Category Archives: Time Management

Scriptures for Waiting on God

Scriptures for Waiting on God

Scriptures for Waiting on God

Last week we were talking about the patience and endurance needed when waiting on God. One of the things we discussed was the importance of encouraging ourselves with God’s promises. I mentioned that we need to find some scriptures to focus on during the waiting periods. So today I thought I’d share a few helpful scriptures for waiting on God.

Scriptures for Waiting on God

“I wait for your salvation, O LORD.” Genesis 49:18 (ESV)

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:13-14 (NIV)

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” Psalm 31:24 (ESV)

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20 (NIV)

“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

“LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15 (NIV)

“I have waited with hope for you to save me, O LORD. I have carried out your commandments.” Psalm 119:166 (GW)

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

“Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.” Proverbs 20:22 (NIV)

“So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)

“The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:25-26 (ESV)

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT) Continue reading

When You’re Waiting on God

When you're waiting on God

When You’re Waiting on God

Have you ever had to wait on God for something? Are you waiting on God right now for him to come through in some way? Do you ever feel like God has forgotten about you or abandoned you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then today’s post is for you!

Waiting on God can test a Christian’s faith and stretch it to the limits. Patience is a major factor in the process of waiting on God. Sometimes God’s timing doesn’t match ours. When God’s promise, our “answer”, or whatever it is we’re waiting on takes longer than expected, it’s easy to grow weary and lose heart. We can get tempted to doubt, give up and/or stop doing what God has told us to do in the meantime. However, if we give up we could lose the very thing that God is trying to do for us or bless us with.

Don’t give up

Regardless of how frustrated, doubtful and weary we get, we shouldn’t give up when we’re waiting on God. God promises us that we if we don’t give up, even when we’re tired, that we’ll get a reward and blessing. He tells us that he will refresh and satisfy us if we will hold on. Then he also promises to renew our strength and give us power to endure. God will give us strength to press on if we will continue to wait on him.

Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25 (NIV)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

Jesus endured, so we can endure

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Proverbs 31…It’s Not Just For Women

Men should possess the Proverbs 31 characteristics too. These same character traits this passage praises the Proverbs 31 woman for having are also desirable for men. They are not gender-specific. ALL people, men and women alike, should strive to have this type of character.

Proverbs 31…It’s Not Just For Women

Proverbs 31 is one of those chapters that I think a lot of women sometimes read and then feel deficient. It’s almost like we can never measure up to her. I mean, really, who can do and be proficient at ALL of the things that she does? Talk about a Renaissance Woman!

However, recently I had some different insights while reading Proverbs 31 in The Message translation. As I read through the verses about the Proverbs 31 woman, I jotted down her characteristics in my journal. It dawned on me that it’s not necessarily the activities that she does that matter, but the character and traits she possesses are what are truly important. That should be our primary takeaway from the reading. Thank goodness because I don’t think I’ll EVER be proficient at sewing!

In Proverbs 31, verses 10-31 form an alphabetic acrostic, used here as a type of Hebrew poem about a woman who exemplifies godly character and wisdom from A to Z. J.A. Motyer says, “In the common form of acrostic found in Old Testament Poetry, each line or stanza begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. This literary form may have been intended as an aid to memory, but more likely it was a poetic way of saying that a total coverage of the subject was being offered — as we would say, ‘from A to Z.‘”[1] So in this case, the Proverbs 31 woman exemplifies godly traits and wisdom throughout and completely. She’s the full package.

Proverbs 31 is not just for women

In part of my recent study of the Proverbs 31 passages, I came across a really good article by Rachel Held Evans. In her post, she mentions that the “target audience” of Proverbs 31 is actually men. I did not know this! Rachel mentioned that she learned from a Jewish friend of hers that in the Jewish culture, it’s the men who memorize the passage, not the women.

In fact, the men actually sing or recite it to the women as a way of praising and blessing them! This special “Eshet Chayil” song is typically done each Friday night before the Sabbath or Shabbat meal.

Here is a video of a traditional Eschet Chayil song with the Hebrew lyrics and English translation shown:

I LOVE this English rendition by Ari Lesser as he sings to his wife:

I also realized these are NOT just characteristics that a woman should possess. Men should possess the Proverbs 31 characteristics too. These same character traits this passage praises the Proverbs 31 woman for having are also desirable for men. They are not gender-specific. ALL people, men and women alike, should strive to have this type of character. 

Proverbs 31:10-31 in The Message Translation

Below is a look at my takeaways about character from the passages. I use the feminine pronouns “she” and “her” when describing her characteristics, but read through them keeping in mind that we should all endeavor to display this type of character in our lives. Continue reading

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

Pruning: Cutting Out Things to Become Stronger and More Productive

I love being and working outside, especially this time of year with planting and gardening. Plants make me happy. I might even describe myself as an amateur gardener. However, I use this “gardener” term very loosely! Over the years I’ve learned a lot about God through the planting process. In fact, the bible is full of gardening and agricultural analogies, being they were so prevalent in that culture.

