Wednesday, May 29, 2013

STEP TWO - Simplicity Series - Making a Simple Schedule for the Summer

STEP TWO in the Simplicity Series

Step One was the reason that I had to find a way to declutter my life.  Popped open diapers and neighbors who just walk right in.  If you want to read the whole story, check out Lysa's site where I guest posted.

SO here is the break down for the rest of this Series:

I will give you a home challenge connected with a heart challenge.

Three days a week.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

We hit it hard in the beginning of the week and you have that week to try some of the ideas.

Or try them sometime this summer...

take baby steps or plunge right in.  

The important part is maintaining what you do and add another step: Maintain Plus!

Since I gave you a schedule, today's challenge is keeping in the same theme:

How to Make Them Simply Work For You

It was Tuesday afternoon.  I knew I had to do something, but I could not for the life of me remember what it was. Did I remember to unplug the curling iron?  I rarely use one, so it totally could happen.  Yes, I did unplug it.

Is it garbage day?  No, that was yesterday.

I check my calendar and there is nothing written for today...oh wait, something is scribbled in the side of the margin...some numbers and CHUCK E. CHEESE!

I forgot my son's birthday party.  And actually not so much forgot just to go...I had forgotten to invite people.

So, one call later, and a changed date, and we have ourselves a new party.

I don't even think it counts as being forgotten if it was never really planned.  My son had no idea that I had already called and made that date.  He just new he was getting a party sometime.   He is the fourth child.  I guess he just feels lucky to be having one.

So, for me, to simplify my schedule is not just a thing I could to try if I have some free time this summer.  It is a necessity in order for my family to feel a sense of peace and fun anticipation. Children (and me) need to know what is coming.  It gives them a sense of stability.  And for fun events, it helps to get them excited.  I am not saying you cannot surprise your children, but, "Surprise, you have soccer practice in five minutes and we live ten minutes away" is no fun for anyone!

So here are some tips to help clear your calendar and make each moment more meaningful:

Don't Over Plan - Summer leads to a more relaxed schedule, but often that can lead to more things we try to get done.  Look at the calendar in the beginning of the week and be intentional about what activities you are going to be involved with.

Build In Margin - If there is a free day, you do not have to fill it!  A free day can be a wonderful time to get things done at home or even for the children to just "be" at home, whether that means reading, jumping on the trampoline, or playing games.

Plan for Interruptions - When you are planning to go somewhere, count on adding at least ten minutes for forgotten footwear, last minute bathroom breaks, and lost bumpies (blankets).  If you add on these minutes now, you will not find yourself running late.

Make a List - Whether it is a bucket list for the summer or a list of places to visit, make that list and put them on the calendar right now.

Be Specific - When I was a teacher, I was very specific in my daily schedule because I had a principal as  my authority.  Well, God is a bigger authority and I have to be responsible for the things he has given to me : children, time, gifts, activities.  I need to be specific in my schedule and mark down what I am doing. Put down time for just you and one child even if you have four.  If you write it down, it will more likely happen.

Celebrate - Don't forget to put in times to just have fun with no reason.  Or celebrate when a week went well and you made it to all the birthday parties! Life really does go too fast and you want to enjoy as many MOMents as you can.

Now for the Heart Connection - (Oh, I can't wait to switch to Wordpress so I can add different fonts and hearts here...)

In order for any day to run more smoothly, I have to put in time with Jesus.  We can plan our days and ask Him to join us, but what really needs to happen is for us to join Him where He is already working.  Even just ten minutes to connect and read His Word will focus our hearts and clear from our minds what are earthly distractions so that we may focus on what is eternal.

This doesn't mean we will forget that we need a new van or that a friend has breast cancer, but by coming to Him in prayer, and worshiping Him, we will be reminded of His omnipotence and know He can help us get through any struggle and we will be focused on His omnipresence and we will remember that He will never leave us.

And those are the things that I want to remember...along with my son's birthday party!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So excited to be posting over at the site of my friend who leads people to follow hard after God and encourages people to make this life an adventure! 

And there is a giveaway there and here!

Please join me over at Lysa Terkeurst's site for my Simplicity Series Kick Off!

For the next few weeks we will be finding out what true simplicity is and what it means in our heart and home! 

We will learn together what it is like to FULLY LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

God is not a God of chaos! (1 Corinthians 14:33) Get ready to clean out those cupboards, organize that kitchen, and streamline your schedule for a life that gives more time to connect with the people you love!

And if that isn't enough....I am doing a giveaway on my new book: Clutter Free Simplicity - Seven Step to Clearing out the Clutter in Your Heart and Home over at Lysa's site and also here!  Two chances to win! 

SO, let me know in the comments what part of your house, heart, schedule, day, even throw in things like vacation planning, play dates, or closets that seem to make your life crazy

We are in this together and we are going to find out what it really means to live a simplified life that gives us time to really enjoy it and bring glory to God!

I will pick one person to give a copy of my new book! Just tell me below one great tip on getting clutter free or what part is always a challenge!

May you be blessed with these MOMents you have!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Only Grace Words Today

My computer is not letting me add pictures to my posts.  And I think to myself, "Why even write if I cannot enhance the words with images of beauty, crisp lines of simplicity, or a giggle captured by the lens.

It is especially hard when some images capture the words in just a snapshot like this post on keeping the main thing, the main thing. Pure beauty.

But then a quiet whisper tells me that His Story had no photos, no tangible images of a baby's first smile, the mighty waters being stilled by a calm voice, the drips of sweat, pain, and the sin of a nation falling from the brow of our Savior.

Only words. Only Truth.

And so my challenge is to speak His words into my children's lives today. My desire is for my words to be a picture of joy, for that will lead them back to His beautiful story of grace and love.

Thankfully linking up here today. (I cannot use the cute little button.)