Encouragement for Moms · Family Life

Being Intentional with Our Time

 

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My word for the year is “intentional,” and today I would love to talk about being intentional with our time.   This is something that moms can always improve on, isn’t it?  I for one am absolutely great at wasting time.  Slowly but surely the Lord has shown me a few strategies and resources that I can use to improve my time management skills.

But first, what are some time stealers that we encounter daily?  For me, I am tempted to remain in bed a little too long, sometimes I forget to get a load of laundry in the wash before we begin our daily schoolwork, I tend to not be the greatest at planning meals, our chores aren’t scheduled, and sometimes I can get lost in social media.  This leads to a dirty home, whiny children, and a tired momma!  This week I made a step in the right direction and deactivated my facebook account.

Ooh, was this difficult.  But the Lord was in it, and I would like to encourage you to listen to the Lord in the little things!  While I share photos on Facebook, my main purpose there has been to be “salt and light” for Christ.  Every once in awhile this tends to lead to controversy, which was the case in late December.  Some other things about Facebook had been bothering me as well, such as unsolicited ads that were almost vulgar in content, and the gossip, bragging, and boasting that is par for the course.  One third of divorces site Facebook as a cause.  I decided to not post anything new for almost a week, to see where the Lord might be leading me.  At the end of this time, although I felt a small voice telling me to go, I didn’t really sense much direction so I began posting again.   About one week later I posted something that was not in the least bit controversial, and a small conflict ensued.  It was something silly, but the Lord used it to open my eyes to the fact that I needed to get off of this site.  This verse was brought to my mind:

All things are lawful for me,  but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me,  but not all things edify.  – 1 Corinthians 10:23

Now I would like to share a way how the Lord confirmed this for me.  When I announced that I was leaving Facebook and shared my email address in case anyone wanted to stay in contact with me, a friend whom I hadn’t seen in forever quipped that maybe we will see each other someday in the local store.  Guess who I ran into the very next day, in the store she mentioned?  That sweet friend also let me know that she thought I was too kind (if there is such a thing) in my FB postings, which was such an encouragement to me.   Although it wasn’t much, I felt that the Lord was letting me know that He doesn’t need Facebook to keep me in contact with people.  Isn’t He amazing?

Now what am I going to do with all of this extra time on my hands? (Just kidding…sort of).  I’ve pulled out some of my old time management books that are excellent resources for moms.  I highly recommend these books!

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Managers of Their Homes by Steven and Teri Maxwell

“Do you feel time is slipping through your fingers? Are you looking for something to bring structure into your home? Do you struggle with getting it all done? Delve in and join Steve and Teri as your life is transformed from chaos to peace!”

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Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman

“In Large Family Logistics, Kim outlines practical solutions she has learned to effectively manage a busy household. This how-to manual is filled with step-by-step procedures, easy-to- understand organizational advice, and a myriad of tips and hints for managing a bustling home with greater efficiency in a way that honors God and builds up family relationships.

Sensible and straightforward, Kim tackles the nitty-gritty, day-to-day challenges moms face and also offers sound counsel on how to plan and accomplish long-term domestic goals. An invaluable home management resource that will equip busy moms to get beyond survival mode and thrive!”

On a side note, as mothers, sometimes we are told that our time should be spent only with our children, and that keeping a clean house doesn’t really matter.  For example, have you ever heard the rhyme, “so quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep” ?  I used to have this mindset, and my house was a mess!  I had forgotten that my home was a ministry for my husband and older children as well, and I have since determined that keeping my home “clean enough” is very important for the rest of my family.  Of course, I fail at this almost daily, but keeping the house enjoyable for our families should be a priority as well. 

I also am finding the time to read two other books, that I am really enjoying!  I usually do not have much time for books outside of homeschooling.

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Having a Mary Spirit…Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out  by Joanna Weaver

Ladies, I’m only about 50 pages into this book, but so far it is incredible.  By nature, my will does not align with Gods, but my deepest desire is for my spirit and soul to conform to His.

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 The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

I love the idea of simple, godly living, and the only type of fiction I  enjoy reading is either Historical Christian fiction or Amish Fiction.  My 13-year-old daughter let me borrow this book from her, and I’m really enjoying it so far.  As a bonus, it is about an Englisher (non-Amish) woman who desires to convert to the Amish faith.  (A topic that I find very intriguing.)

