Planning Day

Planning Day {How to Plan Your Time} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Planning Day

Today is a planning day. For the last month I’ve either been on the road traveling or sick and feeling pretty miserable. It’s back to homeschool time in our house and because of different reasons – traveling, company, illness, etc. I haven’t even begun to plan out our new school year!

The good news is that most our books will be re-used from previous years. So I don’t have a lot to purchase this year.

We typically begin our new school year the day after labor day – which is today – so I’m working on which books we’ll be using and other ideas. I’ll share what we’re using this year soon.

A New Routine

I’m also working on our new schedule/ routine for the fall. This probably my biggest hurdle to cross right now. We’ve fall into a pretty laid back routine over the last few months – before summer even began, so we have a lot of work to do to get ready for a more serious routine.

I’m still not feeling 100% back to normal so mornings are a little hard. But, I prayed before I went to bed – my alarm clock is my phone and it was dead and I had left my charger at the church – so I prayed that God would make sure I was awake by 7 and you know, my husband’s alarm went off at around 6:30. I kind of ignored the alarm at first, but then my dog Caroline started barking because she wanted to go out. And then my husband asked me to go put his clothes in the dryer because he needed to wear something in that load today.

So, God answered that prayer. He’s so good!

And even though I still have a sore throat and lots of congestion, I took some cold medicine, asked God to give me strength, went to the kitchen, and made two batches of Cranberry Orange Muffins for breakfast and got the kids all ready to go to music lessons and college classes. And I’ve had more energy today than I’ve had in the last couple of weeks.

As for our new routine… I tend to be naturally laid back so as we’ve slipped into a laid back routine of mostly just doing what we feel like doing when we feel like it…. it’s kind of hard to break that habit. But I’m working on it.

For now, we’ll have a slightly stricter schedule – meaning I’m not planning to go back to scheduling the day in 15 minute increments the ways I used to do! Instead we’ll be working toward a steady routine. A lot of things have changed for our family over the last few months with the death of my mother-in-law and step father. And I’m looking forward to finding new groove.

My children are getting older - the youngest is eleven already! So my time is spent a little differently now than when I had five children at home and babies. But that also means that I have to find a new rhythm that works for our family now.

If you remember, I talked about being burn out at the beginning of this year and I’ve been feeling better as far as that goes. Part of recovering from the burn out was doing way less and not stressing over things. But I’m ready to get back into more of a routine with my household chores, homeschool, and other activities. It’s exciting, if not a little overwhelming!

Freezer Cooking

One thing I really want to implement this year more is batch cooking and freezer cooking. I haven’t done a whole lot of that in the past, but I think it would really help me be more efficient. My biggest problem is getting started. The idea can be a little overwhelming! I spend hours everyday – or most days – in the kitchen. Freezer cooking is a great way to spend less time over all in the kitchen, so I’m excited about finding some recipes to try.

As I mentioned before, this morning I made two batches of Orange Cranberry Muffins – one batch for today and a second batch for later in the week. This evening I’ll be making a pot pie with a biscuit topping. I’m planning to make a second batch of biscuits and fry up some vegetarian “sausage” patties {while the pot pie bakes} for tomorrow morning. We’ll be headed out early in the morning for a day at the ice rink and having breakfast already made will definitely help out – and it’ll also mean we can eat something better than cold cereal before running out the door.

And if I’m still feeling energetic when I get in the kitchen later today, I may make a third batch of biscuits to put in the freezer for later. We’ll see.

I hope to share more ideas for batch cooking and freezer cooking soon, so stay tuned! 

How to Plan Your Time

1. Choose a day to set aside time just for planning. You could do this seasonally and even weekly. Seasonal planning is more about overall goals and plans. Weekly planning is about day in and day out stuff – menu planning, socials, outside activities, household chores. I like to do my weekly planning on Sunday. Seasonal planning can be anytime that works for your current lifestyle.

2. Gather your planner, a notebook, pen, computer, etc. You want all the tools you need to help you plan. I use my computer for somethings, but I’m really a paper and pen kind of girl. That’s one of the reasons I love my This is My Life Planner so much!

3. Ask yourself some questions. For example, seasonal questions could be:

  • What has been working for me? What do I love about this past season that worked?
  • What has not been working? What do I want to change?
  • Where would I like to see myself/ our family in three months time?
  • What are some goals for this time of the year I want to accomplish?

4. Write down your thoughts and goals. I like to print our routine and laminate it and put it up on the refrigerator for everyone to see. I used my This is My Life Planner to organize my daily goals and weekly menu and it’s a life saver! You can see how I use my planner here.

5. If serious changes need to be made to your normal routine, it may be important to have a “family meeting” or at the very least let the kids know what changes will be made and any new rules you’ll be implementing!

