Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bookshelves and Blogging

I find it interesting that of my five most popular posts-two of them deal with time and time management. Time is always on my mind, and it seems that other people must think a lot about it too. There is never enough time in the day to do everything you should or would do.

Recently my bff started her own consulting business. She is doing a training class every month teaching needed topics. This month's topic was time management. In her promotion she used the illustration of a bookshelf full of books.
You can only fit so many books on a shelf. Some people have them lined up neatly. Some people have them stacked two of three deep per slot, with still other books piled haphazardly on top of the others.

But, eventually, you can't fit any more books on that shelf-whether you do it in an orderly fashion, or all jumbled together. Some books have to go to make room for others. Even decent books may have to be passed on, or shelved elsewhere, to make room.

I totally understand this-on the book level. I am a book borrower. Mr. Hippie is a book collector. I try to make him  spread around the love via old books before he adds a new one to his collection.

Time-wise, I understand the theory, and even the practice, of the bookshelf. In 24 hours, there is only so much you can fit it. No matter how much you multitask, everyone is still very limited on what you can cram into any one period of time.
a perfect example of how NOT to be=)

Recently, a blogger I follow wrote about how for everything you do, you have to not do something else. For instance, when I am running-for however long that is-I am running. I am not sleeping, or eating, or reading. I may be thinking, or praying, or talking with Mr. Hippie between huffs and puffs. But, I am limited on what I am doing during that period of time.

Sometimes we give up good, or even really good things, in order to pursue our passions or priorities. Again...running. I have been putting in hours every week in preparation for my race.

Some people may consider running a waste of time. Time that could be better spent elsewhere. And, trust me, I realize that I am spending a ton of time running. (that is-relatively speaking=)) I could be sleeping, reading, cleaning, gardening, cooking, or even doing ministry, in that slot. But, I'm not.

QT is another area that is challenging me. Who has time to just sit and read, or nap? There is stuff to do!

We need to evaluate our activities, our passions, and our time. What do you enjoy doing? What do you need to do? How much time can you devote to each thing you enjoy?

The thing with passions is that other people don't always appreciate your passion. They don't appreciate that your passions are taking you away from what they think you should be doing. They think you are wasting your time. Obviously there has to be balance here, as in all areas.

But, my challenge to you is not to evaluate what other people think about how you use your time.
-What do you think about how you use your time?
-Is your time bookshelf crammed to the brim? How can you better organize your time?
-Is your time bookshelf filled with classics and inspiration or fluff and stuff? What time fillers/wasters can you get rid of to do more of the things you are passionate about? More of the things that matter?

I am reading Dan Miller's 48 Days to the Work You Love. I am not employed, so finding a job better suited to me is kind of irrelevant.

But, he shares 7 areas that we spend our time and resources on. These are: financial, physical, spiritual, personal development, family, social and career. Each of these areas require time and effort. Often one area gets far more input than any of the other areas.  When that happens, the other areas suffer, and generally you feel stressed and unfulfilled. All are good categories. All need to be balanced. ALL.

I find that Mr. Hippie and I devote a lot of time to ministry-which would fall into the spiritual category. We have many things we do-all good things-personal study, Bible studies, Bible club, SS, retreat organization, VBS, outreach. When we miss a church meeting-whether an outreach or just a regularly scheduled meeting, we feel guilty and guilted. Our weeks are overshadowed with "ministry".

It is good. But it is not always balanced. I think when you are continually planning all areas of your life around one of these categories, things are out of balance. Sometimes you devote extra time to something, but you should not always be doing that. Balance.

Not only do you not want too many books on your time bookshelf, you also want a good representation of each of these genres.

As I am speaking to you, I am speaking to me. Which is consequently why I am reading this book. (btw-I finished Lincoln last Friday!!! Major accomplishment!=))

Amidst the conclusion of this school year, BC year, and BSF year, I am evaluating and re-evaluating. What is the good use of my time/resources? Better use? Best use? What does God want my time filled with? What desires and passions and skills has He given me? How can I better pursue these in the course of my days/weeks/years/life?

Things need to be continually evaluated, and rearranged. Some things added, and for each of those things-something else subtracted.
Nice and orderly. Now to get LIFE to look like that.=)
I have said over and over, that I love blogging. I am passionate about it. I have always enjoyed writing, though I used to write really long letters. Now I type blogs.=)

I think this is something that God wants me to pursue. I am trying to encourage and challenge women (especially) to be successful in life. To be fulfilled women, wives, mothers, glorifying God in all they do. I want women to enjoy their lives in the arenas God has placed them in. I want women to be grow spiritually. To enjoy homeschooling. To see the potential of our homes as a ministry hub. To partner with our spouses in life-all aspects.

I originally began my blog to connect with my far-flung family. But, it has grown in my heart to encompass much more than that. This is why I share my struggles, my goals, my recipes, my projects, my photos, my humor, my WWoW.

I am tentatively thinking of attending a blogging conference this fall. Several of the bloggers I follow attend blogging conferences. It allows you to connect with other bloggers, and learn from them. On the one hand I think (on my trying to be humble side), "isn't it a bit prideful to promote my blog?"Maybe it is.

Also, if you know me at all, you know I don't spend time with the girls. I'd rather spend time with Mr. Hippie.  Attending a conference by myself, with a bunch of unknown girls, would not be my first pick of activities. It is way out of my comfort zone.

Maybe though, God wants me to develop this avenue of ministry. Maybe this is how He wants to be glorified through me at this stage. I'm not exactly sure where God wants to take this-if anywhere.

Do I expect some guff and misunderstanding about this? Yes. I have already taken some hits. You always do when you let yourself be vulnerable.

But, I have also received much encouragement. Mr. Hippie is my biggest fan-always. He reads my blogs, and encourages me to keep on. He likes posts that no one else seems to.=) He knows my heart.

Regardless, I am going to continue to fill a regular slot on my time bookshelf with blogging.

Hope you continue to fill a slot of your time bookshelf reading my blog.=)