I don’t have to say it. For many people, Quarantine, Stay At Home, Safer At Home allowed us to enjoy the far less journeyed path of peace. Let's be honest, some of those canceled events and meetings were exactly what you needed. However, now that we see life around us beginning to reopen, it's necessary for us to find ways to maintain healthy schedules and lives. Let's not end back up in the place where normalcy equates to busy. We have to be intentional about guarding one of the most precious commodities we’ve been given – Time. Here are some practical things I’ve learned about stewarding time and I hope they will be helpful to you.
First things First – Our families, our relationships, and especially our God deserves our very best. The people who matter most should not be given the leftover version of us. What are the nonnegotiable relationships in your life? Guard them as if they were the Queen of England’s jewels because they are valuable and important. When you look at your schedule the important things like quiet time with God and family time should always take priority over ANYTHING else. The first of every day we see should go to God. It sets the tone for everything that follows. We all have to stop and take a cold, hard look at the calendar and make sure who and what matters most are considered first.
Say “Yes” to what Matters– I’ve heard it said that a “Yes” to one thing is a “No” to something else. Think about your day so far. What menial things have we said Yes to? Now, think about what important people or things you said “No” to because of that. Have you said “Yes” to scrolling social media and “No” to working on that thing you've been putting off for days now? Have you said “Yes” to an extra hour of work from home when that could’ve meant an hour of investing in your family? I used to feel like I was disappointing people or letting them down by saying No, but I see it now from a different perspective. When I decline an invitation to a meeting on my day off, I know that I’m saying Yes to peace, rest, and quiet.
Check before you Commit – Something else I’ve learned is that I need to check my calendar before I commit to things. My response to many invitations is often, “Let me check the calendar, and I’ll let you know.” That keeps me from over-committing myself when I shouldn’t. Now when I say check your calendar, what I mean by that is – Check with all necessary parties. If you have a family at home, then check with your husband before accepting that invitation to another virtual gender reveal when you know that’ll be the 3rd time this week that you all have not spent quality time together. It is the little things that will go a long way. Before you say “Yes”, take some time to view your schedule with a broader perspective. While the day may be open and available, that does not always mean that you’re supposed to fill it.
Involve God – Finally, I encourage you to really involve God in the process of scheduling your life. He knows exactly where we’re needed most, so we have to regularly stop and submit every endeavor on our calendar to Him. He is the reason we live, move, and have our being. If we cannot connect the things that we spend most of our time on to God and our purpose, then we have missed the point. Let God help you prioritize and filter what’s most important to Him.