How to Make A Schedule
Moms, when you make your schedule for the year, month, week or day, do you plan for interruptions? Do you expect the unexpected? If you are realistic you will expect the unexpected. You will know that your plans will not go exactly as you planned them, if you’re anything like me! And you will plan for interruptions.
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If you have rigidly planned your school year, without allowing any margin in your days, weeks, or months, for unknown events and sudden interruptions, you will be thrown for a loop when the unexpected hits, which it inevitably will.
How to Make a Schedule That Allows For Life to Happen
In every home and family, life happens.
- A child suddenly gets sick
- You find an infestation of bugs in the cupboard and you clean the entire kitchen (maybe deep cleaning the house!) (Oh, come on, I know I’m not the only one!)
- Your husband has to take an unexpected business trip and you have to get him ready for it.
- A friend goes through a crisis and you are a faithful friend to her, giving her time on the phone and in person.
- Another friend has to have an emergency C-section and you volunteer to watch her other children, and make a meal for her family.
- There is a death in your extended family, or of someone dear in your community or church and you attend the services.
- Your child breaks a bone.
- You find out you are unexpectedly expecting a baby!
- Someone else’s change of plans changes or interrupts your plans.
These are just a few of the normal interruptions that can throw your well-thought-out, but, too rigid, schedule out the window! This is what is called life!
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Allen Saunders
Examples Of How I Make A Schedule That Plans For Interruptions
Am I the only one who has this happen? I don’t think so! You can expect that scheduled plans will take longer than you planned. You can expect that complications will arise. You can expect the unexpected to happen.
I used to think, “This craziness is going to end soon, and we will get back into a normal routine, and everything will go smoothly again.”
Now I realize I will never have what I think of as “normal life”! I am smiling as I say that! It’s a huge relief to have come to realize that! My expectations were making me miserable for a long time.
Let me give you a couple of examples of how I plan margin into my week. I leave most evenings free every week, scheduling only a couple of evening activities per week, at most. I leave multiple days completely empty–unplanned–on the calendar, when I plan the month.
Now, when I make a schedule for the day, I leave some blank space–unplanned time–around appointments and tasks. This is called “margin.” Margin in your schedule is compared to the necessary white space on a piece of paper, surrounding the print, which removes confusion and makes the words written on it make sense (my version of his words), according to Dr. Richard A. Swenson.
I heard Dr. Swenson speak at a Homeschool Convention years ago, on the subject of creating margin in your life, the theme of his book, “Margin,” where he explained this concept, and it changed my life! Swenson is author of the books listed below, and more.
Make a Schedule That Expects the Unexpected
Click on these links for more great resources on this subject!
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives
- The Overload Syndrome
- Restoring Margin to Overloaded Lives: A Workbook Based on Margin and The Overload Syndrome, and
- Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm
Understanding Our Emotional Reserves
“It is important to understand our emotional reserves. It is important to understand how much we have at the beginning of each day and which influences drain our emotions dry or recharge our batteries. It is important to learn what our limits are, and not to make further withdrawals if we are already maximally depleted. And it is important to respect these limits in others.” ― Richard A. Swenson, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives
Make a Schedule Which Allows God Control
If you are frustrated by even thinking this way, you are being too rigid. You are also being unrealistic. God is in control of the stops and starts of your life. If you plan every moment of every day, requiring your family to move at breakneck speed to keep up with you, you will have relational stress, your emotional state will not be good, and you’ll feel like a failure, besides! Why do that to yourself?
Make a Schedule With Realistic Expectations
What kind of expectations do you have? It Is all too easy for me to have my expectations so high that even God cannot possibly please me. God wants us to trust Him. Of course, He wants me to be a good steward of my time and resources.
But, all too often I can think my worth is determined by how much I accomplish, or “do for God.” I think He purposely changes my plans and throws a monkey wrench in to see what I will do.
To see if I’m really trusting Him. To see where my eyes are focused. To prove my heart. In Deuteronomy 8:2-3, it says that God humbled and proved the Israelites to see what was in their heart.
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And, he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know: that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
“When ours are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).” Elisabeth Elliot
When something happens that you had not expected, are you trusting God, or are you bent out of shape? Do you say, “What do You want me to learn from this?” Or, do you shake your fist in God’s face and say, “Why are You doing this to me?”
Make Your Schedule With Thanksgiving
I’ve been thinking about How to Cultivate a Thankful Heart lately, in myself and my family. Thinking about how thankful or thankless I am, thinking about how I can help you be more grateful and cultivate thankfulness in your family. This is never a once-and-done process. It’s an ongoing, lifelong work in our hearts.
These thoughts reminded me that we teach our children through our actions and reactions. Our responses when things don’t go our way will more than likely become their responses. You’ve heard the saying, “More is caught than taught.” When something “goes wrong,” do I turn to God in prayer, and thank Him, recognizing His Sovereignty, or am I so worldly-influenced and independent that I just think of how I am going to fix it in my own strength?
When I’ve Made My Schedule and Things Don’t Go My Way
Do we think that God wants us to handle the “small stuff” and only bring to Him the “big things”?
Worse yet, when things don’t go our way, do we murmur and complain, blame everything and everyone around us, and get angry?
When something happens, do we realize that our Sovereign God planned or allowed it? Or do we murmur, complain, and blame luck, or apply a superstitious belief, Murphy’s law, etc.
Make Your Schedule Spirit-Filled and Led
When you sit down to make your schedule, or revise it, begin with prayer. Commit your life to God again, with all your dreams, desires, and already out-of-control busyness. Open hands spread out to Him, come before Him, heart ready to hear from your Lord and Savior.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you and your family as you live for Christ. Ask God to glorify Himself in and through you, to multiply fruit, and help you to abide in Him. This is completely His work. His job. Only possible through His power! Recognize it, reaffirm it, and restate it to God in prayer.
“If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things.”
We need to be alert to the voices that speak contrary to the Word of God. Those voices may be from our friends, our family, on the internet, in the media, or even in our own heads.
We need to be so soaked in the Word of God, so filled to overflowing with the Truth of the Word, that it pours out of our mouths and seeps out of our pores. We need to react to lies and error, reject them, not adopt the world’s ways of responding, and apply the Truth of God’s Word.
Before you begin this new school year and implement that calendar and schedule you’ve carefully made, go over it again and prayerfully add margin into your days, weeks, and months.
Then, with eyes focused on God, look for how He is leading you this year through the unexpected and unplanned happenings that you had no idea of when you made your schedule. Bless you, in this adventure of walking minute-by-minute with God!
Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!
I help Christian moms raise their kids according to Biblical principles, get organized to manage life, achieve their unique God-given goals and dreams, and fulfill God’s purpose for them to make a difference in the world through my workshops, courses, and coaching founded on Biblical principles. You are already successful in many areas. I can help you in those that you’re not. Dream big dreams, and see God transform and use your life in amazing ways! Let’s work together for your success!
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