It has been awhile since I have written a post. Last week, we had Crossroad 3 nights in a row and the next night I had a meeting, as well. I, then, went out of town this weekend and got to see some friends. I, unfortunately did not sleep well.
In the midst of a busy week, I did not accomplish a lot. A new saying that I have is “if you do not schedule your time, it will schedule you.” We have so many “good” things pulling us. As we all know, good things can become detrimental to our lives. Moderation and discipline in our lives help us live with self-control and purpose.
This year, more than ever, I have begun to appreciate the necessity of discipline in all things of life:
1. My relationship with God— in prayer and his word–learning, confessing and repenting, growing, serving.
John 15:5 reminds me that apart from him, I can do nothing. Colossians 1 reminds me that Jesus is the center and purpose of everything, so that makes him the ultimate priority that encompasses every part of my life.
2. My relationship with Greg, my husband.
I have to purposefully think of him and how to spend time with him and do things with him that are not just about me. I have tried to set aside Fridays. It is his day off most of the time, and it is a day that I try not schedule things with Women’s Discipleship Concepts. If I do not think of him purposefully, unfortunately, he would easily be last. Is it not easiest to ignore those who are already there? He is stuck with me, but we have committed first to each other above all things. Commitment takes purpose to live out, and it takes time to nurture this relationship. Because our lives are around ministry, we have people and commitments pulling us all the time, and we have to purposefully set boundaries. I lived this growing up in a minister’s family, and I know for our survival and growth that we must take this time.
3. Relationships with extended family and friends.
This, my friends, is where I do not do so well. I have so many people asking me to meet or help them–which is a good thing, that I can flounder in this area because my time and emotional resources are low. I do better at phone conversations than I do pulling away to meet up. I have such intense conversations all through the week with people that I minister to, that if I do not guard myself, I would pull away from everyone in sheer exhaustion. I realize that I am not a pursuer in friendships. I want to be better and grow to be purposeful with the time I can enjoy with others.
My goal this week is to sit down and actually schedule my time with boundaries. Ministry can become a boundaryless job quickly because it is so relational and because it is hard to tell people no when you are talking about God. However, I cling to the fact that Jesus, God himself, pulled away and made boundaries to be refreshed in his Father. He had people clawing to get near him, and sometimes he would disappear.
This year, I have clung to observing the Sabbath on Sundays. It is easy to give up the boundaries to try to help someone else with their schedule, but I am learning to guard it. God gave us that command for a distinct purpose. He made us and knows our tendencies. He wants us to be refreshed in him–the life-giver. In that, though, I have also seen that he wants us to work hard giving him the glory the other six days. So, it is making the most use of my time to plan, study, clean, meet with women, etc. Working from home and having to be self-motivated to lead in ministry, I definitely need a schedule. So, today, I am making a schedule for each week right down to the time I go grocery shopping, spend time on the computer, and develop curriculum.
5. Purposefully looking beyond those in my inner circle to share the hope and life of Christ.
I have been praying the Lord’s prayer a lot lately, but I have elaborated more on his kingdom coming to all areas of my life (people) and beyond. I have begun to pray for my neighborhood, the city of Knoxville and workplaces therein, and beyond the US. This is a discipline. Usually I think of ME, and I am praying to be disciplined to think beyond me as we are called to do.
I have never loved exercise. I have always admired runners. One time I tried it–I admire runners even more, now. However, in this last month and an half, I have seen the huge necessity of exercise in my life more than ever. I have made exercise part of my discipline. God made our bodies to be renewed by eating healthy and getting exercise. My thoughts and energy are so much better for the work to be done. This year, I have lost weight, and I have more energy than I ever have. With everything, there is a healthy balance. This can get way out of hand in the lives of women when their worth comes from this goal instead of being renewed in Christ. So, when I speak of exercise and eating, I speak in caution that this is not THE answer–Christ is the answer.
My biggest time suckers that start off “good” and can become destructive:
1. The computer–email, facebook, blogs and do it all again. I have gotten better by not doing any of these things on the weekend, but I am going to actually limit the number of times I check it a day. An hour is sucked away more quickly on the computer than with anything else I do. I learn so much from time on the computer, but I waste so much too. I am going to set a timer to get my stuff done, and when the time is up–I have to go on to the next thing. I need less noise–and all this information and even cyber relationships become noise.
I can sit down to enjoy a show–nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong with making it my escape or my number. I try not to watch it during the day except for quick bursts or if I am doing something else. Again, need less noise…
So, my question to you–Are you scheduling your time or is it scheduling you?