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Sticking with it

When you make it to the other side and wonder how you got there. That is what sticking with it looks like. Sticking with it is sometimes all you have to offer. There are seasons in life where your presence and attention may be all you have left and that is good. I think I have recently went through one of these seasons. I'm not sure if I am out of it yet but, a friend asked me recently what do I do to "restore"? I really was stumped at the question at first but then I said " oh I blog" and as I said that I realized that I hadn't blogged since October. I realized that for the past six months I had just been "sticking with it" in life. I began to realize that although the season had been beneficial and had some great fruit, that for the most part I had been functioning at the end of my rope. As I thought more about our conversation I began to realize that I have learned a few things through the "sticking with it" season. I wanted to share with you what I have learned.

1. God never leaves 

Now, don't get me wrong, if you don't know God through His son Jesus then you don't have the presence of God with you and their are only a few promises of God that apply to you and most of those hinge on your submitting your life to the Lordship of Christ. I learned though that even though a lot of people around me were in stages of transition and even though me and Melissa were 9-10 hours away from family that God never left us. I learned that 2 Timothy 2:13 is a promise for seasons like this when you don't feel too faithful. When you time spent seeking the Father is reduced because you afraid to face some of the realities of life with Christ, it is nice to know that he is faithful when we are unfaithful. I can truly say that even in the hardest times of the past six months that God never left.

2. I've got an awesome wife

I just want to brag on her and how awesome my wife has been. She has been nothing but consistent, strong, and there for me in these past 6 months. I have told her quite a few times that even when all else fails, I've got God and I've got her. I can heartily agree with Solomon in Proverbs 19 when he says that a prudent wife is from the Lord. She truly is a gift from God. 

3. It is worth it

I'd be lying here if I told you that everyday I woke up and thought "man this is worth all this suffering". It doesn't seem like it at all in the hard times. I had to rely on the truth that Paul communicated in Romans 8:18 that the sufferings of this present time weren't worth comparing to the the Glory that is to be revealed to us. I know that in heaven that the Glory we will see will far out weigh the sufferings in this present life. I also now that I've made it to what seems like the tail end of this season, that there is a lot of Glory on this earth in seeing God's kingdom grow. Seeing men and women here at SHSU grow in their in faith is more than worth anything that happened these past six months. Seeing young believers leading their friends to Christ is worth many long nights and early mornings. Seeing young believers digging into God's word and bringing it to meetings to learn more is worth not getting to do activities that "restore" me. I could go on and on about how awesome this season has been. I hope that these points will help you stick with it in the hard seasons of life.

3 Tips for Better Time Management

This is part 2 in a 3 part series: Time: How do I make the most of it?                                         Part 1: 3 reasons you should have a “budget” for your timePart 2: Tips on creating more time or “margin” in your schedule Part 3: How to Budget Your Time and Pitfalls of being to Serious About Your “Budget”

Last week I shared 3 reasons you should have a "budget" for your time. We all know the positives of having a budget for our money and people say time=money so why wouldn't we have a budget for our time? If you want to read that post you can click here.

Today I want to share with you 3 tips for better time management. We both know that I would be lying if I said I knew how to create more time. I think we both also know that there have been some seasons in our life that seemed like we had more time to get everything done than we do now. It may be because of a new job, bigger family, or any sort of other circumstances but, I know if you are like me you probably wonder: Where did all my time go? One of the biggest things I have learned is that our finite amount of time on earth is always a constant reminder that we are humans. I believe a lot of times we read articles like the one you are reading right now because we want to in a small way become more like God. We think if I can just figure out one more trick then I will be able to do it all! Therefore, before we start on the three tips just remember there will never be enough time in the day to get everything done and that should make you worship God because He is infinite and we are finite.                           With that being said, here are the tips:

1. Decide Each Day What are the Most Important Tasks

By deciding each day what has to get done you can focus on the most important tasks first. This is a huge step towards managing your time better. Whether you do this at night before you go to bed or in the morning when you get up try to have a 5 minute meeting with yourself each day and decide on the 1-5 most important tasks for that day. This doesn't have to be just work tasks or even house tasks. On most Fridays my most important task is taking my wife on a date! Because of this on the Fridays that I decide what has to get done or what is most important, I spend my spare time that day planning our date or thinking of special ways to make her feel loved! On the weekend my most important tasks are resting and planning. I have noticed that if I put a priority on those two things each weekend I normally have more time throughout the week.

