Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom! By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Does this SPEAK to you? Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing! So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope? Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

–> Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule! Take time to hear HIS plans for your day. Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction. Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

–> Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved (even going and coming OR planning the details around that commitment!), has made an indescribable impact on my life! Not to mention, another breeder of chaos in my life was constantly looking for information that needed to be in a dependable place like phone numbers, ordering information, etc. Keeping ONE binder with my information included eliminates the chaos, but it does even more! It gives my brain a rest!

–> Evaluate to find the BEST that God has designed for YOU to do! Sure, there are many “little things” that must be done to manage our homes, but if you are really struggling with balance, discipline yourself to write down everything that you are doing for a little while. Pray over the importance of each and every thing. Time is so very precious. God gives us everything that we need to do all that He has designed for us to do, but He will not anoint those things that will choke out His best for our lives. So, really pray through…think through…weigh out everything. Listen to God for HIS goals for you. Prune those things that are not in line with His goals for you. Get rid of any time wasters. Prioritize every activity, every day! Combine activities that can be done together to make the most of time. Delegate those things that others can do to help you be a good steward of your time. Then, make the most of your time doing the very best things that God has designed for you to do!

–> Write IT down! Yep! Give your brain a break! This may seem to compound your problem, but trust me this will help more than you know! It is NOT another thing to do! Rather, once things are written down, the work is done FOR you! For example, keeping a calendar of events in your planner will help to alleviate conflicts in your schedule. Blocking off plenty of time for each entry will help you to give yourself enough margin left over for LIFE! I may live less than five miles from downtown, but if there is an appointment there, I KNOW to give myself 30 minutes to get there! Also, I cannot tell you how much my lists from years ago are beginning to really help me! I have lists for school lessons, shopping, traveling, producing the magazines, speaking, etc. I may have to add to my generic list, but I cannot tell you how many times my lists have helped me to be sure that NOTHING was left out or forgotten. Plus, now the planning process is simplified. I just pull out my list, go over the list, add anything that is missing, and get busy! Several of my lists are typed into my computer, ready to print. Talk about EASY planning! Find ways that you can simplify what you are doing—writing it down will probably be one of your first steps too!

–> Keep your STUFF ready to use! Whether your planner or your purse or even your Bible/journal for church, get things together and in their special spot, ready to go. I have a tote that includes all of the things that I need for Church. I keep it together, ready to go. Our school books stay in a milk crate (one for each child), ready to use at the table or to grab for our trips with the business. Everything that we need is ready at all times. My planner stays at my chair, ready to grab to leave the house. So on. Decide on what you need for planning, church, homeschooling, or your business. Get everything together. Find its very best spot for it to be easy to use, but not in the way or forgotten. You will be surprised at how much stress this will alleviate!

–> Put limits on your day! For years, I battled the different aspects of my day that tend to become monsters! Funny thing, I have never seen my family life ever become one of those monsters. My sweetheart and my children are so much more patient than my nasty kitchen! Memories will always wait for schoolwork to be completed. Laughter will always let the business monster rant and rage! The best (but most difficult) lesson of my life to date was that if I wanted the legacy that God had planned for me, then I had to diligently guard the different aspects of life. I had to consciously purpose to make memories and build relationships with those I love much, much more than a clean house or thriving business or successful homeschool. A whole day can zoom by just on the internet with the business…or working through our lessons…or even re-organizing a closet. Plus, those things wear me down till I am completely zapped! Oh, and then, I am not the nicest person on earth! (ouch—confessions hurt!) While these things are precious and wonderful in their boundaries, I have to CONSTANTLY place limits to insure that we have a balanced life that makes the most of each day AND builds a legacy.

Need MORE Help?

Check out Cindy’s New Organized Mom Super Set! It is full of great ebooks and audios that will help take you by the hand and plan the best homeschool year ever!

Making Your Quiet Times Happen this Year – Even When You Can’t Get Up in the Morning by Jennifer Schwilling

JournalComputerCoffeeCup

Reading the Bible and praying more is right at the top of Christian womens’ goals and resolutions lists, up there with getting organized and losing weight.  Unfortunately, just like organizing and weight loss aspirations, our best plans and intentions to have daily devotions or quiet times tend to fizzle a few weeks into the year.  What happens?  We’re convinced of the value of spending time getting to know our God through His word.  We’re convinced of the power of prayer in our lives and others’.  How does something this important and desirable keep slipping through the cracks in our days?

One of the ways we unintentionally keep something from happening is making it too difficult or complicated.  Do you admire a friend who is able to read her Bible an hour or two a day?  Or a friend who studies Greek daily?  A favorite author who writes about watching the sun rise as she prays over her day?  All of these things may be good, but do they work for you at this point of your life?  Maybe you have three small children running around and 1 – 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time just isn’t going to happen.  Maybe you are anything but a morning person.  In your mind is anything less than your “ideal” quiet time not worth doing?  In other words, are you making it more difficult than it needs to be?

All you really need to have your quiet time are three things:  A time, a place, and your “stuff”
– your Bible and anything else you’re planning to read.  Place and “stuff” are pretty straightforward.  You need a place to sit and read and something to read of course.  Where we usually get messed up is time.  We usually know “what” we want to do, it’s the “when” we have a problem with, as in the “when” just not happening!

Here is a common scenario.  We hear that waking up early to have our quiet time is the best way to go so that’s what we shoot for.  If you’re an “early riser” this can work great, but for the rest of us…  Tell me if this sounds familiar:  You wake up later than you planned (again) and you resolve to get on track and have your quiet time later that morning.  Then “something” happens and you have to put it off until lunch.  Lunchtime ends up being taken up with “something” else and you figure maybe in the afternoon you’ll catch a little time.  Guess what… “something” keeps happening until you’re laying in bed wondering what happened to your quiet time.

