This Artist's Life | Stewarding time | Choosing Focus

 

As I write this, I am awaiting boarding for my flight to visit my family back on the East Coast. My flight was delayed 3 hours, so I’m sitting in a little airport cafe and despite the overpriced half finished coffee in front of me, I am so tired. So mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Since the termination of my proper job a couple weeks ago, I’ve been thankful for all the new time I have, while also feeling the weight of responsibility as I chose how to fill that time. I felt the pressure to fill up that time with productive things, using this time as a time to work on my own projects and invest in my future. Which means it’s been a productive couple weeks. Which while a good choice ad very fulfilling, also exhausting.

 

One of my pet peeves is when people (including myself) say ‘I don’t have time’ for this thing or that. After all, we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we choose how we spend that time. Saying you don’t have the time, is saying that you have other priorities. Which is fine, but what do you do when you’ve created too many priorities for yourself or have to choose between multiple ‘good’ uses for your time?

 

Ephesians 5:13-15 ESV “‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

 

I’ve also purchased the book ‘the 4 hour work week’ which has been recommended to me by various people. So on my morning run, I put the book at 2x speed, and was able to move that long standing item off my ‘to read/listen list’.

 

Even though I have cut back dramatically on things I deem as an inefficient uses of my time, like the social media black hole, watching a lot of comedy tv, or conversations over texting when I know a phone call would be more efficient… The book left me with some pretty strong convictions with how I should steward my time and I’m trying to be still more productive. Especially as I have to make some choices about how I’m going to spend my time and resources when I get back in Austin in 2 weeks. It has helped me by providing practical tools with how to actually get stuff done. While also scheduling time to relax, but I must admit… that latter part has been hard. I was hardly able to relax, with my brain buzzing with plans, stresses, and decisions I need to make.

 

James 4:13-16 ESV “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.  So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

 

I have a goal for 225 items in my etsy shop by October 1st. I’ve almost made it there, and have created many designs that I need to list on my shop. I am hoping to finish those items early in the morning, early in this family trip. Once that is done I have 2 goals for this trip: Relax, and plan.

 

Luke 14:28 ESV For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

 

If you know me, you know how ambitious I am… I’ve been embracing so many of my goals and dreams in the last few years, and making those things a reality, racking up those failures so that among those I can learn and find some success. Final quarter of the year is upon us  however, and I had been thinking I would continue to maintain this blog, my Etsy shop, maintain my active social life, book reading, art creating, and running plan while adding working as a waitress here in Austin for steady income (that is what I’m thinking for when arrive back home from this trip, a job that will at least leave my mental space clear for my other goals), serving at my church, getting my real estate license and rewriting a novel manuscript (which lacks a conclusion) by the end of the year.

 

Yeah. I’m gonna need another latte if you please. Just typing that is making me stressed. Finishing my manuscript, If it is to be done by the end of the year means approximately 5000 words or 20 pages to Rewrite/edit per week if I start October 1st. Not too mention illustrations for the book which would also take a lot of time. I’m leaning towards postponing the real estate license, seeking help with some of my projects and putting my novel as my priority… but I’ll be praying about it a lot on this trip.

 

I don’t want to limit myself, but I also don’t want to experience the fullest meaning of burnt out – and roll into the new year a flaming mess. I don’t want to kill my passions or split my attention to such a degree that I don’t give each goal, or the people in my life, the focus they deserve. I need to make some plans, and still have time to be still, smell the roses, and feel God’s peace in my busy life.

 

I’m realizing that time is our most valuable gift, outside of our salvation – which boasts a life beyond the grave outside of time. It’s through time that we are able to experience all the other gifts God has given us.

 

With this in mind we shouldn’t take our time lightly, we should use it wisely, seeking knowledge, wisdom, seeking to spend our time in ways that positively shape our current and future reality, and helping others to do the same. At the same time, not seeking busyness for busy’s sake, but listening to the still small voice, unplugging ourselves from our phones, cherishing moments… For we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. If there’s one thing nobody should have time for, it’s regrets.

 

Psalms 90:12 ESV “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

 

The part I’m most struggling with at the moment, is indecisiveness and split focus. I have some decisions to make, and they need to be made soon. So I’ll be doing some praying, perspective gathering, and making a plan by October 1st about what I’m going to prioritize the next 3 months.

 

If you have favorite passages of scripture on time, or decision making, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. I’d like to finish out this year strong, and make sure that in all I’m doing I’m putting God, and the things on His heart above my own selfish desires. Easier said than done, but I’d like for us all to finish out this year strong.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Well, looks like it’s about time to head back to my gate, so that’s all the time I’ve got for this post (Thank goodness, because it was becoming quite the ramble)! Bye for now Texas, I’ll be back home soon, with some new resolutions and decisions made!

 

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