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Conviction

Priorities for the modern day woman.

I have been having a hard time of it lately. Not gutt-wrenchingly bad. Just difficult. I find it difficult to stick to my resolve to prioritise my life and activities as I believe God is leading me to. After reading Elizabeth George’s book, I found myself confronted with a “List of Priorities” that knocked my socks off. Was it possible to prioritise my life so simply and live a more satisfying life?

Accorging to Mrs. George, my chief duties, or grand pursuits are (in order of prominence, and preference!):

  1. To love and pursue God.
  2. Loving, helping and serving my husband.
  3. Loving, helping and serving our 3.5 year old bundle of blessing.
  4. Loving and caring for my home (with the focus on creating a high-quality of life experience for my family).
  5. Developing myself so that I have something to give to others.
  6. Loving and serving God’s people.

Taken from E George’s “A Woman after God’s Own Heart”.

But now I regularly find myself standing in conflict with the world. The harder I attempt to follow-through on my list of priorities, the more resistence I encounter. A typical scenario would be where I decide not to meet a friend for coffee because it would be to difficult to juggle the coffee date and be on-time to pick-up our SuperStar from school. Another would be, when given the opportunity, to rather spend time at home with my SAMM than to entertain friends.

But it has been hard. I am social by nature and with an added element of OCD-people-pleasing, I often used to find myself overcommitting to social engagements. And I end up feeling bad…

Let go of the guilt.

“Your priority is not to keep everyone else in your life happy by doing all the things they expect; it is to live a life that is pleasing to God and one that you can enjoy.

Too many people are not living their dreams because they are living their fears. In other words, instead of doing things out of their heart, they do them because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t. “Someone will get angry! I will get left out! People will talk about me!” It is time that you started being the person you really want to be. It is time to reach for your dreams.” Joyce Meyer – Taken from “Confident Woman Devotional”.

My theory is…

that, despite growth pains; my friend, family and colleagues will learn to trust the new “system”. They will learn that I am still committed to each of them despite a shift in focus and priority.

Hopefully they will also take comfort in the knowledge that I now sincerely spend time with them out of desire (NOT guilt) when we do make the time.

Further encouragement.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.  And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.”

Ps 37:4-6 AMP

Thanks for sharing my Cuppa and good luck with your priorities ;)

A woman after God’s own Heart.

Rebellion.

Having read the book “A woman after God’s own heart” by Elizabeth George – most of my nerves screamed in agony and rebellion. I got up dramatically from the couch, twisted my face and balled my fists. That woman – I said – has no idea who I am or what will work in my life. The ideas are archaic and I am a creative soul, an artistic communicator. The book suggests concepts like:

  • Prioritising your relationship with you husband above any other relationship on earth,
  • Making time for your children. Making an effort. Setting time apart without interruption or disturbance.
  • Creating a home that is warm and welcoming,
  • Understanding the needs of your family before giving of your time and energy to your friends, extended family and even ministry activities.
  • Praying for you husband, your children, your friends.
  • Spending time with God so that you will always know that your walk is being directed by Him.

I was upset.

Why?

I am a freelance consultant. I work (and I love the work I do). I have worked at building my business and client base over the past couple of years, diligently working long hours and putting in the effort. I love my SAMM (South African Manly Man, as you’ll get to know him) and our Super-Star (the bundle of energy and toddler wisdom that practically runs our household) and we made “time” for each other whenever we could. We ran from work to swimming classes, met up for dinner, watched the occasional DVD, laughed, played and all and all.

And then I read this book. Man…

We are not in crisis I tell myself. We are perfectly fine. We are happy. We are blessed. So what is wrong?

Next steps.

My 30+ footstomping tantrum subsides and I start thinking – since I am besotted with my SAMM anyway, why shouldn’t I make just a little more effort? And I love our SuperStar, so it shouldn’t be too hard to spend some quality time with her? And perhaps the key-indicator: this FEELS right.

Still not admitting this to anyone (I will resolutely stand as the final rebel, the modern woman who would not be swayed by the apron-wielding matriarchs before her) – I put some new “rules” into play in our home.

  • I make time first thing in the morning for a cuppa with my SAMM. Even if it means I need to get up a tad earlier.
  • I pray for my SAMM and his daily activies.
  • I pray for our SuperStar and her day at pre-school.
  • I pack the lunch-boxes (and add treats and special messages from my heart).
  • I cook dinner (simple menus, simple dishes that are quick, easy and delish)
  • I set the table. We laugh and talk. We know more about each other now than ever before.

And I realise…

that I have, without fail, seen the best results in all my life’s relationships when I invest CONSISTENT, CONTINUOUS effort into the relationship. Prioritising my relationships has not created conflict or discontent as I had feared; instead I find a happy balance.

I have relinquished my sword and traded my battle-armor for an apron (with frills and cupcakes – if you are gonna do it, do it well!) and I am blessed beyond my greatest expectation. My marriage, my parenting and even my business are already yielding the fruits.

From the lady herself.

“I am convinced more than ever, that if I, or you, will follow God’s priorities for us, our lives, as well as the lives of our loved ones and the lives of others who watch us or who are mentored by us, will be forever positively impacted. God’s Word never changes, and you can count on it and live by it. And on top of that, miracles of miracles, when you do, God is honored and glorified.” Elizabeth George, A word about priorities.

the peaceful wife

Helping wives go from hurting and frustrated to empowered, healed, and confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.