Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."
How do we use it? Misuse it? Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have? It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment. But how will we spend it? And what values shape how we use it? As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.
The irony is not lost on me that I am typing up my guest post on the subject of time at 9:30 at night, after my shift at the library and a pretty full day already and a crazy couple of days ahead of me.
Somehow, I have managed to fill my plate to overflowing this weekend, and I’m not sure how it happened.
First, I have this guest post that I agreed to do a while ago. I’m still excited about it and it definitely fits within what I normally blog about – although I’m slightly embarrassed since, well, my time management skills obviously need a little work!
Then, I agreed to help with a book launch which is Sunday. It’s a great devotional called Undivided Mom by Kayse Pratt. You can find more about here.
Then, I decided to participate in the 31 Day Challenge over at the Nester, and I had to figure out how to make a blog buttons – not to mention come up with a new blog post every day about God making a daily difference in my life in the month of October. You can read more about that here.
Last, but certainly not least, our church is having a Kidz Fest. The youth pastor – all fresh and full of energy – stopped in our class about a month ago to ask us to come up with an idea for a game or craft. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal – just a few hours on Saturday afternoon.
It seemed like such a little deal, I also agreed to make a dessert for the cake walk one class is doing. I need to get that made and delivered sometime today.
Suddenly, that festival took on a life of its own, and we had not one, but two ideas to do – a treasure hunt in a sand filled kiddie pool and an origami booth. The problem was that origami can only be done on perfectly square paper – which meant I either had to spend a fortune on actual origami paper (yes, there is such a thing and it doesn’t come in large packs either) OR I had to go into church and cut their paper into squares. That would be about 500 pieces of paper.
It occurred to me that none of the other classes were doing more than one activity. It also occurred to me just how long it would take me to individually cut 500 pieces of paper into perfect squares – even with a paper cutter. So, I sent out an email saying we’d just do the one booth.
Yet, I feel guilty – like I’m somehow failing because I decided not to spend several hours cutting perfect squares for kids who will probably throw away, tear or lose their origami cat or dog before they even leave the festival. It seems so many times, the person putting the most pressure on me is – ME!
Somehow, in this weekend, I have to also clean my house and brush out the dog, who has been pushed off the end of to do list for weeks now. He’s starting to look like a large, walking fuzz ball.
I suppose I should be thankful that my son’s soccer game – also on the infamous Kidz Fest Day, is cancelled.
All these things are in addition to the normal running of my home (strangely, my family needs to eat every day and wear clean clothes), and working two part-time jobs while simultaneously trying to launch a blog, take photos for it, and write short stories. I also teach Sunday school, belong to an (in)courager group for college students and several different online groups, as well as, disciple a woman at my church.
Obviously, I have bellied up to the buffet of possibilities and overfilled my plate.
Everything looked so good, but when I look at this impossible list of things I have committed myself to, I can see many of them do not line up with God’s call in my life. They are all good things, but not the best things for the path God has me on.
Instead, by trying to grab every opportunity, I have lost both my focus and the big picture.
I need space in my days to be creative. When I get too busy, I tend to get panicky and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I get snappy with my loved ones and neglect the things that are actually important because, suddenly, everything feels urgent.
When that happens, the things I actually am called to do get shoved to the very bottom of the list. My relationships with those that matter most suffer because I feel so pressed for time, I push them away in favor of crossing one more thing off that infamous to do list.
Can you relate? Does your to do list seem unending with many of the things on there not part of your God-given callings?
It’s okay. We all do this now and then, but it’s time to stop! Take a deep breath and take a moment to think about what is important. I know it’s hard to step away from good things, even things you enjoy. I use these couple of questions to help me get my priorities in order, so I know what to say yes to and what to pass by.
- If you died tomorrow, what would you miss doing the most?
- What would you regret not doing?
Then ask yourself, are you spending time doing those things today?
Rosanne Bowman has been a story lover almost since birth, and has been writing stories in various forms since she could hold a pencil. She believes that stories have the power to change people by encouraging and inspiring them. Rosanne has been married for 20 years to the Coach and has two boys, ages 12 and 15, who are also sports nuts. She currently blogs about God making a daily difference in ordinary lives at www.rosannebowman.com.