Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
I have had a very long time to consider the question of time management. Nevermind how long, just suffice it to say that a long time ago, I had to manage time in a hit or miss manner. It was only after my kids were grown and out of the nest that I actually sat down and studied this problem of time management. One day when I had too many things to do that absolutely had to be done, the day was half over and I hadn't scratched the surface. I sat down and asked God to manage my time for me. I was very polite and explained exactly what I needed done and why it must be done that day. He was most gracious and helped me get it all done.
Shortly after that, I had to write a Bible study for our women's retreat. It was then that I studied the time management factor very closely. Even though every day has 24 hours, Mothers have the least amount of time than any other member of the family, but mothers seem to get more done than any other member of the family. Now, before any fathers out there get their dander up, I freely admit I am only looking at the situation from a mother's point of view. Anyway, here's what I've come up with...
I. Obedience to the Lord comes first.
A. What does God require us to do?
- Spend time with Him. How can you be friends with Him if you don’t know Him? Putting Him first makes everything else fall into place. This has been proven to me over and over in the past several decades.
- Take everything to Him in prayer. He created the universe and all that is in it—yet His greatest desire is to possess your heart. Allowing Him first place keeps all other things in perspective.
B. What else does God require His children to do?
- Be trustworthy and faithful
He has freely given us all the fruits of the Spirit. It is our privilege to use these fruits and to freely give them. The blessings of this fruit pour over us, through us, and around us when we draw close to God in everything we do. If we let Him be our filter, then our choices are much easier to make. Life will not be easier, but our choices will be.
- Spouse comes second, then children. When our priorities are in order, we are in order, and life is simpler with less stress.
- Remember that the wife submits to the husband and the husband submits to the wife. It is a one way street with two lanes, both going the same direction.
- submission does not mean inferior or subordinate
- submission is a choice to yield to his advice.
C. Obeying God in the small matters leads to great blessings.
- Often God requires obedience in things that seem insignificant or irrational. A ship cannot have two captains. A Christian cannot have two masters. Being a slave to Him actually means great freedom!
- Obedience allows Him to demonstrate His power. He is still in the business of miracles
- Obeying Him brings a better understanding of Him and ourselves.
- Obedience in the small matters brings dramatic changes in our lives thus changes the lives of our families. Disobedience affects everyone.
D. Nothing is worth missing what God has planned for you!
II. Heart attitude determines mind attitude.
A. Ministering to the needs of family promotes love in the home.
- Trim away the fat of self
- Put to death the earthly desire
B. Physical activity promotes good health and sense of well being.
- Working with hands keeps the body out of trouble and creates finished projects which create a nice sense of well-being for something well done.
- Sense of well being defeats depression.
C. Thinking things through and bringing them to God promotes success.
- Worry over nothing, bring everything to God in prayer.
- Making provisions for the future eliminates worry about the future.
- Decide what the worst case could be.
a. then make a plan... decide what could be done if worst case happens
b. if nothing can be done about worst case—why worry about it?
c. if you can do something about worst case, then do it—only if it happens!
d. after deciding what to do about worst case—forget worry, tuck your plan in yuor hat and move on!
III. Have a PLAN! Chickens only flail about because they don’t have a HEAD.
A. Recognize if you have procrastination tendencies.
- Think about why you delay a duty or chore then address the reason.
- Know that procrastination makes deeper piles for tomorrow.
B. Write down what needs to be done then:
- Assign each task a priority using 1 as most important.
- Break down each #1 task into manageable steps and then follow the steps.
- Assign each task an amount of time to spend on it. When your time alotment is over, reassess your task. Once you've done this a while and this has become a habit, you'll be amazed that you can guesstimate the time required almost to the minute.
- Line off each task as they are completed. This gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
- You'll be tempted to do this in your head. Don't. Use paper and pen or your computer. This is because you'll be able to assess your time management skills progress by looking back at your lists day by day. You will become more an more effecient and will amaze your friends at the huge accomplishments you have... all because you took a little bit of time to organize your day after you've spent some quality time with your LORD.
The blessings and rewards we receive from Refreshment in the Lord are:
- Faithfulness / Fidelity
This is the Fruit of the Spirit. These are our gifts freely given by God but we can only rejoice in them, be enveloped by them and exhibit them if we obey God and follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6:
31What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. 32People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 33Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 34 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.The Message
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She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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