Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shopping for Time - Part 1

Shopping for time: How to do it all and not be overwhelmed, by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore and Janelle Bradshaw

Part 1 of 2

This very helpful little book is written by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters, also known as the girltalk bloggers. It is <100 pages, very easy to read, and sets up some good principles for how we prioritise things as women. There is a tendency in it to talk in relation to marriage, but it is equally relevant to women of all ages and stages. I found myself reading it realising that it would have been good to think about these things when I was younger, before life got so busy, so that I was more pro-active in those years.

There are 5 key ideas in it, the first two of which I will cover in this post:

1. Rise early. They call this the 5am club. The idea is that you get up early, so that you have time to spend in God's word at the beginning of the day.

When I first read this chapter I really fought against the idea. After all, my youngest is already up at 5:30am and that seems early enough to me. However the more I have thought about it, I have realised that on the days that I am up early on duty (rather than the one who gets to sleep in) these are the days that I am more organised and prepared, both for the morning rush and for the entire day. I have realised that once all my children sleep or stay in their rooms till a normal hour (which I feel is 7am), I am someone who would like to get up early in the morning and get started on things for the day (although I may settle for 6am, rathan than 5!). I don't think personally that I can read the bible or pray effectively early in the morning, but I can certainly get other things done, so I can clear time to spend with God later in the day.

I did have one major hesitation with this suggestion however. I think it is actually a higher priority to have time for my husband in the evenings. If I choose to get up so early that I am exhausted in the evenings, I am actually doing my marriage a disservice.

They were very careful to say there they are not making a law here, and you have to figure out what works for you personally:
The 5am Club is founded on principle rather than practice. The question isn't, "How early do you get up in the morning?" but, "Does your daily schedule reflect your priorities: seeking God at the outset of the day, romancing your husband, and serving your family?' The purpose of getting up early is to make the most important priorities most important (p36)

2. Sit still - sit at Jesus feet, seek him through his word and prayer. The model here is Mary rather than Martha (Luke 10:38-42), and having a willingness to listen to Jesus' teaching, rather than trying to do everything ourselves.
Because of his death of the cross for our sins, we have the privilege to sit at the feet of the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace and to listen to him (Isa 9:6). What marvelous access!

As if it weren't enough to simple bask in his presence, it is here than we receive grace to make the best use of our time. When we seek God through his Word and prayer, we glean wisdom for walking carefully. We obtain guidance for daily decisions. We find peace in the midst of life's whirlwind. We are infused with strength to complete our tasks. (p41-2)
They give helpful tips about how to get started reading God's word more regularly and some resources that one could use. I know I have found the M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan invaluable for me this year. I have kept to it since I started in May (it's previously unheard of for me to keep to the one same system for 5 months!)

The next 3 tips were extremely helpful and challenging for me, and as they may require a bit more thought, I will post about them next week in Part 2.

No comments: