Too much time on my hands!” the 80’s singer crooned. And the week I wrote this post certainly felt like it! The first four days of snow-magedden were a snowy blur full of dishes and wet clothes and the excitement of being snowed-in.
But day 5 was different. The realization of not accomplishing much dawned on me. We have had time together, yes. But the children were not always in my company.
With a day full of canceled obligations and no expectations beyond providing food and comfort, what in the world was I going to do with too much time on my hands?
- I could binge watch some TV series.
- I could mindlessly scroll social media.
- I could...
The “I’m bored, what should I do?” possibilities were endless.
However, what if I looked at this downtime as a gift, as a small pocket of time to better myself and my home.
The Psalmist begs of the Lord,
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) Teach in the Hebrew is the word “yada” meaning to know, to discern, to acknowledge. Using the definition for "yada," we could rewrite the first part by saying, "Help me know how brief my life truly is."
James 4:14 tells us how long life is: “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
I don’t know how many days I have left until I run into Jesus’s arms, but I want those days (including snowed-in days) to be productive for the Kingdom and my betterment. Scripture lights the way.
Woven into the rich tapestry of Titus 2's “how to live” section is the charge for women to be workers at home. Simply put, this means when I am at home I need to be productive and be intentional to make it a haven for my family and others.
Let's admit it: worker at home is not the latest Pinterest craze or hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. So, what does it look like? Scripture again comes to our rescue! Look at some of the words used to describe a "worker at home" woman, Ms. Proverbs 31:
vs. 15 - she plans her day,
vs. 17 - she’s energetic, hard-working, and strong
vs. 19 - her hands are busy
vs. 27 - she is not lazy or idle.
I don’t think it’s a sin to take a break, kick back, and breathe. But this list convicts me of days passed without doing anything other than eating and looking at a screen.
What do I do when I don’t know what to do.
A. Make a List - brainstorm - dream.
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What things do I want to learn?
- What tasks should I complete?
B. Itemize your to-do list in the order of importance.
- What's doable today?
- What can I start today to make a dent in the mess?
- What materials do I need to complete these tasks?
C. Just do it!
1. Baby Steps
- break the task into small tasks makes it more doable (ex. pantry - clean one shelf at a time.)
- make sure you make yourself complete the task.
2. Build-in a Reward
- I like to work in 30-minute increments, and then reward myself for 15 minutes and repeat.
- I use a timer to keep track of my time.
3. Find Something to Listen to While you Work
- podcasts ( A few of my favorites: Revive Our Hearts, Read-Aloud Revival, THM podcasts)
- audiobooks (A couple of my favorites: Lamplighter Theatre, Jim Weiss)
- Occasionally, I need to tell someone what I'm hoping to accomplish. (Ahem.)
- I have them ask me about my task later in the day.
- It keeps me focused and on track when I know someone is going to ask me about my task.
Some Suggestions for What to Do when I Don't Know What to Do
1. Learn something new
- A couple of my goals this year include learning to knit and growing berries. I’m a visual learner, so YouTube "how to" videos work well.
- What's something you want to learn to do?
2. Clean a much-needed area I’ve been putting off.
- My pantry was in desperate need of purging.
- What area of your home needs cleaning or decluttering?
- Your testimony. You never know when you’ll get to share it! Audra wrote an excellent post found here.
- thank you notes to people who has touched your life
- encouragement notes to those who need a kind word.
4. Do a Puzzle or Play a Game (not on a screen).
- we played lots of card and board games during the snowed in days.
- we completed a 1000 piece puzzle left on a side table to work on a little bit at a time.
5. Cook or bake a new recipe you’ve always wanted to try
- We tried our hand at empanadas and soft pretzels.
- What recipes have you wanted to try?
6. Get outside
- do some yard work (God-given exercise!)
- walk - enjoy the beauty of whatever season it is!
7. Read a book you've always wanted to read but haven't had the time.
- for pleasure
- for spiritual growth
- for academic growth
Now that the snow has melted and the hustle and bustle of everyday life has returned, I'm so glad I was able to check some deeds off my to-do list. My pantry is clean, the 1000 piece puzzle is complete, and the back porch is shoveled. I think the Proverbs 31 woman would be impressed!
God’s WORD translation of Proverbs 6:6 cracks me up, “Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise.” May we not be known as lazy bums, but as active ants for the glory of the Lord and our good.
How about you? What do you do when you don't know what to do? I'd love to hear about some of your tips or accomplishments!
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, lively laughter, deep talks, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.