We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

How to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing . . .

Cold and rainy. All day long.

Although we officially welcomed spring in March, it seems to have taken a long time to arrive here in NE PA. We've had a few nice days, but chilly rain makes us long for the warmth of the sun. Yet the grass is green, and the early blooms have come and gone, so it's coming. Only a little longer . . .

One of my spring goals was to send out a quarterly e-newsletter to those who signed up for updates about Penned Without Ink at my book signing in November or other events in the past. On April 26, I pressed the send button. Did you receive it? If you have Gmail, it shows up in your promotions inbox. My objective is to offer a few uplifting thoughts and quotes and share a couple of resources relevant to the current season.

In case you missed it, I invite you to sign up to receive future newsletters HERE

Here's part of what I shared in the spring issue:

Urgent or Important?

For a while now I’ve been eyeing a CD series I found in Barry’s office and finally popped the first disc into the player on a recent road trip to see my daughters. Steve Jones facilitated the discussion on Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities. Listening not only helped the miles pass more quickly but reminded me that focus is vital if we are to spend our lives on what is truly worthwhile.

Mr. Jones divided what we do into four categories:
1.      Urgent
2.      Important
3.      Both urgent and important
4.      Neither urgent nor important  

Under which category do we find ourselves spending the most time? Does the urgent rule our schedules? Do we waste time on that which is neither important nor urgent?  Do we find that the important gets pushed aside, time gets away from us, or we feel frustrated when we’ve frittered the day away on some urgency that, in the long run, didn’t really matter? I’ve sure been there.

The recommendation is to
DETERMINE OUR VALUES, which define what’s important to us. Then, to SET GOALS with a view toward spending most of our time in the important category, leaving enough margin for urgent matters, interruptions, and—for me—that coveted phone call from one of my girls! I’ve been challenged to prioritize with intention rather than just react to the loudest voice calling my name. To take time to PLAN at the beginning of the week and then a few minutes at the start of each day.

Although I’d heard some of these ideas before, I found the CD presentation thought-provoking . . . and freeing. For doesn’t the “important” revolve around our relationships with God and others? A good work ethic? Healthy self-care habits and . . . actually, we each determine our own values and definitions for our individual life stories. I still have some work to do in thinking through mine.
Perhaps, as the seasons change, we can focus on the “important” just a little bit more.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His Kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."
Matthew 6:33, The Amplified Bible 

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