Friday, August 7, 2009

A Verse for Today - Zephaniah 3:17

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

What a beautiful picture of God's love for us!

I think it's worth noting that this verse comes after a long litany of things that God planned to do to purify his people. When we allow him to burn away all the things unpleasing to him, we can walk in greater closeness to him, and have the kind of relationship he intends to have with his people.

Delight... quiet love... joyful singing, with YOU at the center!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Redeem the Time by Unitasking

Something that's been on my mind lately as I've been walking through life is the amount of multitasking that's required to successfully juggle all my responsibilities. But it's also come to my attention that I do a fair amount of unnecessary multitasking (do I REALLY need to check my email on my phone while I'm sitting in the drive thru?), and as a result, all the tasks I am doing in a given moment suffer (oops, didn't realize the car in front of me was out of the drive thru because I was looking at my phone!).

Performing more than one task at a time, while easier for most women that it is men, is not the optimum way to achieve excellence (see yesterday's post). If I want to do my best at a task, then it must have my full attention.

Perhaps the best example of unnecessary multitasking happens when I'm supposed to be listening to others. I can't tell you how many times people come into my office, or my children come to me, or my husband calls me, and I do not stop what I'm doing to give them my full attention. Refusing to give them my attention has several consequences, including not being able to remember later exactly what they said and making them feel that they do not deserve priority over other tasks.

Paul tells us to redeem the time. And I want to make the most of the time I'm given, but how can I do that when I try to fit too many things into a single moment?

So, my quest for the day has been to try to unitask as much as possible. My ground rules are that listening to music or the radio while doing other things is still allowable, and, of course, tending to children in the middle of tasks is obviously required to be allowed. But other than that, each task should stand alone.

It's been really hard, and I've already fallen off the wagon twice (how can I stay caught up with my Facebook friend's statuses if I don't read FB while I'm walking or sitting at red lights?!), but I'm determined to try to do better.

What do you think? Could you become a unitasker? Or do you disagree that unitasking is the best way to redeem the time?

Thursday, July 23, 2009



Sometimes when you're just trying to keep your head above water it's hard to think about striving for excellence.

But for the most part, excepting certain life events that excuses us from reality for a few hours, days, or months, we should try to meet the highest standard we can, especially as children of God who are encouraged in His Word to do all that we do as if we're doing it for Him.

It's easy to coast along, and do the bare minimum to accomplish what you must. I've done this in every area of my life at one time or another (and occasionally in all areas at once): do what you have to just to keep the kids alive, fed, clothed, and reasonably clean; do what you have to just to make it to work, put in your 8 hours, and go home; do what you have to just to keep your marriage intact.

After a while, though, it gets old because the results aren't what you really want out of life. You know things could be better if you just reached a little higher. It's not that you have to try to be perfect -- that's not possible even if you tried.

But excellence is possible. It requires more effort, more concentration, less multi-tasking, and less selfish indulgences, and, I might add, a good nights sleep. After all, who can be excellent when they're exhausted?!

My goal is to get to the end of my life and not have to ask how things would have been different if I had given it my all. And one way to give it my all is to strive to be excellent in every area that's important to me. This may mean I need to pare down my life so that I trim away what's not important so I can concentrate on what is.

What's most important to you in life? And how can you strive toward excellence in those areas?