A Time To Every Purpose

Dear Sisters,

"The tasks connected with the home are the fundamental tasks of humanity."
Theodore Roosevelt

Writing from home can sometimes mean... not writing from home! :) Seriously, it can be so hard to get time on the computer or even with a pad of paper and pen that we wait for more than 2 minutes at a time just to have the minutes taken up. There are kids to pick up, little ones to wipe off, and meals to prepare, serve, and clean on a ever flowing motion.

It seems at the most hectic, we experience challenges like washers breaking down, unexpected guests, and/or dogs needing to be seen at the vet.

Homemaking is such a mixed spice! You have so many areas all blended and shaken and stirred into one base:) Husband help, mothering duties, meal prep and clean up, dishes and laundry, dusting and sweeping and mopping, keeping accounts, handling correspondence, maintenance tasks, pet care, and doesn't the list just trail off endlessly? I don't work outside of the home and have a time keeping all the plates spinning so I know it must be even more of a challenge when you are keeping the plates at work and those at home spinning! Be it that we are stay at home women or working from in or out of it ... we cannot accomplish it all on our own power. It isn't possible to make everything work as it should without God running it. His guidelines for us are packed into one neat binding and labeled "Bible" so we can learn how to follow Him.

Thankfully, we have such a Father of order, grace, wisdom and love to guide us along.

God teaches us continually and His lesson plans work out in our daily lives.
I've learned some things and am still being taught many in my homemaking.

Five Lessons Learning:)

1.How to be Overwhelmed. I am going to get hit with overwhelming feelings, situations, and times... the best I can do is understand that and keep myself in the arms of God. When it is all too much... I cannot stand it and I want to force it all to be as it should be... whatever it is I'm dealing with at the time. The good news is that I am not supposed to stand it, I am supposed to kneel at the feet of my Savior and let HIM stand it. He can take it and I only make things worse if I insist on carrying a load that only He is strong enough to bear.

2. Doing what I can. How many times did I let the perfectionist side of me rule the way? If I fell back in one area or couldn't accomplish a certain level in another, I would throw my hands up and quit progression in all areas! My lesson learning is: to do what I can with whatever it is I have.
If I only have 15 minutes to tackle a four day job... I'll spend my 15 minutes as fully as I can at the task. If finances are so limited that I cannot buy the items to make the menu in front of me... I'll change the menu and buy from what is in my wallet. If I don't have 30 minutes or more for a good long soak in the tub, I'll saturate my senses for 10 or 15 minutes in a bubble bath or warm water tub!

"I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes." - Sara Teasdale

3. Taking care of me. It has been a life long battle to learn for me: care of myself. I went through some years where legalistic thinking had me so worn down and out that I felt it was wrong for me to buy make up, hair care, body care, clothes, and/or anything else I didn't deem wholly necessary. I would use whatever basic soap everyone else used, shower as quickly as I could (after all, it would be selfish to do anything beyond what "needed" to be done) and went through a very basic existence during that time. I wasn't happy and I blamed that on my selfish spirit and the more I neglected my feminine, womanly, and all otherwise "desires" ... the more I felt selfish for not being fulfilled.

We can be filled by the spirit and not even know it bec/ we're too busy trying to "earn" God. God isn't earned... He is a God of grace and the only way He is present in our hearts is through that grace by Him.
Anyway, He led me through that time and I am a much brighter lady now that I allow for some self loving gifts. I test and try out new razors in search for those that fit me best. I have finally foregone the ridiculous priced kind that you have to replace blades on and got tired of replacing them anyway. Now, I try different disposables:) I buy hair care products to suit my own head of hair and luxurious soaps as finances allow. My tiny essential oil supply is a delight and I use these for bath and body as well as household needs... and "wants" as well. It isn't selfish because I'm not doing it out of a vain heart! I'm just permitting myself to be cared for in these small ways bec/ it makes me feel better and nurtured with all going on. Big lesson and one to continually learn, I think:)

4. Routine care. If I will regularly attend to things in any area, they won't build up to big jobs. There are things that need to be seen to each and every day and when those things are done on such a basis, they never require large amounts of time to tackle. My bathroom sink would drive me crazy if I let it go days or weeks without cleaning it but I would hate to scrub it and try to get it clean even then. Just wiping down the faucet and sink each morning keeps things so clean! Same applies to bathtubs, floors, laundry, dishes, dusting, and anything else:)

5. Controlling time instead of letting it control me! I have battled many time wars in the years since I became a wife and mother. I have lost count of the times I've collapsed into bed as I ask myself where the entire day went and what it used to run over me? Time must be organized or it is like kudzu or some other out of control vine... it will take over everything.
Wasted time will spill over the wise time spent and before you know it...
there is more wasted than wise.

"You can always find reasons to work. There will always be one more thing to do. But when people don't take time out, they stop being productive. They stop being happy, and that affects the morale of everyone around them." - Carisa Bianchi

Praise the Lord for not giving up on me with this bec/ it is a difficult process for me. I have to really work hard to keep myself accountable to how I'm spending my time and to learn the art of bringing the hours of my day into order. I have all these hours running around like screaming children and if I don't do something... total chaos will reign. How am I learning to keep the hours in a nice working order? Working on them each day for one thing...
If I make my bed as soon as I'm out of it...I've managed my time well bec/ I don't have to take from other time to go make it up... it is done.
If I need/want to clean, cook, read, write, play, watch, drive, and anything else... I have to use simple math to do those things. If I have 75 things to do today and a few hours left to do them... I must place a time for each of those 75 things to fit them all in.

"How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most." - Stephen Covey

Today, I might need to catch up on laundry after a week with a broken machine, send in some legal forms, clean off my desk, call the vet, and home school my daughter... I will only get it all done if I plan time for each thing. Laundry can be started as soon as I awake and I can set timers to make sure I'm there as soon as each load finishes. Legal forms can be done in 15 minutes so I'll jot down to do that on my to do list. I don't know if I'll actually have time to totally clean my desk so I'll tackle what I can of it in 15 minutes. Five minutes to call the vet and 1 to 2 hours of home school help letting my daughter work independently for the other 2 or so hours.
This is such a simple thing and so natural for so many that I've never quite understood why I have to focus so much on it and try so hard. I am seeing that it makes me depend on my wise and faithful Father and that is always a good thing:)

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1

5-Point Checklist:

1. Are you overwhelmed? Relax into the arms of God, dear daughter. Give it all up to Him and ask for His guidance in dealing with whatever it is before you.

2. Are you doing what you can with what you have? Are you spending what time, money, serving, and so on you do have waiting for more before moving?
If not, evaluate what you have to work with and make an effort to make it work.

3. Are you taking care of... *you*... ? Do you need to take out a few more minutes a day in your bath/shower, doing your hair, or relaxing?

4. Are you keeping things in your life done on a daily routine basis so they don't build up?

5. Are you controlling how the hours of your day are spent or do the hours of your day control you?

The Lord knows your every need and He will provide if we trust in Him. Lean on Him, look to Him, and love Him with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul...


2004 Sandy Willoughby

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