Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Priorities and Using Time Wisely

In August, a couple of weeks before school began, I started studying the Relief Society declaration or theme and I really love what it says and it keeps me in line with what I should be doing. It reads:

We are spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
  • Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
  • Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. 
  • Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes. 
  • Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
  • Delight in service and good works.
  • Love life and learning.
  • Stand for truth and righteousness.
  • Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth. 
  • Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.
I have really taken this to heart. As the new school came closer, I sat down to decide how I would spend my time when the kids were in school, using this guide. Because I have all my kids in school all day, I wanted to spend my time wisely and actually improve myself at the same time. I made a list of things I could do to fill in my time once I was done with my morning chores.
  1. Volunteer at school
  2. Go do temple work
  3. Do family history-I have lots to do 
  4. Indexing
  5. Work on my autobiography "My Beautiful Life"
  6. Work on my personal history scrapbook
  7. Go to the gym or workout at home
  8. Go to institute class on Wednesdays
  9. Make treats for kids to eat after school or special treats for Ron
  10. Prepare meals/cook
  11. Organize or clean something in the house (bathrooms, closets, cabinets, etc.)
  12. Work in gardens-keep up on weeding
  13. Work on vacation scrapbook
  14. Work on kids scrapbooks
  15. Visit teaching
  16. Service in community/neighbors
  17. Visit with neighbors
  18. Read a book
  19. Read scriptures/lessons
  20. Watch movies-only on Fridays when everything is done.
  21. Work on my next New Year's project- postcard birthdays -it's never too early to begin on projects
  22. Blog
This is my list, it's not in order of importance, and I'm not limited to this, but, it gives me an idea if I don't already know what I want to do for that day.  We recently had a Relief Society lesson given by one of the ladies in the Presidency about Priorities and Spending our time wisely.  I felt good about it because I feel like I'm already doing this. A normal day for me looks like this, lets take a Monday:

6:00am- ready the waffle mix, set the dishes we will use for breakfast, put dishes from night before away.
6:30am - wake everyone up for family scripture study and family prayer
7:00am (depends when we are done)- 8:00am- cook waffles, ready a tub of hot soapy water for washing dishes when kids are done eating. They don't all eat at the same time, they have different times they need to be to school. During this time I'm usually signing planners or looking over notes from school, helping with homework, sometimes the younger kids will do homework before school, especially if they know they have soccer practice or whatever after school. I'm able to get into some workout clothes and make up my bed, tidy my room, and bring the laundry to the pantry room. Of course I'm reminding either Kaydon or Dallon to bring me their basket of laundry to wash (I will combine either of theirs with mine but not both), I'm also  reminding kids to brush their teeth, make up their beds, tidy up rooms. I feel like I'm forever reminding them. Luckily, some of them don't need to be told.
8:30am- send last of the kids to school, by this time I'm done washing the dishes, cleaning counters, the kitchen is clean and perfect. I feel it is important to get these types of chores done as soon as you can, it helps you enjoy the rest of the day without worrying about it.

As soon as everyone leaves the house I begin a load of laundry, that way I don't have to compete for water pressure. By the time I'm done with my morning workout, either at my house or by going to the gym, I'm   ready to switch clothes into the dryer or sometimes I wait to wash clothes after my workout, because I only want to do one load of laundry a day, sometimes on Mondays I have two, because I take Sunday off. It's more manageable that way. A load a day will keep the mountain of laundry away. It's good to keep up on laundry, if not it becomes stressful and we don't want to do it. When I'm done with the workout and laundry is begun, I begin my scripture assignment I have given myself. It usually takes me 30 min. or more to read and ponder. I love to read when everyone is gone, this gives me the quiet time I need to really focus on what the scriptures are saying to me. After reading scriptures, I fold the clothes and I work on a project, I decide on the project by looking at my list above. Sometimes I wake up before my alarm clock goes off and I will think through my day and the things I want to do with my time. Depending on the meal of the day, I might need to do some preparing ahead of time or I decide to make kids an after school treat, so I will do that. On Tuesdays or Wednesday's I like to clean all the bathrooms to my perfection, as the kids and my perfection differ.  The other day I spent all of my remaining time on typing some of my autobiography. On Monday's I like to work on weeding the gardens. It depends what I'm in the mood for that day. I have decided that I was not going to write a to-do list this year, that way I don't feel confined to just that, but I would have projects in mind and if I got those done than great but if not, I would be okay with that too. When the kids come home, it's about helping with homework, taking kids here or there, Activity Days and all about Them. I had my "me time" and I feel good I can help serve my children in this way, although, sometimes it can get crazy if I have more than one thing going at a time. After dinner and when the kitchen has been cleaned I can relax and read a book, right now I'm focusing on books by Lynn Austin, I would like to finish all of her books. Around 7:30pm I remind the younger boys to take their showers and get ready for bed. Family prayer is usually around 8:30pm this year. After everyone has been sent to bed, it gives me an hour to read from my bedside book, right now that is Gordon B. Hinckley's "Standing For Something". It gives lots of great things to improve on and I love books that help remind me what I need to be doing. I only read those types of books before going to bed.

The Relief Society lessons Sunday also focused on how we need to love what we do, she talked about the hard parts of being motivated when we get overwhelmed. I wanted to comment but didn't, but I will here. I love being a mom and a wife and being at home. There has been times when I have felt discouraged, neglected or unappreciated. This year I have come to know through music like Jessie Clark Funk, Hillary Weeks, Jenny Jordan Frogley or Mercy River & Jenny Phillips that that's not the whole purpose of being a mom or wife. Our Father has come to depend on us as women to be faithful, to remember who we are and why we are doing the things we get to do as mothers and wives. He is dependent upon us to do our part, to be nurturers, to be teachers, to give support, to be an example as Christ is an example. We need to do it with a smiling attitude. We've made covenants and Father is the reason we do these things, we do it to please our Father in Heaven, to show our love and gratitude to Him. When we give it our all, to be all we can be during our day, he is going to give us the feeling of great satisfaction, the kids or even our spouses may not notice the things you have done, but the Father will notice and that is what counts, He is pleased when we remember why and who we are doing it for. We are doing it for Him, we are doing it for our Children and Spouses because we love them, we want to make them happy, safe and create an environment that has order, peace and love. A healthy environment that kids can grow in the gospel and know truth. So, next time you are feeling unappreciated, look to the Heavens and you will get all that you need. Nothing goes unnoticed and you will be blessed for your efforts guaranteed. I'm grateful for inspiring music that reminds me throughout the day who I am, that I'm a women with responsibility and God is dependent on me to do my part. he loves me and wants me to be happy. When we do all that we can and should be doing, we will. As for priorities and spending our time wisely. We should put God first and all other things will fall into place. There is only 24 hours in a day but when we put God first, everything that we wanted to get done will and we will have time to spare for ourselves. Everything is in perfect balance and we will have peace by the end of the day. I know this to be true as I have experimented with my new school year routine. I have found great satisfaction by the end of the day. I feel lucky and blessed to have the gospel in my life, to know who I am and what is expected of me. I don't want this message to sound as if I'm saying "Hey, look at me and how great I'm doing" but a message that will help and inspire those who may be struggling. In Relief Society they asked us to share how we spend the time in our day, there were others who were willing to share. I wanted to share here today in hope of helping others. Maybe you could share what you do and inspire others too. I encourage you to look over the Relief Society declaration and ponder how you can work this into your life. It is a guide that will not only make you stronger spiritually, but, will make you happier as you follow and implement these words into your life. Let us find our work a little more joyful, that our children and spouse will see smiles and a good attitude.

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