I used to use Facebook to keep up with my favorite blogs too.  Now I’m subscribing to the blogs instead, which isn’t too difficult of a change.  While there are many blogs that I truly enjoy,  I’m sticking to the ones that have good content without much advertising and giveaways.  Some of my favorites include Generation Cedar, In the Nursery of the Nation, Large Families on Purpose, Abiding Woman, Fresh Modesty, and First Comes Love by Meghan Carver.

Finally, what is the most important thing that we can spend our time on?

Relationships.  First and foremost our relationship with the Lord, and then our relationship with others (especially family).  While it can be so easy to put these relationships last, they should be first.

Some questions that I’ve recently asked myself:

Am I spending time with the Lord when I first wake up, either through Bible study or prayer?

Am I spending time in God’s Word daily?

Am I spending time in prayer and God’s Word with my children daily?

Am I putting things (such as the computer) before my family? (ouch)

Am I intentionally spending individual time with each of my children?

Am I intentionally giving my husband the attention that he deserves?

As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes the answers to these questions are a big, fat NO.  I need to remember that the things of this world will pass away.  The only things that are eternal on this earth are God’s Word and people.  That is where we should be spending the majority of our time.

Our time here is short.  While there are many “good” things in this world, my prayer is that I will spend my time on “the excellent.”  I don’t want to waste my time on good things if I could be doing something better for God’s kingdom!  About three years ago, I made a commitment to the Lord.   This commitment was to follow His way to the best of my ability.  To not concern myself with my own “freedom,” but to seek His way, the “excellent” way, in all things.  This commitment is slowly beginning to infiltrate my time management as well, praise God.   For example, while social media is a “time stealer,” the Lord also revealed some “impurities” with Facebook in general that could hinder my relationship with Him.   This can be true in our choice of friendships and media as well.  Why spend our time on impure or mindless things, when we could be meditating on Him instead?

How about you?  Do you struggle with time management like I do?

Possibly linking to:  

Growing Home, Tending the Home Tuesdays, Raising HomemakersDeep Roots At HomeRaising ArrowsA Wise Woman Builds Her Home ,Walking Redeemed, A Proverbs 31 WifeThe Modest MomA Mama’s StoryMom’s the Word , Raising Mighty ArrowsHearts For Home,  Time Warp Wife, Graced Simplicity

53 thoughts on “Being Intentional with Our Time

  1. Thank you so much for this post. A few weeks ago, The Lord started dealing with me about my time on Facebook. After a few days I knew I needed to be obedient, so I posted that I was going to back away from Facebook and I let everyone know how they could reach me. I am really struggling with this, only because I am part of two different homeschool groups and for one of them, Facebook is the only way to find out what is going on, events, field trips, etc. I know I must be obedient. I want more than anything to draw closer to my Lord and Facebook is only drawing me away. Would you mind saying a prayer for me? Thank you so much. I’m still in awe that you wrote this post…it’s EXACTLY what I needed!! Thank you!

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    1. Of course Olivia, and please say a prayer for me too! There are about 10 like minded ladies whom I only had contact with through Facebook, and I am missing their encouragement. 🙂

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    2. Olivia
      I too have backed away from Facebook. I used it a lot during the holidays, but now need to cut it back. What I do is this: I check once a day, after all of my work is done and I NEVER allowed myself to look until my Bible was read. All I checked were my notifications and messages. If I had none, I got off immediately.

      Nicole
      Thank-you for posting this. I was beginning to remember my commitment to do the above as I had last year. This was the bump I needed to get back on track!
      Thanks, Laura

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      1. Also wondering, since you are removing yourself from FB are you going to remove the FB link from your website so that people can share your blog? Kind of like cutting the last tie? It is hard, but doable. You really DO find out who your true friends are when there is no FB.
        Laura

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      2. My personal Facebook page is gone, but I don’t mind at all if my posts are shared on Facebook. Maybe they will encourage someone, and I spent most of my time on Facebook reading other encouraging posts that people shared. That is one of the pluses of FB in my opinion. 🙂

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  2. I am with you about Facebook! I de-activated my account awhile ago for very similar reasons. Since then, I have not missed it. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with certain things, such as social groups and even Sunday School classes that do planning and messages using Facebook, but I am still managing to live without it just fine. My kids sure are a lot happier because I have more time!

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  3. The Lord has also been working on me about Facebook. It’s hard though because that is where all of our homeschool groups are and it’s where I post pictures for my mother in law that lives in another state. OT, what happens to your pictures if you deactivate your account; are they kept by Facebook somewhere?

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    1. I completely understand. I believe that your photos and posts are no longer visible to your friends. There is a difference between “deactivating” and “deleting.” Deleting wipes out everything forever, while all you have to do is log back in and a deactive account will automatically reactivate, and all of your information will be back. I deactivated and am using my willpower to stay away lol.

