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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Making Time Count


Sipping my coffee, my hair rivaling Einstein, I scanned over the devotional that had been sent to my email box.


"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

I Thessalonians 4:11&12 (NIV)

"Great devotional," I thought as I hit the fwd button and without a thought. I picked up the worksheets, a battered day planner and textbooks and headed off to start another day of school, daily chores, going through mounds of email and mounds of laundry. Ironically, as I found some time later in the week to sit down and go through mounds of email as everyone slowly drifted to sleep, I reflected on a bible study that I had done that day and my mind drifted back to that
devotional. Going through email after email, I found it again and really sat down and read it. Word for word. Then I hung my head down.

"Wow," I thought to myself. How many times have I thought I was being busy and productive for myself, for our Heavenly Father, and my family, when honestly, I think I was just busy for the sake of filling in time or passing time.

I couldn't figure out why I would go to bed exhausted, my mind whirling on things I still had to do, when I suddenly realized...I still couldn't just let myself...rest. I think as women who are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and co-workers, we are own worset enemies.

How often in our quest to be busy, to keep up with the Joneses, to be something to everyone, that we often forget to minister to the very people who are in need of us the most. Sometimes, keeping busy becomes no longer a praise, but a distraction. A distraction from not only from our friends and our family, but from our Heavenly Father. HE see it and often times, He finds ways to get our attention.

Ways that are not comfortable for us. His way of saying, "Slow down," even when we don't want to. Ever feel like there isn't enough time in the day? How did women do everything they needed to do before the advent of cell phones, email, and well, really, everything modern life has to offer and yet still found time for our Heavenly Father and for their family? Sometimes life really isn't about quantity. It really is about quality. It's sometimes about being honest with ourselves and asking ourselves if what we are doing is more about keeping busy and being distracted and less really about others and particularly for our Heavenly Father.

Do we want to be known for being the person whose schedule was so packed that we have to schedule in sleep or brushing our teeth, or do we want to be known as the person who, despite what was going on, put people and God before herself and that errand. The errand that really could wait another day. Putting aside that stack of paper that isn't going to anywhere, in exchange for a minute with the kids, the neighbor next door, or that friend we haven't talked to.The opportunities will be gone if we don't take the time to just....breathe.

Being busy didn't have to mean inaccessible or constantly juggling everything....Even the Proverbs 31 woman, probably knew when to delegate errands here and there instead of trying to take it all herself. The more we learn to work with others...to make time for others, the easier it is to get done the things we need to do. Instead of being imprinted in other people minds as that blur that goes in and out of their lives, we become more known as that person who, well, seem to be able to do everything, when it was really learning to cut out the un-necessary's and focus on the most important. Which reminds me....I have cookies burning in the oven...I better get to them before the next load of laundry is done!

Heavenly Father, I thank You when You strive to put speed bumps in my life, not because You think it's funny, but because You don't want me to pass up on the blessings that You give us. Thank You for always reminding us, to stop taking life so seriously all the time, and just make the time to live in Your word and to let You give us the strength and joy that work is supposed to give us and not the distraction and drudgery that we let work become in us.

Reflect:


  • Do you often find yourself living life in a whirl that you find yourself forgetting to breathe?
  • What are ways you can really sit down and figure out how to cut out the un-necessary to make room for the necessary in your life and to live the life God calls each and everyone of us to live in and through Him, so that the work we do, will be a blessing for and about others?










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10 Comments:

Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

You know I admit that sometimes I find it hard to just sit and do nothing because I'm afraid of what my kids might think. I don't want them to think that Mom is lazy. It's weird I know but little eyes watch everything and I want to set the right example. I guess I could announce that I'm waiting for the laundry to dry and I'm going to sit while I do! LOL.
Great post.
Blessings,
Kim

February 3, 2009 at 5:31 AM  
Anonymous Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Lol....that is as great idea...just grabbed a bunch of laundry and place it before you! Lol

Taking time is a very difficult thing for us to do and I think it's just the way we are wire...I feel the same way too...if I stop to do something or even just to catch up on my daily bible readings...I find my mind sometimes wandering with..what about this or what about that...

