Seasons of Joy Weekly Journal

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

Do you ever wish there were more than 24 hours in a day?  In my search for that elusive ‘perfect’ daily schedule, I reached the conclusion that it wasn’t me trying to fit too much in, oh no, it was because there were only 24 hours in which to fit everything.  I wrote a list of ‘things’ I had to fit in order for my days to be healthy ones.  My conclusion?  Clearly not enough hours in the day!

Only, that is not what the Bible say in Ecclesiastes:

There is a time for everything,
   

So how do I know what is important to keep and what should go?  Everything on my list looks like a good choice, but clearly something is not if it does not fit into the twenty-four hour God has gifted me with.  This is confirmed in the next verse:

 and a season for every activity under the heavens.

When I was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, my mindset on many things changed.  The way I perceived time was one of the biggest changes.  Suddenly, even though my prognosis was largely positive, I thought about the concept of time running out.  It was the first time it had entered my head that I wouldn’t be here forever.  Each time a fear of dying came over me, instead of thinking of my life in years, months or even weeks, I thought of my life in days.  Yes, the cancer may return, but right now I am alive and well.  Today, this day, I am living and breathing.  And this day, I shall live with all of my heart, with all my being, with all my mind…

And so it is four years later.  I see my life in terms of days because it gives clarity and an aliveness I had never felt before.  I have twenty four hours right now that I will never have again and tomorrow, well who knows? – I may not have those twenty four hours.  Only God knows.  So I very much live in the right now, and throw myself into wringing every last minute out of the day.  It is a rather pleasant, fear free way to live.  No, I don’t mean I have no fear at all.  Each time I feel a lump that wasn’t there before, or have a pain which does not go away over a period of time, I am afraid.  But each time, I reassure myself, that I am alive today, and I will live with all of my might today.

Lately (as in the past year or so) I have been feeling a bit more tired than normal, and so have looked at my lifestyle to see if there are things I can change which can gift me (and my family) with more energy to enjoy our todays. This has brought me to my current pondering.  What do I choose to keep in our schedule and what do I get rid of.  Or to put it simpler, what is stealing my energy and what gifts me with more energy?  I will share what I am learning as the weeks go on.

What are absolute essentials for you to have in your daily routine?  And what do you  notice steals both your joy and your energy?  Do share in the comments, I might learn something!

21 comments

  1. I agree! There are not enough hours in a day. Things that are important to my health…sleep, quiet time (morning or night), prayer, water and tea, power walking alone several times a week, living in the present and LAUGHTER with my loved ones. Also, one thing I am bad at~ letting go of worry!
    What steals my energy…WORRY! Mathew 6:34 Therefore, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. That was the biggest way cancer changed my thinking, because I definitely don’t worry about things like I used to. I love your Bible text, it is the exact same one God gave me after I had just been diagnosed.

  2. Claire, I love your approach to life! My Mum, a 4-time cancer survivor, has the same positive attitude and I think it makes a huge difference in how you both recover and live. ((()))) to you and congratulations on your 4 years so far!

    One thing that has helped my energy levels exponentially this year has been adding a green smoothie to my morning routine. I was skeptical but tried it for the month of January figuring I could do anything for 30 days, and I got hooked.

    Another thing that’s been a challenge is estimating time correctly – I am very prone to grossly underestimating the amount of time required to undertake a project! Now I take my original estimate and double it. 🙂

    1. I bought all the frozen stuff to put in a green smoothie, but I can’t bring myself to make it – it looks a bit too green for my liking 🙂 That said, Audria mentioned them as helping her too, so maybe I need to close my eyes, hold my nose and man up and drink 🙂

  3. I have found it very helpful to have personal time to myself. I spend time everyday in my favorite chair reading something not related to schooling or I listen to music and enjoy a nice cup of chai. I have a little nook in our bedroom just for this. I usually let the kids play their video game time so that I can have my own quiet time.
    I also agree with Erin above about the green smoothies. I add ginger to my smoothies as well.
    I’ve also found that walking two miles a day to be very helpful for me. It used to be a painful chore and I hated it but I look forward to my walks now.
    Planning for homeschooling takes so much of my time and trying to fit in everything I think the kids need can be so overwhelming. This past year I have adopted a “less really is more” attitude in our studies. So much knowledge is really interconnected and I have found it easier and freeing to approach our education in this manner…but I learned that from reading your blog. So thank you!

