In case you’re wondering, the Bear had a delightful birthday yesterday! Thanks for all the well-wishes! I hope to have some pictures from the fabulous event here for you, soon!

Early one morning a few weeks ago, a little interaction went on inside my brain that has had me thinking for a while. The Bear got up early and after we ate our breakfast, I had a choice to make. The Bear wanted to watch TV, and at first I thought that might be a very good idea. Sometimes on Saturdays if the Bear gets up early and Hero Hubs and I want to sleep a little longer, we put a DVD in to keep him entertained.  This could mean another 45 minutes or so of snoozing, which never hurts. And this weekday morning, another 30 – 45 minutes on the couch while the Bear was entertained sounded like a really good idea.

But then another thought came to mind: is this short-term decision lining up with my long-term goals? You see, one of my long-term goals is to raise the Bear (and other wee ones that come along) in such a way that he does not need to be entertained in order to be happy. I would like for him to learn to play with his books and toys and puzzles and not need the TV on all day long (or really at all). I realised that the decision to start snoozing in on weekdays with the Bear staring at the Wonder Pets or Veggie Tales could quickly become an everyday habit that would take months to break, and be tough for the Bear to say bye bye to.

This led me to begin thinking about the daily schedule that I have needed to spend time thinking through. The truth is, we only have so many hours in a day — only so many days on this earth, and if we don’t direct a decent portion of our time to achieving our goals, we just won’t achieve them. There’s some writing on my heart that is bigger than a blog post, but if I don’t set time aside for it, it won’t happen. I want a strong marriage, but if I fail to plan time to spend quality time with my husband, we run the risk of failing to cultivate a healthy and growing relationship. I want the Bear to know that he can come to me at any time — I want to build a healthy relationship with him, too — so I purposefully spend time reading to him, taking him for walks, and even just playing with him.

How many times have you looked at the clock and realised you just wasted a half hour on Facebook? Maybe longer? Or how often have you been drawn in to watching a movie on TV you’ve already seen twice? Did you end up going to bed later than you intended? And because of it you ended up waking up later than you planned, maybe finding yourself unable to spend time in prayer or reading the Word? Were you tired all day, too? The thing is, if we don’t decide how we’re going to spend our time, something else will decide for us. If you have goals you want to achieve, odds are, a lot of those goals aren’t going to be achieved while you’re on Facebook.

So teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
{Psalm 90:12}

A lot of folks personally responded to me recently saying that it was time to stop existing and start living again. While I probably have a book’s worth of suggestions for making that transition, I think one thing that makes a lot of us come alive is taking the time to think about what we’re passionate about, and then making a plan for how to make that a part of our lives. Do you need to set aside a few hours a week to volunteer in a Crisis Pregnancy Centre? Is there a book on your heart you could spend thirty minutes a day beginning to put on paper? May you need to get your mountain bike out of the garage, and make getting out there a priority on your schedule.

Whatever the passion, whatever that come-alive thing is that your day has been missing, let today be the day that you grab the bull by the horns and plan to make the dream a reality. Put it in your schedule and stick to it. Ask someone to hold you accountable.

I am confident you’ll feel a lot more like getting out of bed in the morning if you’re living your life, instead of life living you.