Often I am asked how I find time to do all that I do. Like all of you, am a very busy woman. I am a wife, a mother of 4, a business woman, public speaker, writer, choir member and a volunteer at church.
So today I thought I'd share how God has refined my time management. Not that I have it figured out, but to share as a way to encourage those who have asked me this question time and again.
I have learned that I have to make purposeful choices about my time commitments. I used to struggle with saying no, until one day I realized that even though the words “no” weren’t actually coming out of my mouth, I was actually saying ‘no’ to a lot of things; a lot of important things.
Every time I said yes to a good thing, if I turned around I saw the line of things that I had just said no to so that I would have time for that yes.
Usually the first things in that line behind me was my family and often time with God.
Now when I need to make a time commitment, I ask myself, "if I say yes to this, is it worth saying no to the other things?"
Another technique I have learned is to be sure my time is not so committed that there is no room for God to work. I liken this to a story I once heard from a missionary. He shared how he kept telling his father that he was going to be a missionary but had no passport and was running up debt. His father asked him when he planned on getting that passport and paying off his bills. The son replied that he had time to do that when he had an itinerary for his mission work. The father asked this son, "if God calls you to a foreign mission field, are you going to have to say 'Wait a minute, I need to get my bills paid and apply for a passport?'"
The point the father was making to his son is to not wait until God calls to be ready, but to be ready for God to call.
If my calendar is so full of things to do, I don't have time to do what God might call me to do.
So, the age old advise of starting each day with prayer is the best place to start. And while you are there with Him, ask Him how He wants you to spend your time. He has given to you the time you have on earth, and if He has given it to you, He also knows how He wants you to spend it.
On those days when I feel overwhelmed by the tasks on my to do list, I treasure the gift of being able to ask God, what to do first. Then when that is done, show me what to do next Lord. Do things get left 'undone'? Certainly; but I can testify that when I have asked God to order my day, even the things left undone are taken care of in a timely manner. They just work out that way.
One of my favorite things to ask God when ordering my day is "God, what are you paying me to do today?" God is my provider. From food, to shelter, to everything else I need. If He is providing me and my family with those needs, I have come to realize that ultimately He is 'paying' my way every single day. So why not ask Him, what are you paying me to do today?
So what do you think?