I’m telling you, God has been wrecking me in such a beautiful way lately. It all started when I began getting rid of all our extra stuff, and now I’m realizing how much stuff I’ve got left to get rid of.
Lately it’s been my schedule. I’m currently a substitute teacher, so there are days when I wake up expecting to stay home and in 10 minutes I’m off to work. I can work as much as 5 days to as little as no days a week. My afternoons are just as unpredictable and if you add that to all the grad school homework, freelance writing work, and all this blog writing and I’ve got a pretty full and fairly unpredictable schedule going on.
I’m old school in how I keep track of my schedule—I use a paper bound planner from Target. Usually the weekly calendars are full of different to-dos with receipts paper clipped to it, or more specific to-do lists stapled to the page. I keep track of all homework, freelance work, housework, dinner dates, sub days, life group events, and husband dates in this planner. And it gets full really really fast. To the point that sometimes I have a mini heart attack just looking at it.
So when I was running with the dog one day, thinking about all I needed to do when I got back, God quite literally stopped me in my tracks and said, “Clean out your schedule. It’s too full of stuff and you’re not focusing on me.”
I think as women, we feel this need to be productive all day every day. I mean, we’re the main caretakers of our home, and that entails a lot already. Add to that work, school, mom duties, hobbies, girls nights and any other stuff you want to do and even on the days when you get a million things done and accomplished, there are still a million other tasks left incomplete. And how frustrating is it when you go to bed thinking of all the things you should’ve done that you didn’t get to?
We’ve got to stop. Literally, just stop. Everything. Now. Put down the planner or palm pilot or iPhone calendar and just stop.
Stop counting all the things you should’ve done and count all the things you did do. Stop giving priority to laundry when building relationships with other women in your community should take precedence. Your house is always going to need cleaning and your to-do list will always need to be done, so just realize that and work on connecting with your husband or children or God instead.
Again, here’s where intentionality and practicality have to come into play. Start being intentional about your days. Pick a day to run all your errands. If you get them done, great. If not, just put them off another week. Make a practical plan on how you want to spend your days or weeks. Wake up and ask yourself, what is important to me today? Sometimes getting all the laundry done is the most important thing you could accomplish, because if you don’t do it then you’ll have to go out and buy underwear since nothing is clean. Other days the most important way to spend your day is to invite your neighbor into your home and have dinner with her. Recognize that what you find important is going to change from day to day, and be okay with that.
I know this is so cliché, but life really is way too short to worry about house cleaning and errand running. Don’t be a slave to your schedule, but make your schedule work for you.
And if you have to go buy clean clothes because laundry isn’t important to you that day, then do it. Who doesn’t like a valid shopping excuse anyway?