Redeeming the Time: Living Life on Purpose
“Man! Where has the month gone?”
“I cannot believe how quickly the past two months have gone by.”
“Where has the day gone? I didn’t accomplish nearly what I wanted to do today.”
Please tell me that I am not the only woman who says things like this ALL THE TIME.
When I started thinking, back in October of last year, about what I wanted 2019 to look like personally and for The Diligent Woman, one phrase kept coming to mind: “redeem the time”.
There are lots of things that ruin my plans on any given day. The biggest is Chronic Lyme disease.
I may have made plans on Sunday evening (my planned time for planning for the week) for what I wanted to get done this week, but Lyme decided differently. I didn’t wake up with energy. I may not wake up with a brain that will allow me to process words clearly. Some days, I just know my legs are not going to cooperate today – so I know I cannot plant myself in my office for several hours.
It literally steals my ability to do something productive with my time.
So, I have to make adjustments. But, I will talk about those in a minute.
When I started thinking more about “redeeming the time”, I was reminded how much I AM in charge of how I use the time I have. Even with things that get in the way – I am still in control of how I make use of most of my day.
Ephesians 5:15-16 in the KJV say, “See then, that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”How are you redeeming your time? #thediligentwoman #beingproductive #prov31
To redeem something simply means to buy it. To make an exchange. I will give this in order to get that.
So, what exchanges were made for my time?
Well, Netflix got a lot of it. When you cannot focus you cannot read – so the dumb box got a lot of attention.
Playing games got a lot of time too. Set the stopwatch function on your mobile device the next time to stop to play Bejewelled, Gardenscapes, or Bakery Blitz (the last two are the ones I play). See just how long it takes to run through the lives you have available at a given time. Gardenscapes will give bonuses where you have unlimited lives for HOURS!!! Anyway – the exchange rate is HUGE. A LOT of time given to playing games that don’t further your efforts for the day at all. Social media is just as bad. I put a lovely little extension on my Chrome browser called Kill News Feed. It turns off the Newsfeed on Facebook. So, if I open Facebook I am not scrolling mindlessly through my feed. I have to click to go to groups or pages intentionally. I have to go to my “friends” list and click on someone to go see their wall – again intentionally. I find that I don’t need to spend nearly as much time on Facebook if I’m not lost in my newsfeed.
Paul says that our time needs to be redeemed” because the “days are evil”.
I need to be making a better exchange for my time because Satan is looking to fill my days with evil. There is a warning to the young widows in 1 Timothy 5 that I believe all of us would do well to heed. In 1 Timothy 5:13 he says, “At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.”
If I am not careful I will use my time during the day talking (texting, chatting on social media, etc) talking about things that bring no benefit. And worse, because I’m not being careful to be BUSY, I might fall into talking about people in ways I shouldn’t and things that are not mine to talk about!
The encouragement to avoid such trouble is for these women to “get married, bear children, keep house” – to what end? To “give the enemy NO occasion for reproach” (emphasis mine, 1 Tim. 5:14). In other words, GET BUSY and STAY BUSY doing what is yours to do. Fortunately, we have an excellent example in Proverbs 31 of many different ways to do just that!
God shows us that planning is Wisdom
I’ve talked before how the woman in Proverbs 31 is an example of a woman with a plan.
There are other places where God shows us this also.
God has a plan – Ephesians 1:3-14
His plan has different parts at different times – Matthew 24:36; Hebrews 9:1, 15; Acts 1:7
Take care of things in the right order – Proverb 24:17; Psalm 127:1
Make plans, knowing God’s will determines our hours – James 4:13-17; Luke 12:15-21
Be prepared as far as you can – Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 24:42; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Thess. 4:9-12
Planning is a good plan. Trusting more in the plan than in God is the danger. If you can do as James 4:13-17 teaches, make a plan but always say, “If the Lord wills”.
How to do better at “redeeming the time”
I took Ephesians 5:16 on as my verse for the year because everything has a price. How I spend my day costs me something. The easiest not to notice is my time. It costs me minutes that I cannot ever get back. Energy I do notice. I can tell when I’m fatigued – mentally and physically.
Our family is quickly approaching the wedding of one of our daughters. We have had months to plan and prepare. Everything is ready. But with each day I am reminded that I am one day closer to her not being a daily part of our family unit anymore. She and her hubby will be creating their own family unit (Gen. 2:24; Mt. 19:5). I need to make use of the days that I have with her. I will not get them back.
Thinking about losing days with one daughter, makes me think of the other four. I need to be aware of my time with them too. I have no guarantee of another day with them (James 4:14). The same is true of my man. I need to make sure that I am redeeming the time each and every day to be doing him good “all the days” of my life (Prov. 31:12) for as long as I have them.
Separate from family, I have other places where I need to be making use of my time too. Encouraging my brethren (Rom. 14:19), teaching the younger women (Titus 2:4-5), and sharing the reason for my hope with those who have none (1 Peter 3:15).
