Tonight was our monthly Lighthouse meeting. Amy called me yesterday and asked me to share something on the topic of Organization. I think I may have harmed her eardrum when I burst out laughing. HA! I think I was born without the "organized" gene.
However, I must admit that after 25 years of marriage, 23 years of motherhood, and 14 years of homeschooling, I am much more organized than I was before ( at least in some areas ). So, as a work in progress, I agreed to share. I was one of 5 ladies who spoke about different aspects of being organized, and my focus was on Setting Priorities.
Many years ago, I attended a workshop at the NCHE Homeschool Conference on the topic of Setting Priorities. The speaker, a homeschool mom whose name I no longer remember, had quite a few things to say which struck home with me.
One was that for everything I say YES to, there is something that I am saying NO to. She shared her list of What I Do, and What I Don't Do, and encouraged us to make our own lists. So here is mine.
What I Do
Homeschool 2 children ( was 5, but as of graduation on Saturday, I am down to 2 - sniff sniff ) - and I use a curriculum ( Tapestry of Grace) which involves fairly significant teacher prep
Teach in weekly TOG Co-op
Teach Art at my dining room table once a week to my kids and some of their friends
Newsletter Editor for my support group
Chairman of Graduation Committee
Design and print diplomas
Host Tapestry Teas at my home
Help facilitate Saturday morning homeschool discussion groups
Attend monthly Lighthouse meetings
Talk with people about homeschooling
Blog / Facebook - to keep up with family and grown children, and to share our life with others
Check email several times a day
Read daily news & weather online; visit homeschool forums and blogs
Cook dinner for my family almost every night
Cut coupons, make weekly menu, and grocery shop carefully
Do laundry daily
Read to my youngest every night before bed
Play board games with my kids
Attend almost all of kids' sporting events
Help my husband with Lighthouse Sports
Scorekeeper for daughter's volleyball team
Read books about Christian life and faith, motherhood, history, philosophy... and organization
Attend church weekly
Read Bible daily
Volunteer at Food Pantry once a month
Go out on a date with my husband once or twice a month
Occasionally make greeting cards, usually with my daughter
What I Don't Do
Keep a spotless house
Make my bed every morning ( sorry Eileen)
Spend time painting & decorating
Teach Sunday School
Participate in women's bible studies or women's ministry at church
Go to church on Wednesday night
Go shopping for fun
Workout at the Y
Pay the bills or figure the taxes ( my husband's gift, not mine )
Sew, knit, crochet
Scrapbook ( although I WANT to )
Sing in the choir - although I love it
Go to bed early
Paint, draw, do calligraphy - I will in another season
There are plenty of things I've missed, but you get the picture. I can do all that I do only because I also have decided not to do certain other things. I cannot compare myself to someone else; each of us is unique in our threshhold for activity, and in our God-given gifts and callings. In addition, God has given our families gifts and callings. Some families minister through teaching, some through music, some through hospitality, some through sports, some through physical labor... The things on my WHAT I DO list should reflect my individual and family gifts. The things I DO are my PRIORITIES - whether I say they are or not. My list of priorities will not look just like your list. My priorities should be in line with my own special gifts and callings, and my season of life!
If God has given me children, a husband , and a calling to homeschool --then I have built-in priorities that should take precedence over other good things!
Priorities will change with your Season of Life - Single, married, babies, young children, teens, empty nest.... look at your list and decide if there are things that can/should wait for a later season, so that you have time for other things that can ONLY be done now.
Don't let SATAN steal the time that God has given you to accomplish those things that are your priorities right now. Is your stumbling block the TV? computer? telephone? magazines? crossword puzzles? video games?
PRAY and ask for God's help in determining the priorities for this season of your life.