Category Archives: Time

6 Month Check-Up.

Posted by Jenni Clayville.

Calendar_0The Clayville Family life is run by google calendar. It’s the best thing since the internet was born by Al Gore. It’s the only thing that allows all of us to run in all different directions but always end up on the same page.

Genius!

I guess it also helps that I am an organizer. I find peace in organizing. I find joy in shelves, baskets, storage containers, label makers, and spread sheets. I believe these things are from God. And God is good.

One of the ways I take advantage of these systems is in how I make appointments. I just came back from my 6-month dental cleaning and check-up. My teeth feel smooth and squeaky clean. I love the dentist. I love them so much that I schedule my appointments two at a time. Yes. I’m on the books for the following year so that I KNOW I don’t have to wait for a space to “clear up” or end up on a waiting list. It’s not just the dentist that I do this with. It’s ALL my appointments.

But really, the biggest reason is so that can make sure I am intentional about my health. Life gets busy. I know myself. If it’s not on my calendar, it’s very possible that 4 years flies by before I realize I haven’t “checked in” and that’s how diseases find their way in and fester. Without intentional scheduling, I will fail to doing something, seeing someone, following through with a promise, etc. I want to be good on my word. Which brings me to what I really want to say…

I need to be as adamant about relationships (making a point to spend time with people, checking in, following through, being consistent, etc.) with friends, ministry leaders, and those that serve within my ministries. They matter more than a dental appointment. They are my community…and at times…my lifeline. They are imperative for my mental, emotional and spiritual health. So often, as leaders, we get caught up in our own world and write off these relationships with a “Oh… they’ll understand how busy this season is. I’ll see them in a couple of weeks.” and the next thing you know, FOUR years goes by.

We can’t do that. People are not our means to an end. People are what God gave us to reflect His relationship with us.

Make time. Today, tomorrow and next week. Make time now.

How do YOU make sure you don’t fall behind in the time you invest in people?

When to say yes.

Posted by: Jessica Cornelius

calendar

How do you know what to say ‘yes’ to? This is one of the questions many women that live busy lives continually ask. After meeting with several godly women in ministry, this is some of the advice they have given.

1. “ I should have said no to the things I could have said no to.” This statement came from someone who is much further along in ministry than all of us. I value her wisdom because she is at a point in life where she can look back at where most of us are now. Learning from her warning is better than learning the hard way.

2. Before you say yes to anything, think through everything it is going to take to make it happen. Look at your calendar and see what you have going on before and after the particular event you are being invited to. Looking at the invite from a broader perspective will help you see if you are going to have the energy and time to fit the event into your schedule. Of course, we all think we can say yes when we just look at the event isolated from all of the other things we have to do.

3. Don’t say yes when you are tired or rushed. You won’t make good decisions.

4. Check your motives. Make sure you are being governed by the Holy Spirit, not guilt or people pleasing.

5. Give of your time cheerfully, not with resentment. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” This verse also applies to the giving of our time.

Ask yourself if six months from now you will be glad you said yes. If you can tell you are going to be dreading the fact that you said yes, every day until the day comes, do not say yes! You will rob yourself of so much joy just by thinking about how mad you are that you said yes.

How do you know when to say yes?

I blame my schedule!

Posted by TIffany Cooper

Last week we started to discuss why we blame ministry for our misery. I know, sounds like a downer of a topic. I’m a little sorry about that, not completely though. Many of us have had those moments when ministry is not our friend. So let’s go a little deeper into one of the common areas we unfairly place blame on ministry.

Blame: We never have quality time together.

Ministry is an all-encompassing call. It involves teaching, leadership, staff, budgets, vision casting, counseling, equipping leaders, problem solving, conflict resolution, volunteers, and so much more. Bottom line, it takes a lot of work!

I believe that we should work hard. The Bible instructs us to work 6 days and rest on the 7th day. Ministry can definitely fill all 7 days a week with work. As followers of Christ, we should be obedient to God’s instruction and rest on the 7th day. The question becomes, is the lack of rest and family time a legitimate work related issue or our lack of planning and boundary setting.

(Side Note: This post is not about separating family and ministry time. It’s about those instances when ministry schedules suffocate healthy family time.)

So, how can we evaluate whether we’re unfairly blaming ministry for our lack of family time? Here are a few thoughts to start with…

  • Are you expecting your spouse to meet the needs that only God can fill in your life? Your spouse cannot be God to you. It’s unfair to place those expectations on them; your spouse will fail at being God every time.
  • Are you living in a fairytale world? Do you expect to always have the perfect amount of family time with all of the members fully engaged? I suppose that would be nice but that’s not the real world. Even the families who have great family time understand there are season that require more personal investment.
  • Are you being specific about how you will make family a priority. Just wanting family time won’t make it happen, you have to work at it. Each family has different dynamics, decide what works for your family and commit to it. It’s unfair to blame the ministry for your lack of planning. Talk about it, commit to your plan, get it on paper and do it! Be sure to re-evaluate and make changes, very few things work perfectly the first time.

