I am a follower of Chirst, a wife, a mom, a business owner, an artist, a dancer, a friend, etc... Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Plus I am going to start homeschooling in the near future. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at times when I look around at what I have to do, take a glance at my list, and then suddenly hear the baby wake up early from her nap while the toddler is asking me for something.
However, as valid as these feelings of drowning in the sea of my to do's can be, I don't want to stay there. I recognize my God as a God of order. Just look around and notice how well organized and creative the world is. There is an order to life, and when the order is lacking it can be pretty chaotic! Almost always, I find that when I get to the point of feeling overwhelmed it is because I don't have things in order. With closer examination I find that I am:
1.Not spending quality time in prayer and study just to sit quietly to listen and rest in the Lord's presence.
2. Not carefully choosing how I spend my time and letting myself get carried away by something that could have waited or is not important.
3. Taking too much time and energy planning and too little time and energy following through with that plan.
4. Being lazy or unintentional.
5. All of the above.
Well, as they say, "Knowing is half the battle," so now that I know what do I do?
Living in the sub-tropics, the four seasons are not really noticeable. Really it is either perfect weather, rainy, hot, or really hot. As a result, I don't really think about "Spring." I realized this lately when I started seeing all sorts of blogs, advertisements, etc about Spring. "Oh yeah, I guess it is Spring," I thought. Many of these spring-themed writings have to do with Spring Cleaning. I have to admit that I would like to be a better cleaner of my home. It usually looks nice, but it is not always as clean as I would like.
I stumbled across this blog post today about an e-book (I don't really like reading books on my computer, so this makes me consider even more saving up for a Kindle) that I think will help me. It's called 31 Days To Clean and there is even a great giveaway which includes this book and more. This got me excited and on the path to doing some of my own cleaning in the spring, which involves a whole lot more than just my floors and closets.
So, being the list person that I am (I've just learned to embrace this), I came up with a list to help me get organized with some of the to-do's that really need to-get-done. Let me say, as well, that this is not a fool proof list and it is not intended to make me or anyone else a supermom (whatever that really means). Instead this is a list to help me evaluate what I am currently doing, how that is working out, and make the necessary changes to help me better fulfill the purposes God has for me in ways that are most pleasing and glorifying to Him. This looks different for each one of us, but there are some basic stepping stones:
1. Pray. Pray. Pray. - Pray first. Keep praying. We have to stay connected to the Source or we will run out of juice. This is not cliche.
2. Make a list - Even if you are not a "list person" like me, it helps to make a list of what your responsibilities are and what you want to accomplish.
3. Evaluate this list - What am I spending most of my time doing? Is this profitable? Are my priorities in line? What is stealing me away from what is important? Be honest with yourself.
4. Make a plan - This has to be a realistic plan with action steps. How will you accomplish your goal?
5. Do it - Now follow through with your plan. If it doesn't work, make adjustments and continue on. Don't get discouraged or expect it all to happen right away. Change takes time.
Although I do plan on this leading to much more cleaning around here, I plan even more importantly for diligence and discipline to make the most of my time and efforts by His grace and for His glory. I hope this helps you do the same.
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (Matthew 26:41).