Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beginning a Conversation on Busyness, Priorities, and Cheerfulness


Though there are lots of words mulling around in my head, I'm not quite ready to share them. 
I did want to get a bit of input from some of you today, though.....

I'm a Type-A personality, list-maker, perfectionist, multi-tasker....among other things.
I'm also a work in progress.
But I'm learning that that's okay, because it pushes me into my Father's arms.

Where I'd love to start a conversation is in some things I've been wrestling with: 
During the times God puts a lot on your plate, how do you 
     {1} Make sure you keep your priorities in order?
     {2} Project a cheerful attitude to my children?

Example scenario: I know we've got to do school today, because we've had to miss several days, my hubby has a Bible study with a young man tonight, I have several pressing emails that must be dealt with, laundry is way behind because of pressing obligations outside the house, and everyone has to be fed. I've got my game face on and I'm in work mode, keeping big kids working on school, making sure the house is tidy before our visitor arrives, I have the email window open to answer, I'm throwing in a load of laundry, and I've got a pot cooking on the stove. My four year old comes and pleads me to go do a puzzle with her....the longest one she has.  

What is the priority here, and when I am in go-go mode just trying to get necessary things done, how do I come across in such a way that my children know that I love them; I'm busy, but not too busy for them; and just because I'm focused doesn't mean my life is drudgery and I'm not down-hearted because I have a lot to do? Am I making any sense?

I do want to make it clear that this isn't all the time, but rather a season of extra God-given busyness.

Of course, the example is rather general, but hopefully you get the idea.
I'd really love to hear your musings, including specific actions you take, but I do ask for thoughtful comments.
And if you are an extremely laid-back person who never feels compelled to do anything, please don't tell me to just go sit under a tree and everything will work itself out....
that really wouldn't be helpful :)

Please do share in the comments here, on facebook, or on instagram.
Below are some pictures of what we've been up to around here....














4 comments:

  1. Hi, Patty! I feel your pain! It seems like on my busiest days is when everyone wants my attention...for everything except what I feel like needs to be done! I find though that when I take time and deal with whatever the interruption is, right away, it is better for me than constantly putting off the interruption. For example, if I am working on something that can't be put off, and one of my children come and ask me something, I do stop and try to give them my full attention and deal with the issue before "getting back to work." If it's a need I take care of it, if it's a "want" (play a game, read a book) I tell my children to let me finish whatever it is I am doing, and then I get to it. Or, I give them a time (look at the clock, I need 15 minutes, etc) Many times, even on my busiest days, I still have time for books, and cuddles and ball games and other activities. Hope this helps! Lots of hugs from France

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  2. I think it's hard to be discerning. That's why it's good to take a deep breath, ask God to make it clear, "Lord, is the puzzle most important now?" and dive in. What doesn't get done doesn't get done. If the e-mails are crucial, do them. If they can wait a day, you have just bought time for your busy day. Make sure you're asking God all day long for guidance in your priorities. If you can, also ask your husband. I have found that my husband usually has different priorities for me than I would think, and that is very helpful. Asking him what needs done first and foremost is good. Some days are CRAZY, and I think we need to muddle through them the best we can and take them one day at a time--with a smile, thanking God for so many blessings, and hanging in there.

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  3. I, too, am struggling with a very busy schedule lately. But you know me...perfectionist! Especially with company coming!!! I cannot say that I do well at always making the time I should for my kiddos during these times. I actually struggle with guilt when it comes down to it. But here is one thing that I have tried to keep on my mind: The thought that I only have them for so long. Now matters! Will they look back and say that I put ministry and others before them? Will they remember kind words from their mom? Loving cuddles? Am I portraying motherhood and ministry in a positive light? Especially for my daughter???? oh how I fail in this area sometimes! May God help me to keep these thoughts in the foremost part of my mind and help me to remember that my children are gifts and my first ministry. Sometimes deadlines can't wait and there is no help for it. If I can't take the time for a game or puzzle, I try to promise a later time.....and then make sure I keep that promise. Soooo important! I love you, patty! You encourage me to try harder and do better.

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  4. I have been encouraged by something recently. I try to take time with my kids. Work a puzzle with them, throw a football in the yard, let my four-year-old daughter help me cook even though I could do it so much quicker alone. But there are days when I can't do those things. And there are days when I get overwhelmed with busyness and my attitude with them deteriorates because it seems that everybody NEEDS me at the same time, and I only have so much time to give.

    But I've noticed that children are so forgiving. A few days later when I can spend that time with them again, I find they have forgotten that other time when I said, "No, not right now." because the joy of the moment right then is all they are thinking about. As long as we consistently try to make an effort to spend time with them when we can, when they grow up and look back on their lives, they will remember Mom throwing that football with them or creating bug/frog habitats with them, reading books to them, and teaching them to cook. (I love the picture of you cooking with your girls, by the way. It is precious.)

    I know that guilty feeling as a mother, but let's not beat ourselves up. Of course, it is not good if we NEVER spend time with our children, but Susannah Wesley only had one hour to give each of her children per week, but she gave them what she could. Over the course of 18-20 years, as long as we consistently try to make time when we can, I believe they will remember those times together and not the times in between when it just was not possible. Remember as mothers we are weaving the whole tapestry of their childhood, not just a single x (one day) on the cross-stitch. I keep having to remember the bigger picture because focusing on the day to day can be discouraging at times.

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