My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan

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My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan

Was I always a little flaky? I don’t know. For years, I could get away with being very loosy-goosy with my planning because I was a stay-at-home mom of preschoolers. We moved all the time too, so by the time people developed expectations of me, we were off and away to the next town.

Over the years, I have slipped into a routine of planning as little as I can get away with planning. I’ll procrastinate decisions until they are made for me. Yep. Guilty of that. Sometimes I get this fear of commitment. If I sign up for things, I’m going to have to figure out how to actually accomplish those things with toddlers in tow.

And I never knew when my husband would be here or not be here, so making plans felt like shooting darts– real darts–in a room full of people, blindfolded.

No thanks.

So friends, that is how I became the version of April you have today.

April, are you going to the yada yada yada meeting?

**Total deer in the headlights**

Ummmm. Uhhhhhh.  Umm, yeah, you know, I might…

(Inside my head I’m thinking……IF all 4 kids are well, IF Alan is in town, IF I have energy left that day…..IF I am not supposed to actually be at Dan’s tee-ball game or some Army function that I can’t remember the exact dates for…..If, If, If…..)

My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan

I love to rock me some babies. Go away, world, until I finish this.

 

Actually, for the past 11 years those were all perfectly good reasons to be flaky, indecisive, unprepared, uncommitted, and unsure. Did I shut the world out a little bit? Yes, yes, I definitely did.

In fact, I had to google the word “twerking” not too long ago. I’m so out of touch with pop culture, and I kept hearing that word. All I can say to that one is ew, girl! Ew. Somebody get that poor girl a sweater and some capri pants.

But things keep popping up on our calendars, and I’ve re-entered the world of work with my blog. I actually HAVE to FORCE myself to plan and be less free-spirited, more grown-up like.

You people who have a plan amaze me, and I mean that in a good way. You totally have my respect.

You know when you are going on vacation. You’ve actually committed to specific dates, and you probably even know how you are gong to pay for that.

You have a budget.

You know when people’s birthdays are, and you plan for that accordingly.

You keep some sort of planner or calendar.

 My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan
About that….Y’all! I have purchased TWO different “planners” this year. They are both mostly blank. I have a calendar hanging in my kitchen too, which makes 3 planners, really. All I’ve written on that one is what the kids are doing for lunch and when their dentist appointments are.

I even downloaded an editorial calendar plug-in to try and start planning my blog posts. (It’s actually extremely helpful, fellow bloggers, check it out. It’s called “editorial calendar.”)

Only I’m so anti-structured in my thinking, I can rarely bring myself to write about what I’m ‘scheduled’ to write about.

I also have 2 different e-books I’ve written half of, and now they are just sitting on my hard-drive taking up space. My hard drive is so full, my computer has actually stopped letting me download or upload new things.

And suddenly I find myself wanting to change.

See, I bought all those planners. That’s the first step. I WANT to do the right thing and be all responsible again. I always was one-half responsible and one-half not at all, even back in high school and college. I used to make myself plans and stick to them, sort of. Well, I used to make plans. Maybe I never did really stick to them. I almost always turn in everything on time, actually, but I live in fear of signing up for extra things.

So I decided to pray about this today.

And this was my answer:  If you can plan out each day by making a list and crossing things off, then you can apply that same strategy to weeks. Then apply it to months. Then do that for years. Do it at the start of each week, each month, and each year, just like you are doing now for days.

Huh. Brilliant. Maybe even doable?

My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan

My planning tends to never go past the day that I’m on. This is the typical extent of my planning.

 

What I do now for each day is this. After I have safely delivered all of my children to school, I come home and have a little time for Bible study and prayer. You have to pour inspiration in to yourself if you expect to pour any out, right?

I close with prayer, and I ask God to help me make my to-do list for that day. I write the list out on the wipe-off board in the kitchen. Then I mentally prioritize the things that HAVE to get done.

That’s why I usually cook supper in the morning, by 12:00, because I know everyone HAS to eat, and I don’t want that task hanging over my head. Also, I have no energy left at 5:00pm.

I see no reason why this method for planning each day could not be applied to my weeks, months, and years, with one of the 3 planners I’ve purchased laying open on my lap.

My Brilliant Plan for How to Plan

And don’t even say that I should use my phone as my planner. I can’t do it. This falls under scatter-brained people problems. The minute I open my phone to use the calendar or some other useful, productive app, I immediately forget what I was doing and end up reading Instagram or my email or something.

So watch out, world! I now have a plan for how to plan!!!! Who knows? Maybe next week I will make a budget, a meal plan, or catch up on my 2,809 emails…….nahhhhh…

Please share your best planning tips in the comment section! We would love to hear more ideas! Thanks, y’all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persistence: My Word for 2017

Persistence: My word for 2017

Daniel’s persistence is paying off in basketball skills. That same principle pays off in other areas of life too. Look at his feet in the picture! This shot doesn’t look like it went in, but he took about 200 more shots, and many of them did go in.

The Christmas presents have all been opened, the grandparents have all been visited, the cousins have been played with, and the tree…..well, the tree is still up. It’s pretty. I’m reluctant to take it down.

And today is New Year’s Eve. Time to pick a goal, a resolution, a plan!!! Or as my adorable little boys say, “It’s time for our New Year’s revolution!” That makes me smile every time.

Persistence: My word for 2017

I may not have daughters, but I have adorable nieces.

So did you set goals? I have goals in mind, but this year I’m focusing more on this word: persistence.

