Monday, March 28, 2011

A New Week, a New Beginning

I know it's a bit early to see bees buzzing around flowers, but I just had to choose this picture for today's post. You see, it's a very busy week for Mama! I'm working at the kids' school, have 2 Four Winds classes, the first of ten sessions of our church's Alpha Course, and the way this week's weather is looking, the sap will be running! Despite all of this busy-ness, I am determined to not get frantic, overwhelmed, grumpy or resentful. Of course, this is not a goal that I can attain on my own. It will take planning, preparation, teamwork on behalf of my family and some rest, peace and quiet with my Lord.

O.k., planning, preparation, rest, peace and quiet with my Lord? How does that help? I know you're asking (or maybe you're not if you're in my women's Bible study:) )how? You see, there are things I am called to do as a child of God, as a wife, as a mother, etc. There may be times when I am called to be very busy, and times when perhaps, not so much. The key to being calm, peaceful, enjoyable to be around, and dare I say, joyful, isn't always in paring down our schedules. This may be needed if you feel chronically overwhelmed, weary and burdened, but more importantly it is how we go about our busy lives. When we take the time to sit at Jesus' feet, to rest in His presence, allow him to carry our burdens and to guide and strengthen us, we need not be the crazy lady that has overtaken your home! If we let our to-do lists and calendars get the best of us, there is nothing left for the Lord, our husbands, our children, our loved ones.

In Joanna Weaver's Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, she helps us understand how to deal with the craziness that our lives can become and how to take the time to sit at Jesus' feet. I truly recommend reading this book and doing the study guide at the back of the book. Even more helpful is doing it with a group. I have read through it twice before on my own, once without doing the accompanying study guide and once with doing it; however, being with a group of other ladies has been much more enlightening and fruitful for me. This is not a plug to gain any monetary benefit for myself or anyone else. This is an honest to goodness, heartfelt suggestion to any woman feeling overwhelmed, over-anxious and tired.

Along with the recommendation to read the book, I also am a huge believer in planning and prepping. Plan what you can, prepare your family and yourself and allow flexibility. For this week, I planned all of this weeks meals on Sunday after having a look in the freezer Saturday. Then I sat down and charted out the week for myself. I have a sheet that I made up on my computer, but there are other pre-made sheets you can download and print. I have to have everything there right in front of me, or I can get even more panicky! After putting in the definite "have to's", that have a definite time, (work, appointments, volunteer work, etc.) I can schedule in housework, errands and grocery shopping. And of course there are the things we'd like to do; crafts, hobbies, coffee with friends, bubble bath, sleep!

I also suggest that you schedule in time for prayer and Bible study. If you don't have this time for the grounding of your soul and spirit, you're more likely to be knocked over by the demands of life. I try to remember to send up a prayer for patience, wisdom, grace and guidance before I even get out of bed in the morning. Mornings seem to run much smoother when I've taken that time. And when I am starting to stress too much, I meditate on Psalm 23. It never fails to calm and revive me.

Well, it's getting time to put the kiddos to bed. That means Mama gets her "down time"! Many blessings for the evening,

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