I have always been the kind of person who loves a list of things. The lists vary. Some examples would be grocery lists, to-do lists, packing lists, lists of books or movies I want to watch, lists of what is going on in a week, if I need a quick at-a-glance idea.
I got this planner for Christmas, and I still love it as much as I did when I first opened it on Christmas morning.
I have always been the one who writes everything down. I know some people use their phones, but I really prefer pen and paper. I'm old fashioned, I know, but it's not that big a deal for me. If I'm out and about, and someone asks me to do something on a particular date, then I tell them I will make sure that date is okay, and let them know either way. And then I come home, check this planner, and text them right away on whether or not the date is clear.
I also love writing down things I want to remember in this planner. For instance, this was holy week, back in April, and some weird sickness was making its way through our family. I wrote down taking Drew to the doctor and when he got sick, so I could refer back to it, if the need arose. (Like when the doctor asks, "How long has this been going on?") I write down little and big moments, and when Todd works, and dinner ideas for most nights, if I'm really on my game.
I keep even more lists in my journal, or in a spiral notebook. I always have both laying around the kitchen table, because depending on my mood, I will switch up. Lately, I've just been using my journal to write everything in.
In my journal, you can find quiet time routines, scripture writing, sermon notes from Sunday, community group notes, and lists of all sorts. Sometimes a schedule can be found, too.
I also love to read scripture slowly and break it down verse by verse.
This was from a while back, when I was reading through Psalm for a bible study. I love going nice and slow in bible reading nowadays. I use the breaks in the chapters, or I'll go chapter by chapter if I'm in Psalm or Proverbs.
If I'm having a particularly busy week, this is where all my lists come in so handy. This week is like that, actually. I have so much to remember before this evening and tomorrow morning, that I'm concerned I may forget some detail.
Making a list keeps my brain focused on the task, and I write down the things as they come into my mind.
I'm sending Graham and Drew off bright and early tomorrow morning, basically for the start of their three week absence from home. I might have cried a little this morning, thinking about it. They leave at five a.m. tomorrow for the Navajo reservation, and they have to take along everything in the world that they own. (Not really, but it does kinda feel like that.)
I write all of this to say, if you are at all like me, and scatter brained some days, then I recommend this habit of writing down things to do/remember. (I had to stop just now and write out something Graham and Drew have to do this morning.) It helps keep me focused, and honestly, it's how I am able to do so much, and how I manage to somehow keep my house clean, even with teenagers in and out continually. I also schedule things like quiet time, bible study/homework, and chores on mundane things like making the beds. Does your day just not feel so much brighter, knowing that your bed is all fresh and made nicely? My boys disagree, but I make them do it anyway most days.
I don't work outside of my home, so I am able to keep busy in my home, because of all the time I have. I certainly don't like to waste away the days, or spend a frivolous amount of time with the television on, so I stay productive. If I sit, it's because I want to read, watch a show or something I've recorded, or because I need a little fifteen minute nap. (Except for when I tried to do that yesterday, and it didn't work, because people wouldn't stop coming and talking to me.)
I even write out goals I would like to try to accomplish. An example would be to read more and watch Netflix less. If I write it down, I want to cross it off, so I'm pretty good at accomplishing something. Sometimes, to start, it requires something so simple, yet so difficult sometimes.
It requires us to put down our phones.
GASP. I don't know about you, but nothing wastes half a day like messing around on our phones. It's a choice we have to make, though. Keep it up and stay on social media, or put it down and accomplish something of importance?
It's not always easy, but it's important to schedule pockets of time to do nothing that has a thing to do with the phones that like mini computers. I'll put my phone on silent, I'll turn it so that the screen faces down, and I will schedule time to "get away". I am so often overwhelmed with text messages, that it can be really frustrating. In this instantaneous world we live in, it's easy to be overcome by all this communication at our fingertips. It makes me CRAZY, and would literally drive me insane, if I didn't put it away for a while.
So whether that's doing what I said above, or putting it somewhere away from you in your house, I want to encourage you to give it a try, if this is an area you would like to change. (Also, know that this is often why I forget to reply to text messages. I'm a horrible texter. Know that I love you, but I don't always reply.) I will reply when it's important, though, or if it is from someone who needs a reply quickly.
Someone was asking me about all of this recently, and that's what gave me the idea to share this today. I hope it encourages you in your daily routines. Don't think I'm always "with it", though; I promise you that I am not. There are days I do nothing but sit and watch movies, or when I can't seem to get off my phone. I just have to be careful, and not have too many of those in a row. I'm pretty disciplined in this area, and self control is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. If you don't have that, ask the Lord to give it to you. I like to ask that He fills me up (daily sometimes) with these fruits, and to help me use my time in a way that honors Him.
These are just a few things that make me, me. I pray it spurs you on to spend time with the Lord this morning, and to make the most of the time you have today. Speaking of that, I have a list to start checking tasks off of.
Thanks for reading. Love to all!