It has not been easy. There is a limited amount of time in the day and it seems that if I slow down to kick my feet up then the day slips passed and I’m behind on the things I need to do. Finding the balance can be just as difficult and scary as walking a tight rope.
Every time I turned on the television last week it was a tear jerking story about a mom and usually involved her losing a child. It had two results: 1. the television stayed off a lot more last week and 2. I took more time with my children.
I also came away with a new sense of purpose – I can do all that I need to do and will usually have time left over for what I want to do. It’s just a matter of prioritizing, organizing and then following through.
1. I work from home, so there has to be time to do that. There was a time when I would jump out of bed and right into work, but now I schedule work through out the day so that life can happen and not be as much of an interruption.
2. Kids are going to shake up the schedule. The youngest (almost three) never indicates when he is going to get up. Some mornings it’s just after me and some mornings he gets up with the rest of the house. I can’t plan around him – believe me I’ve tried – so I have to work with him. It takes a little longer, but I can deal with the unexpected if I expect it.
3. My body gets tired. I am not in peak physical condition, and even if I was there would be times during the month when the energy might not be as high as it is during other times. It is important for me to get plenty of sleep. According to most experts, IF your sleep schedule is not disrupted (that means you haven’t been deprived for weeks and weeks) then it is likely you will only need around 6 to 8 hours of sleep. I get ready for bed when my children do and then I spend a little time reading before going to sleep. The television is never the last thing I do before turning in. It takes too long for the mind to wind down.
4. I need time too. It’s not that I can’t survive without time by myself or for myself, but it is hard to thrive. Each week I spend time with other ladies (I live in a house full of men and need that Estrogen fix) at a support group for moms. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself or for my family!
5. My number one priority is my relationship with the Father. I spend some time in the morning chatting with Him about friends and family and situations. Time is spent reading and thinking over His word. If I start my day without my Father I struggle to catch up all day. Starting my day WITH the Father seems to increase the amount of time that I have to do what needs to be done.
6. More time with God. The morning is just the beginning. Each afternoon before lunch I set aside a little time to do the Sunday school lesson or other bible studies. It is just a way to refocus my heart and mind on the things that really matter.
7. Coming to a close with a Word or two. Before bed I read over a section of Proverbs. It helps me release the cares of the day and find peace and rest in the arms of the Father.
My schedule reflects each of these different points. I have taken the time to break it down so that I know what I need to be doing and when I need to be doing it. There is enough flexibility so that if a friend stops in unexpectedly then the schedule will not collapse. I can take time to visit and enjoy the friend. Having the schedule makes it easier to relax and enjoy the unexpected pleasantries of life.
The time with God is also scheduled in the sense that I have specific times I want to be alone with the Father (but I do try to talk to Him sporadically throughout the day as well in brief prayers and thanksgivings). My children know when and where and why and they are relatively good about keeping things quiet. It is important to me that they see mom taking time throughout the day to be with God.
No matter what else goes on or how much there is to do in a day, the most important thing is God. Spending time in that intimate relationship with Him is the only way that I can get anything done around here.
After God comes family and after family comes work and after work (including the house) comes me time. Staying on a schedule, organizing the tasks that need to be done and keeping my focus help me to find the balance in my life that lets me do the important things without out stress or worry being able to cloud up my life.