Make Over Your Schedule: 3 Steps to Putting Your Time in God’s Hands

God is ready to craft something beautiful out of my moments. But first I need to put my time in His hands.

Last summer I joined a new study group. During the season we talked about what God was doing in our lives and where He was leading us to do new things for Him.

One night our leader talked about how she truly felt that God had called her to work with the group, but a change in her family situation now had her wondering how she was going to get everything done. She said that she was feeling overwhelmed. But she had come up with a new plan.

She was going to set aside one evening a week to work on details involved with leadership. She would begin with a half hour to pray about the group and ask God for guidance. She would then spend another hour and a half with the planning duties and emails that were necessary. At the end of that hour and a half she would call it a night and trust that whatever didn’t get done could wait or would be done by someone else.

Don’t you love it? What a great plan!

My leader’s plan reminded me of one my favorite Bible verses:

But I trust in you, O Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”
 My times are in your hand

Psalm 31:14-15a

Most of my scheduling problems–my overcrowded calendar, my panic in wondering how I will ever get everything done–are usually caused because I have taken time in my own hands.

But God keeps reminding me that I can trust Him. He is ready to take my days, my hours, my minutes and craft them into something beautiful. Something valuable. Something extraordinary.

But first I have to give them to Him. I need to put my times into His hands.

So now I am starting my day with my leader’s plan:

  1. Pray. Ask God to give me the wisdom to know what to work on today.
  2. Work. Accomplish the tasks that God has pointed out.
  3. Trust. Believe that what still needs to be done can be worked on tomorrow.

My times are in God’s hands.

Question: How do you start your workday?

Psalm 31-14-15a

The One Key to a Successful Day

This is my to-do list for today:

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Dust furniture
  • Do grocery shopping
  • Finish this blog post

Some days my to-do list is longer. Some days it is shorter. But on all days I tend to think that I am only successful if I have been able to check off everything on that list. I give myself a pat on the back if I am able to finish all the tasks I set out to do.

But I read something today that challenged my definition of a productive day. Read this from the devotional Jesus Calling and hear Jesus’ voice speaking:

Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day.

If you’re a Type A person like me, that probably stops you in your tracks. Too long I have tied success to the idea of being productive. But what Jesus really wants us to do is to turn our attention to Him.

Proverbs 3:6 tells us:

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (MSG)

Even as we are cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming the living room we can mentally put ourselves in His presence.

Even as we are wiping a child’s dirty face or doing the laundry we can  feel His love.

Even as we are peeling carrots and stirring the macaroni and cheese we can listen for His voice and feel His presence.

God is changing my definition of a successful day.

A successful day is not necessarily one where everything on my to-do list is checked off. A successful day is one where I have kept in touch with God moment by moment.

Question: What is your definition of a successful day?


 original photo credit

When You Wish You Could Actually Buy More Time

eccl 3-1

Picture it. A new store opens up. The sign in the window reads. “Time for sale.”

The store would always be busy. The line would be around the block. No matter how bad the recession got, people would be clamoring to purchase more time!

But… there are no dollar stores where you can purchase a jar of time. No time boutiques where you can buy an hour neatly gift-wrapped. No drive-through where you can pick up a couple of minutes when you really need them.

So I need to learn to use the time I have wisely.

This means learning to prioritize.

Now that we are back to fall schedules I am finding my calendar is getting more jam-packed each day.

Because it is so easy to say yes to too many things, I need to remember what is really important in my life. Before taking on a new responsibility or activity I need to ask myself, “Can someone else do it?”

I will never be able to do everything that other people want me to do. I will never even be able to do all the things that I want to do. (It is somehow freeing just to write that and take it in.) But God will give me time to do everything He wants me to do. And there are certain roles in this life He has given me that only I can do. Those are my priorities.

For instance,

  • I’m the one who is responsible for my relationship with God.
  • I’m the only one who is John Fritz’s wife.
  • I’m the only one who can be mother to Anna and Nathaniel and mother-in-law to Nate.
  • I alone can be maternal grandmother to Aaron and Andrew and Alexander.

These are my unique roles–these are my priorities.

Even though I can’t buy more time for the things I’d like to do. God will give me enough time to do the things He has called me to.

Question: What are your unique roles?


Make Over Your Schedule Part 1

Summer is over. For many of us that means back to school, back to our usual routines, back to the full schedule of after-school activities, Bible studies, and ministry commitments.

It can also mean overload! 

It means my schedule needs a makeover!

I’ve been thinking about Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90:

“Teach us to number our days aright,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (verse 12)

And I’m starting September with my own prayer:

Lord, thank You for the season of summer. This has been a season of growth for me. Not only did the flowers in my garden grow, but a deeper awareness of Your love and grace blossomed in my heart. 

Now Lord, a new season has come and I want it to be a productive season, but when I listen to the voices around me, I am overwhelmed. The health experts tell me I need to spend an hour every day exercising. The time experts tell me I need to spend time every day evaluating my schedule. The marketing experts tell me I need to take full advantage of social marketing. But Lord, let me tune out all of the other voices and listen to You.

Give me a heart of wisdom. How do You want me to number my days? What do You want me to accomplish? Which direction do You want me to take?

Help me establish a schedule that reflects the priorities You have for my life–time with You, time with my family, and time to share Your love and grace. Give me a clear vision of your plan for this season of my life. Enable me to make over my schedule in order that I may accomplish what You would have me do and not necessarily what I want to do.

Lord, my heart cries out. I don’t want to waste the time you have given me. Thank you for Your wisdom. I praise You for Your unending supply of love and grace.

photo credit