Share the Joy

Remember when we talked about pruning your to-do list? Well, there is another way to keep your task load in good shape.

Keep in mind that responsibility doesn’t always mean doing it with your own hands.

  • If your time can be better spent elsewhere and your budget allows, use a grocery pick service or even delivery service.
  • You may like how your dishwasher loading system works, but would your call to love your children include training them in that particular chore and responsibility?

An excellent help in looking for delegation opportunities can be found in your husband and/or your boss. Taking a step back and getting a wider view can make a big change in your perspective. They see what you can’t, right in the middle of each day.

  • If your husband values your time more than a cooked-from-scratch meal (and, again, your budget allows), perhaps sandwiches or (relatively) healthy takeout should be in the weekly meal plan more often. A walk together before dinner might be a better use of your time.
  • Are you spending a large percentage of your day doing something that is really someone else’s responsibility or could be easily transferred? Check. Your boss may rather you do what only you can do. You may add more value and more excellent work by eliminating that task from your list.

Delegation can be good, not an automatic failure. Yes, this can take an investment in money or training, but the goal would be one less task for your every day and time freed up for what is most valuable and can serve God best with your time.

Procrastination and Chaos

Remember when we talked about a quiet life? Well, let’s spend a few more minutes on that idea.

Let’s talk about the things that you put off, the stuff you need to do but don’t want to deal with right now, the tasks you aren’t excited about so you don’t make time or plan time to do them, the jobs you’re hoping will magically just get done. You know, THAT stuff.

Here’s the thing: putting anything off until the last minute makes it much more likely that completing it will cause turmoil and disturbance. That chaos may be in your emotions or your day or in the work that is done or all three, but it will show up somewhere.

Procrastinating something you don’t like will also mean you have no flexibility to fit work in comfortably or be more creative (or even awake). Once you get down to the deadline, it has to be done — and fast. No room to maneuver and no time for anything else.

Sometimes we put things off because they are looming like a little black rain cloud over our heads, a constant presence. Other times, we put things off to another day and then forget. We forget until the crucial moment, that is, when it becomes a shocking and/or embarrassing surprise. Once you know it needs to be done, taking a minute or two to make a plan, with action steps if needed, to get it done at the right time saves you the headache of forgetting down the road. Even if you decide not to do anything for two months, the entry on your calendar in two months prevents it from falling off the radar.

Finally, because procrastination was the plan, you will feel all the painful results of not planning. You will waste mental energy reacting rather than calmly working the plan. You will generate confusion, because you’re not sure what you are doing and when. ¬†You will not be making the best use of your time, and that lack of success is discouraging.

Hopefully seeing the dark side will be motivate you to stay on top of plans and priorities. Taking the time in advance pays off by cutting out these downsides. Don’t get caught with a mess on your hands.

Contentment

Are you content?

Handling all your responsibilities day in and day out can be draining. Feeling drained can quickly tempt you to be discontent.

Fantastically beautiful pictures on social media and stories from friends about things they are doing, or things they have that you don’t have, can add up quickly as well.

Do you want what you don’t have today? Do you want a different life?

If so, then as Esther Engelsma says in How Can I Feel Productive as a Mom?, “it is time to strive for contentment.”

When we are happy with the gifts God has given us, we witness to the world that He is a good God. This glorifies Him. When we are not content with what He has given us, we witness to the world that we think He is not a good God, that He does not have the best interests of His people in mind, and that we don’t trust Him to make us happy.

Satan uses this issue of contentment to try to take God’s glory away.

So how do we fight back and glorify God and love Him with all that we are?

We trust God. We show quiet confidence in our Father, knowing that He loves us and has planned good for us in whatever our life holds. We remind ourselves of who He is and the promises He made that He will absolutely keep. We make ourselves stronger for the fight by feeding on His Word. We practice gratitude by thanking Him for what He has given us.

We obey God. We do the work he has called us to today. We love those He has placed in our lives. We follow the path of wisdom, knowing that God has given the best directions. We get up and move and get it done, even when we’d rather have a pity party or take a (very long) break.

We obey God all day long and then trust His wisdom when the allotted 24 hours runs out, knowing that He created the day and night, the work and rest cycle, and that only God can do everything.

It is as basic as “Trust and Obey” for this.

Race Against Yourself

So many things need to get done every day. When they don’t, it’s not so much fun to catch up (like laundry). But it’s not always so much fun doing it every day either!

A friend recently shared a tip she uses in the morning to motivate herself. She races to see how much she can do before her coffee is done in the morning. This includes emptying the dishwasher, washing any pans soaking from the night before, etc. She challenges herself to keep moving and to get as much as possible done in that short amount of time.

That’s such a great idea.

  • Because it’s a short time, it’s manageable instead of overwhelming.
  • Because it’s a race, there’s a little more energy put into completing those mundane tasks.
  • She knows what needs to be done and makes it fun to do. Who doesn’t need a little more fun in the daily task list?

You may have used this or seen it used with kids, but it’s just as fun for grown-ups — and for the same reasons.

Ready! Set! Go!

Sharpening Your Ax

If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom brings success. Ecclesiastes 10:10

So you want to cut down a tree. Is it worth the time to sharpen the ax before you use it? Even if it takes a few minutes and some effort?

ABSOLUTELY!

Please don’t waste your limited energy trying to do hard things without the best tools you can use. When you take a minute to plan the best way to tackle a project, you save time working as well as work itself. Time spent getting a little bit better at different skills will give you sharp tools in your tool box, preparing you for each task down the road.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser… Proverbs 9:9a

Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. Proverbs 19:20

The more you know and apply, the better you can do what you need to do. The wiser you are, the better you will be able to know what needs to be done.

Wisdom seeks teaching and absorbs it, and wisdom brings success.