Week Two: The Simple Series

WEEK TWO: Simplify Time
by Jenica McMaster of www.delightfulmomstuff.com 

How many times have we heard “you have to be selfish with your time?” What I am suggesting today, in this world of “too busy,” is that we DON’T need to be selfish with our time. We need to be intentional with our time. There are way too many opportunities to be busy and I believe it is a daily struggle to fight the “busy” and be intentional with how we spend EACH day! But selfish? I do not see anything in scripture to tell me I need to live a life where “time” belongs to me. The thing about being a mom is that we don’t only have to fight “the busy” for ourselves, we have to fight it for our kids and spouses as well. In my family of 5, it doesn’t take very many individual commitments to make our family feel like chaos. I constantly need to evaluate our schedule and choose where we will invest our time and what needs to be cut from the schedule. The definition of invest is to “devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” In our home that “worthwhile result” should bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-25) and if it doesn’t, it needs to be declined. 

Here are eight questions to ask yourself before making a commitment with your time: 
  1. Does it line up with the will of God according to the scriptures? 
  2. Am I striving to please God or man? 
  3. Am I saying “yes” out of fear that the person who asked would be angry?  
  4. Will it bear fruit? 
  5. Does it utilize my gifts and talents? 
  6. Is the motivation love and service or guilt and fear? (DO NOT say “yes” out of a place of guilt- that would be a sign that #1 is not in line- guilt is not from God)
  7. What sacrifice will my family and I have to make in order to keep this commitment? 
  8. Is this a commitment I am able to keep? (We need to make sure we practice and teach our children that when we make commitments, we keep them.)

For this week in The Simple Series we are not asking you to eliminate anything from your schedule. Instead, we will evaluate how we are investing our time, so that we might simplify and focus on the things that matter most! 

SUNDAY: Service- Take this day and focus on where you are serving. Scrub your list with the questions above. Is there something you need to step away from? Is there somewhere you need to engage? If you are not currently serving, identify one place where you can use your gifts and talents for the glory of God and His people (Ephesians 6:7). We are meant to serve others. Churches are literally desperate for people to serve in all areas. It is great for your kids to see you serve and serve along side you. 

MONDAY: Priorities- Make a list of your top 3-5 priorities. Have your spouse and children (if they are old enough) make a list as well. This list could be focused on short-term, long term or seasonal priorities. How can we arrange our time to invest more in these priorities? What can be eliminated from the schedule to focus on these priorities?

TUESDAY: People- Who am I investing my time with? We must be filled up in order to pour out! Am I encouraging others? If not, call or send a note to someone to encourage them today. Be intentional about investing in others. Is there someone who I need to set healthy boundaries with? Is there a relationship I need to make a greater investment in? Am I making a greater investment in people online than the people who are flesh that God has placed around me in this season? This might also mean reconciliation, who do I need to free my mind and spirit from? Has someone hurt me and that is preventing me from making an investment in other people? Live in the freedom of forgiveness, do not let the bondage of unforgiveness steal your energy, joy and time. 

WEDNESDAY: Passion- Identify 1-2 things that you are passionate about (a hobby, career, studying the word, etc..) and be intentional about setting apart time to pursue that passion. What is on your schedule that is robbing you from your passion? (could time on technology be robbing you from something?) This applies to our kids as well. maybe their 15 activities need to be simplified to just two that they are really passionate about. Maybe they need to turn the technology off and discover what it is they are truly passionate about! Let’s not force the passion on our kids, let God instill that in their bones! Finally, if our husbands have a passion for something outside of work, lets give them guilt-free opportunities to schedule those things. 

THURSDAY: Peace- Schedule a quiet time today. Maybe this requires a babysitter, maybe this requires a child swap with another mom, maybe this means heading to a coffee shop or a quiet place when your husband gets home from work. I have to force myself out of the house sometimes in order to have some peace with the Lord. When I am home I look around and see tasks (or a “task” is barking at me!). I am always filled up when I take the time to get quiet and listen to what the Lord desires for me. It is NOT selfish to carve out peaceful time, it is necessary! 

FRIDAY: Family Life- Evaluate your household- is there healthy balance? Is it a kid-focused home? If so, how is your marriage? Is it an activity-focused home? If so, how is your peace and energy level? Is it a social-focused home? If so, how is the quality time pouring into your kids and spouse? Is it a task-driven home? If so, how is the fun, the relaxation, the creativity going? Take this time and evaluate what you can add or remove from your schedule to find more time to invest in your family! 

SATURDAY: Maintenance- take this time to focus on the investment we are making on personal maintenance! Am I living a healthy lifestyle? (eating healthy foods, exercising, going to the doctor, dental appointments, checking out the moles and lumps that come with age!) Do I feel good about my whole self? Not according to the world’s standards, but to God’s standards? Am I self-absorbed or have I completely let myself go? God “fearfully and wonderfully” made YOU. His desire is for you to be confident in who you are and to take care of the temporary temple he gave you. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” Evaluate how you are maintaining your temple on the inside and outside. You do not need to look like the Hollywood stars to be beautiful. You need to maintain yourself in a way that you feel confident and beautiful and someone who is proud to say “I am the daughter of the King of the Universe and He does not make mistakes.” 

I pray that this week will allow you to reevaluate and adjust how you spend your time. It is a battle to fight the “busy” and not to just fill the time- but to take each day and invest our time with the “expectation of a worthwhile result”!!! 

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