....... A Journey through this life ... desiring to be filled with Grace, Mercy and Prayer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Planner at Heart - Part 2

To view the first part of this post, click here.

Because I am a planner by nature, I find that I have to plan something. As mentioned before, my life does not always allow me the luxury of planning too far in advance. Over the years, I have tried various ways to plan "within my limits" and have finally decided that my focus has to be planning the things that I know will happen. Things such as cleaning and eating!

One area that I have come to enjoy planning is our meal schedule. Once a month I plan out our dinner meals for the whole month. This has saved me so much time over the years! For several months this last year, I didn't do this. I finally had to start up again because of all the conflicts I had when I wasn't planning it out. You can read the specific details of how I plan out our menu here. In brief, I plan out our dinner menu for the whole month and for breakfast and lunch, I have a rotation schedule. This has been very handy for us! The biggest blessing is that when something changes in our month, which is bound to happen, I simply switch meals around to fit the schedule better. My shopping is easy too. I no longer have to run to the store to grab something that I didn't have. I know what to buy for a whole months time, if I want. Then I can simply run to the store for the fresh things. Our food budget is also much better.

Cleaning is another area that has to happen! Planning out our day hour by hour has not been something that has worked for our family. Even going so far as to say that we will clean from 9am - 10am has not worked either. When daddy is home or when something comes up, all schedules go out the window.... and without that consistency mom ends up being a nag more than anything else. I have found that our family does best with having a regular morning routine that happens every day and then we have a more flexible cleaning schedule in the afternoon. Our morning routine includes getting up, making our beds, getting dressed, eating breakfast, feeding pets and washing our breakfast dishes. After school work or whatever else is happening in our day, I write everyone's name on a dry erase board. Under each name, I write out their specific chores for that day. The child goes down the list and as each chore is done, he/she can then mark it off. Before they can have their free time that day, the child's chores must be done.... and done well. If this part of our day doesn't happen though, that's ok. The very basics have been done that morning ... the supper dishes get cleaned after supper .... and tomorrow is a new day. Now, granted, I can't let this go on for more than a day or two, but at least I know there is flexibility.

I may not be able to be the kind of planner that I'd like to be, but I think this allows me to see more of what God wants for my life. Learning to be flexible with long term plans has also helped me open my eyes more to see how God wants to use me in other people's lives... short-term or long-term.  My eyes have less tunnel vision and hopefully, more God vision. I am continually in awe of what God will teach us ... when we let Him!

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