Welcome to Part 4 of a 4-part series called “In The Life.” I’d like to share a bit about priorities, balancing, and what life looks like for me right now. We’re chatting about putting first things first and some simple principles to live by. If you missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3, go check those out! Feel free to jump in the conversation and share what your days look like. Thanks for joining me here!
It didn’t happen quickly, this settling into living out what matters most. The journey has been just that – a journey (…and the journey is far from over!). Your journey will have its own twists and turns, its own flavor. And as I look back through my day-to-day decisions, I’ve realized that several simple principles tend to manage my moments. I hope these will bless you! (Take what works for you and chat with God about it. He’s the best Source we could ever have!
#1: Time with God doesn’t just happen at 6am (or whenever) for an allotted block of time. It’s a relationship. It’s ongoing and it doesn’t fit in a box.
#2: Tidy as you go. Yes, have times in the day that are reserved for tidying things up. But, the more we put things away as soon as we’re done with them, the less mess there is to tackle later. Also, declutter and give things away regularly. This keeps our homes uncluttered and releases the hold that stuff has on us.
#3: Create a vision and mission statement for your family and (if applicable) for your homeschool. Print and frame it to keep you on track and stay mindful of the big picture.
#4: If you’re homeschooling, don’t expect to fit the mold of a public school schedule. Spend only the amount necessary for academics. Teachers in public or private school settings must consider things like a bell schedule, waiting on some kids to catch up, transitioning between classrooms, preset curricula often determined by someone else, and managing 20-30 children or teens with varying personalities, quirks, and learning styles. As a homeschooling parent, you can go more quickly because there’s less waiting time and more opportunity to individualize your child’s education to their needs and interests. It’s different. It’s okay.
#5: Make leftovers and keep some healthy frozen options available. And, breakfast for dinner is absolutely fine on occasion. Snacking on the weekends can totally count as mealtime too!
#6: Embrace your gifts and passions. Making time for them will give renewed vigor to other areas of your life.
#7: Every moment can be a teachable one. For your kids. And for you. Learning is (as often quoted) much more about lighting a fire rather than filling up a pail. It’s not just teaching what to think but rather how to think. I’m far more concerned about encouraging the natural inquisitiveness of my children than I am about seeing how much information they can regurgitate.
#8: You can do anything God has called you to do! [Note: I didn’t say you can do anything you may want to do!] But, if God has called you to something, He will equip you as you go.
#9: Consider the ingredients and weigh the cost. Put things into your body and mind on purpose, knowing what they are, why you’re taking them, and how they can/will affect you. You alone are responsible for the way you steward your body, soul, and spirit. The responsibility does not fall on the shoulders of a doctor, or pastor, or friend. Information is out there. Do your research. Pray. Ask God what His best is for you and your family. And pray for the freedom to continue (and take back ground where it’s been lost) to steward our bodies and minds according to God’s direction and our consciences rather than according to governmental mandates.
#10: Guard your “Yes“, Give your “No” and Go back to your “Not Now.” Know why you’re saying yes to something and how it fits into your priorities. Give your “no” freely to anything that doesn’t fit, at least for right now. Perhaps consider it later. But remember that whatever you say yes to requires that you say no to something else. Be sure you’re willing to make that trade.
God is in the midst of our days. He sees us cleaning up messes and filing paperwork and dealing with challenging co-workers and wiping runny noses. He’s right there, longing to be a part of each moment, even (and especially!) the messy, unlikely ones.
What principles is He asking you to live by?