Tag Archives: finding time

My Mind Is Cluttered

I’d really like to start writing again – fiction, that is. When I imagine myself as I really want to be, I am a writer. I have all of these story ideas, but I have trouble forming scenes from them. I’m guessing that’s just a matter of practice? I’ve read up on the subject, but I still have trouble. Maybe I need to do more exercises, but it feels like such a waste of time! On to my next problem:

I have an issue with taking the time to write. I have all kinds of time at my disposal, if only I could organize it properly to be productive. I’m constantly distracted. Every time I receive a text message, an email, or a FaceBook notification on my phone, I drop what I’m doing and respond. If you are my friend on FaceBook, you’ll see me popping on and off all day long, and somehow I can waste endless minutes doing meaningless tasks, responding to emails, and just trying to organize my thoughts so that I can progress through the day. So I have a hard time coming up with the block of time that I need to be able to think in peace.

Do I really need that huge chunk of time set aside in my day to write? I wonder if I could just write on the fly? Something like this blog post is not a problem. I only have a couple of minutes at my disposal, and I can hear Ian practicing his drums and the television from the living room, but none of that bothers me. I wonder if I could get to that point while writing fiction? I doubt it…

What do you all do?

What is sacrifice?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1

A living sacrifice. What does that mean exactly? Basically, it means we shouldn’t do everything we want to do. Even if those things are within our means. We should say no to ourselves sometimes. Deny our flesh. I have been reading When the Bottom Drops Out by Robert Bugh. I’ve really been enjoying it, and getting a lot out of it.

He had this to say about sacrifice: “Sacrifice is saying no to something you prefer so you can say yes to God. It’s placing your preferences, what you love, on the altar and telling God, ‘I want to keep this or have this or do this, but You are speaking to me and I am giving it up. Take it; it’s Yours!’…Sacrifice is counterintuitive; it’s winning by losing, gaining by giving, living by dying, doing without now so you can be rewarded later in heaven…Hear me, dear reader: as painful as it is, it’s sacrifice that will keep you from wasting your life, because it’s sacrifice and service that reveal the lordship of Christ in your life.” – pages 101-102

I don’t hate myself. I’m not going to go out of my way to make life difficult on myself. But I do know that I don’t need everything I think I do. God will take care of everything I need, and sacrificing the things I want won’t necessarily make life any harder on me. In fact, sometimes, I think sacrifice makes our lives simpler. It’s going without. It means there will be fewer things in my life to distract me from God.

What about sacrificing my time? Won’t that add things to my life? Won’t my schedule get busier if I try to minister to others when I already have so many things on my plate? Not if you sacrifice something else that eats up your time. Television is the first thing that comes to mind. Nobody needs it. On your deathbed, you won’t regret the hours you didn’t spend watching television.

What about homeschoolers? Homeschoolers are too busy already. So many things to teach, to learn. Let’s not forget the reason many of us are homeschooling in the first place. It’s not so our kids will be smarter. It’s not so they’ll get a better job or function better in society. Are we not preparing our children for a life of service to God? And do they not learn best by example?

Some ideas for sacrifice:

Change the way you eat or drink, what you watch, what you wear, the way you spend time on the internet or the phone.

Change the way you spend your money, your time, your emotions.

Change the way you relate to God, your spouse, parents, children, and others.

When you see a need, fill it. Be sensitive to the urging of the Holy Spirit.

Why does sacrifice mean so much to God?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2

More than One

I’ve entered a new era in my homeschooling experience. It’s called: more than one child. While most of you would laugh at my naiveté, I am both excited and scared. I’ve been homeschooling my son for all of about two years (at least officially). Now my niece has moved in part-time, and her schooling has become my responsibility. I get to teach another child to read! I’m so happy! Yet, I’ve only ever had to manage one child at a time, so I’m a little nervous as well. How will I find time for everything?

Sometimes I feel a little guilty when I think of all the homeschooling mothers who focus solely on ministering to their families. I feel that I’ve put my own educational, musical, and writing goals ahead of my duties as wife and teacher. In an effort to “do better this time,” I’ve majorly cut back on my piano and voice students to make things easier. I’ve decided to write only when I have all of my other duties taken care of. Nobody told me I had to write; it’s just something I enjoy. But I don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to spending time with the children and teaching them to the best of my abilities.

I do have some advantages this year: my son is reading well enough to be able to follow instructions in his math and language books. And when he reads aloud to me, he doesn’t take an hour like he did last year. I’m thrilled at how much his reading skills have developed over the last couple of months. In addition to all that, my niece absolutely loves her schoolwork! She’s been looking forward to the day when she would begin schooling for quite some time now, so it’s a simple task to motivate her. I’m thinking I can teach Bible, art, home economics, science, and history together, and maybe have my son read a lesson aloud to my niece every once in a while.

I never imagined myself teaching more than one child, so I’m quite unprepared and open to any suggestions you all may have for me! One thing I’ve decided: I’m not going to push so hard with this one. My son loved reading – until I pushed him further than he could comprehend. He’s hated it ever since about the middle of kindergarten. He’s just now beginning to read for pleasure again. So with my niece, I’m going to make sure she completely understands everything each step of the way. If she has trouble with a new math or phonics concept, I think we’ll just keep redoing mastered things until she is mentally capable of understanding the new material.