January, the month for new beginnings, new resolutions, new planners! Oh the planners, calendars, life binders… which do I choose. They are all so good, and well thought out. Some are so elaborate that it is a job just to keep up with them. One blogger, has a lovely and elaborate planner with a matching traveling caddy for her sticky notes, special pens, decorative tape and tags. I do love being organized, but for me, too much is overwhelming!
Planners are a tool to keep us on track, not to burden us. To keep us focused, not to distract us. Priscilla Shirer said it best on page 135 of Fervent:
“Slaves don’t rest. Slaves just work. They don’t control their agenda for the day; the day’s agenda controls them.”
Again on page 144:
“…we have not been put here to be salves to schedules that eat up every inch of margin from our families, our friendships, our worship, and our calling, nor to let others decide every day what our plans and priorities are supposed to be. We’re not a “bondwoman”, but a “free woman.”
Don’t misunderstand me, I am a true believer in a good planner, a solid schedule and a routine. Being a working mom, I thrive on knowing what to expect in my day. It makes my life easier. After all isn’t that the purpose of a planner?
I agree with Priscilla that we (I) need to take a personal inventory of our (my) priorities to make sure the “priorities” are a priority and not just busy work. That the “things” I’m doing are a need. Are the “things’ truly important? For example, do I really need to vacuum my floor everyday? Or volunteer for every ministry placed in front of me? Or work overtime everyday? Ladies, we need to prayerfully determine what our true priorities are. We should control our agendas, not allow our agendas to control us. It will lead to exhaustion, physically and emotionally. It happened to me.
I faced this truth a few years ago as I sat in a bible study at church and was in tears from nothing more than complete and utter exhaustion. I knew I had to do something. So I did. I started saying “no”. Not to all things, but things I didn’t have time to do. The reward was redeemed time. Time for my priorities. Time for my family. Time for the ministries I was called to do. Time for everyday kingdom work. Time to listen. Time to rest.
If we feel like slaves to our out-of-control-agendas, let’s:
“…use prayer, like a sharp pair of scissors to help cut ourselves loose.” (Fervent, page 143)