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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Better Stewardship in 2010.

If you've been following my articles on Examiner.com, then you'd know I've had goals on the brain for a while now. If not, then WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Go read them right now!!

I set aside tonight as sort of a goal/planning/dreaming night. I'd hoped to do it as a family, but well, hubby let kiddo spend the night at a friend's house, so maybe tonight will be for me, and tomorrow will be for the family.

My pre-planning involved a lot of journalling. And, oddly enough, answering questions from friends who emailed me wanting information about their own goals and dreams for the year. Something interesting for me was that I ended up with a theme. I've heard of other people creating themes for the year, but it's never really worked for me. This year, though, I have a theme.

My theme is stewardship.

One thing I realized as I went through everything I have, everything I want to do, etc, is that I'm not the best steward of what I have. I've got an entire bookcase full of writing books, magazines, conference CDs, notebooks, etc. As I looked through them to recommend one to a friend, I realized that I have not read all the writing books I own. I've paid hundreds of dollars for conference CDs that I haven't listened to. My magazines come in, and I toss them in a pile. Talk about a waste of money!

I thought about my dream of taking my family to visit my grandma, and how unfair it is that we don't have the money. But I've had the money to do a lot of other things, to visit friends, to buy meaningless things (like writing stuff I never use!). This year, due to the economy and quitting my tax job, we made a lot less money than we did last year. Our quality of living hasn't really changed, even though we have more expenses this year. That tells me that we probably don't use our money as well as we could. So maybe this year, if I budgeted better and kept better track of our finances, we'd actually be able to take that trip.

A few weeks ago, I ordered this highly recommended Bible Study from Amazon.com. When I got it, I realized that I didn't get the book, I got a companion workbook that makes no sense without the $30 book. I was so frustrated that I have to spend another $30 to get a good Bible study. Then I realized that I have several Bible studies here at my house that I haven't even done yet! Why not do those before spending that $30? I probably have enough Bible studies to last me a year, so I may not even need to spend the money this year. Hmmm... maybe that could go toward my grandma visit.

So now let's talk about the elephant in my room. Time. I am convicted every time someone talks about how great I am at time management. Can I just tell you my deep, dark secret? I'm terrible at it! Even with quitting my tax job, I'm so overwhelmed with everything at times. I didn't want to do all this planning because I have so many things I needed to do today. But I also knew I needed a plan of attack or I would be hopelessly lost. Amazingly, with my journalling, doing what I hope to become my daily writing reading, and my Bible study, I only took ONE HOUR! And then I thought, oh man, how am I going to squeeze an extra hour out of every day? Then it occurred to me that today, I had less time because I slept in. And then, I laid in bed for a while longer because I was overwhelmed at everything I had to do, so I hid from it for a while. Gee, I wonder if I could find an extra hour (or two) if I just stopped spending so much time lamenting my lack of time. We'll dive into my time issue again in another blog, because it's one big hairy elephant.

All of this made me realize that moving forward, Stewardship is my goal for 2010. I have a lot of things I need to be a better steward of, and so that will be my focus this year.

What about you? Have you seen a pattern in the goals you've set this year? Is there a theme emerging?

1 comment:

Debra said...

You and I sound so similar. If we had more time we should spend some together. :-)