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“Living within our means, managing our responsibilities and to-do list and relationships and interests doesn’t mean giving up everything. Instead, wise stewardship takes into account what necessities must be spent (self-care, marriage, child rearing, home maintenance, work), what budget we are working with, and how we want to invest our discretionary funds. It’s making intentional choices to create a life of meaningful impact.

This is where the false metaphor of balance fails us as women. We know that our grocery budget is rarely balanced. Some weeks we spend a lot on cleaning supplies and toilet paper, because it all runs out at the same time. For months on end, baby diapers, formula, and detergent eat up the large chunk of every paycheck. There are weeks we only buy flu medicine, chicken soup, Lysol, and tissues. It is actually very rare that the conveyor belt in the checkout line is evenly balanced with healthy food, meat, dairy products, and household supplies. But what we do purchase is budgeted, and we expect every week, month, and year to look a little different.

“Thanks for the planner page! I have been exploring all kinds of different pages lately, this one is very pretty cool. I really like that it has a place for Scripture. Thanks again for sharing! — Julie H.

Our time budget, too, should be just as flexible. When we recognize our time not as a pie chart to color into neat tenths of activity, but instead view our days as a budget we spend according to our priorities and needs, we can confidently spend each hour on what matters most. When I understood that, when I viewed my calendar as a stewardship to budget, I immediately experienced freedom to manage my budget joyfully.

I’m not going to tell you how to budget your time any more than I’m going to prescribe what you should buy from Target this week, because we are all unique, and we all have different styles and desires and priorities. I can’t stand spending money on toilet paper; I just hate using money that I could be investing in coffee on a commodity I will flush. But I have a friend who will only buy really soft TP because she hates anything scratchy touching her person. She saves money by purchasing cheap coffee. I can’t bring myself to do that. Neither of us is more spiritual than the other, we just budget for what matters to us. Our time is the same way.”

Read the rest in Rocking Ordinary. 

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