Stop, Look and Listen
A summertime re-prioritization guide
For many of us summer is a time to re-group and re-focus but let’s be honest for a minute, what often happens is that summer slips away and all too soon and the leaves begin to change, temperatures cool, Christmas arrives just around the corner faster than we can say “sunscreen,” and we’re back to making New Year’s Resolutions! What if we took the summer to pause mid-year to prayerfully see where we’ve been and where we’re headed? Summertime is a perfect time in the year to re-prioritze and reflect on where and how this year is going in your life. Pausing mid year to evaluate is a perfect way to assess life; the perfect time of year to “Stop, Look & Listen.” It just may be the re-prioritization you need to begin the second half of 2012 refreshed and renewed, there is no need to wait unitl January!
Here’s how to begin:
Write down each and everything that fills your day.
(ALL of it! No cheating! I KNOW how tempting it can be! Include Household duties, commitments and ministries at church, outside and part time jobs and ANY other commitments that you regularly schedule into your week. This INCLUDES blogging, and social networking ladies!) It will also help to include HOW MUCH time a week or month is dedicated to these activities. There may be several ministries or groups that you belong to or participate in, include them each as a separate category in order to see later which ones need another look.
DAILY ACTIVITIES & MINISTRIES:
WEEKLY ACTIVITIES & MINISTRIES:
MONTHLY ACTIVITIES & MINISTRIES:
This will be the most challenging part of the process for most women. It’s where we make a list of exactly WHAT we do and prioritize it. Making sections; MUST DO and ENJOY DOING can help begin to break down the process.
MUST DO: ENJOY DOING:
There are certain activities that will remain on the list until the END of time, but others may have to be “let go” of for a season. This may take days or weeks to compose this LOOK list, but it’s critical in coming to an understanding of who we are, what our gifts are and what we can and cannot accomplish. What items on your list did not make it into the MUST DO or the ENJOY DOING category? Those are the ones that need a second look. Are some of these draining you from time that you truly need to be spending on other areas of your life. As women we often REFUSE to say no. Saying no for a season does not mean saying “NO” forever.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV
I encourage you to truly meditate on this verse, soak it in and begin to allow God to guide you in which items on your list need to be released.
Be truly still.
Being truly still is a challenge for many of us. It is what has led us to this “superhighway!” In order to get back on the peaceful long and winding road, we’ve got to be willing to LISTEN. Spend some time meditating on these Scriptures and ask God to reveal to you which activities or ministries need to be re-prioritized or even let go. It may be painful, but making a choice to re-prioritize now will help your household as you move into the fall.
As you feel God guiding your heart, journal which activities, ministries or commitments you hear HIM speaking to you about. Be aware, God often does not use the words we are used to….pay attention, HE often speaks through others, and in HIS time. Be patient. Commit to using the summer to reflect on how to make changes in your life that WILL affect those you love and care for!
Scriptures for Meditating on Priorities:
“Lord, Remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered- how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4, NLT)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will fly soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NLT)
“You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.” (Psalm 139:3, NLT)