This week's TOS Crew Blog Cruise question is: "How do you find time for everything?"
My simple (and probably sarcastic) answer is...I don't.
I struggle with finding balance in my life.
I want to spend time alone with the Lord daily.
I want to be the wife my husband desires me to be.
I want to be an example of a Christ follower to my children.
I want to to teach my children well.
I want to be a fun Mom.
I want to spend time exercising 3-4 days/week.
I want to have a clean and orderly home.
I want to cook healthy meals.
I want to be a good friend.
I don't find time for EVERYTHING. Some weeks I am able to have a clean home. Some weeks I am able to be a great teacher. Some weeks we eat healthy meals and exercise consistently. But, it never seems like I can do everything on my list and do it well all in the same week.
Here are a few simple things I try to do to keep the most important things, the most important things in my daily life:
#1 Matthew 6:33 is a verse I strive to live by: "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." My paraphrase of this verse: Seek God first and He'll help everything else (marriage/parenting/homemaking) fall into place. I strive to begin each day in The Word and in prayer. I believe that if I spend time with the Lord and seek Him first thing in the morning, then He will bless that and help everything else fall into place. When I take the time to die to my flesh, pray on the FULL armor of God, and ask Holy Spirit to come and fill me up, I am prepared for whatever the Lord has in store for me each day.
#2 In my marriage relationship I try and stop what I'm doing when my husband comes home to let him know I missed him and am thankful he is home. I want my husband to know he is important to me and I love him like crazy!
#3 In my relationship with my children I want to train and teach them God's Word and His ways. I want them to receive a Biblical and Christian worldview education. I also want to laugh more with my children and simply have more fun in our day-to-day activities.
#4 In my Homemaking I try to clean one space each day. For example on Mondays I wash bedding and clean bathrooms. I also try and do some laundry each day so I don't fall too far behind (I am currently behind on laundry...just keeping it real)
#5 I believe everything I do within the walls of my home is Ministry. but my husband and I are both called into the ministry and I serve alongside him. We attend weekly worship services, prayer times, and invest in the lives of whomever the Lord leads to us throughout the week. Someone may call, stop by, email, or Facebook me and need some encouragement. I try to always make myself available to the needs of my sweet sisters (and brothers) in Christ.
#6 I used to think I was a failure if I did not exercise everyday for at least one hour. Now, I spend about 30 minutes three times a week. This may not be what is required to run a marathon or be the certain size you'd like to be. But this is an attainable goal for me, and it helps me feel better emotionally and physically.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I am currently enrolled in two college courses (6 credit hours). My life is FULL! I have learned to not set unrealistic expectations on myself. Homeschooling alone is a full-time job. Homemaking alone is a full-time job. Ministry alone is a full-time job. I do want to share that I am thankful and blessed that I am married to a man who loves me and cares for me. He is an awesome father, trainer and teacher, and helps out a lot around the house. He is really good at laundry and cleaning the kitchen.
I also have found two Google tools that help me manage my time and stay on top of things. I like the Google Calendar and the Google task list. With the calendar, I can email myself reminders when reviews are due for the TOS Crew, birthdays, when I need to take a meal to someone, and other reminders. I like the task list because you can type it up and go back in and check it off your list.
I am looking forward to reading what other TOS Crew members have to say on this topic. Hopefully we can all encourage each other as we strive to do the things we need to do, and give ourselves permission to relax and enjoy life instead of getting uptight and anxious if everything is not checked off our to-do lists.