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  4. Speaking of time…how much time do we imagine vain things. One day the Lord showed me my thoughts and I was wasting time with that. I would image myself at the ocean, with another man because he had a quality that my husband did not have (I’m being real), richer, being with out children (I have 5 and one grandbaby) for two weeks, ect…
    I say this only because it might help one reader. We woman know that men are visual and that is where they get in trouble most of the time-pornography. But what is the way woman get in trouble? With our thoughts. We read a romance novel and the thoughts and desires go thru the roof. I never read romance novels but as I said earlier, I had those rotten thoughts. I does not take much for our thoughts to be vain, just like it does not take much skin showing for men’s thoughts to be vain. I now call romance novels woman’s pornography. We could add movies with a love story woman’s porno too and on and on. We should guard against whatever get our thoughts outside of God’s ways. Cast down those vain imaginations quickly! We will be more profitable and I suspect be happier for our families.

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  5. Thanks for this post. I have been feeling a nudge to deactivate my account too. But I was connected to some homeschool groups too and enjoyed reading the post for encouragement…so I have been kind if hesitant. But after reading this I deactivated my account.

    I have been wanting to buy large family logistics book. It was on my amazon wish list. I should have bought the book when it wasn’t over $60. Its sells on eBay and half.com for over $100. Can someone tell me why?

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  6. I will absolutely pray for you!! I’m so thankful that God has placed your encouraging blog in my life. I believe God has placed you in my life for a reason.

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  7. Dear Nicole,

    Thank you so much for this well-written article! I actually could have written it myself, and it is so inspiring to see another woman walking the same road that I am walking.

    Two weeks ago I deleted my Facebook account. It was hard, but it was also sudden. I’d been struggling with the Facebook monster for several years, and suddenly I simply knew it was time. I deactivated (haven’t had the guts yet to delete) and have been so much happier.

    Facebook gave me extreme problems with anxiety, with having my mind stuck in internet squabbles and debates rather than being present with my family, and in investing in relationships that are now firmly in the past – but have me spending time on them like they were still real (and they’re not). Additionally, it was a temptation to eavesdrop and gossip, and it also damaged a lot of friendships through unwise posts – both on my part, when I said something dumb, and on the part of others, when I saw what people were posting and lost respect for them.

    The only reason I’ve hung on these past several years is what you said:

    “While I share photos on Facebook, my main purpose there has been to be ”salt and light” for Christ.”

    This is the one part that I really miss – being able to post inspiring and helpful articles and links. I really miss that. But again, God has called me to serve my family. Facebook seriously hindered that. I am not called to ANY ministry that causes me to neglect my first ministry (my family and marriage).

    Facebook was fun, but I’m definitely better off without it.

    I’m hoping to write this up sometime, but in the meantime, THANK YOU for sharing. It makes me feel not quite so alone in this.

    Love,
    Diana

    P.S. I do miss a couple of groups of like-minded fellowship groups, but again, they really sucked time away. Maybe you were even in some of them, since we seem to be so like-minded! 🙂

    P.P.S. One confirmation that I have been absolutely wasting my time was the fact that when I posted my, “I’m leaving, here’s my contact info if you want to get in touch,” guess how many people emailed me? ZERO. That just confirmed the feeling that I have been wasting time investing in non-real relationships. Depressing, but a great confirmation.

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    1. Diana, thank you so much for sharing! I think you just summed it up perfectly here, “Facebook gave me extreme problems with anxiety, with having my mind stuck in internet squabbles and debates rather than being present with my family, and in investing in relationships that are now firmly in the past – but have me spending time on them like they were still real (and they’re not). Additionally, it was a temptation to eavesdrop and gossip, and it also damaged a lot of friendships through unwise posts – both on my part, when I said something dumb, and on the part of others, when I saw what people were posting and lost respect for them.” Thanks again, you articulated some excellent points! 🙂

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  8. God seems to be putting this on the heart of many of us at the beginning of 2014. I wrote about how God had convicted me to unplug more over at my blog recently too. Thanks so much for sharing so openly and encouraging others with your words.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

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  9. I for sure have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I co-lead an online Bible study that has a private Facebook group, and I have a private mastermind group there as well. I love that I can connect with women all over the world, and that God is using it to advance His Kingdom, BUT it can definitely become a time-suck. I’m working on trying to find a healthy balance. Thank you so much for your blog post and for being vulnerable and sharing your heart!

