Friday, February 06, 2009

If time is a garden, let's yank those weeds!

Writers have so much to do!

Women writers, especially, have the emotional pull of family needs. Then, we all have research, writers groups, crit groups, some necessary socializing in a lonely business, definitely, church activities to keep us going strong, and, oh, yes, writing!

And only twenty-four hours in a day.

How do we choose which to-dos to--do?

Oswald Chambers reminds us, "The good is the enemy of the best." But, carried too far, the best becomes the enemy of the good, if we let perfectionism get in the way.

One way to choose our priorities is to think of time as a garden. And we must pull the weeds in order to see our garden grow.

I read an article by Paula Eder on a business webpage about setting time boundaries using a simple visualization. She suggests we imagine that our day is a garden. We want our beautiful, colorful dreams to flourish there.

So we must pull the weeds.

We do this by setting boundaries.

Every "no" we say to something that does not further our goals--success in writing, peace in the home, time with a hobby (is that a cruelty joke?) time with God--is a "yes" to those very things. To those accomplishments, blooms that make our lives worthwhile.

Every "yes" we say to other things is a weed in our garden. And they lead to a lack of peace inside us.

I would add, some weeds are even attractive. New friends. Lunch dates. Church committees. Service opportunities that lead to experience and fellowship and satisfaction. We should be flexible and spontaneous enough to enjoy them.

But when they clutter our garden, hinder our goals and steal our peace, we should pull them without guilt.

We can ask God for discernment in this, because these, and some acts of mercy may be led by him for His purposes. He could be leading us into new relationships, new knowledge to enhance our lives and therefore, our writing.

Or into mercy for His mercy's sake. And mercy is beautiful in our gardens.

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