Thursday, October 12, 2017

(Some) Methods of Time Management

Everyone has a different way of managing their time. Some people prefer planners while others use bullet journals. Some find “brain dumping” very useful while others use detailed diagrams and schedules to plan every minute of their day. Whether or not you use a specific method of managing your time, I think we all can agree how important managing your time is. Especially as I’ve been growing up into adulthood, I’ve learned to appreciate and see the necessity of planning my time.

We will discuss a few techniques to help you manage your time, whether you are a busy college student like me or a stay-at-home mom with a lot on your mind. But remember throughout all of these methods that your focus in all of this must be fixed on God. Remember that passage from James that we studied last week? It still and especially applies now. Make sure you plan your time and make your goals with God’s will as your priority, otherwise I promise you will find yourself in a very frustrating place!

There are a few methods of planning out my time that I have found very useful.

First, I have found that beginning with prayer always sets my heart in the right place for setting God-honoring and glorifying goals. Talk to God about your day as you plan, He not only wants to hear about it but He also wants to help you with it! If you are overwhelmed with your list of things to do, bring it to the Lord in prayer. If you are having trouble fitting in all your important events in your week, ask Him to show you what you ought to do. Always begin with an attitude of prayer and then let that attitude continue throughout your planning.

Using planners can be very effective. There are many different varieties of planners that are available in stores for you to purchase. Some are weekly planners, there are daily planners, or even monthly planners. Some are limited to one year while others are refillable. There are many resources for finding planner page printables all over the place, but especially on the internet.

Planners can be utilized according to whatever you need and can be useful for recording homework assignments, business meetings, events, or anything else you need. It can be used to track your finances, contact information, medical records, menu plans, or daily activities. Really, the diversity depends on you and how in-depth you want to go with your planner.


Bullet journals are another alternative to planners. Bullet journals are a bit more appealing to the creative mind rather than the organized mind, but and organized person can definitely find a bullet journal useful as well! This method of managing your time is all about creativity and personalization. I used to use a planner quite often, but this summer I switched over to bullet journaling just to try it out and I absolutely love it.

The only downfall to this that I have found so far is that it is a bit harder to find bullet journals in stores since they are still a new-ish concept. It would be much easier and probably not too difficult to find some online, though.

Bullet journaling does take more time than using a planner because you do have to take the time to create your own layouts. This all, however, depends on how involved you want to be with your journal and how creative you want to be. I do love them because of the creative aspect to them, and like using a planner, you can use a bullet journal to track anything that your heart desires.

To do lists are very useful. This is usually more limited to a short-term management technique rather than long-term like planners or bullet journals. You can brain dump all of your things to do for the day or week, or you can organize your tasks in order of importance. You can make lists of all the things to be done, all the things you need to buy at the grocery store, or all the homework that is due the next day. Lists are very useful to use and I typically combine using to do lists with my bullet journaling.

Some people may find brain dumps very effective for managing their time. This is virtually writing down literally everything you think of and do them however you think is necessary. I know that personally I have not found them to be useful for my thought process, but who knows? Maybe you might find them to be very useful!


These are just a few of many techniques for managing your time. I chose these ones to talk about briefly because these are the things that I have found useful in my experience, but maybe you have a favorite technique that I didn’t mention. We would love for you to share your ideas! Please, if you have more ideas, don’t be shy to leave a comment. Your technique may be very helpful to other women who desperately need help in managing their time.

Thanks for reading, I hope to talk to you again soon!

In Christ,

Megan

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Spider



"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2

As I carried my bucket of cleaning supplies from one building another, I noticed a spiderweb above me, stretched across the several feet I hard just walked. There, in the midst of the long silver strand, clung the little goldenrod spider to whom the web belonged. The goldenrod spider, having a unique ability to change its body color in order to camouflage with its surroundings and avoid detection by predators, is often a golden-yellow shade due to its frequent residency in the goldenrod plant. The spider I espied that afternoon, however, was not yellow-- it was a bright, pure white. From my vantage point, I saw all around either the dark green of the grass and trees or the tan color of the buildings, but not such a clear white; then, glancing upward, that which the spider mimicked caught my attention: A thick, pure white cumulus floated overhead. Not only was it a lovely sight, that glow of white amidst the dark surroundings, but it was also humorous, for that "camouflaged" spider had no clue how visible he truly was as he focused his sights on the wrong background for his safety.
However, that spider also reminded me of Colossians 3:1-2, where we are commanded to seek and set our affection on things above. Of course, Paul is not talking about the clouds and the stars; he's referring to heaven, "where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." So, as Christians, we know that we are supposed to be setting our hearts and minds on heaven, because we died to this world in Christ's death and are now raised to a new life in Him. But what does this new life look like? Do spiritual Christians simply walk around, staring upward and thinking about heaven and God? Many in history have thought so. Some monks sat on posts or burned of their hands so that they would no longer be tempted by the flesh and could devote themselves to deep meditation. But if we look at the context of these Colossians verses, we see that this kind of behaviour is not what Paul was talking about-- which is a big relief to me! I'd rather not sit on a post all my life, trying to think about God instead of the great discomfort I'd be sure to be in.
So, flip back to chapter two, and read what he says (I encourage you to read through the whole chapter, and I will pick out a few points starting in verse 16):
      16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
      17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
     18 Voluntary humility... Vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.
     19 Not holding the Head [Christ].
     20 Why subject to ordinances!?
     22 Commandments and doctrines of men.
     23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.


