Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Days Seem Short - I Gotta Have a Plan!

A couple of months ago, when I started blogging again, I told myself that I would keep it up and contribute regularly.

Insert awkward pause...

I guess I can't multi-task as well as I sometimes think I can!  

These days are busy.  BUSY!  Can I get an "Amen!" from any other moms out there?  I've always thought I was a decent manager of time, but I'll be honest; it is a struggle for me.  

In our home, we aren't to the point of being in the car every day.  Buut even on the days we are home all day (I love those, by the way), I struggle to fit everything in.  There is so much I want to do, and there are so many important things I don't want to miss.

I have to have a plan!  This is something I pray about often, because I, by nature, am not a routine oriented person.  Too much routine actually bores me.  I'm also not a planner.  Maybe these are character flaws - I don't know.  But either way, my inadequacies in these areas do not change the fact that I have four small people and school and meals and housecleaning and laundry and sports practices and ministry opportunities and church and dance rehearsals and music lessons and dates with my hubby...

...and other things I like to do such as Bible study and blogging and sewing and getting my pictures uploaded to Shutterfly (and actually ordering them) and reading a book and exercising and gardening and so on.  

Planning and a bit of routine is a must for me.  I'm sure you can relate! :)

This is such an area of weakness for me.  My natural tendency is to wake up in the morning and say to myself, "What will I do today?"  And I could do that.  But of course that would minimize our productivity and ultimately make me miserable (and it has, on several occasions)!

So as I have prayed about this for years, the Lord has helped me so much.  In the spirit of practicality, I wanted to share a few things that have helped me.

1.  Get up early.

I am not a "morning person".  In fact, I am a night person!  But a few years ago, I was challenged to get up at 5:30 a.m. and have Bible study.  Why 5:30?  Because that was a time that would be well before my children get up.  Now I'm addicted.  I'm addicted to 5:30. Well, actually, because routine rubs me the wrong way, it is sometimes 5:00 and sometimes 5:40.  Sometimes it's even 6:00.  But, no matter the numerals on the clock, it is before the kids are out of bed.  Precious time!  Sometimes there are days when I oversleep by a lot.  I hate oversleeping!  It really does make a difference in my day when I get up early and have that time with my Heavenly Father, alone.

2.  Start being productive early in the day.

When I say this, I'm thinking about things like taking a shower and starting laundry (among other things).  I'm not being legalistic and saying this is a MUST, I'm simply sharing what helps ME.  For some reason, I'm more productive when I'm not in my pajamas (unless we are having designated pajama day).  And I don't have that kind of hair that is tame in the morning.  So when I have made myself presentable early in the day, it just helps me!  I don't know why!  I'm just weird like that!  I'm sorry for shouting so much!

3.  Weekly planning.

This includes lesson plans, meal plans, when I'm going to grocery shop, etc.  Now, I know this isn't revolutionary to many of you.  Probably this is normal behavior for most of you moms.  But as I stated before, this is not natural for me.  I have to be intentional.  So, this is just in case there is a mom reading this who is a non-planner type of person like me!  It really does help our family life to be more calm and relaxed because there is {gasp} a PLAN!

4.  Put the kids to work.

Children are capable of so many things.  My issue here is taking the time to train them.  That takes patience and diligence.  But that's really all it takes.  When kids are trained in daily chores, they can contribute to family life, it relieves the workload from the parents in many things and they are learning skills they will use for the rest of their lives.  

You know, as wives and mothers, we are the managers of our homes.  Our husbands are the leaders, but when we take an approach in our homes to be orderly in the day to day living, things are so much more "friendly".  Even with writing this blog, I must be intentional, and actually schedule a time to do it.  Otherwise, it gets lost in the shuffle.  But there are certain things that we can't afford to lose in the shuffle, such as Bible study, prayer, discipleship of our children and the nurturing of our marriages.  The time passes so quickly, time that we cannot get back.  So in these hectic days, if scheduling everything is what it takes to fit in the important stuff, then so be it.

I have often been guilty of saying or thinking, "I need more than twenty-four hours in a day!"

No, I don't.  If I did, God would have given it to me.  My days must be ordered according to His Word, placing Him first above all.  Ephesians 5:15-17 says,

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

A wise woman recognizes that time is precious, and seeks to use her time (and the time of her family) for the glory of God alone.  He will grant us wisdom, we only need to ask for it.  Now that's a plan!

1 comment :

sarah russell said...

this is so me. I need to do better about sticking to a plan. I make them all the time, but rarely put them into action