I do realize that there are ministry situations that you can’t control. Start by evaluating your schedule.

  • If you’re setting your own schedule.
    1. Are you filling your schedule with unnecessary events?
    2. Are there ways you can work smarter instead of harder?
    3. Are you only scheduling ministry events? It will help if you also schedule family times too.
    4. Are you a non-schedule person? If so, you will have to be even more vigilant to not let ministry related events take over family time.
  • If a boss or leader is setting your schedule.
    1. Communicate your schedule concerns with them.
    2. Do not attack. Commit to listen to them. Don’t get defensive; simply express what you would like to change.
    3. Don’t just ask for a change, come with possible solutions.
    4. Suggest a trial period for your new schedule.
    5. Understand that you might not get what you want.
    6. Maintain a good attitude.
  • Reminder: We should work hard. Personally, I am completely happy with my family time. My husband shows that our family is his priority with his words and his time but he also works very hard. He works 40-60 hours a week depending on the season of ministry.

It’s said that your ministry will only be as healthy as your family. At some point, your church will suffer if you’re family is suffering. It’s my desire that you would experience the joy of a healthy family!

Let’s talk! What does your family time look like? Do you have some helpful suggestions for maintaining a healthy schedule? Thoughts?

I Have Limits…

Posted by Brandi Wilson

It’s that time of year again… school is back in session and you know what that means? ROUTINE has once again entered my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of summer break and really hate to see my kids head back to school… but after 9 weeks of chaos my soul is craving a schedule.

For me, the comfort of routine also brings along a dangerous sidekick… overcommitment. Yes, my kids are back in school, we’ve been on study break from church and I’m somewhat out of the loop so I get caught up in the “freedom” and say “YES” to anything that sounds like it might be halfway fun.

But this year as we head into fall I’m proud to say I’ve done a little better than I normally do.  You see, I was quite convicted after reading this post by Kerri.  I don’t naturally create margin… I stuff margin full until it’s ready to pop.  But there have been some big opportunities come up in my life the past year and I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries.  I love the Webster’s Dictionary definition for boundary – a line that marks the limits of an area.

I have limits.  (Kinda feels good to say it outloud).  And in order to really focus on what I love doing, what I feel gifted to do I must be aware of my limits.  In order to say “Yes” well I also have to be willing to say “No” well.  So I’m making some changes.  I’m leaving some regular open blocks on my calendar.   I’m using different guidelines as I accept or decline an opportunity.  I’m evaluating levels of importance with my regular commitments.

Your turn… any “limits” you’ve established in your life lately?

Creating Margin … Part 2

Posted by Kerri Weems.

She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].  Proverbs 31:20 (AMP)

To create margin in our lives, we have to decide what is taking up financial, emotional or calendar space and eliminate what is no longer effective. When non-essential things are eating up our personal capacity, we will never reach the potential that is ours in Christ. But the reality is that the responsibility for making those changes that lead to greater margin and peace in our lives rests completely with us. The problem is, that sometimes it seems to easier to stay stuck in a comfortable, yet ineffective, way of doing things. Change just seems to be too daunting of an undertaking, so we just ignore those areas of our lives that are bringing stress and hope they will just go away. But it just doesn’t happen like that. At the end of the day, the most important person you can lead is yourself. If you don’t take the initiative to create margin in your life, no one will!

If you are running on empty with no margin here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • If there were three things I could get rid of and I knew it would not make people angry or disappointed, what would they be?
  • What are the top three changes I would like to make? What do I perceive as barriers or obstacles to making those changes? How can I remove those barriers?
  • What things am I investing in that are not aligned with my goals for my family, ministry, and personal life?
  • What steps can I take to make changes, big or small, that will help me invest my energy in things that truly pay off in life?

Everything we decide to change in life requires that we exert energy in one way or another. It takes energy to stop the forward motion of one system and redirect our efforts toward a new thing. Things that were a perfect fit in one season of life can actually become dead weight in the next season. It’s these dead weights that we need to get rid of. Many times the biggest barrier to our happiness is actually our own fears and mindsets. We are afraid to disappoint people. We are afraid of what others will think. We are afraid of failing. We are in a habit of negative thinking. We see ourselves as less capable than we truly are. We underestimate the value of our influence in church and home.

If you find yourself in need of making changes in your life that will help you create needed margin, I want to encourage you. God is for you — He is not against you! He wants you to be full of the fruit of the Spirit. He wants you to have time to seek Him. He wants you to like church again (Gotcha! Been there before!). He wants you to have meaningful relationships. He wants your marriage to be strong and your children to love Him. Romans tells us that if God is for us who can be against us? With God on your side, what are you waiting for? You have all the power you need to live the life He’s called you to lead!

Thoughts?