This is My Life Planner @ AVirtuousWoman.org

It’s important that we use our time wisely. Otherwise, before we know it, life has passed up by and we’ve just floated from one moment to the next without really living life with purpose.

And remember, being a Proverbs 31 Woman isn’t about being perfect. It’s about living life with purpose!

Here’s some other posts I’ve written along these lines that you may enjoy:

Do you set aside a time for planning? What changes are you making this year?

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.


Family Worship {Day 58}

Family Worship {From Chaos to Calm: Day 58} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

From Chaos to Calm: Day 58

Scripture Memory: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Worshiping together as a family will bring you closer to each other and closer to God. Your children will cherish the memories of singing praises and reading the Bible together.

Family Worship

So how do you get started?

First, I would suggest you seek the Lord out and ask Him to direct your worship. After all, He is the One we are worshiping! We want it to be pleasing to Him, right?

Secondly, choose the best time of day. If you are able to have morning and evening worship – wonderful! I try, but there are days when it just doesn’t work. In our house, we have morning worship at the table after eating breakfast. This works out easiest for us.

Evening worship in our house usually happens around 7 pm. If you are not able to do it twice a day, choose a time when the family is generally together – right before bed, before leaving for school, etc. Family Worship does not have to take very long 15 minutes is usually all you need to have a good experience. Of course, if you are enjoying yourselves and time is on your side, why not take as long as you like?

You will want to choose a good devotional book or a book with Bible stories suitable for the ages of your children. You may also want to purchase song books with fun worship songs. In our house we use a book that my husband used in church as a child back in the 1950′s. It is called Happy Songs for Girls and Boys. I was very lucky to find a big stack of these song books for free at a church school book giveaway. We also have a number of praise song books and of course a good number of fun songs right in our heads!

If you have a family member – including a child – who plays the piano or guitar or other instrument, encourage them to play for worship. I am especially partial to guitar music at worship time!!

In our house we like to start by singing songs, followed by story time, discussion, Scripture memory, and prayer. Give your children an opportunity to share prayer requests and then make a point to pray for them. You may want to keep a family prayer journal and record prayer request in black ink and answers to prayer in red ink!

Worshiping God together as a family will bring you closer together as a family and closer to God!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.


Living Connected

Living Connected @ AVirtuousWoman.org

How much time do you spend on your smart phone? Your computer? Tablet? 

Are you living distracted?

It’s a real problem for a lot of people. And stay at home moms are no exception. I was reading a blog post “Who do I work for?” over at Living, Learning, and Loving Simply. Aimee talked about being on her phone a lot during the day. I loved how she put it:

Somehow listening and reading and pondering, the message came to me very quietly and simply and gently:

“Aimee, you work for God.”

This seemingly obvious revelation has given me deep joy and renewed PURPOSE.  Every day when I wake up, I look to Him and ask Him for my day.  How would you have me work for you today, Lord? It has lifted the seemingly mundane chores to acts of faithful service to Him.  It has curbed my iPhone addiction…because in what job would your boss want you to sit on your phone constantly? It has given me focus in spending time with children, using my time well to love others, and to use rest for meaningful activity instead of escape.
The truth is, we miss out on life – real life – when we spend so much time on “social media,” blogs, and other online pursuits.

Living Connected

Does your phone or computer add to your quality of life or does it take away from your life? Are you better off?

Now obviously, there are so many benefits to being online. So many blogs are uplifting and encouraging for the Christian woman. I know there have been many times when I have been motivated in my efforts at home or as a wife and mother from reading some of my favorite blogs or by something I found on Pinterest.

But as Christian women, we need to set boundaries for our time online and not allow it to take control of our lives – we need to use our time wisely.

We also need to be “present” in the day to day lives of our families. I’ve talked before about being present and living distracted. How much more could you get done during the day if you put away your phone? How would your relationships improve?

God has a purpose for your life – for my life. Does that purpose include hours a day on your phone? Or does He have a higher purpose for your day?

If we really think about how shallow, how wasted, a life would be if all a person had to show for their life was the hours they’d spent online – is that the kind of legacy I want to leave behind?

Not really. I’d much rather my family remember the times I spent looking each of them in the eye, laughing with them, baking cookies and getting to know their heart. I’d much rather my children remember me focused on them instead of always looking at my phone.

I learned some time ago that I never, ever regret the time I spend one on one with my family. I never regret the time I spend making our home a home. I never regret investing in my family.

Who are you really connected to? Are you so connected to facebook or twitter or email that you are no longer connected to the people in your life who matter the most?
It’s something to think about.

I’m going to leave you with this great video my son shared with me:

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.


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