It has been a few weeks since my last post, and I must apologize to my faithful readers. Summer fever has seized me and all I want to do is spend time outside at the lake and in the sun. Here in Minnesota, summer tends to be short, so we make the most of it when it’s here. I don’t anticipate my “fever” subsiding anytime soon, so I will be blogging a bit less frequently as I enjoy this season. Instead of weekly posts, I aim to post every 2 to 3 weeks. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let me get to blogging and tell you all what’s on my mind and what I’ve been up to lately.
Today is day 66, of a 90 day book study that I’ve been doing along with several of the gals from church, “Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be.” (I’ll post a link at the bottom of this page for anyone who is interested). The study is about living the life of a “Proverbs 31 woman” and focuses on a different topic each week, such as godly habits, healthy eating, financial planning, household management, and retirement planning, among several others. It’s much more of a practical book than a spiritual one, which is partly what I don’t like about it and partly why I think it’s good for me to read it. You see, the spiritual excites me; so it’s not difficult for me to focus on spiritual things. In fact, most of my reading is spiritual in nature. However, I often find the practical to be quite boring. Because of this, I tend to neglect some practical things that really should warrant more of my attention. By participating in this study, I’m forced to focus on some areas that normally wouldn’t even occur to me. Is it fun? Not always. Good for me? You betcha!
I’ll be completely honest with you… I have absolutely no plan or desire to implement all of the author’s suggestions. I’m simply taking what I feel is for me and leaving the rest behind. That’s how I believe all studies should be approached. What has been so good about this, is that in thinking about all the different weekly topics, I have evaluated my priorities and made some changes. Obviously, the spiritual (my relationship with God, spiritual disciplines/growth) remains my first priority; but I’ve made room for some of those less exciting, but still important practicalities. Some of the more interesting things that I’ve been exploring lately are physical fitness, learning about developing multiple streams of income and investments. I have also evaluated my priorities pertaining to my involvement in various ministry activities, and how they correlate overall with God’s call on my life. One of the areas where I made some changes was in my creative ministry outlets. I re-prioritized according to what I feel called to the most at this time. Things may change, but for now, they are prioritized as follows: 1) writing, 2) singing/music, and 3) art/crafts.
Prioritizing these areas was a big step for me because I’ve always had a sort of tug of war going on inside with my affections and commitments concerning these three areas of the arts. Now that they’re clearly prioritized, my commitments are unmistakably defined. If a conflict arises, there’s no longer any confusion about which gift to practice. I’ll just focus my energies on the area of greater commitment. Simply put, that means writing (writers group, blogging, working on my books) trumps singing/music (band practice, guitar, piano) which trumps art/crafts (painting, drawing, crafting). Choosing writers group over band practice (in the event of a scheduling conflict) may not always go over well with the rest of the band, but it is really freeing for me to know where I should be focusing my energies. So basically, all of this re-prioritizing has really helped me manage my time more effectively. If you haven’t evaluated your priorities in a while or examined the way you spend your time – especially as it relates to the call of God on your life, then I would encourage you to do so. It is certain to help you make the most of the time you’ve been given.
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16