Time is a gift that cannot be purchased or returned. It is one of our most limited resources, and therefore, our use of it must be intentional. We are each allotted 24 hours a day. What we do with that time can get us closer to fulfilling God's purpose and seeing His will done. Or, it can be spent spinning out of control, feeling frustrated, unproductive, and exhausted.
why you should be intentional.
I make no claims that this post is going to boost your productivity, result in you spending more time with your loved ones, or be able to achieve the dreams God's placed in your heart. What I share here might help you do those things, but the reality is, we each have choices to make about how we spend our life --- in essence, how we spend our time.
But before I dive into some ways you can be intentional with your time, I want to remind you that you were created in the image of God for good works that He prepared just for you. Whatever this season holds, that truth has not changed. It is easy to glorify the lives of others who are serving God in seemingly amazing capacities - speaking publicly, serving as missionaries, leading organizations or ministries. Those things are wonderful, but they aren't God's plan for everyone.
Don't waste your time with comparison. It is the thief of joy. Instead, invest your time in the things God's given you to do. He will lead your path. Right now, I am reading Lisa Bevere's Without Rival. The constant theme of God's love and supremacy, woven together with the truth that we are unrivaled daughters of the King, is powerful. If you struggle with comparison, I highly recommend settling in with a cup of coffee and this book!
If you just read through all I had to say about being created for a purpose, and God having good plans for you, but don't know what God's plans are for you - take a moment before you continue reading to pray. Ask Him to reveal to you what He's created you to do --- how He's created you to bring Him glory and be in relationship with Him. Ask Him to give you your why. He is faithful, and I am praying now that He would speak clearly to your heart.
Okay, now let's dig into:
ways you can begin being intentional with your time.
I am, by nature, a scheduler. A planner. A type-A. Here's what you need to know: each person and family is different. The bad news: there isn't one perfect or right solution that fits all. The great news: just because something hasn't worked before, doesn't mean you cannot become more intentional with your time. Here are some ways you can be more intentional with your time:
what being intentional with time looks like in our family.
I am total type-A. I love schedules and lists and planners. When our son came home in January of 2016, our neat little schedules got thrown out the window in exchange for the countless appointments. That is a prime example of a season where, even with systems in place, things might be a little challenging.
Thankfully, we've reached the other side of that crazy! Homeschooling six children, with an array of learning styles, while my husband and I work from home requires flexibility. Our rhythms are very different now, and working well for this season.
Time blocking is budgeting time. Instead of having a strict schedule, it's a more fluid approach to assigning blocks of time to things that need to be done. Here's what ours looks like:
A dear friend send me an ibloom planner. It's wonderful for laying out my personal goals and business projects simultaneously so that I can more effectively plan my week. As you can see in the time blocking, I have time set aside for working. By having my projects laid out, I know what my deadlines and goals are, so I can work efficiently. Here's what a week in the planner looks like:
I have seen some colossal family planners. As a list-loving girl, something about that is appealing. However, my disdain for paper clutter supersedes my desire to list all the things! Our family planner is simple, but intentional. My goal was to get the important information in one place so that when life gets crazy (like adding a 2 year old to the family with only 2 months notice!), things are in place for someone other than mom to make sure the house continues running!
Our family planner includes:
This touches a bit on being intentional with space and time, but I thought it worth sharing. The husband and I both work from home now. He's beginning his real estate career, and I'm running this blog while writing books, developing an ecourse, and doing a bit of speaking. Our kiddos are young, and I have to say, our schedules are super simple in not having to run them all over God's creation for extra curriculars! But, we are a busy family. Since there isn't an extra room for an office in our home, we have a command center set up in our room. Since it's part of our bedroom, I wanted it to be as pretty as possible - but it also needed to be highly functional. So, this is what we have come up with:
In the morning, our kids are allowed to get out of their bed and play at 7, but they are not allowed out of the rooms until 8. This allows me time to work. It isn't interruption-free, but it's much easier than governing all six little ones going crazy at my feet as I plug away! We use the OK-to-wake clock to help with this morning quietness. What's the OK-to-wake clock, you ask? Every mom's friend, is the answer, and it can be found on Amazon:
As I write this, I am working on being more consistent with everything I've shared with you! I have not arrived at some incredible destination of having it all together. In fact, I was going to share this post LAST week, but got sick! Life happens. And when life happens and it interrupts our schedule we have two choices - we can begrudge the interruption, or we can embrace whatever we can learn in the moment and be intentional about choosing JOY!
Daily, I am asking God to lead --- and for the grace to follow. Daily, I am praying for our marriage, our children, their education, our businesses, and the people we have the honor of speaking with. Daily, I am asking God to show up in ways only He can to accomplish what only He can do in and through me. And even when I struggle, He is faithful.
How are you intentional with your time? What do you believe you could achieve if you were more intentional? Is there something God's placed on your heart that you haven't found the time to do?
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Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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