Friday, September 16, 2005

What Exactly Do You *Do* All Day?

I've gotten this question quite a few times over the last few weeks--pretty much anytime someone (whether it's friends back home, or people at our Bible study) finds out I don't have a job. I'll admit, I would be asking too if I were you. It's easy to imagine that a stay-at-home mom has plenty to keep her hands full all day long...but how exactly does a stay-at-home wife fill up the hours of her day?

Part of the beauty, or the struggle (depending on how you look at it) is that no two days are the same. I make my own schedule; my day is structured around whatever I want to get done. There are a few things always on my plate: a freelance project I'm working on for Kingdom Building Ministries; time to search for a job; cooking/cleaning/laundry/etc.; and believe it or not, I'm still working on unpacking and organizing our apartment (though that's very close to being done--it's more like reorganizing what's already filling our closets).

To be honest and vulnerable, one of the biggest struggles is wasting time. As a general rule, I tend to thrive off schedule, routine and deadlines--of which I have none. Unfortunately, as I've discovered the hard way, it's a crappy feeling to get to the end of the day and realize you didn't accomplish much of anything--and it's far too easy to do. So one of the things I'm working on is asking God to help me be a better steward of the hours He gives me, to order my steps each day and align my priorities with His. I need His help to be discplined and motivated and to not waste time.

Two of the biggest perks are time with Him and time to read. I can devour books for personal enrichment/pleasure at a rate unlike I've ever had time for in the past. And, I don't have to try and cram fifteen minutes with God into my morning routine (along with eating, getting ready and working out) before work. I can curl up on the couch with my journal and Bible and stay there for two hours if the mood strikes me (which it often does).

Please understand, I say that not to make you think that I'm a super-spiritual wonder Christian. Rather, it's a testimony to God's grace that after the rough nine months I had last year, He has given me a renewed hunger for His Word and thirst for His presence that I hadn't had in a long time. So I explain my quiet times not to boast, because ultimately God isn't comparing my quiet time to yours, and He's not sitting with a stopwatch and a log book, tracking how many minutes we each give Him. (See my previous post "Along the Way" for more thoughts on that.) We can each cultivate intimacy with the Lord in many ways, just one of which being the way I'm doing it now. I'm merely choosing to look for the blessings in my current season of life instead of spend the time complaining and feeling miserable. *end disclaimer*

That said, I know some of you are still wondering how it is I fill up the time. Here's one sample:

5:45-6:00 get up and eat breakfast with Steve
6:00-6:45 checking email, surfing blogs, reading the news
6:45-7:30 work out (yoga on this particular day)
7:30-8:15 shower, etc.
8:15-10:30 prayer, reading, study
10:30-12:15 errands (grocery shopping, post office, library, dry cleaners--pretty mundane)
12:15-12:30 at the computer again
12:30-1:15 lunch (+ more reading while I eat)
1:15-2:30 working on the freelance project for KBM
2:30-4:15 job search: researching companies, looking for other places to apply
4:15-4:30 random internet surfing (reading one article sends me to another and I get sucked in)
4:30-5:00 making dinner
...and the rest of my evening is spent with my dear husband, who has arrived home from work.

So there you have it--a very exciting look at what exactly it is that I do all day. Perhaps in that context, my posts about being faithful in the small things and feeling insignificant have a little more meaning.

1 comment:

Maria said...

It is refreshing for me to hear you have time to be refreshed yourself! I remember those difficult nine months and am thankful along with you that God has rewarded you with a season of rest! I, for one, have been been blessed by the way you are spending this restful time...your posts are thoughtful and challenging, and I know your ability to spend extended time in prayer is also touching my life. ;) Love you, lots, Amy. :)