Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Best Valentine's Gift

I'm happy to announce that Megan, from The Art of Homemaking is my guest for the day. I stumbled upon Megan's blog nearly two years ago. I was first drawn to her blog because of her creativity, but what has kept me going back is her ability to write and share her love for God, her husband and kids. Megan and her husband are intentional in the way they live and that is always inspiring and contagious. Thanks Megan for being kind enough to take the time to be my guest today!

Also, she has an online shop, itty-smitty and her son, has one as well, The Marshmallow Company. We are offering one winner either one dozen of Canaan's marshallows, or a gift certificate of the same value for itty-smitty. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. Comments will be open through Valentine's Day.

The Best Valentine's Gift ~ Discipline of Time

With Valentine's Day coming up this week I have been busily making lots of treats for my kid's school parties, designing handmade Valentine cards with them for their friends, writing a Valentine craft article for the newspaper here in Lexington, Kentucky and hoping to have a few spare minutes to focus my attention on a little something for my Valentine.

I am reading a book by Elisabeth Elliott right now titled “Discipline; The Glad Surrender”. At some point along the way I must have picked it up at a rummage sale and it sat for many years on my bookshelf until recently. The chapter I am currently reading is about the discipline of time. Some of what I am reading is familiar~ learning to say no to things that crowd your schedule, Saying yes to those things God specifically asks us to do, etc...

But some of what I am reading in this chapter is so fresh and new; especially as she writes about God's timing in our lives and learning to discipline ourselves enough to wait for God's timing. She says that “there is a timing aspect to the guidance of God.” This is so true!

She also writes of this experience:

“ Flying in a small plane over Manitoba's vast farm country, one spring evening, I was fascinated by the beauty of the patterns created by the contour plowing. There were stripes in varied shades of earth and greenness, circles and swaths and curves for miles and miles on every side. But the most beautiful designs grew out of the interruptions – a tree here, a pond there, a hill, a rock, a river. The plowman had had to bend the line each time he passed one.”

As I think about my days and how I am spending my time I often get sidetracked by the interruptions. I can easily get agitated when my day's schedule gets thwarted by a broken down car, a sewing machine that doesn't want to cooperate or a canceled play date. But God knows all of these things and as long as I am letting each decision I make and each task I take on come with His blessing and His guidance, He can take any of my interruptions and make an unexpected beautiful design of my day.

The best Valentine gift you can give your spouse, your children, your family and yourself is the gift of disciplined time. Consider your schedule and eliminate those things that have no purpose or are just empty 'fillers' in your life...we all have a few. Take that freed up time and give it to God and ask Him how He would have you use it.


  1. Ah the grand issue of "time"--let me just share this is something God continues to teach me...to be a better steward of my time and then to have Him show me over & over again that "my" time is really not MINE at all! It never fails, I'll have everything done and get ready to settle in to completely veg out and our sweet (and next to homeless friend) Miss Mary comes by. It's never a "great" time for me and yet I can just hear God telling me to let her in, love her as He would and to sacrifice a little bit more of my time for Him. Needless to say, I need to read that book!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I have been reading Megan's blog for the past few weeks and am glad I stumbled upon this post. I have been struggling with finding calm in the chaos life brings and glad for this reminded about the discipline of time. Couldn't have come at a better time in my life!

  4. Very true...we need to get rid of all those little interruptions that make trouble in the day.

  5. I need to read that book...love Elisabeth Elliot.

  6. It seems that each new stage of life God brings me to, there are new issues, situations, and struggles to simplify and make time (especially intentional) for Him and those He has put in our closest circle of influence - usually our families. Right now I am reading through Exodus and God is telling Moses how He wants the tabernacle made and "run". As I read, I keep thinking with each step there is more and more time involved. All so they would have to keep looking to Him to prioritize and bless Him that is the giver of time. Thanks to Christ, we don't have many of those same requirements, but He still gives us interruptions that hopefully cause us to do the same - look to Him.

  7. I think this discipline of time is a struggle for everyone. Ironically, I find that busier I am, the more productive I am. And the better I use the time I've got!

  8. Lovely things from both. shelley x

  9. What a great reminder. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I would have a hard time choosing! thanks for the giveaway!