Tag Archives: time

Book Review: Shopping for Time

Shopping for Time: How To Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney, et al. 96 pages.

Introduction — “We can accomplish everything God has ordained for us to do in this life. …And we can do it in a peaceful, joyful manner and get sufficient rest besides” (13).

Chapter One — Shopping For Time — You don’t get the best deals at the mall or the grocery store without planning out your attack. Neither can you get through life without shopping for time. Plan your attack, and get the best bang for you buck, metaphorically speaking.

Chapter Two — The First Tip: Rise Early (Joining the 5 AM Club) — Getting up early allows you to plan your day, spend time with the Lord, and serve your family better.

Hints from page 38:

  1. Place your alarm clock in a strategic location, preferably on the other side of the room from your bed.
  2. Set your alarm for the same time every day.
  3. Never, never, never hit the snooze button or lie back down to catch a few more winks. The second your alarm goes off is the most critical moment in getting up early.
  4. Proceed directly to the coffee pot or caffeinated drink of choice.
  5. Be prepared to feel absolutely miserable for about ten to fifteen minutes. But the misery with God and reap the benefits the rest of the day. Fifteen minutes of misery is certainly worth fifteen-plus hours of peace and productivity.
  6. Remember that our bodies eventually respond to a standard wake-up time. In other words, it gets easier.

Chapter Three — The Second Tip: Sit Still (Sitting at Jesus’ Feet) — There are plenty of methods to study the word of God, but all recognize the importance of it. And all focus on getting to know God and becoming more like Him. “Sitting at Jesus’ feet is the essential tip to becoming a true shopper of time. It is not, however, a way to gain or lose God’s approval” (48).

Chapter Four — The Third Tip: Sit and Plan (Taking a Personal Retreat) — The author takes two personal overnight retreats each year. Take time to hit pause! Find a place without distractions and go alone! “It’s really simple. All you need is your Bible and a computer or pen and paper–whichever you’re most comfortable with. Begin by listing your priorities. …Although your list may look slightly different [from the author’s], it’s important that your priorities come from God’s Word and not cultural or personal preferences” (54). “Once you’ve listed your priorities, create a separate page for each one to use as a worksheet. Then evaluate yourself, prayerfully going through the priorities one at a time.

Under each category, assess how you are doing–what is going well and what needs to change” (55). Then pick one to focus on. Don’t try to change everything at once; you’ll get overwhelmed. Just pick one, work on that, and then move on.

Chapter Five — The Fourth Tip: Consider People (Evaluating Relationships Carefully) — Choose “friends who sharpen” (71), “friends who mentor” (72), “friends who need friends” (73), and “friends who need salvation” (73). Then the tough part, see if you have any friends that are bad company and break ties if necessary. Prioritze your relationships: God, family, then friends. Then evaluate each relationship to see how it can glorify God.

Chapter Six — The Fifth Tip: Plan To Depend (Being Productive in Daily Life) — Plan ahead, pick the best time for each task, and take one step at a time. This chapter also gives tips on dealing with interruptions, busy seasons, and inevitable trials. C.J.Mahaney is quoted on page 87, “Only God gets his to-do list done each day. We are not God. We are finite creatures with serious limitations.”

Conclusion — The only cure is Jesus.

This book is on sale at www.sovereigngracestore.com for $9 right now. I would highly recommend this book for anyone feeling overwhelmed with life. It’s a quick, easy read that’s full of value. ~Melissa

Love Your Kitchen – You Spend a Lot of Time There! (Mar. 9, 2010)

How much time do you spend in your kitchen each day? A recent poll revealed that time in the kitchen over the last 40 years has decreased significantly, mostly due to the creation of efficient food prep items (like the microwave: an appliance we don’t own and don’t care to). Most families don’t even create 4 homemade meals per week nowadays! This was a really interesting article, but it was kind of sad to me. To see the full article, click here.

I was trying to calculate how much time I spend in the kitchen. Let’s take Sunday, for example. I always spend more time in my kitchen over the weekends than during the week, as I work an 8-5 job on Mondays through Fridays. Sunday, I got up and prepped the London broil for lunch (took about 10 minutes to find the recipe, mix the marinade and stick the meat back in the refrigerator). Then I had to prep the dough for our week’s bread (I have this great sourdough starter that I just keep feeding and bake about once a week). That took about 15 minutes. Then I poured myself a pre-made smoothie, wiped down the counters and went upstairs to get ready for church. So, we’re at about 30 minutes so far.

We got home from church about 12:45 and I started fixing lunch. I had my cousin chop the asparagus and onions, while I chopped potatoes, got them boiling, put the green beans on the stove and preheated the oven to broil. While everything was doing its thing on the stove and in the oven, I made some black bean hummus to serve with my All Natural The Works chips. Rinsed dishes and put them in the dishwasher, and cleaned up the countertops. We ate around 1:30, so lunch took 45 minutes, and we’re up to 1 hr. 15 minutes.

After lunch was clean up. I took my time and it was another 25 minutes – I know I’m weird, but washing dishes is therapeutic to me. Then I made a French press of coffee (about 5 minutes). So we’re up to 1 hr. 45 minutes.

Prep for dinner was fairly simple. We had Italian sausage and sauerkraut with apples (see recipe in previous post). It took about 30 minutes, then 10 minutes to clean up afterwards. So, since yesterday was a fairly typical Sunday, I’m going to say I spend about 2 ½ hrs. in the kitchen on Sundays. That’s a good chunk of my day. If our table was in the kitchen, you could add another hour and 15 minutes to that, which makes almost 4 hours in one day!

During the week, my time in the kitchen looks like this: 15 minutes in the a.m. to pack breakfast and lunch and 1 hr. in the evening to prep food and clean up afterwards. Inevitably, when we have company, we end up talking in the kitchen, either while we cook together, or just fixing tea and chatting. Our kitchen is too small to have a table in it, so we eat in the dining room for most meals. If you have a table in your kitchen, your time spent in the kitchen obviously increases. Growing up, the kitchen table was the place we gathered for our after school snacks, homework time, craft time, or just family discussion time, and we always shared dinner as a family (a tradition that many Americans are sadly missing out on today).

My point is this: we spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so make it a place of retreat and enjoyment, and make it work for you.
Pick cheerful colors for the walls, and if you have windows, make it so the sun can shine in! We just redid our kitchen. When we bought the house, it had a country style wallpaper print of vines and blue and pink flowers with thick lace curtains. When we finally got around to removing the wallpaper this winter, I literally felt like I could breathe better (I think those vines were strangling me)! We chose a Lyndhurst Duchess Blue for the top, a Lyndhurst Estate Cream for the trim, and Granola Crunch for below the chair rail. My mom helped me pick out these adorable bright curtains with the same blue and brown and a green that matches our dining room. They’re fresh and fun and energizing. I love them!
Make it efficient for how you work! I built a custom spice rack out of excess crown molding and dowel rods because I was tired of digging through the cupboard for the right herbs and spices every time I was in the kitchen. This way, I can have them alphabetized! The geek in me loves that! (Warning: I also sort my cans by meal type.)

Here’s a little sneak peek into my kitchen (before with wallpaper):

And after (sans wallpaper). It’s a place I love to be now:

And finally, a picture of the dining room, so you can see the fresh color that matches my kitchen curtains (Organic Vegetable Garden: yep, that’s really what it’s called)!
Organic Vegetable Garden