A common problem for Christian women is feeling too busy. We express concerns about being pushed, stressed, anxious, and worn out because of all we do. Is it possible we bring some of that on ourselves through the choices we make concerning our time usage?
Scripture gives us practical guidelines to help us. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23). Might we evaluate our time usage by seeing whether what we are doing is expedient or edifying? The word “expedient” in the Greek means “be better for, good, profitable” and “edify” means “to build up” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).
Let’s start by looking at an area that is part of our 21st century lives – computers and media. Our mothers might have struggled with spending too much time on the phone, but with media, we moved into a realm where the other person doesn’t even have to be available for us to engage.
How many hours a day are you giving of your life to your computer or your phone? Have these actually become addictions for you? From Facebook to shopping to YouTube videos, many spend hours on their computers. These are often the same moms who are stressed by how busy they are. Are they wasting time on the computer while ignoring what is truly important in their lives? What about you? What would happen if you were to stay off your computer, phone, and iPad except for necessities? Would your time pressure ease? You might find out if you are actually addicted by trying not to be on your computer or other devices.
Another gauge might be to compare how much time you spend with the Lord each day in your Bible reading and prayer – there’s no doubt that’s edifying! – versus how much time you spend with media. Ladies with time pressure might spend hours a day on their computers and phones while being unwilling and unable to get out of bed in the morning to meet with their Lord in His Word because they are so tired.
Beyond time usage, what kind of example do you give to your children when you are on your computer or looking at your phone so much? Is it an edifying or expedient example. Is this media time edifying for you or for your child?
Is your computer/media time good and profitable? Does it build up?
Could your time pressure be because you aren’t using the time you have available efficiently? Putting together a schedule and using it is a simple solution to that problem. It really isn’t that hard, and it is amazing how much more you will accomplish when you are on a schedule.
Making a schedule helps you weed out activities that are not expedient or edifying. Seeing your activities, with their time usage, written down will help you prioritize what you do, while eliminating what isn’t expedient or edifying. What you do has to fit into a 24 hour day.
Here’s what Proverbs tells us: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:60). We observe that ants are busy, working, always doing. Is it possible that we have come to believe that we need “down” time, and we justify watching a movie or TV or getting on our computer as that? Could it be that the quiet, down time the Lord wants us to have is with Him, in His Word? “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).
A Lens of Expedient and Edifying
If you feel too busy and stressed, could I encourage you to evaluate what you are doing through the lens of being expedient and edifying? Then would you drop those activities that don’t fit?
If you need help with a schedule, I recommend our classic scheduling book that has helped thousands of moms manage their time well (https://titus2.com/products/managers-of-their-homes/).