Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Living A Flavorful Life

I want to talk to you about budgeting....relax though, I'm not talking about money. Nope, I'm talking about our lives. Do you feel over stressed and exhausted? Have you ever said or thought, there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done...DONE!" I have....many times. Have you resorted to naming your dust bunnies and calling them pets because you barely have time to clean or purchasing new underwear because you haven't done laundry yet and that's easier than feeling like a domestic failure? I have. Have you ever felt guilty because it feels like the only time you go to God is when you need something or you're in trouble? I have.
How would you like to never feel like that again? How would you like to have time to get everything done that needs to get done including housework and STILL have a relationship with God and those you love? I would....and I think you would too. So here is what I believe God has been showing me so that I can get to that point.

We need to create a Life Budget. Afterall, if we want to get out of financial debt we create a spending budget right? So if we want to get out of life debt then we need to create a life budget.
Every person around the globe is given the same amount of time in every day and every week,168 hours. It's how we allot those hours that make or break us. So here is a basic beginning budget.

-16.8 for God
(That's 2 hours and 24 minutes a day to: daily bible reading and prayer, church, home groups, charity work, reaching out to others with a purpose, i.e. relationship building, mentoring)

If you are Christian, then you're familiar with the 10% tithe we give back to the church financially. So this should make perfect sense to you. If we expect God to work in our lives, then we need to make giving back to Him a priority and give him a 10% "Life Tithe". This is your one principal that will not change because the rest of your week will be built around this foundation. Will every day have 2 hours and 24 minutes set aside for this? No....some may be more, some may be less. Sundays may use up 4 of those hours if you're involved in a helping ministry like, childcare, greeting or cleanup. If you do other charity work that may take a significant amount of time also...it doesn't really matter how you allot that time...as long as you do allot it every week. I do however suggest that you allot AT LEAST 1 hour a day to Bible reading and personal prayer time. It may sound like a lot....but it will set the pace for your entire day and prepare you for how to handle all those curve balls we are hit with in life.

-40 work 
(travel time can be used for something else, like prayer, or mentoring via phone, or quality family time talking with your kids or spouse.)
-56 sleep 
(based on an 8 hour night. Try it...your body and those around you will thank you.)
-7 hours 
(1 hour day house maintenance)

At this point you still have 48.2 hours to work with! That's still 6.8 hours a day!

-14 meal prep and consumption 
(2 hours a day, 7 days a week to fit in all home meals. It may not sound like much, but if you are the average working family these days....you will probably be surprised that you suddenly have time to sit down and have a meal as a family.)

If you are involved in any activity that takes multiple hours from one day....you haven't lost that time...it's just been re-allotted to another day now and you can make it work for you, your schedule and your life! For example; you had to work late, you got stuck in traffic, one kid has a soccer game and the other a flute lesson and all you have time for is a bag of something thrown through a drive thru window at you. Ok, life happens....embrace it. NOWWWW you can take that time and allot it to another day. It's ok....

This now leaves us with 34.2 hours......4.8 hours a day. How will you fill those last 4 hours and 48 minutes of your day?

-spouse or significant other
-children and/or pets
-flex time

My readers from other countries may look at this and think, That's crazy! Why do they have to schedule these things? For us American's however, we know how much we have allowed other things to cause us to live within the red of our life budget. We're tired, cranky, stressed and empty. If we want to live the life that God has given us and live it to the best and really learn to radiate all the things we have in our heart. Then we need to start by giving the first portion of our week and our days to God so that He can fill us up and prepare us for what is ahead.

Matthew 5:13,14 (AMP)

13You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.

I don't know about you, but I don't want my "busyness" to cause me to lose my steength or quality as a Christian. I need this life budget.....how about you?
So, now that you've read this....don't just read and run....leave a comment, let me know what you think. Have ideas for or other readers to make this work even better? Leave a comment.