31.8.17

5 ways to balance efficiency & rest daily

  In Luke 10, there is a parable that each of us has read or should have read. It's the parable of the sisters, Mary and Martha.  
 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

  These verses explain that we are constantly troubled with so much to do, and while I may get something accomplished, it's most likely far from what God wants of me-- to be a Mary and SIT before the Lord.

  And maybe if Jesus came to my home I WOULD. But the truth is, Jesus does come to my home. He's there every day, in my soul and on my shelf in the Bible. And I ignore him.*
*rather, I used to.

But of course, I can't just drop my whole life and the things I must care to, either. So, obviously, I have to find a balance.

The problem:

There's a lot to do every day, and even though I think I can handle it and survive, I'm not handling it with care + is the point to survive the fight, or come out victorious because Christ already did?

I went over this problem on my own a week ago and came up with a solution. I followed through with my plans and came out feeling pretty good; while becoming a faithful servant. My results? Here are 5 ways to balance efficiency and rest daily.



I. pray with FAITH

This is the first thing I knew I had to do. I was hurrying and overwhelmed-- then I stopped in my tracks. I realized I was being a Martha, and it was only getting worse as I continued my blissful ignorance... which really wasn't that "blissful".
  Pray with Faith, I should add. Pray for it, then prepare for it! Because that's what FAITH is! Whether you prepare your heart full of joy because you may now consider it OK, or prepare for what you prayed for my physically preparing, you TRUST that the LORD is answering your prayer. 

Have faith and say, LORD, I give these problems, this chaos, the anxiety, and fear and hurt, etc. to YOU! I'm forwarding these issues to YOU and YOU have control over them. 


II. plan your day out on paper

  After I got off my knees, I went right to what I felt was needed to be next. Lists. 
  I made an organized day starting from 5:15 am, when I wake up and continuing on till 9 when I TRY to get in bed.*

*I'm totally kidding. 9? with a family of eight, who make messes all day long and leave them for me to take care of in the evening? Yeah right. Nine... pff.

I scheduled my day the way I wanted it to go. This included the following, for specification in case you think that I ditch school when I want "good days".
- cleaning
- homeschool
- homeschooling the younger kids
-eating/cleaning up the lunch, breakfast, dinner

And because we had just remodeled, we had lots of our home packed away into the garage / Uhaul / so on. And the garage was a disaster area, so... yep. Anyway, because we had so much mess tucked away, (that was the majority of my stress) I put down different chores on my "plan". NOTE: instead of listing entire chores/projects, I divided them into two days and spent only twenty minutes here and twenty minutes there every day. By the time the weekend was over and Monday came, the garage was completely clean and the whole house was back to normal... even better. 

III. timebox your day

I know I just mentioned this, but it's a huge thing when it comes to our topic, and for those of you who might be taking notes, I want to make sure you get this part down in BIG. LETTERS. Okay?

When you want to get something done, put your task into a timebox.  Like a box with a lid, a timebox also has a lid on it, so you have to stop on that particular task when the time period is done.   Don't work until it's "all done."  Then you move on to your next timebox.  So if your task is a large one, you may only be able to get 15 minutes to an hour of it done.  But that's okay because you can work on it again the next day.

  The tasks will never, ever end. So if you don't timebox your day, you'll spin out of control with a whirlwind of things to get done. Take time throughout the day to focus on tasks that NEED to be done, not all of the piddly things. (Different point: Do those when the most important things are done; you'll feel less pressured and stressed.)

So timebox your tasks, and, by taking it slowly, one timebox at a time, you'll get a lot done and walk out with twice the energy. 

IV. set specific time slots for rest/time with God

Just like you would take a break to watch t.v., take a break to read your Bible, pray, and even just take a rest for twenty or thirty minutes every few hours before or after working on #3. Make SURE you do this. It will keep you relaxed and peaceful, and have it on your plan for the day, it forces you to rest consistently, and for when you finish your rest, you leave with God's words in your head, and you can meditate around it ALL. DAY. LONG.