2. Cut out excess mindless time

I know that sounds some what harsh but it is true. If you need more time each day it probably means you are wasting some good time doing mindless activities. This is a key to failure when working on managing your time better. I wish I could say that I cut all of this out of my schedule but it is really hard. A couple of ways I have found that help me cut this time out is to set a timer on my work. An example would be: I'll work 45 minutes on this task then take a 10-15 minute break. During that 10-15 minutes I can browse social media or check in on sportscenter. I don't have any scientific research but on the experiment that is my life I have greatly benefitted from using a timer on my work. Another way to cut out this time is to schedule in your tv or social media time. Not that all of TV and Social Media is mindless but it often leads to a lot of time wasted. If you schedule in how much time you are going to relax and watch TV it allows you to enjoy it more and know that you are free to relax because it is part of your schedule. Another way is to just take a look at the time you spend watching TV or browsing the internet and asking if it really is that satisfying. If you are like me it normally is unsatisfying and when you turn off the TV or get off your computer your left there wondering where did my time go?

3. Go to Bed on Time and Wake Up on Time

This is probably more of an issue for the younger folks who read this blog. I know for me waking up on time for an important meeting or work responsibility isn't to hard but, if I just need to wake up early to work on things in my life, I usually sleep right through my alarm. One way to make waking up easier is to go to bed at a set time each night. I know this is easier said than done (because I can rarely do this) but even if you just have a target bedtime it helps. I know there are a lot of things in life that keep us up late: kids, work, house chores, friends, community events, etc.. but, I believe if we could cut out the things late at night that keep us up like TV, Social Media, Movies, and, texting or talking on the phone, we could really free up some time in our day. If we could get to bed 20-30 minutes early just 3 times this week we have saved at least an hour of sleep! I know this sounds like your mother talking to you but, It is TRUE!!

In the next couple of weeks try a few of these tricks out and see if you don't have more time to get things done! What are some tips you have found helpful to better manage the time in your schedule?


3 Reasons I "Budget" My Time

This is part 1 in my 3 part series: Time: how do I make the most of it?Part 1: 3 reasons you should have a "budget" for your time Part 2: Tips on creating more time or "margin" in your schedule Part 3: How to Budget Your Time and Pitfalls of being to Serious About Your "Budget"

It is often said that you can tell what someone loves by checking their calendar and pocket book! (not sure how many people actually use a pocket book but you get the point). This is one truth that we all try to disprove but really can't. It is also a truth that many people will take over board and use to make people feel guilty about their life. I'm not trying to do that here. I am just realizing that if I don't predetermine where my time is going to go, I'll end up wondering where it went? I know that this is true because I can't even begin to count the amount of afternoons in college and post-college that I've sat down to watch one show of NCIS, CSI, etc.. and 3-4 hours later I'm left wondering what happened. I also think of the times I've laid in bed at night scrolling through social media or watching tv and next thing you know its midnight or later! Our time can get away from us so easily! In light of that statement and the blunders in time management I have seen in my life I wanted to share with you 3 Reasons You Should "Budget" Your Time.

1. It is the Great Equalizer Time is the one thing that everyone has the same amount of each day. Some people you know may be more wealthy, smarter, have more physical ability, or have more technology at their disposal, but, the one thing you have in common with all of them is you get 24 hours a day. Just like we exercise to gain physical ability or budget our money to grow our wealth, we need to begin to think of how can schedule our time to make the most of it. My first excuse or shot at something that someone else does better than me is "oh they have more time to do that than I ever will". That statement will never be true, everyone around me has the same amount of time as me.

2. It is limited You only get 24 hours a day. No matter how little you sleep or how hard you work or how many Redbulls you drink, you can't add hours to the day. I know we always tend to joke about the people that get more stuff done than we do and we tend to convince ourself that they have more time but yet again we know that they don't! If we only get 24 hours today, we must take time to think about how to use them! Also, if I have the same amount of time as everyone else it allows me to be motivated that I am on the same playing field as them in the arena of time! This should motivate me to schedule my day out and guard against time wasting activities such as mindless social media browsing or TV watching.

3. It is Biblical In Ephesians 5:15-16 Paul tells the Ephesians, " [15] Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." He is telling them to take care of their time! The God of the Universe has been on a mission since the Garden of Eden to redeem His people to Himself! One of the ways we can participate is this redemption mission is to redeem the time He has given us! The days are evil so lets do our best to redeem our time and make our hours on earth count for eternity! We can do this by doing everything we do to the Glory of God! How gracious God is to allow us to be able to do the most simple things like eating and drinking to His Glory!

Check back next monday and I will give a few ways to "create" more time!

Do you Budget Your Time? If So, Why? How has it Benefitted You?