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

6 Time Management Lies Christian Women Believe

6 Time Management LiesToday’s post is by Melanie Wilson, a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mother of six! Find out more about her at the end of the post.

#1  I’ll remember that

I have a really good short-term memory. I can memorize information for a test and do well, for example. But if my son asks me to buy deodorant, my friend asks if I want to do lunch, and my husband tells me I’m in charge of taking the kids to tennis, I won’t remember. I have to write it down and set up reminders as well.

I know I’m not the only one who forgets. The Israelites constantly forgot what God said and got into trouble. The truth is, we not only need task reminders, but the reminders that come from regularly reading God’s Word.

#2  I don’t have enough hours in the day

I have often been guilty of saying I don’t have enough time. The cleaning, cooking, and other tasks seem overwhelming. Yet God has blessed all of us with 24 hours of time each day.  Would He give us more to do than could be accomplished with the time we have? I don’t think so.

God doesn’t overload my to-do list; I do. To make sure we’re doing His work, we have to go to Him every day in prayer. He promises to give us the wisdom we seek. When we’re done trimming the list, we’ll find we have all the time we need to do all He has called us to do.

#3 I’ll get caught up later

One of the things I learned from trying to lose weight for many years is that there will always be a reason to overeat today. We’re very creative at making holidays! The same is true of getting things done. I can come up with myriad reasons why I shouldn’t work on something today.

My favorite reason is because I’ll have more time later. We’ve already established that we’ll always have the same amount of time each day. What we will have more of, if we wait, is work. We should start today, even if we can only spend a few minutes working.

#4 I just need to find the right planner or application

Planners and apps for your phone can definitely help us remember our to-do’s. But they won’t add hours to our day or help us get caught up. If they did, we wouldn’t keep looking for a new one.

The most powerful time management tools are those you already own: paper, a pen, a timer, and willingness to work. Write down what you’d like to accomplish today, set a timer for a reasonable work period before taking a break (5-50 minutes) and get busy!

#5 I’m a procrastinator

As Christians, we would never repeatedly label ourselves a gossip, a liar, or a jealous person. We know that in Christ, we are new creations. The old is gone! But for some reason when it comes to putting things off (which the Bible calls laziness), we are comfortable retaining the label.

Research has demonstrated the power of labels on our beliefs and then our behavior. The more we tell ourselves we are procrastinators, the more we will exhibit lazy behavior. Try on the diligent woman label for a change.

#6 If it is to be, it’s up to me

This has been my lifelong motto and it’s a foolish one. This past year I’ve learned that I am running myself ragged for nothing. My family and friends want to help me; I just rarely let them.

God doesn’t expect us to do what He’s called us to do alone. Moses did this and his father-in-law pointed out that it wasn’t good! When we try to do it alone, we deprive others of the joy of serving alongside us. Today, kindly delegate some of your tasks that don’t have to be done by you.

Reading the Word, praying over our task list, starting today, using simple tools, wearing the right label, and asking for help can combat the lies we’ve believed about time management.

Which of these lies has been the most destructive in your life?

Dr. Melanie Wilson is a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mother of six. She blogs about faith, time management, and homeschooling at Psychowith6.com.

What Time is It?

If you struggle to use your time wisely check out these strategies.

When my oldest grandson was about a year-and-a-half old, he developed a fascination with clocks. He would look up at the clock and ask, “What time is it?” We would answer with the correct time and go on playing with him or eating our lunch.

Two minutes later he would ask again, “What time is it?” We would tell him the time.

Two minutes later he would ask, “What time is it?”

Two minutes later he would ask, “What time is it?”

You get the idea. Aaron was constantly curious about the time.

This week in my Bible reading, I came to Psalm 39. Verse 4 says:

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.

And I was reminded that I need to be like Aaron and pay attention to what time it is.

Now I could tell you strategies for time management. I could share secrets on how to plan your day wisely. I love that kind of thing. I love planning my day and making a to-do list and checking off the finished tasks.

But this post has only two strategies for making the most of the time you have on earth.

First, I need to remember that my time on earth is short. Psalm 39:6 says:

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.

I ask myself, “Am I using my time wisely? Or am I busy rushing here and there–not accomplishing anything important? Am I trying to heap up money in my bank account or accomplishments on my resume–all the while knowing those things are not eternal?

An eternal perspective will make me more aware of how well I use my time.

Secondly, ask God what He wants me to do with my time.

Psalm 39 goes on to say:

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.
 I am silent before you. (v. 7, 9)

In January I sat down and planned my year. I made some goals. I developed a strategy to keep my life on track.

But while goals and resolutions are important, the most important thing I can do is ask God what He wants me to do.

Psalm 39 reminds me that in addition to making goals I need silence. Silence before God is what it takes to hear Him. Silencing my rushing mind helps me to hear what He wants me to do. Silencing my both my fears and my ambitions help me to step out onto the path He wants for me.

“What time is it?”

It’s time to realize that time itself is a precious commodity. I want to spend it wisely.

Question: How do you find silence to hear God’s voice?

 

 

Make Over Your Schedule: Put Your Time in God’s Hands

Psalm 31-14-15a

This 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?

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?