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Archive for the ‘Steward of Time’ Category

I mentioned that I was in a slump. The main reason? Loss of focus! I spent some much needed time in prayer, and had a wonderful visit with my mother last week. Unfortunately, my little John has been up every hour or so the past two nights and therefore I could really use some sleep but aside from that, I am completely geared up to have a great week!

What is a Great Week?

A great week is not necessarily checking off everything on a long to do list but, rather, a great week is made up of days where I live each day with eternity’s values in view.

I’m trying something out this week. I put a calendar page on my nightstand with a pen and each evening I am going to put an X through the days that I feel were good ones regardless of what tasks I actually completed!

Definition of a Good Day:

Spending time in the Word. With littles, it may or may not be the time for deep devotions with the Lord. Some days yes, some days no. The Lord can use any time we spend in His Word to speak to us so a verse, a chapter or an entire book all count!

Spending time in Prayer. How I would love to do as the song talks about and spend a sweet hour in prayer. I have so many things to pray about, so many blessings to be thankful for and so many people to pray for that I could easily spend a solid hour praying. Alas, that time is hard to come by these days. But you know if you are awake for 15 hours and each hour you spend 4 minutes praying then you will have spend that sweet hour in prayer! Just try it while while you wash up the dishes, or fold the laundry. Those precious minutes that you pray while doing other things are probably the moments that you are accomplishing the most in your day!

Blessing My Family. How? By balancing the care of my home with time spent with them! Of course there is housework to be done and the fruits of that will, without a doubt, bless our families but we also need to bless them with our time and attention. My sweet little Chloe is 2 and wouldn’t notice if I washed the floor once a week or once a month and spot cleaned as needed. She will certainly notice the number of books I sit and read with her! Mommy’s Idea Book talks about balance here and no doubt there are many more great blog posts out there on balance because it is something that we all still struggle with!

Starting Afresh When Needed. A Path Made Straight had this post about Taking Back the Day and I think about it so often! I am thankful that His mercies are new every morning and that He is a God of second chances!

Now I hope that I get the tasks on my to-do list done this week but regardless of what tasks I get done, if at the end of the week more days than not are crossed off with an X (indicating a good day), then, I think that I will do a little happy dance in celebration of a great week! And maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll post a picture of that happy dance next week!
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Once upon a time I had this crazy and flawed idea that I needed to do everything every day. Each day I would start at one end of the house and try and clean the whole thing. It never never happened (it’s a big house and I have little ones). Each day I was left with the feeling that I was failing in this area. Blame Martha Stewart or society and the stereotypical “perfect housewife” of the 1950’s, or I can just blame it on myself for not viewing my tasks in light of what God’s Word says.

God certainly has given us our houses to look after…but why? To be used as a base-camp, an outreach, a training center, a place to relax/be refreshed, a place that is used to bless our family, others, and ourselves while bringing Glory to God. I’m sure you can think of more things that our houses are. But God intended for our houses to simply be a tool. We ought to keep our houses in order however, with people living in them, they will never be perfect. Is God concerned with our houses or the people in them? It doesn’t bring Him any honor when I am impatient with my children because they are ‘disrupting’ my housecleaning and it doesn’t glorify Him when I am racing around to get the house perfect for when DH comes home so that when he does come home I am flustered and not calm, happy and mentally available to hear about his day. This is an area that I am making progress in but still struggle with!

I have a GraceWorks Planner that has a wonderful page in it with household task suggestions. Having this page in my planner with a set day to work on things assists me in finding balance so that my home is clean but I am still meeting my family’s needs! I’m there to read that story, go for that walk or take time to snuggle. We won’t be taking our houses with us to eternity, but we can take our families. Time is more wisely invested in them. Our Beautiful Calling is about PEOPLE!

In my Beautiful Life Management Planner, the main page has a saying on it “This day will be marked as success in eternity, not by what I accomplish but because I aimed: To Follow Christ radiantly, reflected by a heaven-directed heart, a joyful spirit, a welcome & (increasingly!) orderly home, wise minutes, healthy choices and loving eager relationships.” Each morning I read this and pray that I would use each day to glorify him and not be so busy with my own agenda.

This was actually part of tomorrow’s post however since the post for tomorrow is already lengthy, I thought I would give it a post of it’s own. It is such an important topic. Tomorrow is our last planner post, and Friday our contest opens. Be sure to explore Graceworks so you’re all ready. Hurray!

Thoughts or Comments? Please Share!

Photo from fotosearch

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A google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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I had been pondering what my “tune-up” would be this week and though I have a long mental list of things in need of tuning, nothing seemed quite right for the upcoming week.

I prayed about what I should be focusing on in the coming week while I was doing our baking this morning. In between baking batches, I began peeking at some posts on my reading list. My e-friend, Brianna at Heart(h) Management shared a link on her “Sit and Sip Saturday” which was so timely. When I began reading it, I knew that it was what the Lord was calling me to work on this week.

This post entitledTaking Back the Day” challenged me. I encourage you to stop by and read it for yourself.

Some days, I wake up and everything goes just as it should. I spend time in prayer, read a chapter of my bible at breakfast, have a productive morning, have a read quiet time in the afternoon while the girls rest, dinner comes together wonderfully and I greet my DH with a smile when he comes home.

Other days, nothing really goes well and if I get a verse read during breakfast, that is the greatest accomplishment of the day! On those days, I just think “survival” and I’ll try again tomorrow.