Sitting down is the hardest thing to do, but rest is a blessing from our Heavenly Father and I have to sometimes just verbally remind myself of the story of Martha and Mary.

If the home isn't a wreck...the laundry is done reasonably (like it's EVER done,lol) and the kids are playing or working on their studies...it's okay too for momma to take a break...

Sometimes..even a ten minute rest break can mean an extra 30 minutes benefit for the family.

Praying you have a great day Kim and thank you so much for your wonderful comment!

February 3, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

I am challenged with being balanced in all that I do. It's making sure I don't go overboard in one direction or the other. I want to set a good example to my son as well, and that means, to me anyway, that I show him how to work hard but also how to play hard.

I grew up in a home with two loving, but workaholic parents. They were rarely home and though I learned a great deal about committement and fortitude, I also failed to learn the importance of taking care of myself and making time for the things in life that really do matter the most.

If I want my children to have that solid foundation with Christ and to be involved in a consistent prayer/meditation time, I believe it must be shown to them. Monkey see, monkey do, right? So, if my little monkey see's me making God a priority...I suppose I might at least increases the possibility that he too will make God a priority.

At the same token...bills still need to be paid and chores need to be done. So it really does come down to finding balance in your life and learning where your own personal limits are on either side.

Great thoughts for today...you really got me thinking.

Blessings

February 3, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

*Hugs* God bless you for sharing that wonderful comment. We do live in a challenging world where we seem to be told that we can "have it all" but without really much thought at the costs that are involved.

When you said,"So it really does come down to finding balance in your life and learning where your own personal limits are on either side., I think for many of us...that is a scary prospect of doing.

We get so thrown on us by popular culture and sometimes ourselves, that if we didn't do this or we didn't do that...we're wrong or something is wrong.

There are many who want to have that belief that we can be in control, we can be perfect, we have to, we have to..and soon, we find ourselves chasing that "have to", without realizing the costs it does to us and to others.

You're words are so sweet and honest and like a heart cry from all of us as we go through each day!

God bless You and thank you so much for sharing that wonderful comment.

It's a reminder that we are not in this alone and praise God we have a Heavenly Father who is there for us and just want to help us find that point where we are not burdening ourselves but are being lifted instead.

February 3, 2009 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Devita said...

I always act like a busy woman while I actually not that busy. I know I need time to be restful but I don't even give it a try. I sometimes share with others but it only last for a week. Every time it comes to self introspection, I feel miserable.

February 3, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

*Hugs* Devita; Taking time to rest is probably the hardest thing for anyone to do...look at Martha...there's a Martha in everyone of us, but a Mary too.

*Hugs*

February 3, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Sweetie, this was a great post, bless you. Life can get away from you really quick, if you let it.

February 3, 2009 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

Awesome devotion, Twinkle Mom! I love it. I love this, "The opportunities will be gone if we don't take the time to just....breathe." Amen! Love ya, girlie!

February 4, 2009 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Sweet Magnolia said...

Thank You Twinkle Mom for a Great Post ..I am a single gal ..who is learning this lesson right now..slowing down and taking one minute at a time. I thought it was interesting that someone commented on small eyes watching them ..because as a single woman I always feel the eyes of the older ones watching ..and being afraid that if I don't keep busy they will consider me irresponsible ..However God is dealing with me on that right now ..and he has me in Tortoise speed right now. One other thing that struck me was your comment on cell phones. I "DON'T" have one. I grew up in an era without them. And I wish someone could tell me what the necessity in them is ? How is it life was survived without them for years ? I feel sorry for these children who are growing up dependent on them and becoming accustomed to never having any peaceeful time ..always chatting..How will they ever slow down when they are waiting for the next text or call...
your devotion is a Great one for Kids today ...as well.

February 4, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I loved that devotion as a single mom I can remember how hard it was for me to work full-time, cook, help kids with homework and then going to school activities. I look back now an realize that it was through the grace of God that I managed everything. Now I have 1 child left home still and I feel guilty somtimes when I stop and take a break. I think it is our motherly instinct that makes us feel that if we rest then we are lazy. We must remember that on the 7th day God rested maybe not the same way that we do but he did stop creating on that day.

February 4, 2009 at 6:14 PM  

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