V. RIGHT when you wake up, take an hour to focus on GOD

Okay. You may have to leave your house in the morning to go to school. You may not, like me. But either way, no matter if you attend a public school or can stay in the comfort of your own home, you can still rise before the sun, before your family, and before life kicks in, and FOCUS ON GOD. I get up at five. And I get roughly an hour and a half before I have to get my sisters and brothers ready for the day and start homeschooling with them. And yes, this will mean sacrificing late nights and "fun", but it's worth it, and so much healthier. Not to mention much more efficient. Rising early will help you work and focus on God without feeling slow or lazy. So after you get dressed and ready for school or the day, sit down in a designated spot and focus on GOD by maybe doing a Bible Study, reading your daily proverbs, or just praying.

(The reason why I choose not to get dressed BEFORE my morning Bible study, is because when I get dressed, I'm tempted to start my day. And if I start my day, it'll be ten times harder to drop everything I'm doing to read my Bible. Thus, not having started anything yet, I'll be more pulled to read my Bible. But there's definitely debate about this between my mom and I... She feels that she has to get the morning basics of getting dressed done BEFORE Bible, and I feel the opposite. Again, this is just MY opinion, it's really just whatever works for you.)

---

And that's 5 ways to balance efficiency and rest in your every-day life. This is working REALLY well for me, and the past few days have been AMAZING because of it. If you decide to try this out, let me know! And if you already do this, or have a suggestion or even a tip about it, PLEASE let me know down below.




Allie

11.8.17

a pleasant little surprise

  Happy Friday! It's been a long week here, but a... well, an efficient one. There's been a lot of work going on, construction wise, so it's been busy. But somehow I've found moments to write to you, friend. 


  So, today I gound a pleasant little surprise in my inbox. Thank you so much, Esther, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This made me super happy considering that I really do like making people happy and happiness is sunshine and for her to nominate for being a little ray of sunshine, than yes, that means wildflowers to me. Thank you so much, E!


Esther gave me questions to answer, and after I do, I make up new questions for those that I nominate. I'll spare you the bullet list of rules. 



Here are my answers. :)

What song were you listening to last?
I'm actually listening to music right now! I havn't really listened to his music lately, but I'm listening to Talk of The Town, by Jack Johnson. It calms me down when I'm stressed. (Which I'm not currently, but I was, well, before I turned the music on. :) )

Who was the last person you spoke to?
My little sisters. She was about to grab a wet paint roller. Two and four, the four-year-old is very responsible and made sure I knew what the two-year-old was doing. All while the eleven-year-old is konked out of the floor, getting trampled by the two, sleeping. 

What was the last word you spoke, backwards?
It was a mix between "NO!" and "If mom and dad found out--"... so... on and tuo dnuof dad dna mom fi.

Who is the last person you said Thank You to?

My mom and dad. They just left to get gallons of paint for the kitchen and my room. :)

When was the last time a stranger did something nice for you?
Well, when I was walking through the store, looking for pain samples, I told a woman my parent's age (who was in front of me) that she had BEAUTIFUL red hair, and that it looked amazing with her outfit. She started to tear up a little and told me that that made her day, and that of course, made my day. Other than that, Evangeline and RubixCube commented on my last post and that really encouraged me. :)

Who last made you smile?
  With all honesty, I havn't smiled in a long time. Things have been so hectic these peast few days, and I've just been surviving it. So, actually, God was the last one. I was praying this afternoon when everything seemed to be going wrong... and then I just felt better because I knew He would take care of me. So I smiled. Because I KNEW it was going to get better.

What was the last thing you drank?
  A candle-turned-glass-jar-used-for-a-cup full of cold water. :)

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGER?
  If I want encouragment in the Lord, Leigh Anne and Melani are my favorite.



And here are my questions. ;)

  • What gives you the most joy?
  • What is your favorite type of tea/coffee?
  • Who was the last person you made laugh?
  • Define yourself in ten words or less!
  • Which of the following are you: soft and happy and light in coloring and clothing, OR soft and flowy and relaxed in clothing and coloring, OR sharp and warm-colored and textured in clothing and coloring, OR strictly bold in coloring and very black and white for clothing. 
  • What are your favorite things?
  • What is the most beautiful thing you can imagine?
  • Your perfect (real or not real) place? i.e. a coffee shop, a cool, ventilated room, a fresh hotel room, the kitchen, a magical realm that doesn't exist (in that case, describe it!). Whatever it is, describe it.
And I nominate Melani and Anika Joy. Melani, you're blog is such a blessing to me, and I appreciate it more than anything. And Anika, you're my GIRL! You're so amazing and grown-up. The world needs more of both of you. :) You both are just the best. 

