Friday, October 7, 2011

Living Simultaneously

First, three things that are making me smile today...
These are porcupine meatballs.
Now if you look closely, you can see
the "quills". I have never had them
turn out so porcupine-ish before.
The secret:white basmati rice. 
My Gerber daisies have rebloomed in
the warmer weather we are experiencing.
Roses from Brian, "just because".

Some one commented yesterday on my face book profile that all it seems I do is clean and cook and work. And where are my kids while I'm doing these things?

I am a goal oriented person, which is often why I will list what I have to do, or have done, as my status on face book.  A list is both clarifying to my thoughts, and encouraging to me when I accomplish what I have set out to do.

I also strive for rhythm, not schedule. We have a rhythm to our days that is not completely thrown off if I sleep in, or devotions start a little late, or whatever. But also, most things I do are done while doing something else, i.e. multi-tasking. And time saving.

I found that you can't really save much time doing most things. It still takes x amount of time to clean the bathroom, or dust or vacuum. But you can do things simultaneously to get more things done in the same slot of time, to make tasks more enjoyable, and to "save" time for things you enjoy doing.

For example, I am writing my blog right now while BMV is reading to Freckles for school. I will type, or do paperwork at the table while school is happening. I will start a batch of bread, then do many other things while it is rising.

Same with laundry. It takes little time to throw in a load, or switch it. A chunk of time is only required when folding it, and putting it away. I have Freckles read to me while I am cleaning or cooking. Both things need to happen, but I enjoy hearing a story while I am working. I don't have to just sit and listen to him to make sure he is getting it right. I can hear when things aren't making sense, and I make him go back and correct it.

I don't like cleaning, but I do like having a clean house. I thoroughly clean my house once a week, on 2 different days. Otherwise, just upkeep happens. BMV vacuums the main living areas of the house 2-3 other times a week. And that is good enough.

I only do laundry 3 days a week. It might be several loads those days, but at least I don't have to keep interrupting every day to switch and fold laundry.

I only grocery shop every other week. It takes only a little more time that trip to shop for 2 weeks than it does for one. Then I'm only getting kids in and out of the car 3-4 times rather than 4-8 times. Big time saver.=) How I make that work is to plan my menu for 2 weeks, and we eat the fresh produce first, and then dig into frozen and canned stuff. And I am flexible with my menu. It is a something to work with, but it isn't the 10 commandments, you know.=)

The things I'm saving my time for are things I enjoy-like reading. I always have a good book started. I can spend hours daily and weekly reading. And writing this blog. I am enjoying this a lot. I don't care if anyone else reads it, I just like writing it. I enjoy doing projects-like painting. So I get my not fun chores done by Wednesday, so I can do these extra, more fun things on Thursday and Friday.

I have a rhythm to my week, so that what needs to happen does and the extra things do too. When I prayed about our year and what should be included, it seemed like there couldn't possibly be enough time for everything. I have a Bible study that I attend on Monday nights with training every Saturday morning for 2 hours. I teach a Bible club on Wednesdays in the public schools. I home school my kids-which is taking more and more time every year. I love to cook for my family, and I need to exercise to keep my shape(or maybe reduce it.=)) Swimming and running get my endorphins flowing which makes me a much happier camper.

If all this needs to happen daily/weekly, how can it happen? God multiplies my time. That is a weekly prayer. That effort is multiplied as well as time. And that I have a good attitude through the pressure. If I believe God wants me to do all these things, He also wants me to do them well, and with a good attitude.

Not stressed, but graceful under pressure. That is my underlining goal this year. And that God would be glorified because of it. It is not just the ministry, but the ministering.

And do I always accomplish what I set out to do? Nope. But I am okay with that. Having a baby is teaching me to let some things go. You have to stop and feed a nursing baby. There is no way around it. And that is precious time that goes so quickly. It is the most important thing right now, and everything else will fall where it needs to.

And where are my other kids? Right here with me. For everything except the Monday/Saturday Bible study, and my swimming. They work with me, run with me, stuck here like glue. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but honestly, I would not have it any other way.