Productive Time vs Personal Time

Have you found yourself in a rut lately? Feel like you're doing the same things repeatedly without any real enjoyment?

A preacher we know says that a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out. That's not the place I want to be in my life, so there comes a time when you have to kick yourself out of your rut.

Usually I press through my day to get as much done as I can - I feel most productive when I'm crossing things off my to-do list. I have set priorities for the day so that the most important things get done first. When trying to run a home business, teach piano lessons, serve the church and take care of my home and husband, lists and priorities are super important.

But when I get up in the morning tired and cranky and not in the mood to do much of anything, that's when I realize that I'm in a rut. You must know that feeling, too, because everyone goes through them. We push ourselves to the limit to be productive and then burn ourselves out.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Psalm 116:7-8

There's a precious balance between serving the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and doing things just to be productive. The sweetest times I have are when I'm in Bible study and journal writing - quiet time with the Lord, not busy time with my calendar and to-do list.

Yes, there is much to do, but there is also much time to do it in. Have you ever considered scheduling in some personal time just to break things up and keep yourself sane? Put it down in writing just like you would pencil in a doctor's appointment or a trip to the post office. Hold yourself to that time just so you have a chance to recharge and prepare your mind and body for the next leg of the race.

What do you do for personal time when it comes along? Do you enjoy reading? Crafting? Long walks with your dogs? Family time? Choose something out of the ordinary and completely refreshing, even if you only have a few minutes. That "me" time can pull you out of your rut quickly and put you back in step with God's plan for your day.

He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 2 Samuel 22:20

God enjoys us. Are we enjoying Him? The Lord delights in spending time with us, watching us grow and serving Him to the fullest. But imagine His disappointment when we're working at the grind stone and not enjoying what we're doing. Sometimes the only solution is some personal time with the Lord to pray, to read His Word and to reconnect with His desire for our lives.

If we plow through the day trying to be productive, we'll miss the delight that God has placed along the way. Our walk with the Lord is more precious than anything, and sometimes a planned rest stop along the journey puts it all back in perspective.

So go read a book, bake your favorite goodies, give yourself a manicure, listen to your favorite music or do a really great craft. Turn off your mind for a while, let God have His way in your heart and recommit yourself to serving Him. It's not about the quantity of productive time you have, but the quality in the balance you create.

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