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Taking A Day Off

November 9, 2009

Beach With Palm Tree ShadowFor as much as I like being lazing and not working or having a plan for the day or anything, I really suck at taking time off.  As crazy as that sounds, it is something I struggle with.  I have only taken one full day off in the past couple months.  It’s not that I am just a superstar workaholic.  I have my good days and bad days.  It isn’t that I don’t want to spend time with my family because I do!  I just for some reason find myself still working.  Sometimes it is because I don’t prioritize very well during the week, other times because things come up that have to be dealt with, and times when there just isn’t enough time in the week to do it all.  But whatever the reason, I don’t take time off very well.

Being in ministry it is VERY easy to fall into this trap.  So many times ministry can be a 24/7 job that it is not hard at all to think that it always is or as someone once put it “you are always on”.  (Of course that implies that I am different than I normally would be and other crazy things so we will leave that one for another blog post.)  It is easy to slice up your time that should be for your family to meet with some people that you can’t meet with during the days, or finish studying for Sunday because there were just too many things to do in the office, or learn that one song that has been put off for the whole week.  But all these excuses are not good.  When I don’t take time off, I neglect my wife.  When I neglect my wife, she isn’t thrilled and we all know the saying that rhymes and says something about a happy wife equals a happy life.  But no matter what the saying says, my wife and baby girl are my priority and should be treated as such.

Why is it that we allow “work” to steal time from our family?  What are good ways to combat this?  What do you have to do to turn it off?  What does your family do when you do put work away?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2009 10:06 AM

    This topic has come up many times in my life. Mostly, when I am working too hard, and not spending time with my family. So here’s some of the things that I have learned from some great teachers about this all too often occurence:

    1. God, our father, makes time for His family, so we should continue following his example by doing the same. The key being that we have to MAKE that time. Schedule it, plan for it, and don’t let anything (especially work) replace it.

    2. Our days on this earth are numbered. God set that number when he created us. Therefore, we have to take note of how we spend our time, and decide if it’s worth it. If you had one week or one month to live, would you work as much as possible, or would you spend it with your family. Well, you only have one LIFE to live. How do you plan to spend it?

    3. There has to be room for margin in your schedule. When you print a document, there is always a margin around the text. That’s because a document with no margin looks messy and crowded, and it’s possible that something important may be left out. That margin is also a good place to make note of something important. We can use that empty space in our lives, so that when something important comes up, we can fill that space with it. The margin also keeps you from wearing down, physically and spiritually.

    4. Even GOD rested for a day!!!

  2. dmjames permalink
    November 9, 2009 11:46 AM

    I agree with J but you do need to make a plan. As you know when I worked in Edmond, I had partners who could take care of my work when I was off. Can you train an assistant, a Timothy if you will, who can fill in for you when you are out? You should be in the process of developing others who can learn from you so they can teach others as well. I believe Moses did something like that. We can learn from him….
    Turn your phone off when you can.
    There will be times, hopefully only short ones, where you have to do the work or it won’t get done.

  3. November 9, 2009 1:00 PM

    YOU?? Take a day OFF?? I’ll believe it when I see it 😉

    However, you are great at making time for me & our baby girl. Which right now mostly consists of feeding me. But, I kinda like it when you screw up and forget to make time for us because then we get EXTRA attention 🙂

    You’re an amazing husband and father! I’m so proud of you!

    Ummm…lets take a day off and go to that beach!

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