Do you have time and energy to devote to speaking or writing? If not, you may need to edit your life.
Editing our lives means making room to honor our calling. I’ll give you some ideas for editing your life, and then I’d love to hear from you!
Edit according to seasons
When we step forward in ministry, we enter a new season of life. In this season we will probably have to make some changes. Something’s gotta give. For example, in one season I kept my priority of teaching women’s Bible study but let go of teaching Sunday school to preschoolers.
Start with the prayerful process of deciding on your top priorities: attending practices and kids’ events, dates with husband, teaching Bible study, exercising, time with friends, helping with aging parents, serving on other ministry committees, speaking, writing. All these activities have been at the top of my list at various times, but not all at the same time!
Once we determine our priorities, we then can look at our schedules and decide to eliminate some of our activities. We truly cannot do everything, can we?
Also, if you may have other commitments, such as family or church activities, that you want to stay at the top of your list. That’s okay!
Before you commit to chaperone a field trip, to teach a Bible study, or to serve on that committee, can you pause to pray about your answer? Your answer might need to be, “Thank you for asking me. I’d like to pray about this and get back to you.”
You might need to discontinue some current commitments by saying, “I’m adding a new commitment to my schedule right now, so I have to step away from some things I’ve been doing.”
Or, and this is hard for me, simply, “No.” And no explanation needed. Does anyone else have a hard time with this?! We’ll talk more in the future about this, but I want you to know about a book that has helped me in this area: Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.
Edit your responsibilities
To help us place ministry at the top of our to-do list, we may need to delegate some of our other responsibilities. I didn’t have much money when I first started writing, but I had a supportive group of friends who helped one another. Once per week Nancy’s son Mikey came over to play with Tyler, and then later in the week she’d watch the kids, freeing up at least half a day for me to have uninterrupted writing time.
What about your family? How can they step up to do some of the things that you’ve been doing? Kids can do laundry, fix dinner, clean up from dinner, and walk the dog. Husbands can help too! When you solicit your families help, they become a part of your ministry.
Edit your busyness
Ministry’s demands can leave you drained. That’s why we need to control our busyness. We need to make sure we have margin, that white space where we can just be. We all need time where we can be refreshed by the Lord. As an example, Amy and I are taking some time for refreshment this summer, as we take a sabbatical from blogging the month of July.
If you’re having trouble taking a break from some activities, here’s something to think about: sometimes our inability to take a break stems from fear that our ministry will slow down. Does that resonate with you? Is it time to trust God and take some time off?
Another way to edit your busyness is to delegate some ministry tasks. At Next Step Coaching Services we have hired others to do social media, website design and upkeep, marketing, accounting, and a number of other things. Another idea is to recruit interns looking for experience in your field.
I hope this post has given you some things to think about, has given you permission to make some changes so you can prioritize ministry, or has give you affirmation about the editing of your life that you’ve already done.
I’d love to know how you’ve edited your life, or how you need to edit your life!
ps. Even though you won’t be receiving emails from us in July during our blogging break, you can still receive encouragement every week day from our speaker/writer community. Click here to join us on Facebook!