First Things (and how to cope with summer)

First ThingsSummer is hard. Wonderful, but hard.

I find myself frustrated by needing to accomplish the same things I do during the school year days (client deadlines, etc.), but wanting (and needing) to spend the time with the kids. Result: this productivity junkie is getting very little done.

After reading multiple articles on how crippling perfectionism is to productivity, I’ve had to coach myself to use the 20 minute gaps of time interspersed within my days because I won’t have two uninterrupted hours. Instead of waiting until I have “enough time” to do something well (read: perfectly), I need to do what I can with the time I have.

This has necessitated solidifying my priorities… knowing well which things are most deserving of those precious minutes. Reading 2 Chronicles put another (more important) layer atop my understanding:  

In the very first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors of the Temple of the Lord and repaired them.
— 2 Chronicles 29:3 NLT (emphasis mine)

Hezekiah follows a long string of idolatrous kings, making his reign a sharp and welcome contrast. I simply love that his first actions as God’s appointed ruler were to make the Temple of the Lord available again for worship. (Can you imagine if this were the plan for the first 90 days of a presidency?)

I’ve developed a habit of mentally queueing up what I need to work on the next morning every night as I fall asleep. My best window of productive time is the early, cool hours before the house is fully awake, so I’ve got to hit the ground running when the alarm rings. In my desperate quest for check marks on the to-do list, I had unintentionally allowed my time for prayer and Bible study to ebb into the background. During the school year, I see the kids out the door and then sit in the quiet with the Lord. Alas, this plan backfires in the summer since those lil’ darlings never leave. It was Hezekiah’s example that caused me to rethink my routines and put God first on my calendar each day.

In fact, it was the last part of the verse, where it says he repaired the doors of the Temple, that reminded me that sometimes we have to go back and start fresh. Apparently the doors had fallen into disrepair and needed some TLC. My spiritual life did, too.

Whatever bad habits we may have acquired, allowing our spiritual lives to become neglected, we can reopen and repair the doors. It’s not too late.

Please share!
    • Kelly Fuller King via Facebook

      Excellent reminder for me today! Thank you!

    • Julia Wilson Elzie via Facebook

      Good reminder for me, too. God stretches our time when we are faithful to Him and His callings on our lives.