August 24, 2015

Time and the Management of It

I feel like I'm always rushing. Rushing to add another pencil line through the words on my to-do list. I get caught up in the endless cycle of "to do"..."it's done"...."a new to do"...."it's done". I yearn to get everything crossed off my list so I can feel free and accomplished.
But it never ends. It seems as soon as I complete one task, I add a new one. Soon, all the accomplishment and fun out of getting things done disappears as I stress that it's 3:00 in the afternoon and "I still have so much to do!"



I slowly start to treat things that should be fun and relaxing--writing a blog post, emailing a friend, working on my story, as ominous to dos that MUST be done.

I become torn between the "important" things of the day--my schoolwork, household chores, and helping my mom and the things I love to do-reading, writing, photographing flowers.

Then I start thinking. What is the point of all this? I rush to get everything done today only to have to do the same thing-or new things-- all over again tomorrow. It never ends. What does it gain me???


 

What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:3




The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. 
Ecclesiastes 1:5



All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 
Ecclesiastes 1: 8-9


These frantic thoughts were skimming through my head when I remembered.


the meaning of life is to glorify our God.

The meaning is not to accomplish goals. Not to cross items off my to do list. Not to go to bed feeling proud in my productive day. Not stressing over having enough time to do all I want and should do.

It's about praising God. Glorifying Him. Serving Him in everything I do. To give Him my best. To show His love and mercy to others-even if it's just to my own family. 


Everyone once in awhile I need to sit down and remind myself to take it slow. Spend some time poring over my Bible and absorbing what the words are saying to me. I need to sit in the sun filtering through the trees in late afternoon. Watch the fireflies blinking in the dusk and feel the breeze coming through my window and filling my lungs with fresh cool air.

Sometimes it's okay to relax. To forget about the to do lists, the emails piled up in my inbox, the half-finished school assignment.  I'm not saying I shouldn't do these things, of course! Just that I shouldn't let them be a cause of worry and stress to me. If I let them do that, I'm letting my focus from God be distracted and distorted.  How can I do what He wants me to do if I'm distracted like that? How can I help my mom with dinner if I'm stressed over a school assignment? How can I patiently answer  my brother's question if I'm lamenting over the lack of hours in the day? Wasting time worrying over the time I have to get things done is just that-a waste of time. And how pointless is it to be wasting time over THAT--the exact thing I want more of! (okay....sorry if that was a little jumbled.)



Anyways, this is something I catch myself struggling with now and again. But, I know that I can and will conquer it through Jesus. Already I am becoming more and more aware of when I fall into this habit of thinking, and am grateful that with God's help, I can stop.

Life is too precious to just "exist". Crossing things off a to do list is just existing. Working with a joyful  heart and seeing and appreciating God's blessings while doing so is living. I just think it's so important to "stop and smell the roses". That could mean different things for different people. I want to enjoy the life God has given me--not rush through it stressed on completing my to-do list!
Which, if I look at it, is usually not "life or death" tasks anyways. ;)

 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27


I feel like I rambled on a bit and went off in a couple different directions... but hopefully you got what I'm trying to say. :)
Do any of you feel the same way? I'd love to hear how you combat "to-do list stress".  haha


ps. I took all of these pictures with my new 35mm 1.8 lens!!!
Guys....it's a-mazzzing. I'm having so much fun with it. 

8 comments

  1. AMEN, girl. :-)

    (And I love your photos! Gorgeous.)

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  2. Oh, this is beautiful! The words AND the photos. :-D I love your pictures, they're gorgeous, and your words are something I really needed to hear. I am guilty of being a bit too 'I need to have a list to tick things off', but the fact I've about 6 lists beside my bed says that for me. ;-) But you hit the nail on the head - life isn't about ticking things off a list, it's about glorifying God. I think one of the hardest lessons I've learned yet is that I must enjoy life for what it is. With it's faults and it's blessings. :-)
    ~Miss Meg March

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    1. Miss Meg March,
      Thank you so much! Oh my! 6 lists. haha Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one with multiple lists! ;)
      Yes, that IS a hard lesson-but worth it. I think I'm still learning that one. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  3. *Sigh* This was beautiful, Natalie. Thank you for sharing. I need to be reminded of this. I am definitely a task oriented person and I can get so annoyed with people when they hinder me from getting things done. But you're right. It's not about our goals and our to-do lists, it's about serving God and glorifying Him in everything that we do. I want to be more relaxed about things, too. I can get so stressed over all the things I HAVE to do, that I don't appreciate and enjoy the life God has given me.

    Right after reading your post I was talking with my ten-year-old brother and I caught myself wanting to end the conversation quickly so that I could get on with my "all important" tasks. I was duly convicted, and said to myself "Hold it! You're talking with your brother; whom you love. Don't waste this moment worrying about the next thing. Enjoy it." Oh! It's so not worth it to live life wrapped up in your own to-do lists. I can get so focused on my own personal plans that I forget to look about me. I really need to learn how to stop and appreciate the people in my life--and engage with them. Thank you ever so much for this reminder today. :)

    Oh! And your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! BEAUTIFUL! :D

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    1. Miss March,
      Aww, thank you! Yes, exactly. I want to appreciate and enjoy the life God has given me-not waste it by worrying and stressing. :)

      Thank you for sharing that! I'm so glad my post helped "remind" you, heehee. Yes!! Enjoying the moment, remembering to look around, engaging with the people in my life...I completely agree.

      Thank you so much!

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  4. Wonderful, Natalie! I tend to go to the opposite extreme--I worry because I am not super task-oriented; in fact, I feel that I often waste too much time in the day relaxing and doing things I love, like you mentioned. So often I'm concerned that I need to "step it up a notch" in regard to trying to get more things done in a day.

    But regardless, this was really encouraging and a great reminder:) So thank you!

    (And GURL THE PICTURES. Wow, you're talented!)

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    Replies
    1. Olivia,
      Thank you!! Heehee, well I can understand that too. I am easily distracted by things (reading a book....reading blogs...) when I SHOULD be doing my tasks. It's just a constant battle between "I should be doing..." and "I want to do..." ;)
      Anyways, thank you!! It's nice to hear everyone's different "struggles" and I'm so glad you liked the photos!

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