I learned last year that I was letting my calendar dictate my life.
I was running around, always busy, with no time to stop and just breathe.
Well, God will do what He needs to to make us slow down, and health issues stopped me in my tracks.
The first part to simplifying your schedule is to stop and ask this one question:
WHAT IS ON YOUR CALENDAR IN PENCIL THAT NEEDS TO BE IN PEN?
If we are living with purpose and faith, our top three priorities will be our faith, our marriage, and our children.
These three priorities are the biblical approach to how we should be living.
But when I looked at my calendar, these three priorities were sometimes the things in pencil.
Let’s take a deeper look at these activities.
Church activities and weekend services must be in pen.
We must STOP the excuses. No longer do we need to say, we are too busy this weekend. No longer do we need to say, we went last weekend so we can sleep in this one time.
CHURCH MUST BE IN PEN.
Date nights must be in pen.
When you have children, date nights are not just going to happen. The kids’ activities alone will crowd out date night all together.
Dustin and I have great intentions of going on weekly date nights. But when that night is not in pen on the calendar, it quickly gets rescheduled or cancelled.
DATE NIGHTS MUST BE IN PEN.
For most of us, our kids are taking up a lot of our calendar. But I think it is worthwhile to stop and look at the quality time we are spending with our children.
Yes, we spend a lot of time getting them to certain activities. But we also need to be sure that there is quality time spent as well.
Quality time will look different depending on the age of your children.
For the stages we are in right now, I try to find time every day just to sit and play with my toddlers.
I also want just to sit and talk with my grade schoolers and hear their heart.
No agenda, no going, just connecting.
QUALITY TIME WITH OUR CHILDREN MUST BE IN PEN.
When you are trying to make each moment matter, here are three helpful principles.
- Purpose – Be driven by what matters. Each activity that we plan is a reflection of our inner priorities. As mentioned above, we need to make sure our calendar is filled with purpose.
- Priorities – We need to be wise about where and how we are spending our times. We need to make sure our top priorities are met before filling in our calendar with less important activities. Whenever we say yes to one thing, we are saying no to another.
- Plan – We need to have a plan if we want to make the most of every opportunity. We have to guard our time. We have to draw lines to protect our time and our priorities.
So now we see that we need to plan with purpose, priorities, and a plan, we also need REST.
We need to put rest in pen on our calendars.
We need to find time to just rest. No work, no getting ahead, just resting.
This is the biblical principle of the Sabbath.
And the principle of the Sabbath is simple: We can get more stuff done by working six days and resting one than we can by working seven days straight.
If you do not believe me, try it for a month.
I promise you will never go back.
The Sabbath also does not have to be a particular day or even a whole day. It can be two half days. All that matters is we are spending time resting and rejuvenating our spirits and our bodies.
I would love for you to check out this post on how our family follows a weekly Sabbath.
Here is my planning method:
Each Saturday night, I sit down and plan the next week.
I make sure that church activities are set in stone.
I plan out our date night for the week.
And I make sure that there are activities set in our week that provide some much need connection with my children.
Then, I see where there is time for REST.
When I follow these guidelines, my schedule is simplified, I am living with purpose, and my priorities are in line.
I spend that night doing this R.E.S.T. acronym from Alex Himaya:
R – Recharge – I make sure I have spent time catching my breath and planning it in my next week.
E- Evaluate – Did I do the things that matter?
S – Slow Down – Am I enjoying life and celebrating with those I love?
T – Take Control – Look ahead and prayerfully make a plan.
Are you joining me?
Join me for this 5-part series.