But we don’t have to let an entire day go by as a “write-off”. That certainly isn’t redeeming the time now is it?

Our God is a God of second chances and, though each day His mercies are new, the moment that we turn to him, we can start again! Whether you’ve messed up big time, woken up “on the wrong side of the bed”, found your attitude lacking or just feel overwhelmed, STOP immediatly and take that moment now to turn to Him. Ask him to help you start over the right way, or with the right hearts attitude. This very moment you can take back your day (or your life) and get back on the right path – His path!

So my tune-up focus this week: to truly redeem my time each day and when I find myself getting off course, to stop, pray, evaluate what is happening and adjust my priorities to reflect what they should be. A big challenge but with the Lord’s help – this week is going to be a great one!
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Want to join in? Leave a comment. What ‘Tune-Up’ are you working on this week? (If you need ideas, please refer back to this post.) Do you have a successful “Tune-Up” accomplishment to share? Leave a comment or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

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Before we venture any further into the planner itself…
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My friend at Graceworks, Tricia, has written a great little 20 page e-book entitled “Planning to Be a Blessing.” Reading it was an encouragement to remember why we are concerned about planning and being organized. It also provided to practical “how-to’s” and a little motivation to tweak my system a little more to make it really work for me. She has kindly agreed to let me share some of the things that really leaped out at me but I highly recommend getting a copy for yourself. Please read more about getting your FREE copy here or click on the image.

The first was Purpose. What is my purpose? A mission statement.
“Your mission statement sets before you a reminder of the character you wish to display, the growth you would like to accomplish and the rewards of faithfulness when there is no instant gratification. It helps you to remember that in order to ‘be’ something in the future you must begin to ‘be’ it now.”

Tricia shares in her e-booklet her personal mission statement and I found that we share very similar goals, I had just never put mine into words and down on paper. Since reading this booklet, it has helped me to understand how helpful and important it is to have your goals laid down in such a concrete manner.

There were three things in her personal mission statement that really jumped out at me:
  • To be able to accept all that comes as Christ’s best for me at that moment.
  • To be able to offer up all my daily tasks as done to the Lord (which we touched on here)
  • To be organized and self-disciplined, so that I will be able to ‘redeem the time’
So before we go any further on the topic of planning – take a few minutes to sit down and think about the things that you want to accomplish as your life’s work. Write them down and really evaluate them.

One last thought to share with you. Tricia reminds us in her e-book, “Having a new planner will not make any lasting changes in the beauty and peace of your home unless your heart is truly transformed by the Holy Spirit as you are washed in his Word daily.”
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We will ‘visit’ again soon with more on the planners topic. If you missed the first post, click here to read it. Our fabulous planner give-away is still to come!

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Today I want to share with you something that I feel has really helped me to get (somewhat) organized. My GraceWorks Planner!

A year+/- ago my E-friend Crystal of BiblicalWomanhood did a few posts on the importance of a planner. It was through her site that I discovered GraceWorks. I was so excited to find a company that designed planners for stay-at-home mommies and not just for women who were out in the ‘official’ workforce. The other important feature for me is that it is designed to keep your focus where it should be – on the Lord.

I excitedly ordered their Beautiful Life Management System (and far too many other things) and waited for my package to arrive.

My new BLMS package arrived with a basic binder, the pages, tabs, a package of tea and some tapes by creator, Jennifer Lamp Neef, who walks you through how to set up your planner and some practical ideas for starting. The whole package is 39.95usd and is a little pricey but it contains everything that you will need as well as a coupon for a free refill of your daily pages.

Over the next few days (or week depending on how my days are), we’ll dig a little deeper and I’ll walk through a little more about planners and what I use them for. (I have two : my home planner and then my menu/shopping list/coupon planner)

When we have completed our planner topic – we’ll have a great giveaway so be sure to follow along!

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I work in our “Special” Sunday School class. Our class encompasses some wonderful people who are mentally challenged. They are some of the happiest, most thoughtful and thankful people you will ever meet. I could actually do a post just on our class but today’s post is actually of “waiting”.

Ruth, my dear friend and Titus 2 woman (in spirituality, not age – just in case she reads this lol) does the short and simple devotion each week. This week since we were learning the song “They that wait upon the Lord” she thought we would look into what it meant. It is found in Isaiah 40:31.

I have always thought that it meant to wait on the Lord. To be patient, to trust that His timing is right. To pray and not worry; to truly rest in him. While all of those things are true and certainly a good application there is another one I had never thought about.

Waiting on the Lord like a waiter or in my case waitress. Serving the Lord, doing whatever we can to please Him. Another key point is that we can be waiting on Him while we’re waiting on Him. Serving Him, while waiting on Him. If we are waiting on Him in that sense, he will renew our strength. If we do what he has called us to do (
our beautiful calling) in HIS strength, he will renew ours as we need it. In serving Him, doing His bidding, becoming more like Him we will be able to rise above, to soar above our problems. How? God will give us a different perspective – His perspective. This isn’t to say that our life will be trouble-free but that we will have the right perspective and focus so that we can allow the troubles and trials we do have to accomplish that which God desires them to accomplish. Only then can we come forth as gold.

Maybe all of you have already thought about it this way but never I had. It is so exciting when the Lord reveals to me yet another facet of His Word – as simple as it may be to some. Let’s make sure that we are truly spending our loves “waiting” on Him!

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