    1. Yes, I enjoy and evening walk (that is my uninterrupted time with God). I like the idea of time away to read. I usually do that when everyone is asleep, or when I have a bath 🙂

  4. I agree with many of Dawn’s suggestions. I would also add that when Jesus lived on earth there were so many people he could have chosen to heal, many broken hearts He could have healed, but He chose to simply care for those in front of Him. If God, with all His infinite power chooses not to do everything He can physically do, at every given moment, but prioritises been completely present with those in front of Him, then that is how I chose to live. I chose to hug my children, care for my family, share the Gospel through word and deed to those I meet, spend time with God and take every moment, every task, every word, as an opportunity to worship God, by offering it to Him as a living sacrifice. He does not expect me to do everything, or He would have said that Martha had chosen the better thing, not Mary. He hopes that I will seek Him and that He will give me peace with the tasks undone, because in terms of eternity, most of my todo list is irrelevant. We rush because we see time through the the eyes of this temporal world, but packing too much into one day is unnecessary if we see it it through eternal eyes, God never seems in a rush to answer prayers, but He is never lazy and this is the balance I aim for. Having said all of this, last night we rushed from drama to Atheletics and I got cross because my eldest got the directions wrong, clearly I need to listen to my own suggestions.

    1. You are very wise, and we really do need to get together soon for your wisdom to seep out of you and into me….
      I love what you say about Jesus. I know it, but I had never really thought about it in terms of our own business. Thank you xxx

  5. One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”
    ― Elisabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms

    I thought this seemed relevant.

  6. Prayer Food and Love The Keys to energy

    I woke up this morning and asked the question Why homeschool? I spend a lot of time stressing about whether or not I am doing a good job and hence my energy gets drained. When I spend my time in prayer asking the one who created me to organise my affairs and educate the children well. All sorts of amazing opportunities come my way.

    My hair has gone grey(ish) my teeth and gums have begun to deteriorate but All Praises due to God who is the one who guides and forgives our weaknesses. The more I remember my creator and the more I submit my will to His the more at peace I am.

    Remembering the importance of my relationship to God always helps me learn to say no when needed.

    God guides whom he pleases to a way that is straight.

    Diet plays a huge role in our energy levels. At 49 with eight children my energy reached an all time low. A lady in a supermarket suggested Spirulina.
    I also eat organic food and raw milk to get all the right nutrients. Taking Iron supplements Vitamin D3. Finally I am reviving my systems.

    Finally love. Renewing the family ties. and visiting people in hospital are boosting my belief, my love and my energy.

  7. As one whose health is at an all time, low, I thank you for this post and look forward to your future ones on this topic. I am trying to live in the day and let tomorrow worry about itself. Perhaps the greatest thing I have learned, however, is to not put off my time with God in the morning. There have been times where I look at my to-do list and just think I do not have time to spend thirty minutes to an hour in His Word. But oh how wrong I am! By putting that time first, and then praying over my to-do list, my days are much more joyful! I pray that He shows me what I need to place as a priority, as well as giving me a grateful heart wheat He determines that I need an “interruption” to my plan!

    1. I’m so sorry your health is not good right now. If there is anything I can pray for you just let me know. I would love to prayerfully wage a war on your ill health xxx
      And yes, really God is the key to everything, isn’t He? Sending you much love and prayers for better health ((()))

  8. You’re such an encouragement Claire. Thanks for this post.
    I try to start every morning by reading my Bible and reflecting on that before I do anything else. It sets me in the correct frame of mind.
    I try to begin my days before my children wake up but at their ages that is sometimes hard. I also try to limit my own screen time as I can become as wrapped up in it as the children can; it can really get me off track and not in the proper frame of mind to go back to what I should be doing. But one must make time for pleasant blogs and encouragement on the internet occasionally! 🙂

    1. Again, such great advice! I hear you about the screen time too. It is so easy to get caught up (especially as I have a blog) It is one thing I want to change – more movement and less time working at the computer. I am making changes but always slowly, slowly.
      Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  9. Just a little message to everyone who commented on this post. THANK YOU. It is so fabulous that we can have this e-conversation with like minded people across the world. I consider it a privilege to be walking this walk alongside such a wise group of women. Thank you all for being a part of this journey of mine 🙂

  10. I am my own worst enemy in this regard- I don’t necessarily try to do too much, but I still struggle with going to bed early enough. Having enough sleep makes a huge difference to how much energy I have for life. I think eating healthily as others mentioned, is also important. Praying that you will discover what ‘schedule’ works best for you 🙂

  11. Yes, I always wish for more time 🙂 The attitude is so important in making the most of what our days reflect. I am feeling similarly and will keep you in my prayers as I am re-learning how to manage the blessings of each day, hour, and minute.

  12. Have you read Beginning Again: Benedictine Wisdom for Living with Illness? I read it about a year ago and a friend recently posted it to me to read again; it was eye-opening the first time and is if anything even more useful this time around. While I am not “ill” in a medical sense, the wisdom and inspiration it contains is really helpful for the struggles I’m dealing with at the moment (I might blog about these at some point, it feels a bit too personal right now). I definitely recommend it 🙂

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