As I progress through this year, I will look for ways to deliberately and diligently choose how I will spend my moments.
Because Satan wants to rob me of good moments doing good things that God would be pleased about.
Because Satan wants me to look back with regret instead of looking forward to the future with a smile (Prov. 31:25; Phil. 3:13).
He wants to fill my days with evil.
I will diligently choose how I spend my energy and my moments because the price is too high to waste on anything that will not bring “good days” (1 Pet. 3:10).
Do you have your armor on? #thediligentwoman #prov31 #redeemingthetime
In short – this battle is being waged in the moments of life and my armor must be strong (Eph. 6:10-17)!
Here are some of the things I’ve done to make it where I can redeem my time better, despite things like Chronic Lyme, fatigue, and brain fog getting in my way:
1. I bought a Chromebook.
My main computer is a large, 17-inch screen HP Envy laptop that I have had for over six years. It’s GREAT as an alternative to a PC, BUT it is HEAVY and BIG. So, if I’m stuck in bed with only my lapdesk to work on, my takes up too much room. I needed something lighter, cheaper, and with a longer battery so I wasn’t attached to a mile-long cord all day. The Chromebook is PERFECT. It works off of Google Chrome web browser technology, so everything syncs with my browser on my big laptop. All my passwords, all my bookmarks – they are all there. And since most of what I do is in a browser, it is super easy to use. When my brain is working but my legs are not – I can still get some work done.
2. I bought the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle from Ultimate Bundles
After spending months trying to figure out how to create a menu through Lyme brain fog, I bought this bundle from UB. The bundle has paleo and keto recipes (which are killing-Lyme friendly types of foods) all ready to go in monthly meal plans. There are Instant Pot menus and Crockpot menus. There are One Pot dinner menus and menus that save money. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I choose a menu plan that is already written, circle the recipes we want to use from it, and write them on the chalkboard in the kitchen.
I shop my own pantry and freezers for the ingredients needed, then put whatever I don’t have on our grocery list. Well, let me correct that, I have our daughters do that part. Then I go shopping for whatever is on our list. We have food, but we aren’t throwing out food. We are saving money. Both of which are huge helps to “redeeming” my time in the day-to-day.
3. I use my supplements to support my health.
Young Living has been the best investment for helping me to redeem my time.
I use oils, supplements and Ningxia Red to support my energy levels. It is rare that I will have a brain fog day that Brain Power essential oil blend cannot help. Drinking Lime essential oil in my water is both refreshing and relaxing. You can read more about how we’ve used them here – Essential Oils 101
We use oils and Thieves Household Cleaner to keep our home free of chemicals that could harm us and to battle the germs so we do not need to make a trip to the doctor. (Seriously, how much time have I saved not needing to take five kiddos to the doctor? I can’t begin to guess. We haven’t gone to the doctor for random illnesses in years.) My visits to see my Lyme Literate doctor every three months is it. That’s a testament to his knowledge in my treatment and the benefit of supporting healthy choices with Young Living.
4. I have set my schedule.
There is just no way around it. There has to be a plan. Just like my menus need a plan to be accomplished well – so does my day and each part of it.
I have a schedule for homeschool. Each girl knows what they are supposed to be doing on a given day. I set aside two-three hours in the afternoons to help the littlest two with anything they cannot do on their own. Fortunately for me, that means I get some rest time because rarely do they need my help. #homeschoolisawesome #selfdrivenstudyrocks
I have a schedule for work. Each morning I have several hours blocked out to work on the blog, bible studies, preparing for classes I teach, or whatever falls into work other than caring for the home and family.
I have a schedule for household chores. Mine fall on Wednesday. Laundry, cleaning my room and bathroom. The rest of the week and the rest of the chores are divided up between the girls. #trainyourarmyearly
I have a schedule for time with my man. Yes, we have a regular date scheduled on the calendar. Every week we go out, just the two of us. Our daily routine is also built with time for us just to hang out together in the evenings. There’s no struggle to find a chance to talk about things that need to be talked about – the time is built in.
5. Last, but certainly not least, God is in my daily plan.
There is not a day where I don’t pray or spend time in His word. Whether it is for the blog, something with the girls for school, studying to teach a class, or just looking up something I got to thinking about – His word is open throughout my day. I budget time for prayer. I use the Echo app to trigger me to stop and pray for something specific three times a day.
Our souls have been redeemed through the sacrifice of Christ. He paid that price for us because we could not.
As we live each day to be a living sacrifice for the cause of Christ (Rom. 12:1-2); we can make intentional, deliberate choices to make the best exchange of our time for the results of the day. We CAN live life on purpose.
The trick is in the choosing. Choosing to put family, home, and the Lord before the things that will not bring “good things” when the time spent is all counted in the balance.
What will you choose to spend your time doing today?