Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RFW: Boxes

Continuing on with my Resolutions for Women (you can read more about that here), I was intrigued when today's chapter was titled "Boxes."  Let me give you a snippet of the wisdom which can be found in this short lesson.

"These boxes...are symbolic of activities of one's life, the various undertakings into which we must invest our time, talent, and energy.  Our tendency is to try keeping them just this way--equally filled with identical amounts of ourselves and our effort.  This, we think, is what balance looks like."  (page 91)

That is exactly how I picture balance!

"But in reality, this is the picture of a woman overworked, frustrated, and exhausted.  A life out of balance."  (page 91)

Umm...Excuse me?

"The way that we achieve balance...is to consider prayerfully God's priorities for us in this current season of life and then rearrange the boxes accordingly--pushing some of them into the background, bringing others to the front.  Into these primary boxes we place the best of ourselves and our effort, while perhaps totally emptying some of the others--at least temporarily--not because they're of any less overall significance but because they're not where we need to be allocating the best of our abilities and attention for the time being." (page 91)

I don't know about you, but the simplicity of this wisdom totally floored me.  I found myself continually shaking my head in agreement as I read. "Yes, this sounds like me....yes....yes....that's me too."

If you have a tendency to spread yourself too thinly, in what kind of state does this typically tend to leave you at the end of the day or the start of a new week?

Worn out, ill tempered, and stressed out.  I am the world's worst for taking on too much.  I've only recently learned to say "no."  During the bible study I am in, I have decided to give up Facebook which is freed up a great deal of my time.  I am still worn out, ill tempered, and stressed out--but it obviously gave me one less "priority" (and I use the term loosely).  Basically, I have realized that I have made unnecessary priorities.    So, my days are slowly getting better.  However, on those days when I spread myself too thinly, it begins my day/week off on the wrong foot.  Unfortunately, I tend to take it out on the people I love most. So, to be fair, I guess you could say it begins their day/week off on the wrong foot too.

Label each box with one of the different responsibilities of your life.  (Add  more if you need to.)  Color in each one according to the level of time and effort you invest.  Compare them and prayerfully consider if your priorities reflect God's intentions for you in this season of your life.

I'll make a list here rather than make boxes.  I'll list the amount of time and effort by percentages, so you'll get the idea.

1.  Family - 40%
2. Church, Growing Spiritually - 15%
3. Work - 30%
4. Learning Sign Language - 7% 
5. Other - 5% (cleaning,shopping, etc)
6.  Blogging - 3%

Wow, Lord.  As I evaluate this list, I almost feel disappointed by the fact that only about 15% of my time is spent going to church or growing spiritually.  This number seems more on the "just enough" side than anything else.  I've always felt as if I pushed my family on the back burner.  As you can see, I have taken off a few semesters from school, which is why school wasn't a box of its own for the list above.  I know that postponing school has been good for my family commitments, and I pray Lord that one day I'll be able to add school back to my priority list.  For now, the majority of my waking hours are spent with my family--and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Another huge time commitment for me is work.  I am so blessed to finally have a job that when I clock out for the day, I can leave work at work.  My new job has been so great for me.  I am loving my new department and work environment.  I am loving working four 10-hr days.  I am loving that my day off, Wednesdays, I have the entire day to myself so I can clean our house or do whatever needs to be done.  I really believe that this change in work environment has been a huge mood booster for me. 

My newest box is teaching myself to sign fluently.  I'm practicing every free moment I get, actually.  For those of you I've asked to pray about this--please continue to do so.

Surprisingly, I do believe that my current priorities reflect God's intentions for me in this season of my life.  I feel that I could (and should) spend more time growing spiritually.  At this time, I believe I am in a season of growth--spiritually and personally.  There will always be room for improvement, but I am content where I am right now with the "things" I am allowing to take precedence in my life.  I am being more intentional about spending my time wisely.  I prayerfully continue to seek Your guidance Lord to direct my steps.  Where I would typically spread myself too thin, Lord, I ask you to humbly remind me of this commitment so that I make better decisions regarding my time, talent, and energy. 



1 comment:

Piper said...

I can't believe the timing of this post.....well... the actual time that I am reading it....a great confirmation of Devin's lesson this morning. Putting things of my life in God's order!
Praying that for your signing!!

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.