Time management . . . . a phrase that sometimes makes me cringe!
It makes me think of tasks. All my tasks. All the tasks that don't get done. All the cleaning. All the "good mommy" activities that should be happening in my home.
This quickly spirals to "I'm not very good at this" thoughts . . . . which rapidly leads to gloomy moods . . . . which instantly ruins my day.
Yup, the phrase makes me cringe!
All that changed when I started working through a Bible study called "Becoming a Woman of Excellence" by Cynthia Heald. It was given to me by a veteran missionary wife and I am so thankful for her thoughtfulness.
Over this past year, it has helped mold my attitude in my home. It has helped me find perspective!
In a nutshell, the book unpacks the worldly view of excellence vs the Biblical view of excellence.
Worldly view- excellence is accomplishing TASKS with a high degree of proficiency.
Biblical view- excellence is pursing the highest or best in; Godly virtues, Godly knowledge, striving towards holiness
Wow! What a difference between the two.
I found myself asking, "Do I have a virtue that I would be 'excellent' at? Am I more concerned with having an excellently, clean home or excellent meals for my family? Do my children see me wanting to be excellent in the Godly management of my home, or just be excellent in the tasks I do?"
Philippians 1:10 "So that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ."
God's things are excellent! Striving to center my tasks around His will produces excellence.
This lifted a huge burden off me. The burden to perform and live up to expectations that aren't fulfilling. It took some restructuring of my priorities. I had to "relabel" what an excellent day looked like to me.
Before, being excellent in my day meant; clean house, home schooling accomplished, healthy meals cooked, missionary admin taken care of, blah, blah, blah. I would come to bedtime and feel if all of the above items were in order then I had managed my time well, accomplished my tasks, proved excellent at my job.
Now (and this is still a work in progress), I come to bed and reflect on my day; was I patient with my children, did I demonstrate my husband's love language, did anything in my day point my children to Christ?
Yes, I still clean the house and cook healthy meals, but I don't measure my success or my excellence by my tasks. I'm not striving to finish my "list" by the end of the day, but to practice Godly qualities through my list. Some days I manage, some days I fail. But, the process is so much more fulfilling! The tasks can take on such deeper meaning when they are a means of working on our holiness.
I can choose to demonstrate patience when my children keep interrupting me while cooking.
I can choose to put down my broom and read a book to Natalie when she asks.
I can choose to invite my children into my tasks and take on a teacher role even though I know it will take me twice as long.
I can choose to be joyful even when I am exhausted.
I can choose not to complain.
Accomplishing a list like above is now what makes me smile at the end of the day, even if the broom is still sitting where I left it.