    Kelsey – Faith Fun and the Fergusons

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  10. Great points made! I think it is so important that each one of us takes an honest inventory to see where we are wasting time and where we could be using it more wisely. I am finding that those who claim that Facebook (or any other social media platform) “caused” their affair or divorce are only being partly honest with themselves. The seed was already planted. Facebook is amoral in my mind, like money. It cannot cause something that we don’t allow. When we sense that we’re going down a path we shouldn’t, it’s so important to take action. Sometimes that may mean deactivating or stepping away for an extended period of time. I also think it’s important to take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. Kudos to you for taking a step in the right direction according to what God is calling you to do! I enjoyed your post!

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  11. I’m so proud of you for listening to the Lord and so thankful for you and your blog.

    My husband and I do not have a facebook account either and we believe it is just so much better this way. At least for us it is.

    I’m blessed by your obedience to the Lord!

    God bless you Nicole.

    Sincerely,
    Hilda

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  12. Nicole, I want to encourage you on your decision to leave facebook. I have never had an account–I just never felt it was something the Lord wanted me to do. There are others who do not have a facebook account and we are getting along just fine. Blessings, Kasey

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  13. Wow, Nicole! I commend you for following the Lord’s leading. FB and I have a love/hate relationship. I use it to help promote my blog, but it can be such a time stealer and downer. I am still trying to figure out how to balance it all. Thank you for sharing your decision and the whys!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I actually deactivated my blog page for now as well which was difficult, but I knew I could easily get sucked back in if I still posted in that manner. I wish I had more willpower. 😉

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  14. Nicole- you are kind of my hero in this act! Sometimes I feel as though I’ve crawled down a rabbit hole with Facebook, Pinterest, and the like, with no way out. Of course as an at-home wife and mother there are TONS of things I could (should) be doing, Satan is using these distractions as a way to lure me farther and farther away from reality. Please pray for me, that I can lay down these idols in my life and prioritize based on God’s will and plan.

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  15. Found this post at the Homemaking link up party – thank you for writing it!

    I would love it if quitting social media became an international movement!- I think facebook and twitter can be addicitive and destructive. They have good things about them too, but I’m not sure it is worth it. http://mumtopia.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/why-i-left-facebook-and-twitter.html

    As a blogger, there is the added pressure that you “should grow your blog” and that using these channels if the “only way” to do it.

    I struggle!

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  16. It is a blessing to me to hear a blogger making a conscious choice to step back from social media. None of us really want it to rule our lives, but we so easily let it become our master. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am pulling out my LargeFamilyLogistics and my ManagersofTheirHomes as I pull my focus in where it needs to be. I’ve always wanted to read the mary/Martha book – maybe this Spring will be the time!

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  17. This was a great post Nicole. I have never been on Facebook and sometimes feel left out. Trying to manage a blog and be a part of groups and such is tough when everyone wants to take everything to Facebook. The Lord spoke to me years ago not to be on Facebook and I’ve stayed faithful although it’s tough. He has shown me I can be effective in other ways. And so can you. See I found you without any input from Facebook at all!

    That is wonderful about meeting up with your friend. Precious truly.

    And my goodness isn’t it amazing how much we can get done when we’re off the internet?

    p.s. – I tried to check out that book by Beverly Lewis on my Kindle today and it was OUT!!! Let me know if it’s good. I’m sure it is.

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  18. Good morning! Just wanted to let you know that your post is among this week’s featured. Thanks for linking up at A Mama’s Story, and help yourself to a featured button. Your post will be shared across social media this week and pinned to the featured boards on pinterest. 🙂

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  19. I found your website from the link-up on raisinghomemakers.com. I really like your post – great encouragement, excellent resources; very thought-provoking!

    I would like to invite you to HomemakingHearts.com on Fridays for a brand new link-up; it would be a delight to have you join us!

    Gabriella

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  20. I stumbled upon this post while visiting the Link up party, and I’m so glad I did. It was so encouraging to find someone else who feels the same way about facebook, and is willing to do something about it! Thank you so much for posting this!! I will definitely be following this blog 🙂

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  21. I gave up my facebook account too. It was tempting to keep because I was able to connect with relatives I had never met before. However, the ads, what others would post (on my account), and how others (ex-boyfriends from my past, before I was saved) could contact me. The bad outweighed the good. For me, it was time to cancel. I am glad that I did it. It was also a time stealer for me. Once I would go to one page, then I found out that that person knew someone I knew. I would go to that page and on and on it went. Time would just slip away right before my eyes!

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