When time is mentioned throughout scripture, it almost always reminds me of how misconstrued our idea of time really is.
Our time on earth is so short. Like a vapor of smoke that vanishes (James 4:14.) My husband is a student pastor of 16 years and often uses a video by Francis Chan to help our students visually grasp our “timeline” of existence as humans. Francis has a lengthy rope that goes from one end of the very large stage to the other and he asked the students to imagine it went on forever. On the end of the rope he is holding there was about 3-4 inches of red tape wrapped around the rope. Francis then explains that the very small area with red tape represents our time on earth. This tiny little portion on a never ending rope? That’s crazy!
You see, as short and insignificant as our time on earth may seem, our entire eternity is decided by it, which makes it incredibly significant. Our lifetime on earth is insignificantly significant – yep, it’s a thing. Insignificant in terms of time as we understand it, but SO significant in terms of the responsibility God has given us while we are here.
As believers with work to do we MUST be good stewards of our time. It doesn’t make sense to be good stewards of our bodies, our money, and our gifts, if we aren’t good stewards of the one resource that is that is the most precious and the most fleeting.
For those of you that don’t know who I am – I have recently been deemed the productivity princess. But let me be real, that would have NEVER been my nickname a few years back. Think of the best weight loss transformation you’ve ever seen or the best Fixer Upper renovation Chip and Joanna have ever completed and that’s me – but my before was a hot mess-unorganized-always late-busy body, and my after was… well, the productivity princess.
My transformation came from a constant feeling of conviction though, it was a total heart hurt that I was feeling. It wasn’t like mom guilt, or the normal overwhelming about to lose my mind feeling that I had experienced before. This was straight up conviction and God wanted my attention.
See, I am an entrepreneur in the most annoying and real form of the word. (Just ask my husband.) I get bored in record time, and I crave new businesses/projects like some women crave chocolate – urgently and often. However, I was drowning and things were not good. My family was suffering, my home was a mess, my brain would not turn off, and my quiet time was constantly interrupted with thoughts of what I HAD to get done! That’s not how Christ intended me to live. That’s not how He intended any of us to live, ladies!
So I began praying that God would release me from something. I had always heard, you have to say no to many things to be great at a few things. I agree with this… but that wasn’t the problem for me. The problem was that I was lazy. I didn’t hold myself accountable to schedules, I procrastinated, and I spent most of my time whining about how busy I was instead of working.
God had given me some incredible opportunities, He laid a successful fitness studio in my lap, two online businesses that were thriving, and then there was the rapidly growing student ministry Kent and I were passionate about. God didn’t release me from any of this! There wasn’t anything I needed to say no to, there were just A LOT of things I needed to do better and the #1 thing was to start being a good steward of my TIME! God revealed to me over the next year what was possible when I worked His way, when I got my priorities straight, and when I labored joyfully. I’m a work in progress and I always will be. The bottom line is that God blesses our efforts when our efforts are to build His kingdom and to do it with ALL our heart, as working for Him! (1 Colossians 3:23.) I challenge you now to do some serious self-evaluating. Are you sinking because there’s too much to do? Or are you sinking because you’re a bad manager of your time? The good news is, both are fixable!
Here are 5 things I did to start this new journey of being a good steward of my time!
- I didn’t allow any task to take residence in my head. As soon as I know a task needs accomplished, or attended, or facilitated, or addressed, I write it down. Either on my Brain Dump list (if you don’t know what a Brain Dump is – find out when the next Productivity Academy is and sign up – it will change your life) or my calendar!
- My quiet times became non-negotiable! Because I write down everything that’s in my head, I am able to focus on Jesus which is honestly the most productive thing I can do with my time! The more you have to do – the more you HAVE to PRAY, ladies!
- I cleaned up and de-cluttered! QUIT HOLDING ON TO STUFF! You can’t take it with you and if you’ve seen one Thanksgiving Turkey made with your kids hand print you’ve seen them all. For real, I’m not saying you can’t be sentimental, but I am saying you can’t be a hoarder.
- I scheduled out my days from morning to night. There isn’t a time I am running around aimlessly. I know what I need to accomplish, I know when I need to accomplish it, and I hold myself accountable to make it happen. **You should know that schedule does include naps, lunch with friends, and trips for mani/pedis. I mean, I’m not a machine.
- I quit worrying about being overwhelmed and doing too much, and just followed God’s callings on my life. He will never take me to a place of chaos. In Him is PEACE, and REST. When I quit trying to decide what I wanted my life to look like, and just took it one day, one step, one prayer at a time, I was able to lose the pressure of getting it all done, and find the joy in accomplishing much to build His kingdom.
Somer Phoebus, Executive Director & Catalyst Queen
To learn more about Somer’s Productivity Academy, click here!