Thank you, again, Esther, for nominating me for this. It made me happy, putting me in that little place of mind that is quiet, relaxed, and real.

I hope you all have an AMAZING weekend, and please pray that we get our Home Projects done, and that God gives my parents peace and keep them relaxed since my mom has to stay away with the kids because, you know, little ones around paint rollers, as I mentioned earlier. ;)

With love, Allie :)





8.8.17

thoughts on passion in a God-pursuing life...

I found assurance of my faith about three weeks ago. A week later, I finished writing my mission statement. This week, after I read over it, I realized something had changed. Hopes and dreams had altered towards (completely, now) homemaking and respecting and honoring my parents and later my husband. Like I said, my dreams and goals were changing. I know why! My dedication to the Lord had expanded rapidly, and now it was everywhere. I didn't have to look for it, it was literally everywhere. In every goal, every dream, every friendship, and every hope. All of it was coming back to God. Because all of it had started with God, and what He calls women be.

After a week, I started to notice how those around me had far different hopes from mine. Here's my analysis on why.



  First of all, what is passion? Passion is a longing, an urge, to do something (and in the context I'm speaking in), something GREAT for the Lord. Here is the calling that God calls (most) women to;
 Creating a peaceful, joyful, loving, and God-pursuing home. Nurturing and loving her children. Loving, respecting, (and nurturing, too) and honoring her husband. And, first and foremost, obeying, loving, and building her relationship with GOD.
  How do you differentiate between God-given passion and worldly passion? The Bible makes it clear what a woman's job is.
1. To obey, love, and build her relationship with GOD.
2. To love, respect, and obey her husband.
3. To nurture, love, and care for her children and home.


What is a God-pursuing life? What does one look like? A woman who is fulfilling a God-pursuing life, she is obeying God in what she does and seeking Him out daily. What does God-pursuing mean? It means, exactly what is says, pursuing Him daily, consistently. Searching out and doing what He commands. And where is a God-pursuing life found? It's found in the Bible, God's Word. It's everywhere, spread throughout the text. But specifically, we can find wisdom on the subject in Proverbs 31. How do you differentiate between a God-pursuing life and a worldly, selfish, self-honoring life? God makes it very clear what he commands of young ladies and women, and He makes it clear what He commands AGAINST. God calls the woman to stay home with her children, to respect and honor her husband (and parents, alike), and to nourish her relationship with the Lord, honoring Him in all she does. But a woman of the World will focus on herself and what she can build up for herself. The difference: God, and His effect on her heart.



So what should daughters of the Lord look for in Life? I think that as a child, it should be obeying and loving and building her relationship with God. Then Honoring, loving, and respecting her parents. Third, being a loving witness and example to the children younger than her. And uninhibitedly training for her future husband by respecting and honoring and obeying her parents.
  As a woman, her God-given commands will be obeying, loving, and building her relationship with GOD. Honoring, loving, and respecting her husband. Loving and caring for her children. And training up her children in the way they should go.

Unfortunatly, the truth of the matter is that [most] daughters aren't hopeing nor trying for any of this.
As a child, she's being taught to want independence and self-righteousness. She's being taught to think that she doesn't need a husband when she becomes a woman and that she can take care of herself. She's being taught that her parents shouldn't control her life. She's learning that she should be who she wants, sinful or not.
  And it only is exaggerated into adulthood. Because nothing changes, the only difference is, if she gets married, old habits are being resurfaced as she is faced with questions concerning and doubting if she should even TRY to respect, love, and honor him.

But why is this? Most likely because she didn't have a mom worthy to look up to, and not being taught correctly how to live for the Lord, and being influenced by the media and their opinions, which often stray from God's Word



So, what truly is REAL passion?

Her hopes and dreams should intersect with what God wants, not what the World teaches. Then, this is a passion that can be realized while obeying Jesus Christ's command for us to live a life after God's own heart, becoming WOMEN after God's own heart.


I hope you guys have a really great week, and please enjoy the remainder of the summer! It's fading fast.

With love, Allie