The sitting on the post thing and scorching away sinful fingers is what Paul is talking about-- in chapter 2! Those are things that punish the body without chastening the spirit. Paul called it "will worship", the worshipping of one's own will. It is to be boastful-- but, of course, appearing oh-so humble-- of the way I am able to tame my will. That is not true, godly spirituality. 

So, what is true, godly spirituality, if not all that? Look a little beyond our original verses, in chapter 3--

     5 Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth. [Sin: destroy the sin, not the body that is tempted to sin!]
     6 These things bring God's wrath on unbelievers; why should believers think it fitting for them?
     7 You used to live like that. But now....? Godly character.

How does it come, though? It won't come by whipping the old body, but by focusing on Christ and thus renewing the spirit:

     10 The new man... The knowledge of the image of the Creator.
     13 Forgive, even as Christ forgave you.
     15 The peace of God rule...
     16 Word of Christ dwell....
     17 Whatever you do, in the name of the Lord
           (Side note, notice the theme of being thankful throughout here: vs. 15, 16, 17.)

Like that spider, we become like what we focus on, what we think about, and what we surround ourselves with. So, setting our affection on things above is dwelling on Christ. Think about Him, what you know about the image of the Creator through His Word, what He's done for you, where He is and His promises to you; and when this is what you focus on, you will begin to reflect His character and live a godly life of pure thankfulness to Him!

-Abby

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hello!

Howdy! 

I'm Abby, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to share on this blog things that the Lord lays on my heart. I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as my perfect sin substitute, and thus I am saved from the wrath of God into the glory of God. He is my portion in life, for physical provision, emotional stability, spiritual growth, and everything in between. In the words of Isaac Watts, "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!" 

God has led me on a unique path of His choosing, including a Christian home growing up, a host of wonderful believers to rub shoulders with, specific truths to learn in His perfect order, a blessing of an education through high school and into Bible institute, and now a ministry to test what He's taught me thus far. Of course, there have been unforeseen twists and turns in this path; but in all of it, my Good Shepherd has known what is coming up and has prepared me and held me safe through it. I can only expect Him to continue to lead me in the same way until He leads me into His eternal pasture to rest forevermore.

I love music and see that as an important aspect of my personal growth and ministry. I also have a love for words and language, and I delight in unearthing the treasures hidden inside the infinitely-rich Word of God! I am looking forward to being a part of this corner of the internet world, seeing how God uses this ministry to teach and change me as well as our readers.


Soli Deo Gloria! 


Monday, October 2, 2017

A Biblical Approach to Planning

Did you know that the Bible talks about how to plan? It certainly does!

But rather than giving us methods of planning, like how to use a planner or a bullet journal, it gives us the spiritual principle that must be behind every goal that we make. God has given us everything that we need to know about life and godliness through His Word, even how to set goals and plan your time in a way that will glorify Him.

James 4:13-17 is the passage that teaches us this principle. It says, 

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

This passage reveals that there is sin behind goals that are made without considering the Lord’s will. This sin is boasting, and whether we realize that we are doing it or not, James says that all such boasting is evil.

But that seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it? Why is making goals without considering the Lord’s will evil and boasting?

There is a simple answer to this question that comes right from the passage. We are just like a vapor, we do not know a single thing about tomorrow or how things will work out. For us to assume that we can see into or predict the future is boasting in something that we cannot and never will be able to do. God is the One Who sees into the future, so He should have that role in our hearts as we make plans.


Make sure that you keep God and His will as you make your goals and plans for your life, whether they are goals for today, tomorrow, or next year. He is your guide and is a very trustworthy one at that! Seek His wisdom in making goals and He will direct you according to His will.