Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ruthlessly Eliminating Hurry

Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life in our day. Hurry can destroy our souls.
Hurry can keep us from living well.
- John Ortberg

Rev. Ortberg’s mentor, Dallas Willard, once advised him that if he wanted to grow spiritually that he needed to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry”.

Ah, sound advice. I know I don’t do hurry well and I know when I am rushed that it leads to a not-so-nice me…
Which leads me to ponder how I am eliminating hurry in my life.
And this led to me making a list. I love lists.

Eliminating Hurry
#1 First off, I’ve stopped saying “yes” right away to anything that will take up my time. Instead I say that I will pray about it and get back to them. I also talk it over with Mr. Steady. This has been a HUGE step for me.
#2 I have a menu plan. I plan @ least 2 weeks worth of menus and shop for 2 weeks worth of groceries. This eliminates unnecessary trips to the grocery store and take-out. Added bonuses: we eat healthier and more cheaply. Plus- I plan our menus around our activities- if life is going to be hectic 2 or 3 days that week then a plan easy-to-make meals.
#3 I take about 20 minutes every evening to prepare for the next day. This includes putting away clean dishes (clean sink!), setting the table for breakfast, pre-making anything I can for breakfast, checking my menu plan and getting out anything that needs thawing for tomorrow nite’s dinner. Checking my schedule/planner so that I know what I’m going to be doing/needing and getting out any “extras” needed for school the next day. If we’ll be going somewhere the next day, I have the kiddos set out their clothes too.
#4 I have set all clocks in my home @ least 10 minutes fast. This gives us a cushion of time.
#5 I get up at least 30 minutes before my children each morning. I use this time to pray, prep breakfast and do my short morning devotional. I find it is imperative to my good day to start it in God’s Word.
#6 I limit my (and everyone else’s) TV time. Often TV is just a time waster. I am an avid reader and use reg. TV time for fun, just-for-me reading. I also like to multi-task during TV time- like knitting for example.
#7 I prep supper as much as possible during the day and use my crockpot as much as possible so that we have dinner at a good time leaving room in our evening for family time. Sometimes I use two crockpots.
#8 I am trying to go to bed earlier so that I get a good night’s rest. (I am so not a morning person, rather, I am a night owl.) Getting enough rest has been known to greatly improve my mood.
#9 Grouping errands. I know that I will be going to town every Tuesday and Wednesday, so I plan all errands accordingly.
#10 Living in – Ish time. I try to make plans in –ish time, like 5ish, 10ish. That way I have, in my estimation, about 20-30 min. of time to be “on time”.

I can’t imagine the hurried scariness my life would be if I didn’t have the above mentioned time-savers in my life… yikes! I still hurry too much- some days I calculate the extra 10 min. on those clocks and find myself 10 min. late to everything. Other times I hurry because the procrastinating side of me swamps the efficient, organized me into oblivion. Still other times, I find myself hurrying because I’ve rabbit trailed and completely lost track of time.
One more way I’ve learned to tamp down the hurry is to loosen up and quit getting so uptight about being late to the inconsequential things. Being 10 minutes late to Sunday School doesn’t matter like being 10 min. late to work and should not be treated with the same hurry and worry.
The only thing I want to hurry up and do is…
Be Still.

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