I know. It’s kind of an in your face blog post title. It’s bossy. I’m a mom, so I guess I come by the “mom tone” quite honestly. But, when you find something that breathes life into your day, don’t you just want to call your bestest of friends and tell them all about it? So let’s just settle now that this is where I’m coming from today with my bossy title. From the perspective of a friend wanting so share a treasure. While we’re at it, let’s just pretend we’re sitting across the table at your local coffee house with our favorite beverages and catching up, while I share why you and I need to find time to hold dearly.
Meet my friend, Sarah …
You know when you walk away from the briefest of conversations with someone you’ve just met feeling encouraged, inspired and completely at ease? I just love those moments and over the years I’ve come across a handful of women like this. Sarah is one of those women. We met this past summer at a blogging conference and to me, the connection feels so much deeper than the handful of hours we’ve shared in face to face conversation. She’s one of those with a soothing peace about her that draws others in and leaves them wanting to share in that calm.
Her faith, life journey and family are all part of that calm demeanor. And a deep understanding of her passions, the essentials in her life and how to walk that out in daily moments that honor her priorities are inspiring. In the brief time we shared this summer, she talked with several of us about a course she wanted to create on finding 30 extra hours in our week to tend to our calling, whatever that may look like for each of us. She had our attention. Several of us told her on the spot that we wanted to know the minute her course was ready and where we could sign up.
Why you and I need to find time to hold dearly
The lack of time and energy to tend to all we want to be involved in is one of great frustration to many women in our culture. Could we really balance all the roles that we have in our lives? Family and work and volunteering and every other thing occupying the little squares on our calendars? Could we learn how to say yes to the best and no to the urgent non-priority distractions? Could we really do it well without wearing ourselves out? Without losing ourselves in the process?
The answer is Yes!
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In her new e-course Finding Time to Hold Dearly, Sarah takes us through a step by step process to determine our own essential priorities and how to find time to hold dearly to those things that really matter in each of our own lives. The course includes over 6 hours of video content with 100s of slides with both printable and customizable forms for applying each lesson to your own days. It’s self-paced, allowing you to go through it at a speed that suits your needs.
I’ve been thinking through this post for weeks, trying to narrow down my focus on how I want to approach it, and it’s been a struggle. There are so many good nuggets, tips and a-ha moments that including all of them would require several cups of coffee. So allow me to touch on highlights from each section of Finding Time to Hold Dearly and share a short video intro to give you a feel for what’s in store.
The Big Picture
The first section is the foundation for the entire course. It’s the philosophical groundwork necessary for us to understand how we fill the moments of our days. It’s a guided invitation to step back and look at what we do, why we do it and how we do it. It sheds light on ways we just might need to adjust the what, the why and the how of our days.
Once we understand our own thinking and its effect on filling our days, we can begin to construct a framework to find more time. This section gives us a structure to work with that fits our own lives and families. Sarah has been very open in sharing the structure that works for her while helping each of us construct the structure that will work for our own situation. You may as well know that homework assignments are included, each one building on the previous one. These are not tasks to be breezed over, but with a little time investment, by the end of this section, you’ll be feeling hopeful and finding breathing room in your days.
This is the stuff of Pinterest boards, but better. There are hacks for including your kids, the cheapest of personal assistants, batching and multi-tasking. Some might argue that you already have a board full of ideas, and you might. But I’m guessing that many of them, just like mine, are simply pins as opposed to routines in your day. For me, this section is the beginning of hanging how-to’s on the structure hashed out in the last section. I’m currently working on my own planner, lesson 11 in the course, to organize my random thoughts throughout the day.
Inside Your Home
Game changer. Enough said. But I will add a few more words because adding words is my spiritual gift, just ask my husband. I have been so excited implementing this lesson, that my family is a bit tired of hearing about it. It’s all about meal planning and how to get out of it, streamlining grocery shopping, wardrobes, laundry and setting your house up for success. Let me add, though my family may be tired of hearing about it, they are thoroughly enjoying more consistent and tasty meals and a less stressed Mama.
Outside Your Home
Because once inside the home is handled, why not tackle the outside. Two of my favorite lessons are in this section – How to say “no” and How to say “yes” and still stay on track. These are not included in my character strengths. Like, not at all. Yet, just this week I was presented with a great opportunity, but after prayer and a quick mental run thru of my priorities, it was clear to me that it didn’t fall into my essential priorities for this specific season of my life and I had to turn it down. Though I may have come to the same conclusion two months ago, it would have come with a hefty dose of unnecessary guilt because I didn’t have a clear understanding of my essentials.
Because we all know there are exceptions to every rule, Sarah walks us through options for those days when we oversleep, when it feels like a Monday and those dreaded sick days. You know the ones. By the end of this section, you’ll have some great ideas for regrouping and redeeming the days when you just want to go back to bed and start all over.
Last but not Least
Think of this as the final minutes before your team takes the field. There’s an excitement in the air because that thing you’ve prepped and worked for has arrived and now it’s time to get out there and play. It’s the coach’s final pep talk before the big game.
Except that it really isn’t the end, because the e-course also includes membership in a private facebook group. Yep, a group where those of us in the course can talk through questions, ideas and encourage one another along the way.
Why Finding Time to Hold Dearly is a worthy investment
Yes, there is a fee for the course. And yes, if you’re as frugal as I am, that can be hard to justify, but think with me for a moment here. Two lessons in this course cover graduating from meal planning and once a month grocery shopping. If you simply implement these two concepts you can easily recoup the class fee in two or three months. If you find yourself eating out because you don’t have the right ingredients, much less the time or energy required to make dinner, then you can recoup your enrollment cost in even less time. And that’s without taking into consideration the fact that you won’t spend nearly as much time at the grocery store.
Why I need Finding Time to Hold Dearly
My word for 2016 was Sabbath. It has been an interesting journey for my list making, task crossing-off, can’t sit still for long temperament. God has shown me some amazing truths about Himself and about myself along the way. Working through this course has been a beautiful chapter in this learning Sabbath journey as it has helped me clearly define my essentials. It has taught me how to make those true priorities in my day and allowed the freedom to relax deeply when my Sabbath day does come each week.
This course is about so much more than simply finding time in our days to tend to the important. For me, it has also been about creating space in my schedule, my moments and my heart for Christ to fill me with Himself, His passion and His calling. And that is absolutely priceless.
Could you use extra hours in your week? If your answer is yes, then join me in Finding Time to Hold Dearly as well as the facebook group. In the meantime, I’d love to know how you would fill your extra hours in the comments below.
CLICK HERE TO FIND MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE COURSE, REVIEWS, ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS AND A VIDEO PREVIEW.