>Let me pencil you in

>Seriously. When someone asks to hang out, or I ask someone, I am constantly consulting my Holy Grail of scheduling – the calendar on my iPod. I tell you, if it ever dies or I lose data on my calendar, I will be a lost cause.

I understand that people are busy, and I’m busy. But I’m too busy for my own good. I think 97% of America is. I finally took the step today for no more than 25-30 hours rather than 35ish hours. Next week I have only 26 because of asking off next Friday and Saturday for the race, and I am so looking forward to it.

I really need to embrace this time in my life where it’s not necessary for me to keep a lucrative full-time job (teaching is lucrative compared to this one!). Hopefully soon I will be working on preparations for moving and I will need time to do that. Whenever I work full-time again, I will have to prune back the groups I’m involved in and things I do for people to make sure I’m not too busy.

I have my typical day planned out from about 7AM to 1AM every day. Get up, get ready for work, go to work, meeting/church group/practice, running, talking to Aaron, sleep.

My #1 priority has to be prayer/study. There is no close second. There is no substitute. If I don’t have this time, how can I expect to grow and change? How can I expect to effectively affect the lives of others? The idea of rest and not feeling guilty about it is my next big challenge to overcome.

For literally years now I’ve been under the conviction to get my lazy butt out of bed in the morning and do my prayer/study time. With coffee, of course. But I don’t want it to be hurried (i.e. reading my daily devotional while holding a spoon for my cereal in my hand, while of course simultaneously tying my shoes). I don’t want it to feel like a chore.

And now this evening, things have worked out that I am home hours before I thought I would be. I got off work at 7:30 after a rough close. It was too late to go to a group in the next town over as it got over around 8ish. Regina and I needed to do a long run, but the weather has not cooperated. So I came home. It was weird.

Sometimes when I get home I just want to crawl right into bed. I am in bed now, with my water and laptop and Bible and notebook. Just like when I lived with my parents and had no other good place to do my Bible study. (My bedroom was small and I liked being cozy. It worked out well.)

I still have a couple hours before I talk to Aaron. So now I’ll spend this time praying, studying, and probably sleeping a little bit. I need to have more unstructured time like this so I can hear from the Lord. Crazy busy days should be a rare thing. And when I do have them, I know I will be given the strength to get through it with grace.

And just before I hit the “publish post” button and catapult my erratic thoughts into cyber space, I looked at my devotion for October 24. Confirmation if I ever saw it…

“Lie down in green pastures of Peace. Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the Presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps My children “wired” much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments. I built into your very being the need for rest. How twisted the world has become when people feel guilty about meeting this basic need! How much time and energy they waste by being always on the go, rather than taking time to seek My direction for their lives.

I have called you to walk with Me down paths of peace. I want you to blaze a trail for others who desire to live in My peaceful Presence. I have chosen you less for your strengths than for your weaknesses, which amplify your need for Me. Depend on Me more and more and I will shower Peace on all your paths.” [emphasis mine]