So if you don’t get up early in the morning is all lost?  Not at all!  Look at your day and pick the best time that works for you.  Don’t worry about your friend, your favorite author’s schedule, or what you’ve heard is “most spiritual.”  What time of your day tends to be the least hectic and most likely to be somewhat quiet?  The kids’ nap time?   While dinner is in the oven?  My best time is right before bedtime!  It’s quiet, there’s nowhere I have to be, and everyone else is in bed too.  Be creative!  What’s important isn’t the time of day you pick, it’s that you pick a time that works best for your current schedule and that you guard it from invading “somethings”.  The “best” time for your quiet time is the time you can realistically make it happen!  You might have to experiment a bit to find the best time.  Also, have your place picked out and your “stuff” where it needs to be so looking for your Bible and a pen doesn’t end up being a “something” that comes up!

So how long should your quiet time be?  Again, look at what works for you.  I’d love to have two hours a day but in this season of my life when I have four kids, one with special needs, two hours isn’t going to happen on a typical day.  God knows your circumstances and responsibilities – He created your family!  Do what you realistically can.  You can probably get 20 – 30 minutes into your day.  Some days you’ll have more time, some days you’ll have less.  If you can’t find even 20 – 30 minutes, take a look at some other activities you find time for like checking e-mail, web surfing, Facebook, telephone calls, reading…  We make time for these things without thinking twice about it.  Not trying to be legalistic… just something to think about!

It’s not too late to get your prayer and Bible reading resolutions and goals back on track.  Sit down and take a few moments to think about what the best time is for you and make a plan of attack!

http://ultimate-womens-expo.com/images/FriendsandCoffee.jpg

Don’t you just LOVE Jennifer? I ADORE HER!

She is one of our speakers at our upcoming (in just a FEW WEEKS) Ultimate Women’s Expo! Don’t miss her! You will be fired, inspired, encouraged, and equipped to make THIS YEAR count!

Are you a “night owl” who needs more help making a consistent quiet times happen?  Jennifer Schwilling’s new e-book Night Owl Devotions is all about thinking outside the box to make meaningful devotions a part of a busy mom’s life.  You can visit her on-line at:  http://www.MomsNoChaosZone.com or http://www.DaisyChainDailyCarnival.com

Sleep to Succeed: A Lesson in Productivity

Cindy2015Ever feel that there are not enough hours in the day? Oh! I do! There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day sometimes. With your schedule, something always gets put off until tomorrow. In order to catch up, you might be tempted to work longer but that will have the opposite effect.

When your schedule runs long or you have a pressing project at work, the first thing that enters your mind is that you can come in early or stay late to get it done. The problem with that idea is that the rest of your routine will suffer. There will be less, if any, time for your family. From the point that you steal time from one area to benefit another, you will be playing catch up.

Over time, your body will respond to the added demands. It won’t be pretty. Stress of any kind that is prolonged can cause health problems. You are more likely to develop illnesses because of a depressed immune system. You won’t be your kind and cheery self anymore as you become short tempered and bite everyone’s head off.

What about your goals? Whether work-related or personal, your goals never seem to get met. The laws of nature are a funny thing. In our society, we have the idea that to get more done you have to speed up and sacrifice. While that may be true in some situations, the part that we choose to sacrifice makes a big difference.

To get ahead and get more done you need to slow down. Sleep is a part of your daily routine. It’s a part that we don’t pay much attention to. After all, if you are tired, you will eventually fall asleep, right? That’s not how sleep is supposed to work.

The human body is like a beautiful machine. All machines need maintenance to continue working. The body does its repair jobs while you sleep. There are several sleep cycles. During the deepest sleep, the body can go about restoration and repair because you are not keeping it occupied with movement and thought. It’s sort of like a short hibernation period.

Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough restorative sleep for it to matter. You wake up tired and that leads to concentration problems. It’s hard to think of new ways to increase your productivity when you can’t keep your eyes open. Burning the candle at both ends will leave you with nothing.

Do yourself a favor. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep a night. As a result you will wake up refreshed and your focus will be clear. You’ll find you have more energy and get more accomplished in all areas of your life. There is less downtime needed during the day because you got all of the rest you needed when you slept.

Stop!

 

Tired? Weary? Confused? Have NO idea which way to go?

STOP!

Stop, beloved. Pull back. Don’t do a thing. Don’t talk. Don’t change things around. Don’t make any decisions-yet. Simply STOP.

There are times that our enemy finds a weapon that takes us by surprise. The time will come. What do you do? You learn from Jesus. You study Him. You learn from Him. You learn to walk out His ways. They ALWAYS work.

It does not make any difference what weapon the enemy uses, the same tactics work against him. You don’t even have to read a big manual to get a huge plan. You just have to read THE MANUAL. Oh, let me help you find the most powerful tactic, the one that all of the others hinge upon. Turn to James 4:7… [Read more…]

50+ Ideas for Taking Care of Mom! by Cindy Rushton

The image “http://www.cindyrushton.com/images/Cindy2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Tired? Weary? Need some fresh ideas for taking care of mom? Feeling that push and pull on you as you balance all of the many demands in your life? Are you great about taking care of others, yet not quite so good about taking care of YOU? Has it been a long, long time since you have done the little things to just fill your cup back up? How about a few fresh ideas for filling your cup and ministering to your heart! I promise that these will be easy for you to do! Here goes:
–>  Grab Your iPod and go for a long, long walk! I LOVE my iPod. I have it filled with great Praise and Worship music, teachings and workshops, podcasts, tutorials, etc. My iPod has become my “pocket pal” when I work on my chores, take care of business duties, or even get out for my walk. Talk about my best investment!

[Read more…]