An Intentional Week
Many people in my life are overwhelmed right now. I, too, tend to be overwhelmed.
Learning how to bring balance and intentional living is a tough process. It is a huge learning experience for me. I get in the groove for a month or two and then have a season where I am lagging behind. I have to spend time with Jesus. I have to determine where I'm out of whack. Like a chiropractor, He helps me determine where I need some adjustments.
Is that you?
Is that where you are right now--scraping by, trying to get it all done, but realizing that you're frazzled and scurrying from obligation to obligation?
I'd love to share something with you. It is something that a friend shared with me when I was drowning. Picture it - I was in seminary. I was working four different jobs, while bringing home less than enough for one. I'm serious. I was burning the candle not only at both ends, but every way in addition. I was taking a full load at seminary plus two extra classes (Hebrew and Greek classes at that), traveling every other weekend with Precept Training, searching for where the Lord was leading our family next, and stumbling as a new dad, desperately in need of rest. Yet, the most worthy roles and privileges that demanded my time-relationship with Jesus, my lady, and my new daughter-were struggling. I'm a doer; I like to accomplish tasks. Yet, I was in over my head. Seriously, I was sunk. Grant it, I wan't lazy. I was working hard, but not smart. I was trying to do everything but finding it difficult to do everything with excellence as unto the Lord. I was working to get acceptance instead of working from acceptance.
Enter a friend.
The wise counsel of a trusted friend.
A mentor shared this concept with me: set up planning time. He suggested setting up the rhythm and extending time every week, month, quarter, and at least a weekend every year to consider grace and calling. In this post, I'll share with you the specifics of the weekly.
Big picture - Reflect on the previous week.
Look forward to the week ahead.
Do the same thing every month-look backward and then look forward.
Throughout the entire time, pray. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment. Ask Him for stamina to complete what He calls you to do. Though you're depending on Him for the plan, ask Him to interrupt the plan at any time. I reflect on these questions, write down the answers in my moleskin, and then prayerfully review them at the end of the week.
- How am I going to enlarge my view of Jesus and the gospel this week?
- Review and plan time with Jesus
- What is Jesus calling me to focus on this week with Him?
- What sin is he convicting me of that I need to repent of this week and be on the look out for?
- Where is the plague of passivity in my life?
Becky (My amazing wife)
- How am I going to tangibly lay down my life for Becky this week?
- What's date night look like? What's the plan? What has she been hinting at, wanting?
- How am I going to romance her this week?
- How is her faith and relationship to Jesus?
- What's going on in her heart that I need to pray for and focus on this week?
- How is her community?
- How can I love Bella specifically this week?
- What's quality time look like with her this week?
- What themes am I noticing in her walk with Jesus? How can I shepherd these?
- How can I love him specifically this week?
- What's quality time look like with him this week?
- How do I build him as a man this week?
- How can I love her specifically this week?
- What's quality time look like with her this week?
- Review friends and family calling schedule for the week
- Any birthdays, big events, milestones?
- How can I love my bros/sis specifically?
- How can I build unity in the men in our family?
- How are we connecting with community this week?
- Review goals / Review Action items
- Review direct report lists
- Review calendar /schedule project time /set up meetings
- What/who is on fire?
- What/who needs cultivating?
- How am I going to develop unity across First Euless (Now Precept & Sojourn Chatt)?
- How am I going to develop a culture of building men at First Euless (Now Precept & Sojourn Chatt)?
- How are Becky and I on mission this week/month?
- Who are we praying for, hanging out with?
- Review Life book (Journal & Joshua 4 Memorial for the Lucarelli Family)
- Review finances and budget
- What topic, idea, or person do I need to study?
- What I am going to read this week?
- Who am I going to seek wisdom from?
- What is my workout schedule this week?
- What am I writing this week (public and private)?
Some things to consider:
A few things to consider as you think through the above exercise. Even looking at the list may create within you a sense of shame, fear, or guilt. What God has called us into can sometimes be a daunting thing when our eyes are focused on our effort or grit. I ask for the Spirit to help me remember the following:
1. I must desire to apply Ephesians 5 - to walk as a wise man, making the most of my time (redeeming the time).
2. I must realize that the cross & the resurrection are what compel this intentionality.
3. I must NOT allow this to become law.
4. If the Lord reveals idolatry-emphasis on spending time on ME, laziness, focusing too much on working out for vanity sake and not health sake... then those are thorns in my heart. I must repent. Even planning can be used by Jesus to point out sin and my need for a Savior.
If you have questions on some of the specifics, like some of the answers (besides things regarding my wife and kiddos) then feel free to ask.
UPDATE || I've added a few things to this list. Namely, two additional kiddos and another job. Now, I've had to maneuver the waters of being both a pastor and having a job at a para-church organization. It has forced me to be even more intentional with these rhythms.
Question: Have you ever used an exercise like this? Do you think it can help you become more intentional and Spirit-led with your time? Leave a comment below.