Day Plan Your Gift

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By Laura J. Marshall

It was approaching mid-January when I realized some of my writing goals for the New Year had already taken a backseat to the busyness of life.  I tried to focus and regain my footing, again trying to stick to the 2-hour time block I had allotted.  The time seemed to increasingly become frittered away with the many aspects of writing that had nothing to do with the actual craft.

As I prayed and pondered for a solution, my eyes fell on a Christmas gift I received.  With “For I Know the Plans I Have for You, Psalm 29:11” emblazoned on the cover of the unopened 2013 leather-bound Day Planner, I took it as a sign.

Each day since, I have used this book to “Plan my Gift”.  It’s not boasting to walk in the gifting God has given you.  Work it out…work it into your life.  It may not pay you anything monetarily, at the moment.  You may still be in the foundation building stage.  Remember, the higher the building, the deeper and wider the foundation needs to be.  What’s your gift?  Plan it into your days.

I’ve noticed general categories as I write in my planner.  They include Service, Heavenly Perspective, Foundation Building, Walking in Gift, and Oh-no’s (things that may not have to do with my gift, but I tend to forget and are important).

A typical day looks like this:

  • Read Word/Prayer/Worship (Heavenly Perspective)
  • Finish writing last chapter of _____ book (Walking in Gift)
  • Read manuscript of so-and-so (Service and Foundation Building)
  • Edit my manuscript (Walking in Gift)
  • Work on Excel list for CrossReads (Service and Foundation Building)
  • Read a few pages of _____ book on writing craft (Foundation Building)
  • Feed and walk neighbors dog (Service and Oh-no)


I don’t have a 2-hour time span anymore.  I have had days when I’ve listed the same task repeatedly day after day and this gives me reason to wonder.  What is it about this task I am having a hard time with or this project that I don’t want to face?  This teaches me and causes me to reevaluate.

God has increased the productivity of my days and has poured forth His blessings on my creativity as I humbly put all of my time into His hands and He directs my steps.  He has, after all, given me a precious gift.  Who am I to let it lie dormant to the hands of busyness, time, and a distracted mind?


Laura J. Marshall is the full-time mother of five sons and part-time writer and blogger. She operates a popular blog called The Old Stone Wall. Laura writes devotionals and inspirational romantic suspense. A Mom’s Battle Cry to Overcome Fear , the second book in her best-selling Battle Cry Devotional Series, releases this spring. Visit to find out more about Laura’s books.

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