5 Disciplines~Week 2 – Time Management

First let me begin with a Week 1 update:  My “Body Challenge” goal was to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks.  As of today, I have lost 1 1/2 pounds and I think if I eat one jelly bean I will gain this pound back.  lol!  So this means I must continue to skip my after dinner snack and exercise 20 minutes, 3+ times a week to maintain this loss and continue to lose more.  If you took the week one challenge and have an update – please leave it in the comment section – this is your accountability :)!

Now let’s move into week two’s Discipline –  Time Management!

One thing I have realized this week as I’ve tried to add in exercise is that it’s hard for me to find time.  Basically, it appears that I’m using all my time doing something I want or need to be doing – which means I have to stop doing something in order to add in exercise…which I really don’t feel like doing…so it’s easy to just think “I don’t have time.”   I have it – it’s just not how I want to spend it! :(

Elizabeth Elliot says in her book Discipline-The Glad Surrender:Time management, a highly developed science today, begins for the Christian with time set aside for God.  Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted.”

Here is why time management begins with our time spent with God…how will we know how to spend our time – what we should commit to and what we should say “no” to, if we are not in communion with God?

As God’s children we should be praying “Thy will be done” but often times we are praying “my list be done.” 

The mistake here is that we may put onto our own plate more than God would put on our plate  – and as a result raise our stress levels to extremely high levels.

Jesus says – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”~ Matthew 11:28,29

When our stress levels are high – it is nearly impossible to be kind, patient, gentle and in tune with our husband and children.  We are too busy to stop to care and there is absolutely no room for error in the day.  We need to guard our time so there is room to breathe – room to kiss booboos, read a mind stretching-soul inspiring book, soak in a bubble bath or linger long with your husband in bed.  These are gifts that God has given us to enjoy.

What gifts have you turned down from God because you are over-committed or pursuing the wrong things?

 “There is always enough time to do the will of God.”~Elizabeth Elliot

I love schedules.  God created us as creatures of habit and we see in creation a natural rhythm as the sun sets and rises day after day and the seasons change one after another every.single.year.

There are some things set into our weeks that we can’t escape.  We all have to cook, clean and do laundry.  So why not create a rhythm in our homes to accomplish the mundane, so we are free to enjoy fun, family and fellowship!  Here’s an example of my cleaning schedule:

This schedule guarantees that everything gets done at least once a week…truthfully…some of these things need to be done twice a week.  By about day 5 – the house looks like a tornado :(  I know this schedule cannot work for everyone (especially doing laundry just one day a week for large families) BUT it’s a good place to start.  And it’s time to be pro-active and think through what DOES work.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. ~ Zig Ziglar

Week 2 – Challenge:
1.  Sit down and look at your calendar.  Think about your priorities.
2.  Pray and ask God to give you wisdom as to what you should be doing with your time.
3.  Write out a list of what you need to get done this week – don’t forget to write in time with God!  (you can use the free printable below as a guide :) !)
4.  Every morning this week, look over your to-do list.  Pray and ask God for wisdom.  Add, take away or move things on your list accordingly.
5. Continue this discipline next week and the week after.  Soon you will find order and rhythm to your days and weeks.

5 Weeks 5 Disciplines – Time Management

Here’s last week’s printable if you need a fresh one for the new week:
5 Weeks 5 Disciplines – Body
Are you taking the Time Management Challenge – tell us in the comment section? 

If you have any time management tips, please share them!!! 

If you are a blogger – write about it, post this button in your post or side bar and then link-up below!

Walk with the King,

Is Anybody Listening To Me?

Have you ever stood in your house and wondered – knock knock knock “Hello – is anybody listening to me?” The other day I sat the children down to give daddy a call at work on our speaker phone. As we began to talk to daddy, the one child could hardly wait to talk and was butting in. I told the child to be quiet and listen to the conversation. Finally, it was this child’s turn to talk to daddy. While this child talked – the other one got up and began to spin in circles. I quickly sat that child back down and said “listen to the conversation”. Then I started to talk to daddy and there was silence on the other end – “are you there?” I said. “Yes, I’m listening.” He answered. And right there I had an epiphany!

Everyone in the world just wants to be heard. We want someone to listen to us when we talk and if we are going to have peace in our home, we need to fine tune our listening skills!

