My sun porch

My sun porch

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finding Joy in how I spend my time...

This week's memory verse:

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

I find it fascinating when what I'm reading in my Bible study goes together perfectly with what my small group discussed last night, which plays into exactly what is going on in my life right now! Who said God doesn't communicate with us??

In the last several years, when people ask me how I am, one of my automatic answers is "Busy!" and, if you take a look at my calendar, you would agree. Practically everything I have on my calendar are "good", church activities, my daughter's activities, the occasional date with my husband, lunches with friends...not a whole lot of "free" or "extra" time. I tend to overbook myself...causing stress and worry. I am always worried I'm going to forget to do something, and many times I do!

What if I gave up control of my calendar and my time? What if I asked God to prioritize my activities? Would God guide me to find more balance in my life, while finding joy in every day? It sounds very sounds so easy...but would it really work? HOW do I do this?

Paul gives us instructions on how to do this in Philippians 4:6-7:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." what does this mean? Let me show you how I plan to put this to work in my life. This morning, I got up...a lot earlier than I planned on (recuperating husband needed me) and I spent some time reading my Bible study book, and then I said a little prayer about how I was going to put what I learned into today's blog message.To take this a bit farther...I want to spend just a few moments asking God to take control over my calendar today.

Lord, thank you for helping me learn how to go to you in every situation, even the everyday stuff. I have a lot on my plate today...things to do here at home to care for Tom, and lots of money-related paper work...then I am going back to work after being gone over a week. I ask for your guidance Lord. May I work diligently, but on things YOU need me to do. Help me to prioritize my tasks, jobs and calendar today so I am not stressed out, but do the good work you need me to do. Amen

I have to admit, even though I have gone to church my whole life, praying prayers like that used to seem silly to me. Prayer is good for BIG things, (like car accidents!) but it is silly and "religious" to pray about things like daily activities, right?

Well, I'm learning, through experience, that when I pray over everything...I surrender control over my life, and there is a peace that comes with that. I am ok to say no to something, even if that is a good something. I am able to see what's important and what is not. I'm not saying I am an expert at this...I still see myself making unwise choices about how I spend my time...I am still finding it hard to find time to exercise...I still don't think I spend enough time with my family. BUT, I am a work in progress... God is working in me and on my time. This knowledge is helping me to find joy in my every day life.

That old saying..."everything in moderation," is so true. I can still eat my favorite foods if I eat smaller amounts of them...I can still be involved in things I like to do if I do them occasionally instead of all the time...I can still give my all at work, as long as it is only work and not my life...I can still spend time with my friends, as long as I am speeding time with my family as well. How do I spend all my time and energy in moderation? By giving my time back to God and asking Him to help me manage it. He gave it to me in the first place!

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