By Elizabeth Prata
I work in education as a teacher’s aide. That means I get summers off. At this stage of my life I enjoy the time off more than the money. Yes, I get paid through the summer, but it’s pro-rated. I live for 12 months on a 9-month salary. They just stretch it out. Which means I really stretch it out.
But as I said, the time is important to me. I live frugally and simply. I have all I need. I’ve been blessed to have had many experiences in my life that would cover many lifetimes. So I have zero to complain about. I have all I need and more.
As a single person I am ever mindful of Paul’s admonition to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16) and to remain anxious for things of the Lord since I have no husband and I am not anxious for things of the world-
And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:34-35).
I have an opportunity to secure my undivided attention to the Lord. Yay!
But I’m lazy. Waaah.
Given half a chance, I’ll secure my undivided attention upon myself.
More than one school vacation or summer break has gone by, both before and after becoming a Christian, where I had grand plans for home or garden improvement projects, or craft projects, or reading through my piles of books, and none of it got done.
A few years ago I put two and two together and finally acknowledged that I’m on the autism spectrum. Autistic people typically have a poor sense of time and difficulties with time management (because executive function is impaired). At school I’ve got an excellent sense of time because the day is broken into segments to the minute. My day is neatly prescribed for me.
But like in tug of war, if you let go of the rope you tumble, when the school year ends and I’ve let go of the rope, I’m in free fall. Time here in this life on earth is a finite product, a discrete thing. In May I think I have all the time in the world to start reading and then suddenly it’s July 30 and I have to go back to work. All I’d accomplished is navel gazing.
Is that why the Lord made me a single person? I think not.
Anyway, I created a schedule. I replicated my days and weeks at school by making them segmented. I piled up the books I want to read, divided the pages into number of pages to read weekly, interspersed Bible reading and devotionals, and voila, I have something tangible to keep me on track.
I’m not rigid about it, it’s a tool, not a ball and chain.
This year’s schedule is a lot more ambitious than last year’s. Last year I read 8 books along with my personal Bible reading, Dr Abner Chou theology lectures, and Systematic Theology lessons.
This year I topped out at 14 books, personal Bible reading, devotional reading, systematic theology reading, and lectures from Ligonier (to be decided). I’m almost done with Sproul’s lectures on Life of David so I’ll buy another series this Friday at teh Ligonier $5 sale. They are usually 24 minutes long and there are about 9 to 12 lectures in the series on average.
I stalled out on my annual Bible Reading plan, but I’m looking forward to resuming. It’s organized by chronological authorship, earliest book to the latest book.
I do not have any trips planned. My cats are sick and need to go to the vet, so the timing is a blessing in that I can staying close to home to watch them, or get an appointment at any time of day.
For other hobbies, I bought a set of watercolor markers at school from the pop up shop, so I’ll do some crafting. Evenings I’ll be read-ed out, lol, so movies or TV for me. I will make a photo expedition or two, but gracious sakes, the temps have suddenly shot up to the upper 90s all of a sudden and are predicted to be that way for this week and next. This is unusual. I hope it cools down some so I can pound the pavement at the Golden Hour to get some cityscapes. I’m not THAT dedicated to my photography hobby to go to the city in hundred degree weather just to amble around and get pictures.
Here are some ideas for inspiration on a 365 photo series (A Photo a Day). I did a picture a day last year, testing my creativity to snap something just from around and within my very tiny environs here in the apartment and the yard. I might make a theme this year. Maybe “Metal.”
I’m not tied to the reading schedule, as I said, it’s a tool to help me make sure I’m doing the most for the Lord I can do. So, if something comes along in terms of fellowship, I’ll take it. Otherwise, I refuse to be a slug! Saturday and Sunday of the first two days of summer vacation are booked. Saturday is a wedding and Sunday is church and then I’ll start the Reading program on Monday. Monday is a good day to start things, isn’t it? 😉
VoV is Valley of Vision
II is Internet Inferno
Com is Competing Spectacles
Key is In a Different Key: The Story of Autism