My family moved to Wales two weeks ago. That is a reality I am still having a hard time grasping. This thing we have been working toward for 4 years is actually happening now. God has worked in some amazing ways and our last 2 months have been crazy good saying good-bye to our life in the US and hello to our new life in the UK.
In the past two weeks we have had an ever-opening door on our apartment as we have invited people over and welcomed in teens that need a place to talk and a willing heart to listen. To add to all that crazy goodness, our baby girl started school for the first time this week! A new routine is starting in our home and a new phase of family life.
This past week has been amazing, but very full. I decided I needed to go out and decompress and just spend some time alone. Brian graciously said, “GO!” (I might be a tad bit hard to live with when I get to this overloaded state)
When I need to get my priorities back in line and organize my life, it usually goes like this:
- Go get coffee
- Start with a small project that will give me a sense of accomplishment
So that’s what I did. I took a bus ride to Starbucks and started deleting old photos off my phone – tell me I’m not the only one that waits until I my storage is full to finally delete those photos that have already been on my computer for months. Anyway, as I did this I found a screenshot of a quote that spoke to my heart right where it was at this exact moment.
“Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it. But be intentional about it.”
Generous but intentional. This is my heart right now. I have made “Simplify” my word of 2015. With this I have wanted to be intentional with what I have, spend, eat, and probably most importantly- invest my time in. But I also want to be GENEROUS. Oh, how I want to be generous with my time. It is one of my greatest fears to take this amazing opportunity to live and minister in Wales and live for myself instead of God.
I love my iphone, my laptop, and I love talking- but I think with a pen a paper. So I got out a notebook and got intentional. 6 full pages and a major cramp in my hand later, I had an idea of what guarding my time and being generous would look like.
This was my process:
I wrote “What is Important?” across the top of the first page. I started with God and then moved on to people. Under people I wrote out every name that was important to me. People I wanted to invest time in, people I wanted to impact, people I wanted to get to know better, people I love and people I want God to make me love. Under people came my health, my home, and my personal interests.
After I wrote out everything that I have a desire to spend real time on, I moved on to the next page – “What Do These Priorities Look Like?” The names and things written on the first list were goals, but they weren’t a plan. So on this page I started really dreaming. What would it look like to really put time into these areas? Discipleship, dates, budgeting, letter writing, and many more real tangible ideas.
Then comes the putting it all together step. If I had been at home I probably would have gotten out a wipe off board or some cute post- it notes. But I worked with what I had: paper and pen. So I ripped up little slips of paper and wrote an activity or event on each slip. Then I made a week-long schedule and placed the slips of paper where they fit in the week. I intentionally placed the most important items first and worked through my slips.
Will my week really go as perfectly as I have it laid out right now? Goodness no! But I am taking a step in being intentional but generous with my time.More important than following my schedule, it is my prayer that I let God guide my time this week and make it count. May you have a meaningful week too!