God knows one way we learn best is by hearing the same idea said in a different way. I wrote this blog a couple of days ago deeply from my heart. It is something God is teaching me and it is working in me. When I almost finished I thought—This seems familiar. I looked back at my blog and sure enough, I had written a similar piece on January 3. I am posting this piece, because it is good stuff and maybe the way this piece is written will stick better in your brain. Maybe it will make sense in a way that will bring about change in your life and help you achieve the goals God has for you in 2017.
You know how you start the new year with a new plan, goal, or “word”; and by January 7 the plan, goal, or word is long forgotten? I started the new year with a few plans, goals, and words.
Snatches of Time
My plan is to write more regularly and finish my book proposal by my self-imposed deadline.
My goal is to be more in-the-moment in my relationships no matter whether is a planned time or spontaneous getting together.
My word to carry through on this is “snatches of time” (okay, really three words).
As I wrote earlier this year, my life has become unpredictable and it appears it will be that way for quite a while. Maybe you can relate. Yes, I make commitments to be somewhere and I keep those commitments, but many of my days are irregular in schedule.
I feel strongly that God is not calling me to go with the flow even though the flow may bring all good things. He wants me to purposefully invest my time and resources wisely in the priorities He has given me.*
So how do I stay available when my family needs me, travel to see the kids, or when a dear friend calls, and still accomplish what I know God has given me to do?
First, I know who and what are my priorities*. They get the best of me. It keeps things that are not mine from cluttering my life.
Secondly, I’ve discovered how to use snatches of time. Over time, even a week’s time, much is accomplished. I used to think I had to have at least two hours at a time to write. And that worked when the kids were in school and Gene worked 7AM to 4PM. But now the kids live in three different cities in two different states. Gene still works forty hours a week—from 4AM to noon—and then does home renovations in the afternoon, often working in his workshop at home. My schedule is not as tidy and predictable as it was a few years ago.
To make the most of my snatches of time I needed to look at my day and predict the item on my to-do list that most likely will not get done. I know this because I look back over my past weeks’ list and see what goes undo most often. Then I answer this question:
What won’t get done today that is important?
I move that item to the top of my to-do list.
That means that sometimes the floor doesn’t get swept and dog hair hovers like a low vapor (not quite that bad). That means that sometimes I am in a hurry in the grocery store and I forget something we need so I call on Gene to pick it up for me. That means that my life is not neat, tidy, and controlled. I must rely on God for what is truly important and leave the rest with Him—which is exactly where He wants me to live (John 15:5).
All this leads me to believe that the new normal of unpredictability in my life is exactly where God wants me today. It is in this new phase where I will learn to live in Christ’s presence more than ever before.
*I discussed priorities more in depth in January’s e-newsletter. If you did not get a copy email me and I will send one to you. I also discuss them at length in Princess Unaware.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.