Monday, June 6, 2011

#190 - Bit by Bit

Good morning! It's cool on the porch this morning. Overcast, but the birds are still chirping. I couldn't help but think this morning that next year at this time we will have an addition. Trinity will be 9 months old! Amazing to think. Last year this time, that was Tyler Junior. Each season just brings adjustments, but equal blessings. God is good. Well, let's get started... are you ready?
Proverbs 6:6-8 - Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!-- 7Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, 8Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.
Proverbs 31:16 - She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
There are lots of types of people out there. Starters, finishers, the detail people who are great at perfecting things - putting on the polished touches, but all are important. Have you ever started a project, but for two weeks later the project to lay on your kitchen table only partially completed? Half done. Cluttered, but you plan to come back to it. In the mean time, it is what it is, an unfinished but started project. What about this.... you are working to complete something good, but then something new catches your eye. Ooooohh! This new idea seems great, exciting, fun. So, you jump ship, leave the first project, maybe even the second project to work on this new thing, this new idea. Now you sit with not one, not two, but three projects, started, but unfinished. Maybe all equally good, maybe even all "God" ideas, but there they all sit, unfinished.

I find myself realizing how quickly that was becoming me. Tyler and I were riding home from church yesterday, talking. It's always good to talk to him because he provides great perspective for things. Upon completing my book in January, I set it aside for 3-4 months to take a break from it. I knew that the draft was completed, but the book was far from complete. I had something to work from, I had 70,000+ words as a place to start. I remember starting the project, getting specific direction "how" to write a book. That directions were to work on it bit by bit, little by little. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." In my quiet time one morning, the Holy Spirit told me to just write for one hour, four days per week, first thing when I woke up. Even against my "religious" thinking, before my quiet time! The Holy Spirit directed me to write for ONE hour even before I had my quiet time. The funny thing is, guess what? It worked! It's funny how the Holy Spirit know us. He knew that first thing in the morning, I was fresh. First thing in the morning, I wasn't tempted to take a nap, or nodding off.

Well... the last few weeks, as I've been working through the editing process, I thought I would just do things my way. I'm smart, right? I can figure things out on my own, right? So without asking, I determined that I would do my editing in the afternoon during Tyler Juniors nap time. After several weeks, I found myself frustrated. A whole week would go by, and I would not have worked on my book at all. Nothing progressing, nothing moving forward. And even sometimes, like picking up a shiny coin, I would pick up a new thing, a new project.... one more thing to distract me from my goal, completion of my book. SO... on the way home from church yesterday, Tyler mentioned a quote I have heard him say before, it's something like this, "Broken focus is often the enemy to success." He pointed out these several projects I had picked up and gotten distracted with, and he saw it, I was starting to get overwhelmed and frustrated. I was starting to not know how I could get everything done. He reminded me that it would probably be good to FINISH my book and the other projects could follow. I immediately thought about the Proverbs 31 woman. What does she do? She CONSIDERS a field, she doesn't jump in immediately with both feet, she first CONSIDERS it. She expands prudently, not wanting to neglect her current duties, her current projects. Like the Proverbs 6 ant, she progresses little by little, she does bit by bit, until a project is completed and she can take on a new one, she can add to her plate.

What has worked before? How has the Holy Spirit directed you in the past? This morning is one of those "pat yourself on the back mornings" for me. I feel good. I woke up, wrote for an hour. THEN I read my Bible, now I'm writing this devotion. I'm working towards completion of a project that I started. I completed the book bit by bit, from September to December... it only took 4 months to write 70,000 words, doing little by little. Not overnight. Just a little bit at a time on a consistent basis.

What's a project you are working on? I heard a quote yesterday, "Continuity leads to emotional stability." Maybe it's having a regular quiet time.....if you just got consistent, the same time every day, I would almost bet that all around you would be more at peace, more stable, more solid.

What is it that you may need to look at? What is it that you can begin, or begin again to just do bit by bit?  Take advise from the Proverbs 31 woman, take advise from the ant. Is there something you can do & complete just by doing a little bit by bit?

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