Because I love gardening so much, it’s easy for God to talk to me and for me to understand in gardening terms. For that reason, it happens a lot. Just this past week in fact I was reading John 15 where Jesus is describing himself and the vine, us as the branches, and God (the Father) as the gardener.

During this particular reading, the pruning process stood out to me. I think this was because of what God has been speaking to me about lately. Specifically, this made sense with regard to removing distractions when spending time with and listening to God. I mentioned last week that I was being “corrected” in this area! Therefore, pruning distractions fit right in the theme of what I was already learning.

John 15:1-8 (NIV)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Bearing Fruit=Being Successful

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My Addiction to Hallmark Christmas Movies

My addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies...

My Addiction to Hallmark Christmas Movies

When I asked Eric what I should write about recently, he said “your addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies”. Did you sense some sarcasm in that? Me too. Actually, it’s not a bad idea though. I’ve got to be honest. I really am addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies! Sadly, he’s not lying. I admit it. I’m a full-blown Hallmark junkie.

I’m a huge fan of the Hallmark channel and their original movies, albeit cheesy and predictable as they sometimes are. Maybe it’s the predictability that I like? I always know they will tug at my heart strings. Even if they have some sad parts, I can also always count on a happy ending. Real life doesn’t always have happy endings, so the certainty of watching one can be enticing.

Maybe the movies are an escape too? That might be where the “addiction” comes in. Addictions are often an escape from something else aren’t they? Hallmark Christmas movies can offer an escape from an often stress-ridden and drama-filled holiday season. In the movies, we can see the picture-perfect holiday season, traditions, memories and romance.

Where conviction and moderation come in

Many years ago I discovered that I was developing unrealistic expectations and discontentment in my marriage due to my obsession with romantic movies and books. I felt a strong conviction that I needed to overcome this struggle (that I previously didn’t even know I had). To overcome this, I had to start watching my intake of “romance”. When I started noticing discontentment, I knew I needed to limit how much I was reading and watching. I had to start practicing moderation (or sometimes even eliminate them completely for a while).

If I’m not careful, I can do the same thing with these Hallmark Christmas movies. It can be easy to develop unrealistic expectations of what a Christmas holiday should look like. Real life might start to pale in comparison to fictional films if I fixate on them constantly. I might start to think, “Man, my Christmas stinks compared to the picturesque traditions and moments they have.” Without caution, I might forget that…THEY AREN’T REAL!!!

My conviction may not be yours

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Did You Know To-Do Lists Are Scriptural?!

Did You Know To-Do Lists Are Scriptural?!

Did You Know To-Do Lists Are Scriptural?!

I think time management is something that a lot of, if not most, people struggle with in life.  Even those people who are excellent managers of their time still have certain areas where they may be more lax or need some improvement.  Something that helps me tremendously is making to-do lists.  I am very much a list person.  To-do lists keep me on track, hold me accountable, and help me not to forget things.  They are also extremely therapeutic for me…more on that in a bit!

In my study of the bible, I’ve discovered something.  God is pretty good at time management.  I know, earth-shattering news right? 😉  Really though, I’ve learned that good time management skills are important to God.  He is also a God of order and structure (for the most part…sometimes the way He goes about things doesn’t seem very structured in the beginning!).  God is a planner (see Psalm 33:11, Proverbs 19:21, Jeremiah 29:11, Galatians 4:4 and Ephesians 1:11 for just a few examples).  I also felt a bit of kinship with God because HE likes lists TOO!  There are lists all throughout the bible.  He even gave people to-do lists. 

To give you just a couple of examples… When God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle, He gave him very specific to-do lists of how to do it and what to use (Exodus 26).  In Matthew 10, when Jesus sent out the 12 disciples, he sent them off with specific to-do lists of who to talk to, what to do, what to take, where to stay and even what to do if and when they were rejected (Matthew 10:5-14).

So I guess you could say that making to-do lists is scriptural! 🙂  OK…so maybe it’s NOT a sin to avoid to-do lists, but planning ahead and making lists definitely has it’s benefits.

A few reasons for making to-do lists…

To-do lists hold us accountable—We are much more likely to accomplish tasks that are written down.

To-do lists are simply lists of daily goals.  We discussed previously that we are much more likely to achieve goals that are written down.  

Planning ahead and making to-do lists can save us time.

