Today I find myself enjoying one of my favorite weekends of the year. My husband is attending his annual Shepherd's Convention (yes, you read that right. All sheep, all day long), and I am currently sitting in a hotel room, all by my lonesome, with five hours of pure, uninterrupted bliss waiting for me to relish and and fill up with all sorts of "me-time" pasttimes. Do I want to lose myself in some TV that has nothing to do with Dora or an Imagination Mover? Sure, why not? No one will object! Or, perhaps I want to take a nap! What a concept, falling asleep without one ear and one eye half open just waiting for a determined child to rouse me from my semi-slumber. Or maybe I'll read the book I brought along! You know, the one about absolutely nothing that I've had in the bookcase for months now but have always been guilted into replacing with the latest "parenting self-help" guide, or the well-meaning literary classic which is sure to stimulate the few brain cells my children have not destroyed. Or! Maybe I'll hit the local mall! This option really scares me, as it's been eons since I've been unleashed sans kids in any form of a retail establishment. I may just lose all concept of time and eventually wander out, eyes blinking against the natural sunlight, three or four days from now.
But before I do any of that, I want to ask you a favor. As I sit here, pondering the person I have become as a result of 2009 and thinking ahead to what this next year may have in store for me, I face an incredible desire to just do everything different. To erase my slate and start fresh. To banish my old ways of doing things and charge ahead with new resolve to be a better wife, a better mother, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, and a better Christian. I feel as if 2009 was a year spent almost entirely within myself, and I want out. I'm sick of focusing on me, and want instead to love those around me intentionally, love them well, and love them without feeling as if I am entitled to something in return.
I'm planning on taking this total makeover slow, as a complete turn-around is bound to take me awhile, and the first goal I have made for myself is time-management. I want to learn how to schedule the time I have been allotted with purpose. Our God is a God who loves order, and I want to best seek out what that means in my day-to-day life.
So, I'm wondering... do any of you out there have any secrets you'd be willing to spill on how you structure your days? How you balance time with the Lord, time with family, time with friends, and time for yourself? Any juicy tidbits that make your daily planner look more like an actual day-job and less like a Jackson Pollock painting? Please share, inquiring minds want to know. :)
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day seeking out the best way to devote the day-to-day of my life to you. So many nights I go to bed feeling as if the hours you have given me with my children, my husband, and with You have been completely wasted. The hours turn into days, the days turn into weeks, and more often than not I feel as if I have not contributed anything worthwhile to my family or to Your kingdom. I am selfishly hoarding my life, and no one is benefitting, least of all me. I want to make my time here count, Lord. I want to be the wife who supports and encourages her husband to be a godly man, the mother who daily instills in her children the passion for knowing and serving You, the friend and neighbor who cannot help but point to You in all I do and say because I am so full of You that nothing else is capable of coming out of me. But I need to start small, Lord. I've tried to skip the baby steps before and understand now that a relationship with You takes work. Alot of work.
I ask You to help me organize my days so that they have meaning. Help me recognize the importance and practice of beginning and ending my waking hours with You. Guide my seconds, my minutes, and my hours so they flow smoothly, and so that I may be a good steward of this season You have given me. I'm only here for such a short while, help me use this small interval of time to make a lasting impact on Your world. Let me make a mark which will reverberate eternally in the lives of those around me.
Get me off this hamster wheel, Lord, and open my eyes to clearly see the path you have set out before me. Lead me as I put one foot in front of the other, and as I relearn how to every moment watch and wait for You to guide me into the next one.
I am Yours, Lord. Change me, mold me, use me.
In Your Name I pray,