This week's chapter is titled "Schedules (or, Which of the 568 Volunteer Opportunities Should I Sign Up For?)". Wow! What can I say but wow! I wish all moms read this chapter! I've needed the reminder at times, too! I will share the highlights here with you.
Lynn, the author, shares that we need God's wisdom in deciding which activities to pick for our family members. "Are we pursuing an activity for them because everyone we know is signing up, or does the activity really reflect their natural "bent"?" We can't say "yes" to every activity that comes our way. Lynn suggests lots of prayer, and so do I! We need wisdom in steering not only our children's activities but our own! Between Bible studies, classroom or church volunteering, classes we can take they fill up our family time on the calendar fast. Over-volunteering for things doesn't make us super moms but sometimes super crabby moms. Lynne quotes Sandra Felton from The Messies Manual, "Vegetables that are planted too close together jam each other so tightly that none develop properly. In order to have full, healthy vegetables, some good plants have got to go to leave room for the others. Some of us have so much jammed together that none of our activities are really producing well. The quality of life improves as the quantity of activities is reduced, if we have overscheduled ourselves."
Be prudent in your volunteering. Pray. Seek Him to show you how you should spend your time. Just because it sounds good on paper doesn't mean that it will fit. She suggests taking on the habit of graciously not committing to a responsibility when first approached. When someone approaches you to do something ask them to let you pray about it, check the calendar, and seek the counsel of your husband. Ask them if you can let them know by the end of the week. Really think on what they are asking you to do.
Something that I do that helps us is to keep a limit and stick to it. Our children are committed to Wed. night Bible club, the oldest five take piano lessons and then they are allowed one more activity that doesn't interfere with the weekend (family time...relaxation time...and most importantly Worship time). The oldest has a guitar and is seeking lessons. The oldest two girls take violin lessons from a nearby mom. Their younger sister chose dance this year. The middle son hasn't chosen anything, yet (even though he's asking for drums!). The younger two are too young so they get to sit it out this school year. We don't "do" sports. We've tried it but it's too much time commitment...between practice and game time. Add to the fact that they don't enjoy extra-curricular sports that much. They enjoy playing in the yard and playing football with their daddy more (he's making sure they know the in's and out's of sports). Also they are more than likely going to enjoy music as an adult rather than play a sport, anyway. I make Thursdays and Fridays our stay home days (unless, of course, a doctors appointment is necessary). Jackie Wellwood from The Busy Mom's Guide to Simple Living suggests the same thing. "...Write 'STAY HOME' two or three times each week on your calendar. If I am to be a homemaker, then I need to be home. Errands can be run on certain days. On my 'Stay Home' days, if something comes up I can say no."
The woman described in Proverbs 31 "looks well to the ways of her household" (v.27). Christian speaker and writer Kathi Lipp has a few questions to ask yourself before agreeing to a commitment.
1. Is this commitment in line with my fgifts?
2. Will this help or hurt my family (will my husband or kids be picking up the pieces of the fallout of this decision)?
3. Am I doing this for my own glory, or will it bring glory to God?
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"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12