godly men serving in a priestly role. Everything people saw when they looked at Aaron and his assistants screamed “holy”.

As a Christian and as one called to ministry, do I dress with the same meticulous care? When people look at me do they recognize my role as a witness to His faithfulness, a follower of His word, a vessel for His use?

  • Am I wearing the face of contentment regardless of my circumstances? (1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.)
  • Am I thinking and speaking words that build up not tear down? (Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whateveris right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.)
  • Am I covering myself with compassion, kindness and generosity so that others are drawn to me?  (Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.)

Taking time before I start my day making sure I am ready for whatever comes my way is one way I am slowing down and assuring that I “thoroughly live” instead of “frantically live”.  

My next step is …. I’m not sure. This slowing down is a real challenge for me. I’m thinking I need to gather some children around and let them drag me into their world for a while.

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Am I crazy or what?  I don’t need Daylight Savings Time.  I need Sanity Savings Time. For those of you who may not be aware, November is National Novel Writing Month. It comes with it a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 31 days.  You can participate with hundreds of other writers at NaNoWriMo online where you enter your daily word count, get lots of encouragement and follow others who are doing the same thing.

My decision to accept the challenge came just like everything else I say yes to – jump in there impulsively and wonder why later. Now that I’ve begun, I’m analyzing whether this is even possible. I have to admit I skimmed over the 50,000 word part when I first read about NaNoWriMo. But now my brain has led me to the point of realizing the expectation is 1,613 words a day.

Actually I can’t figure on a whole day in which to accomplish the 1,613 words. At least eight hours of my day are spent at work, not writing.  At least one hour of my day is spent in bible study and scripture reading, not writing. Another two or three hours of my day are spent in activities with family, church, and friends, not writing. Then there’s housework, cooking, driving, sleeping, showering, dressing, talking on the phone, eating, etc, etc. – not writing.

But, here’s the amazing part of this post – after two days I have actually written 4,527 words! That’s well over the average daily count and it’s a miracle.  When did I do it?  I have no idea.  I squeezed a few minutes from my lunch break.  I put down my fiction novel for the time being. I wrote while watching a movie with my husband. I wrote during some really early morning hours. I’m pretty pumped after two days.

How do we ever accomplish the things we pack onto our ridiculous schedules? By sheer determination, organization and teeth gritting tenacity, that’s how.

I’m watching my children do the impossible balancing of schedules with kids in school and extracurricular activities. I see things happening at church because already busy people commit and get busier. It is true that the more people have on their plate the more they seem to accomplish.  They are the people who can’t seem to say no and always seem to squeeze it in. They get much done but they sacrifice much at the same time.

There is a balance – I just haven’t quite found it yet. There are so many things I want to do and I’m not getting any younger. On the other hand, my body doesn’t always cooperate with my ambition. It keeps demanding rest and nourishment.

My brain is still running at full speed it seems because the ideas keep flowing. On the other hand it doesn’t always retain the stuff it needs to for as long as it should. A lot of my creativity can be found laying in the wake of where I have been. I had a great idea but by the time I get to the place where I can write it down it’s gone.

I’m not averse to slowing down a little. On the other hand, the minute I slow down I fall asleep. I hate that.

All this rambling is just to ask this question – can I do it? Can I write 50,000 words in 31 days? Probably. Will I have to sacrifice something else to get it done? Probably. Am I ready to reprioritize my whole life and cut back on activities? Probably not. Am I going to wear myself out periodically? Most definitely.

But my great goal is to have this on my epitath after I die:   With God’s help, she finally got everything done.

Lord, you establish peace for us;
    all that we have accomplished you have done for us.  Isaiah 26:12

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