We were talking about time management last night at our homeschool meeting, and talked about how we often do the urgent (many times meaningless) things and leave the truly important things left undone. Several of the moms said things that have me thinking this morning, so I thought I would try and work it out "on paper".
I know that I am one who often gets swept up in the urgent. My dear hubby say it's lack of margin, and I am sure he is right, but how do you get there, to the place where you have margin?
A few years ago, I really was praying about what to "do", what activities were worthy of the time I would spend on them. I wanted to use the gifts God has given me (feeding people, teaching, compassion) to do what I am passionate about. So I decided that because I am passionate about children, and their moms, and feeding people, that I would do things that have those two things at their center. So, I work with MOPS (two birds with one stone - I get to feed them and minister to the moms and their kids), I keep my ears open for people who will be helped by receiving a meal, I make myself available to watch other people's kids on occasion, to give them a break, or let them get something done. The rub is that I still have to maintain margins. I can't always be doing for others, or my own family starts to suffer - and I can't allow that to happen.
What I have found is that when I keep my priorities lined up, then even though I am busy, I am not overwhelmed!! It really is amazing! The other key, and this probably comes before the first, is that I have to, have to, did I say have to, make time for God every day. If I start my day spending time with him in prayer and study, then all the rest just falls into place. Sometimes it is really hard to do - but is it really? How about I give up on 30 minutes of the time I spend aimlessly wandering around the web, to go and spend it with the Creator of my soul? When you put it that way, how can I ever say that "I don't have time?!" Wow! I am glad I did my quiet time this am, or I would have to get off here now and go do it!!
Part of what we did last night was determine where we were wasting time, and I for one know that I have a real problem of wasting precious time doing worthless "surfing" on the web. I am working on that, and plan to sit down and get together a list of what is important in my life, and start working on those things.
Rebecca said that someone told her that she should stop spending time looking for "new ways to do things" and just do the things she already knew, and was not putting in to practice - ouch!!! That really smacked me in the face.
And Suzanne followed that up with the one-two punch of "Why am I homeschooling?" Is it so that I can check things off on a list, just to say they are "done"? Or is it because that is what God has called us to do? And if God called us to it, do you think He is sitting 'up there' with a checklist, wanting to know if all the worksheets are done, or is He more pleased with us taking the time with our kids to build their character and teach them about relationship with Him? Yes, they need to learn to read, and do math, and all that good stuff, but I really think that if we care for their needs and build good realtionships with them, then teaching them will be so much easier! Their minds will be open to learning because their hearts are full of our love for them.
So, I think that is all for now. Please pray for me as I try and work this out and do the important things in the amazing life that God has given me!