Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Planning - Its A Must

I've always loved making lists. Always. It was such a good thing though for our wedding. Planning a wedding is right up a list makers alley! I loved that!! We paid for our own wedding, so planning was very important. And I loved every second of it. :) Now, having been blessed with a largerish family, its a very good thing to know how to plan and make lists.

Even a simple thing like going to the grocery store takes planning. I know that I need to start getting everyone ready at least 20 minutes before I want to be walking out the door. 30 minutes is better, but I'm not always on my game and get a late start. oops.

For longer trips I need an hour. If I'll need a meal or snack while out, I need to make that ahead of time, know how I'm going to serve it on the go, have cups of water ready, the diaper bag stocked.....then there is just the actual getting ready. Everyone have clothes on that are good to be worn in public (matching, not huge stains or holes, fits correctly), clean faces and hands, hair done (I have four girls so far and right now it takes me about 6-12 minutes to do their hair, depending on the hair style), socks and shoes found and then put on. And then I have to get ready too.

If we are having a busy weekend, I need to think through each days meals and know exactly what I will be doing for every meal. I think ahead to Sunday and if I'll need meat thawed, I make sure its in the fridge to thaw days before so that its ready for me to cook when I'm ready. I figure out if I need to get anything from the store so that I don't have to go Saturday evening when we are trying to finish preparing for the LORD's Day. We live about 30 minutes from the church so we just pack for the day and stay there. It works really well. But I have to do the packing. So if its a busy weekend, I need to do some of the packing ahead of time and get start making the list for Sunday.

No matter whats going on, planning is very, very important for a large or largerish family like us. If you don't plan, it can be stressful. It will usually cost more money. You will probably be late or maybe on time, but not in the best mood.

The LORD gives us many verses about planning and being ready. Our favorite verse is Proverbs 6:6 - 'Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.' Even teeny, tiny ants prepare. They know winter is coming and they work to have food. We should be like that! Working hard. Planning. Preparing. Know what is coming up. I don't mean telling the future, just knowing what events will be happening and being prepared for them.

I've gotten better and better at it over the years. When we were first married and had no kids, we would be late for Sunday School quite often. I still can't believe that. Then we had one child and I had to be more prepared. I can remember several Sunday's being late because I had to nurse the baby and I still had to get ready to go. Instead of preparing stuff the night before and getting up earlier so that I was ready to go when it was time for Baby to nurse, I just took it as it came. I didn't plan. I finally figured it out thankfully!

Then the LORD gave us several more kids in a row. I had to really figure it out. Quick! My husband was a pastor by this time, so we HAD to be out the door at a certain time. No ifs, ands, or buts. We only had one car, so if I was running really late for some reason, I had to stay home. I think that only happened a few times during a first trimester when I was sick and needing to run to the bathroom. :)

Our week revolves around Sunday. Mostly because my husband is the pastor of our church, but also because we think that the LORD's Day should be front and center. We want to teach our kids that going to church comes first, before anything else. We often have to forego family activities because they happen on Saturday and most of the family lives 1.5 hours away. *Sometimes* we do things on Saturday's with them, but its not often at all. We wouldn't get home until later in the day and we still needed to do our normal house stuff, as well as getting ready for Sunday. Thats a choice we have made. And sometimes its hard to stick by it. I feel like we miss out on a lot. But then Sunday comes, we are well rested, well prepared and we are so blessed. That makes it all worth it. I'm not saying you shouldn't do stuff on Saturday's, just be prepared. If you can handle it, great!! It just doesn't work for our family.

If you're not good at planning, I encourage you to work on it. Its very rewarding! It takes quite a bit of work at first, but once you have it down.....it makes life sooooo super easy!.....or maybe easier. :) If you are good at planning, keep it up!!! If you're just starting down the road of planning, don't give up. Find resources that suit your needs and help you. Rely on your husband's wisdom and ask him for advice when things seem to get really rough or when you get in a rut.

Be like the ant. Work. Plan. Be prepared.

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