Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Saving" Time

If someone happens to know where the month of January went could you please let me know....

Seriously, this "flying time" thing is out of control!

Unless I stop and think about it I can even forget what season we are in:

~ The weather is unpredictable (snow then sun then rain....)

~ I just got the Christmas decorations put away but a recent visit to the mall revealed that winter coats have already been replaced by bathing suits.

~ While I should be focused on "My Valentine" advertisers have me pondering my garden and landscaping plans.

~ Spring sports sign-ups have already begun for the kids and summer camps are filling up fast.

While it often seems like living in the moment and focusing on today is impossible (and much of the world would have us think it is irresponsible) the bible teaches that "here and now" is exactly where God has placed us and what He wants us to focus on.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
Of course this doesn't mean we shouldn't plan for the future (that WOULD be irresponsible) but not at the expense of forfeiting our peace and purpose today.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

How many of us spend so much time focusing on what we expect and want for our future that we miss out on what we are blessed with right now? We carefully map out our lives, planning and preparing for events that may or may not ever unfold, and in doing so we neglect the precious gift of "this" moment.

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Our calendars reveal commitments and schedules that have been set weeks or months ahead of time and literally rob us of time to rest, relax or refresh. In many ways it can feel as though we are on the fast-track to burnout, both physically & spiritually. But as we find ourselves living in a culture that values "busyness" and "scheduling" what can we do to slow the pace in order to live our lives to the fullest? Look at how Jesus answers this question:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me --watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Matthew 11: 28 (The Message)

There may be "no time like the present" but I am a firm believer that "there is no present like time" and that is a gift I find myself craving more and more.

So beginning today here are 10 ways I want to be intentional about "living in the moment" and making the most of my time in 2010 (in no particular order):

1) Build boundaries around my time. Give up the idea that I can do it all and prioritize what I am called to do. Be careful of time drainers, especially the television, telephone & computer!
2) Spend time reading books with my kids. Unlike watching TV or movies, reading together invites physical contact, stimulates imagination and initiates conversation & laughter, all of which create lasting bonds and memories.
3) Be "present" in conversation. Look people in the eye, listen closely and talk less (ok, I know that will be a struggle for me but I'm gonna try, lol).
4) Plan more "lunch dates". My goal is to have lunch with (one or more) girlfriends at least once a month (more if it's in the budget). The point is to stop saying "let's get together" and just do it!!
5) Kiss my husband every evening after work and every night before I go to bed. It is so easy to take each other for granted and overlook those displays of affection that are so important in a healthy marriage!
6) Carve out DAILY quiet time with God. Many days I do but I still haven't gotten to where it's EVERY day.
7) Cook more and eat out less. Nothing brings a family together like sharing a home-cooked meal.
8) Re-incorporate family prayer time. We did this for awhile but it is definitely time to bring out the prayer journal and start lifting each other up again!
9) Reach out to others. Follow through on those "notes I meant to send", "hand-me-downs I wanted to pass on" or "meals I intended to deliver". In other words "put my good intentions into action!"
10) Build boundaries around my relationships. Being a "people pleaser" by nature nothing drains or wearies me more than trying to please the "unpleaseable". As much as I want to be loved and accepted by all I am painfully aware that I will never be able to please everyone and the harder I try the less effective I am. Unfortunately this may mean there are people in my life that I will have to "love from a distance" in order to successfully make the most of my life, fulfill my purpose and be the woman that God has called me to be.

These ideas are just a starting point and though they may not succeed in actually slowing down time, they can help me make the most of the time I have been given!


Lelia Chealey said...

I love this post Kell. Especially when you said to read w/ your kids instead of watching TV. All the trips I've made to KC within the last few years to see you & your family have made Alivia & I so much closer and she reads to me! :)
Thank you for this great reminder to watch my time and make it worthy of God, the giver of time.

love you!

Debbie said...

Great post and Great blog.. I like the goal of Being more present in conversation. Definetely a hard one at time.. takes selflessness for sure.. Would love to come back and visit. God bless, deb

Cindy said...

This is fabulous!!! Thank you for the reminders!!!!!!!!! And I'll be praying that you are able to do just exactly what God has placed in your heart!