Last Friday I shared My Personal Word of the Year. This week, I have chosen a theme “word of the year” for my family and the word is “Listen”.
We need to practice Listening to God. The children need to work on listening to mommy and daddy. My husband and I need to work on listening to the children (we are not exempt from the family goal – the children need to know we are humbly working on this too!) and we all need to work on showing Christ’s love to the world by listening to others outside of our family more.
Psalm 5: 3 it says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice (God is listening); in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Every morning my children come to me in my office and they give me a morning stale kiss and messy haired hug. I love my morning kiss and hugs and can’t imagine what it would be like if they woke and didn’t care to come see me. If they just carried on with the day as if I didn’t exist. I’m afraid that all to often we do this to God. We wake and carry on with our day before we sit down and listen to God in his word. And talk with him in prayer. God is there, ready to listen to us and we must strive to emulate our Savior who is always listening to us. Take time today to listen – first to God, then your family and then to others outside of your family.
Walk with the King!

My Word of The Year

Every year on New Year’s Day, I crack open a shiny new prayer journal. Actually – it’s nothing fancy – just a simple 5 subject notebook to journal all my confessions, praises and prayers in. On New Year’s Day my tradition is to sit and write out my goals on the first page of the journal.
I have seen other women around the blogosphere choosing a theme word for the year. So this year, I centered my 2010 goals around a theme word that ties them all together. My theme word is “connecting“.
1. Connecting with God – John 15:5 says “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from God I can do nothing – I want to remain closely connected to the vine all year long remembering Psalm 84:10″Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.”
2. Connecting with my husband – I want to stay intimately connected to my husband by listening to his needs and wants, respecting him, submitting to him, and supporting him. I want to smile more, praise him more, and love him even more.
3. Connecting with my children – I want to stay connected to my children by playing with them, reading with them, listening to them when they talk, winning smiles from them, praying with them and training them.
4. Connecting my physical health to my spiritual health – The health of my body effects my spiritual walk with God. I want to take care of my body so I am able to have energy to serve, teach and do the work God has for me.
5. Connecting with my blog readers – Through the message board, I want to connect with my readers in the new year. I have done a lot of “talking” and this year. I want to “listen” more, love more, care more and pray more for you all.

If you were to choose a one word theme for the new year, what would you choose?

Walk with the King!

Evaluating 2009

It can be hard to find a quiet time to sit and reflect over the past year. So let me assist you in doing that right now where you are at. Feel free to get out a pen and paper and write your answers when you have a minute but for now – let’s mentally evaluate 2009 and make some plans.

1. Your Walk with God – How was your walk with God this past year?
Did you talk and listen to him each day in Bible reading and prayer?
How can you improve your walk with God in 2010?
Suggestion: Ponder your schedule and then write down a set time for a quiet time each day. Mine is 6:30am every morning. For some tips read where, when and why to have a quiet time.

2. Your Marriage - What is one word you’d use to describe your marriage in 2009? Easy, frustrating, growing, romantic, hard, strong, amazing.
What is one thing you know your husband wishes you’d change in your life?
Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take to change that area in your life. Ie. being more organized, cooking healthier, being more flexible, being more respectful. Watch this video on becoming the woman of your husband’s dreams.

3. Children – What was a high point and a low point for each of your children in 2009?
What is one thing that each of your children need from you in 2010?
Suggestion: Write down the steps you can take toward giving your children what they need. Ie. manners training, reading to them more, one on one time, my undivided attention, memorizing God’s word together. Read this post on how to get your children to listen to you.

4. Health - What healthy habits did I maintain in 2009?
What unhealthy habits did I create in 2009 that I need to change going into 2010?
Suggestion: Write down some goals for 2010 in this area. Write out a plan for how you will reach them. Start a Fitness Notebook.
5. Ministry - What were ways that I used my talents for God in 2009?

Pray about what God would have you do in 2010.
Suggestion: Surrender your life to God. Be willing to be used for his purposes – remember that each season of life brings different priorities and opportunities. Pray over this.
Do not be discouraged by this reflective time. We can all beat ourselves up over our failures OR we can determine to pray and ask God to give us the grace and strength to do the right things.
My life verse is Galatians 6:9 and I think it’s appropriate here as we evaluate 2009. It says “Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up.”
In 2010, do not grow weary, do not give up!
Walk with the King!