Friday, August 03, 2007

More time!

How would you like to have more time in your day? Would you turn down, let's say, 2 hours of extra time -- not to sleep more or go to work, but 2 extra hours of time to read God's word, write letters to friends, do little jobs around the house, etc.

This is what has happened to me. My days suddenly got longer and with that an amazing blessing of tranquility has come with it.

Enter: Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitaker, Kristen Che
smore, and Janelle Bradshaw -- the "Girl Talk" girls. I had been looking forward to this book ever since I heard it was coming out, because I maintain a little Girl Talk section in the bookstore, and I was excited to have a new feature to add to it. Little did I know that the Lord was about to bless me with a fantastic new book that would seriously impact my life.

It's ridiculous, but I was inclined initially to discredit it because it was so short. I pretty much figured that they couldn't tell me anything I didn't already know in so few pages (AUGH! The stupidity of my pride!). I just thought I'd read it and be done so I could say I'd read it to customers who asked. So last Saturday morning before I went to clean out Camp OUTT, I read most of the 96 pages on my parent's deck.

And it blew me away.

I guess I didn't really think I had a problem with handling my time. I felt okay about it. I got everything done, and I didn't go crazy. But . . . I was regarding my time as something I had an endless supply of, something that I could throw away and get more later. I was not redeeming the time, or considering my days. That is what this book taught me to do. It's not a self-help, "find 5 extra minutes by cleaning your bathroom this way" kind of book where half of it does not apply because you don't have a huge house to clean anyway -- it's a "get to the heart of it" kind of book. That's why it's so short. It won't waste your time with a bunch of extra stuff that you don't need, but challenges you to live intentionally, and to think wisely about your days. I just ate it up. It was so right on!

And SO . . . drumroll please . . . I have joined the 5 a.m. club. All week, I have gotten up at 5 in the morning to read my Bible and pray and read books and write letters and do quiet jobs around the house. The idea appealed to me the first moment I read it, because I always wish I had more time at home just to BE there, and this just made perfect sense, it fit me the way it fit me to become a vegetarian 10 years ago. I just liked it and it wasn't such a huge sacrifice, more of a reward!

I am not bragging, I promise. I don't have this thing down to a science yet. I will be sleeping in on Saturday (not sure about Sunday), and I echo the Girl Talkers who repeatedly reminded their readers that there is certainly nothing about getting up early that makes us righteous in God's eyes. I am not attempting to earn His favor by doing this, but just to enjoy His presence. And I will say, I have never HATED mornings. Sure, I like to sleep, but I've never been like zombie girl when I get up at 7:30, so I don't think it HAS to be for everyone. But I do want to tell you what a difference it has made in my life! Besides the obvious, external things like going to work every day with shaved legs and lipstick on (those things fall by the wayside when you just have NO time), I have enjoyed a blessed communing with Jesus each morning, and an overall impression that my days are so much longer! I had been reading my Bible everyday, but more in a "whenever I can" kind of way, fitting it in my lunchbreak, or evening or morning if I was really lucky. Now I intentionally have time in the word with a cup of tea in my hand to help jolt me awake (I drink coffee at work, and besides, tea is so much quieter).

Friends, I appeal to you to read this book. The dear girl talk authors have done an excellent job addressing women in all stages of life -- college, marriage, singlehood, widowhood, motherhood, etc -- and the time issues that they face. It really is a book for every woman. It is solid theologically (causing us to consider Who holds in His hands all of our "interruptions") and has a fun, appealing voice. If someone comments me and commits to trying out the 5 a.m. club with me for a week, I'll send you my book to borrow (and save you $12.99). If you want your own copy, for heaven's sake, buy it from Julie at the Blue Kangaroo (we also sell it at the Way of Life). I'm waiting to hear your comments. I betcha there are a few closet "5-amers" out there!

Here's a final little blessing! This afternoon when I got home from work, I found the house all straightened, a rug put down in the living room, the laundry done, etc. Josh sweetly did all my weekend jobs for me because he told me he was helping me "shop for time, too". Now what will I do tonight while he's at work? Hmmm . . . maybe a nap! :)


Name: Karen said...

I committ.


Sara said...

Gretchen, I totally agree with you on the getting up early thing. It has changed my life!!!! I am with you on planning this special time with the Lord. It is amazing how the rest of the day falls into order when you have put HIM first. Also, I have found that when I do try to sleep in on Saturdays- I can't sleep past 7:30- I feel like I actually want to get up and get things done!

Anyway, this book looks like something I would eat right up- thanks for the suggestion...and happy early mornings!!!!

MadMup said...

The times in my life where I've been a "5 a.m." person have been the best times in my life - it's surprising how much that extra hour-and-a-bit helps the rest of the day.

Sadly, I've not been a 5 a.m. person for along time and I'm having a difficult time getting back to it.

Best of luck to you in your endeavor, Gret!

Gretchen said...

Karen -- I'll send you my copy asap if you'd e-mail me your address (or you can post it here, if you want). My e-mail is jneisler4828 at

Sara -- I had a feeling you were an early morning girl! You are absolutely right about the way things fall into place when you put Christ first. And you are right about the sleeping in on Saturday! I was up and at em at 7:30 this morning -- NO ALARM! Still, it felt like sleeping in!

Mark -- hey, it's never too late to try again!

megan said...

thanks for the encourgement. i have missed getting up early since having kids. i used to get up early to read the Bible, walk, and do a couple of things before I left for work. Now that Caleb is starting kindergarten (ahhh!!!, not so excited about this) I will be forced to get up on a regular schedule and have a better start to my day. i am looking forward to this new aspect of caleb starting kindergarten. thanks for the ecouragement, kindergarten is only 1 1 /2wks. away.

Emily said...

oh man that was super nice of Josh....he always does little things like that for you... I wish I was better at showing love in obvious ways like that, but those things don't even seem to enter my mind. As for time...sometimes I feel as though I have too much...

Josh said...


The Yorkie ("It's Not For Girls!") chocolate biscuits you got for me in England are very good. I just inhaled two of them.


Anonymous said...

Gret - I will have to get this book...I've been wanting to start geting up in the am for time with the Lord, but need a kick in the pants. Sounds like this is it!

Jason will be in Louisville today through Wednesday and has a little something for you & Josh from Mark. He wants to hook up with you sometime! Or you can call him laters (765) 404-5911. Maybe he already Facebooked you! I don't know...just covering bases.