This month at CSAHM, we are talking about self-discipline. One area of self-discipline that can be especially challenging for moms is self-discipline with our use of time. When it comes to time, we are all on a level playing field. We each receive the same allotment of time each day; no one has more than the other. Even though I’ve woken to the same number of minutes every day my entire life, I still manage to run out. I always feel like I am running late, not finishing things on time, and having a to-do list longer than the minutes in my day. You too?
Lately, I’ve accrued more and more responsibilities, making my use of time important. Time is something God gives us to steward. He doesn’t even promise past this very moment we are in. Each moment needs to be lived to its fullest and to God’s glory.
Because I don’t want my kids to leave home at eighteen and I realize I wasted all the precious moments I had them. I don’t want to get to the end of my days and wish I had lived my life differently. And I don’t want to enter glory having neglected honoring God with my use of time.
“Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.”
Time, like money, has to be budgeted. Each moment is an investment. Will we invest it in something of value or gamble it away? Will we use it to glorify our Creator and Savior or throw it away on passing whims?
A few thoughts to consider when evaluating our use of time:
1. When someone starts budgeting money for the first time, they keep track of all their spending for a period of time so they can see where there money is going. We can do the same thing with our time. By documenting what we’ve done in the period of a day we can see how our time gets whittled away, one minute at a time.
2. One way to get control over lost time is to limit time wasters. For me, social media is a black hole. I think that I will only spend a minute checking my email and before I know it, I find myself on a social media site, thirty minutes later. We all have our own time wasters, it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones we have and limiting them. I’m learning to set specific times of day when I will be online, as well as taking a break from it over the weekend.
3. It’s important to prioritize the activities and responsibilities in our lives. Not everything on our to-do list is important. My problem is that when something is on my list, I want to mark it off so I spend all day trying to accomplish everything on my list at once. I’m learning to give God my time and ask Him to help me accomplish all that He wants me to do each day. Whatever is not accomplished can wait for another day.
4. When it comes to glorifying God with our time, I believe that people are more important than time wasters, most errands, and even chores. When a friend needs encouragement or a child’s heart needs to be poured into, folding towels can wait, checking email can wait, and many errands can wait as well. Investing into the lives and hearts of others brings God glory, honors Him, and helps build the Kingdom. When I schedule my day, I don’t set it in stone because I know God may have other plans for my time.
5. Speaking of God plans, when we prioritize, budget, and plan our time, we always have to remember that God governs our time. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Our time is in God’s hands and we need to plan our days, acknowledging His will. James says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)
How do you manage your time? Do you have any suggestions of things that work for you? We’d love to hear!