That might sound a little strange to someone who doesn’t make lists.  When teaching this I often get counter-arguments from my students asking “it takes time to make the list so how could it save time?”.  Well, sometimes we have to invest a little to save a little.  It’s kind of the same concept when investing money.  Yes, it costs up front, but the payoff in the end is bigger.  I often give them a tangible analogy by showing them a trick for how to wrap your earbuds to avoid tangles (see the video below to watch how I do it or click here to watch it directly on YouTube).  It takes investing a little bit of time to wrap them (when it’s sometimes inconvenient—like right after I get home from a walk or jog).  Then the payoff comes later when they just pull apart in less than a second, instead of me having to fight to untangle them for 5 minutes or more.  Making to-do lists are the same.  We invest a little bit of time up front to write out a list of tasks to be accomplished in order to save time or keep from wasting time later.  We are less likely to get distracted and less apt to work on useless tasks when we work off of to-do lists.  We also don’t run around aimlessly when we make plans and write them down.

“An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.” Proverbs 17:24 (GNT) 

“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26 (NIV) 

“A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat, but it is stupid to waste time on useless projects.” Proverbs 12:11 (GNT)

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Start the Day Right…

Start the day right...Here's an example of how this really shifted my mood from bad to good!

Start the Day Right…

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Success magazines and self-help sites are loaded with “start the day right” theories, especially this time of year with New Year’s resolutions in full swing.  I’ve gotta say though, this “start the day right” thing really works!  I know…why am I so surprised that this actually works!?  I’ve been teaching this for years, and I’ve even experienced it on more than one occasion.  Nevertheless, I still surprised myself last week.  I’m going to tell on myself…

Eric leaves for work before I even get up most of the time.  Sometimes, not always, he gets on these kicks where he sets his alarm for super early but then hits the snooze button.  Consistently.  Over.  And over.  I’m a pretty light sleeper, and it typically takes me a while to even get to sleep.  I’m also a pretty cranky person if I don’t get enough sleep or if I’m overly tired.  Oh, I did I mention that he often doesn’t wake up to the sound of his alarm so I have to wake him and tell him that his alarm is going off…every 9 minutes…for sometimes an hour.

Needless to say, this occasional morning snooze habit of Eric’s tends to make me a little angry drive me insane.  I promise I really try to stay calm and not get angry.  Really I do.  This particular day was not one of those days.  This morning it was all I could do not to take his alarm and knock him over the head with it.  I’m telling you, I was thinking some very bad words in my head!  However, I was proud of my self-control because I did not utter a one of them out loud (ashamedly, that’s not always the case!).  That being said, I still was extremely angry and cranky.

I didn’t FEEL like getting up early to read my bible and have my quiet time.  I didn’t FEEL like playing praise and worship music.  Nevertheless, I sucked it up and got up regardless of my feelings.  I made a decision to start the day right, even though it went against every grain in my body that day.

I went into the kitchen Continue reading

Life Lessons to be Learned in Fantasy Football

Here are some Life Lessons to be Learned in Fantasy Football

Life Lessons to be Learned in Fantasy Football

I recently joined a Fantasy Football league.  For anyone that knows me well, this is probably extremely shocking news.  Most people might say to me, “Don’t you have enough football in your life already?”  You see, my husband and son are avid football fans…of ALL football.  My son plays.  My husband coaches.  They’ve played Fantasy Football for years.  My husband occasionally plays flag football with the church.  They both watch…and watch…and watch…both NFL and college ball.  So basically, football is a 7 day/week phenomenon at our house with all the practicing, playing and watching.  Thus, why I’ve come to despise it.  I’ve often referred to myself as a football widow.

You might see then why joining a Fantasy Football league seems counterintuitive.  However, a friend somehow convinced me that it will be good for me (and my family), and for some crazy reason I tend to agree!  More or less, it’s a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy.  My choice to join them is based on wanting to be a part of something that they enjoy so much, even if it’s not an interest of mine.  My hope is that I will also learn to love and enjoy it as they do (well, maybe not quite as much!).  My friend promised me I would have fun, so I’m going to hold her to it!  I also look forward to the benefits that come from sharing experiences together.  According to clinical psychologist Dr. Willard Harley, recreational companionship is one of the top five needs for a man in marriage.  In fact he puts it this way, “The couple that plays together stays together.” (Source: Harley, Willard F. “The Second Thing He Can’t Do Without–Recreational Companionship.” His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001. N. pag. Print.)   

Although I don’t necessarily agree with all of Dr. Harley’s insinuations that unmet needs are the cause of affairs, I do believe in the importance of shared or common interests and in recreational companionship.  Eric and I do this in other areas too.  For example, we both love going to auctions and estate sales, we love being outdoors and on the water, as well as enjoying a few other common interests together.  Now, football (or any sport for that matter) might not be my top preference, but it IS my husband’s and also my son’s.  Therefore, because it’s important to them, I’m choosing to make it important to me.  Who knows—I might even really enjoy myself!  I won’t know unless I give it a try.  Don’t get me wrong though, I still definitely think there can be a ditch there.  When our lives revolve around football I think that’s really sad…and almost idolatry.  For now though, I’m choosing to be a part of the madness. 🙂 And I might as well get some good blog posts out of it as well! 

Here are a few life lessons I’ve learned from Fantasy Football so far…

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