For me, that’s about persisting in what I know is the right thing to do, even when I’m not seeing immediate results. I’m often guilty of throwing in the towel when results aren’t as big and quick as I want them to be. I get bored with a thing and move on to another. That’s not a highly productive way to live.

Persistence: My word for 2017

Fishing takes persistence too. The boys enjoyed fishing this Christmas, but they didn’t catch anything this time.

I want to be more persistent:

 

Persistence: My word for 2017

one of my boy’s Bible journal tabs

-With Bible reading and prayer

I have found this to be most effective when done in the morning, and mornings are rough when you are raising children. One thing I am working on is getting up earlier to get this done before the morning rush, but when I fail to get up early, Bible time has to move to 8am, and that’s okay. Late is better than not at all.

-As a wife

The hardest part for me sometimes is just being “nice.” Bahhhh. Niceness. But niceness is extremely important in a marriage, in any relationship. I want to be right more than I want to be nice. I actually need to stop being so persistent about being right!

Persistence: My word for 2017

-As a mom

The hardest part for me is sticking with a plan. I’ll assign chores, and I’ll make sure everyone’s dong their assigned chores for about a week, and then I start to slide, especially about the “kitchen helper” chore. They need to do it. It’s good for them. I need to persist in making sure they are there to help me with dinner and not be lazy by doing it myself.

Yes, sometimes simply doing it yourself is actually the lazy way out. Training a tot to do a job is much more work than just handling it for them.

I need persistence with discipline too. It’s such a drag, but the kids are so much more pleasant to be around when you do it consistently instead of hit and miss.

-As a blogger

There should be a schedule. Posts should come out like clock work instead of so very mixed bag. I know there should be a schedule. I can’t promise a schedule, but I will make one. I can’t promise to stick to it, because I am a scatter-brained, free-spirited mom of four.

-As a writer

I’m hoping to enroll JD in part-time pre-school a couple of days per week. This will help me get more writing done, and I can start going to the dentist again.

-With my health

I’m using a Fitbit Charge II to help me get into better patterns this year, and I’m loving it.

Persistence: My word for 2017

-With my house

I’m good about getting dinner cooked each night, and Alan has now taken over the laundry. That goes a long way. However, I need to be more persistent about spending an hour or two  each day cleaning house. Yes, in our phase of life it requires that.

 

So who’s ready for 2017? What would you like to accomplish this year? Do you have a word? Our pastor gave us a list on Christmas day of words we could pick from. It was a helpful list. I lost that list, and I can’t remember them all. Persistence was on there. I think it had several fruits of the spirit, so I will do my best to re-construct the list:

Words to Focus on for 2017:

faith

hope

love

faith

persistence

joy

peace

goodness

self-control

kindness

Persistence: My word for 2017

Us with Alan’s side of the family

Persistence: My word for 2017

This is us with Alan’s mother’s side of the family. It was a fun Christmas.

Happy New Year’s! I hope it’s a happy one! I’d love to hear about your goals.

Did you blog about your goals? Link up below. We’d love to read it!



 

 

 

 

 

The Weight of the Choices that We Make

the weight of the choices we make

Caleb drew it. We all colored it. This is a tradition that we enjoy.

Wow! What an election year, eh? Alan got to be in Washington, D.C. for election night, but it was not just me and the boys here. Nana came over too! We had an “election party”, which is basically where we feed the boys Oreos and let them fill out the electoral map with red and blue markers as the results come in. Of course, most of it had to wait until the morning.

I always stay up as late as I possibly can to watch the results. I only made it until midnight this year. Parenting takes it out of you. Doesn’t it?

The whole election thing got me thinking about choices.

Choices, choices, choices.

They are constant aren’t they? So many decisions all the time. Some of them harder than others. We’ve all made our presidential choice. Check. Phew! Done. But there are so many choices left to make.

Today I had several messages on my phone to answer. I had house cleaning that I’ve been neglecting (as usual, because bleh–house cleaning). I had this absurd need to watch news anchors discuss the election with the experts. Then there was John David, wanting to be taken outside. I had a blog that needed updating. And I have growing boys that need me. Every minute that I spend doing or not doing anything is a choice that I make that says something about my priorities.

I try to always start my day out with God’s Word and prayer because when you put first things first, everything else should fall into place.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”   Matthew 6:33

I loved this quote from Beth Moore:

“You may have many different things that you want to do, but they may not have anything to do with what you want your life to be about.”

I wrote it down and stuck it to my wall. I need that reminder. Am I trying to do every little good thing and ending up stressed? We can’t do ALL the things. We have to do some picking and choosing somewhere.

OR am I carefully choosing to focus on what it is I want my life to be about?

Just a little food for thought on this sleep-deprived-post-election day. What is your mission in life? That is the most important question here.

I want mine to be about serving the Lord. I want to walk in peace with Him, serving him by serving others through the ministries that He has given me. I want my boys to feel cherished and to know what is important. I want my husband to have a wife that builds him up and is a trustworthy companion. I want my blog to be a gospel-sharing ministry that brings joy. I want to live a life that is in line with God’s plan for me.

How about you? What do you want your life to be about? What things do you say ‘no’ to in order to focus on your mission?

 

 

 

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Those codes will only work for the first 3 customers to try them, but I have more for those of you who ask! That’s a $5.00 DISCOUNT!! So try the coupon.

 

veterans

Click on this picture to read the Veteran’s Day article I wrote for Monterey Premier.

 

Happy Veteran’s Day! Hope you all get a day off!

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