February flew by and March flashed before my eyes. I blinked and they were both gone. As you and your family adjust to a new schedule, a new way of accomplishing tasks, you will find yourself wondering where your time went.
When you move from a warm-climate culture into a cold-climate culture, you will realize that time is a very valuable and non-renewable resource. You will find more and more demands on your time that will force you to become much more scheduled and much less spontaneous. I did not want to fall into the busyness trap, rushed, anxious and tired. But all of a sudden, without realizing it, I became over-committed, disappointed and exhausted. How do I step back, re-evaluate and re-arrange my and my family’s schedule? How do I protect this valuable resource? Allow me to give you a few suggestions.
- Take care of your responsibilities first. According to buisnessdictionary.com, a responsibility is a duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure. First and foremost, I am responsible to take care of my family. Whatever gets in the way of this responsibility, needs to wait. And because I have chosen to educate my children at home, I am responsible, just as much as any other public or private school teacher to make sure my children learn.
- HOME SCHOOL TIP: In order to help me focus on my teaching task at home, since there are so many distractions (laundry, dishes, text, email, etc.), I have learned (still in the process) to put my phone out of sight where I am unable to be tempted to constantly check it for texts, emails, etc.
- PRAYER TIP: I wrote my DAILY MISSION as a prayer on an index card and often pray it each morning. May I bring God glory by submitting to His authority and completing the work He gives me to do TODAY, with all my heart as a service to Jesus. Scripture references are found in: John 17:4, Matthew 6:33, Acts 20:8, Philippians 3:14, and Colossians 3:23-24.
- Decide what is important to you and your family. What do you really want to invest in? There are so many good causes out there, so many things you and your kids can be involved in and learn. How many drop offs and pick ups are you willing to do? How much help and support do you have through family and friends? What is your energy level like? Do you need stillness, quietness? How often? What gives you energy? What drains it?
- Learn to say “NO” and be at peace with it. Look in the mirror and practice. Depending on your personality, you may need to find an indirect way to communicate a no. I’ve often heard people say, “Let me pray about it first.” Someone recently, while I was talking to a friend, requested that I help them with a task. I’m not very good at saying “No”, especially when I’m put on the spot, and even more especially when in front of others. So I said, “yes”; and just a few moments later, I felt I had placed an unnecessary weight on myself. That same day, I emailed this person explaining that it would be very difficult for me to meet the deadline for this request. They graciously accepted my “no.”
- Rest. Go to bed at a decent time so that you can wake up refreshed, ready to start the next day.
- Find time to do something you enjoy. Though not a popular blog, I really enjoy this outlet to write! I’ve been so busy lately, that I have not had time. This should change soon. I hope to get back to playing guitar and getting some callouses on my fingers. And don’t forget to exercise!
How do you manage your time? I realize that this also changes with the different seasons of life. The following scripture has been in my mind a lot. I hope it encourages you to seek that which you were really intended to do.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30