There are 3 areas that I feel I need to be a better steward in: Time, Finances and Talents
TIME: This is a BIG one. I don’t think I’m alone on this one; I struggle with time management. I tend to exhibit many A.D.D symptoms. For example today. I started working on our budget for the month, within 5 minutes I got distracted by a thank you card on my desk, decided that I HAD to start writing my Christmas thank you cards – RIGHT NOW. Then I got distracted by that little red light on my blackberry, flashing to tell me to check my e-mail, so I checked my e-mail (it’s just my friends Barnes and Noble telling me about another sale on DVD’s that I’m not interested in) Then I pop over to my Google reader…read 10 blog posts… call a friend to tell her about something I just read… respond to crying baby… change a dirty diaper… grab a coffee and forget all about the first thing I was doing.
Most of these distractions are avoidable. I’ve got to set up some boundaries in my day/life so that I can focus on the tasks that are important, what blesses my family the most.
Here are a few of the steps that I’m going to take to meet this goal:
Wake up early – get up at 5:30 daily so that I can start my day right, worshiping, praying, reading the Bible and exercising. I’ve joined in the 5:16 club so I have some encouragement and accountability.
Limit computer time – Commit to keeping the computer turned off until Caleb takes his nap.
Cut down on junk e-mail – Unsubscribing to most of the e-mails that I receive from stores will help me to not waste so much time (and money, after being seduced into buying another “thing” that I “must have”) reading e-mails that just are not that important.
Prepare for my day the night before – One of my biggest “time-eaters” is when we are trying to get out the door. Every night I’ll be sure that the diaper bag is packed, my purse and keys are by the door, the kids shoes and coats are where they should be. This should make running out the door a much easier chore.
Go to bed earlier – The more rested I am the less likely I will be to get distracted or feel too tired to move. (of course I’m writing this post at 11:50pm… I’ve really got to work on going to bed earlier!!)
FINANCES: This one is always at the top of our list; GET OUT OF DEBT! Well this year we are going to persevere and do our very best to do this! We’d love to be debt free and the only way to do that is by WORKING AT IT!
The Cash Envelope System – As taught by Dave Ramsey, each week I put the budgeted amount of money in an envelope for each category: Spending, Groceries, Clothing, Gas, Date Night etc. I can see how it’s helping me already.
We’re going to sell, sell, sell – Every and anything that we can find in our house that is unused or unnecessary will be sold on Craigslist.
STOP SPENDING! – Most importantly we are going to gain some self control and learn to be content. (more on this specific point to come)
Get Support – We are going to need accountability and support so we can do this. I’ve signed up at a forum Living Like No One Else. They have a great forum where you can find support, ideas, encouragement and accountability.
TALENTS: I know this one sounds unusual. But this is a personal goal for myself this year. I’ve often struggled not feeling guilty when I spend time doing thing that I enjoy. I tend to feel as though I should be doing something more beneficial for my family. What I never realized was that many of my hobbies are beneficial. Many of the the hobbies that I enjoy bless my family as well as others.
I love to entertain and love to do all kinds of crafts. I also have a lovely guitar collecting dust in our room. I believe that God gives each of us gifts, talents that we can choose to use for His Glory and to bless others. Many times I’ve struggled to justify taking the time to do these things, when deep down I know that it’s ok.
Play my guitar – I haven’t practiced playing the guitar since about my 5th month being pregnant with Claire – when I could no longer hold the guitar because of my giant belly. I know that the kids would love to dance around while I practiced playing and I also know that it would bless our Small Group if I could again lead worship when we get together.
Find regular time to sew: I have a long list of projects that I’d love to work on, especially for this summer. Some outfits for Claire, curtains for our sun room and other projects. These are things that could bless my family and I should make the time for them.
Entertain, less but more: Confusing, I know. What I mean is that I want to choose to have less extravagant LARGE parties this year. But at the same time continue to have simple/intimate parties with friends and family. I’m going with the “Quality over Quantity” idea here. What I love about entertaining is spending time with loved ones’. Yes, yes I LOVE all the planning and preparing, the cooking, baking and crafts… but when it comes down to it, I love my friends, I love to spend time with them and bless them.