Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Things that have nothing to do with debt

In this journey of debt repayment, it can feel easy to focus on what we don't have, or how high the mountain is that we have to climb. But as I consider what it will feel like one day to have it all paid off, I also ask myself, "Is that it? Will paying off our debt make everything better?"

The answer, of course, is no.

That got me to thinking about the other areas of my life that have nothing to do with our debt balance. What resources do I have that I am wasting right now, and what is the cost of that? I'm not talking about environmental resources or financial costs, but about quantities and qualities of life that have very little to do with money.

Things like how I spend my time. How I manage my energy. How I am shepherding my kids' hearts. How I am growing spiritually, or what I am learning. Who am I investing in? What skills do I hope to have five years from now? Because the truth is, while being debt free will be great, there's a large part of my life that could be better now without having to wait for the "Your debt is paid off" letter.

Lately, I have been convicted that while I'm good at walking out of Target without buying anything, I am pretty terrible at using my time to the best of my ability. The internet is a major snag, partly because I am just curious, but partly because it feels easier than getting real things done in real life.

I have been reading through a book called Managers of their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell. It is written for women who want to get a better handle on their time, and the reason I loved it is that it catered to women who are at home with their kids and who might have larger families. That is my life right now, and I am blessed by their encouragement to plan my days better so that I can get more done and fulfill the calling God has given me and my husband.

The biggest hurdle I have in developing a schedule is not necessarily making one, but sticking to it and training my kids in it. I like to have the freedom to do what I want when I want, but that doesn't work well for most jobs, and usually leads to more chaos and stress than the freedom I think I'm getting. So my plan, once we get back from vacation, is to implement a schedule for our homeschool and our days. I'm also hoping to get better at doing chores on a regular basis instead of only when it gets unbearable.

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