Protect August

Well, now, y’all, I am tired. Producing more than refueling. So much to do…like writing a blog post.

You’d think that all the principles of margin and time management we discuss here would cut that out forever. But, no. Some times in life are simply a marathon to push through until the finish line. We’ve chosen wisely and planned well, but sometimes we are called to do a lot. It’s a heavy load.

So today…since I need to write a blog post anyway…let’s talk about being in that kind of a push. What am I doing to handle the load?

First of all, pray for grace and strength. You need it. He loves to give it as we rely on Him.

Then, look for the light at the end of the tunnel and protect it. With the end in sight, you will push through in hope. Will there be a break at the weekend? Do you have a vacation scheduled in a couple of months? Will the project be over in 6 weeks? Take a minute to think about what is coming and make sure it doesn’t get overrun. You will need it.

For this household, it is August. We are not planning, or accepting, or scheduling, any new commitments or responsibilities during that month. It’s not a month off (a vacation), but a month with all the breathing room we can get our hands on. We will work hard during the week, then we will have weekends and most evenings to relax and restore. That time is necessary to recover from a push like this, as well as being a HUGE motivator on the long days. If I know it is coming, I can hold out better!

Although it may be tempting, don’t stop prioritizing. You will keep first things first AND hopefully catch a few things that don’t actually need to happen right now. Those can be pushed to a time when you have more time and energy — or cut out entirely.

Cut the corners you can. Dinner tonight is from the slow cooker. Quesadillas are a quick and easy option for another night. Do surface cleaning as maintenance, but deep clean the storage closet another time, far in the future. I love cooking meals from scratch with fresh ingredients, but this is not the week for that. Accept it, and move on.

Finally, don’t give up good habits you have made. It’s tempting to cut out planning time or prayer time or routines, but now is the time you really see the worth of your effort. Hang on!

Priorities Reminder

Haggai is a short book (2 chapters) of the Bible that we don’t often reference, so it may surprise you to see a lesson there on priorities.

The prophet Haggai was used by God to speak to His people recently returned from exile in Babylon. They had come back to a ruined country. Houses, walls — everything needed to be rebuilt. There was a lot to do.

Right away, the first message in Haggai 1 speaks to the choices the Israelites made as they worked to rebuild everything. They had been busy making their homes beautiful and ignoring the temple until a better time. As a result, God urged them, “Consider your ways.”

Sound familiar?

“…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

A Good Time
Everyone was waiting for a better time. How often do we think now is “just not a good time” for what we know is good and right? We know we should, but…someday.

While we need to be wise about seasons, we also need to be careful not to use that excuse over and over. If we do, we may be ignoring our priorities and walking in disobedience. We say something is important, but it’s not showing in our actions. How often is it never a good time?

Take time to think about what is truly important and what is important for you in your life. The thinking time is an investment in the kingdom of God. It is worth it!

There are many good things, many good works, many possibilities for where we work and invest time or effort. But they must be ranked. If we don’t put first things first — make a choice day after day — we will not be doing what is best. It doesn’t just happen; we have to make it happen.