After committing those tasks to the Lord each morning, ask Him to pour the water of His grace over all of your rocks, filling in every empty space, lubricating each sharp edge. When there are interruptions, He will be there in them, directing and fine-tuning your day. He will reveal which tasks can be delegated to others and which can be dealt with at a later time. He will help you discern which ones are important, and which ones are just gravel and sand that irritate but don't produce fruit. And as you are planning, don't forget to leave unstructured time for the delightful serendipities He loves to surprise us with.

YOU BECOME EFFECTIVE BY BEING SELECTIVE

"If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity." (The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren)

Ingrid Trobisch tells us in Keeper of the Springs that as women, we want to make One Grand Sacrifice--saving our child from an on-coming train or something heroic. But what is needed is a string of small sacrifices--lullabies to be sung, flowers in the vase--these actions are the putty that holds together the mosaic of family life.

Don't despise the day of small things--there is a season when wiping runny noses and sorting laundry are the big rocks in your life. Don't yield to peer pressure. Don't try to copy what God is leading some other homeschool mom or dad to do. You are uniquely designed to live the life He has called you to. Dr. Jeff Myers reminds us, "Your greatest treasure, and your greatest contribution to the building of God's kingdom, doesn't come from trying to become something that you are not. It comes from identifying and living out that which God designed you to be."

God didn't do everything in one day. What makes me think I can do everything in one day? I still have unfinished projects. I still need to sift out the gravel and sludge in my jar. But when I drop my own list-making day plannings and make God my Day Planner, I find contentment and peace with what I do get done each day. "To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Do today's work today. Don't let concern for tomorrow's work hamper today's.

REPORT FOR DUTY

Soldiers report to their commander for orders each morning (II Tim. 2:4). Elisabeth Elliott says, "Christian discipline means placing oneself under orders. It is no mere business of self-improvement, to be listed along with speed-reading, weight-watching, [or] jogging... Such programs have a strong appeal that is largely self-serving: what's in it for me?... in the end a do-it-yourself program depends on willpower alone, which is not enough for most of us." Approach the Lord each day for your daily list, as well as your daily bread, so at night you can say, "I have finished the work you gave me to do."

You may find that morning is your best planning time. Or perhaps your best time to sit down with the Lord and plan the coming day is in the evening after you've tucked the last child into bed. Sunday afternoon while you are still fresh from your time of worship can also be a great time to lay out the week's work.

We don't know what the expiration date is on our lives. God has the right to graduate us to heaven at any time. But we must realize that there will be time to do all He leads us to do. He doesn't give us incompatible obligations. Let's be found faithful in fulfilling what He has called us to do during this season of our lives. We do this by asking the Lord to reveal the Big Rocks He has placed in our jars, and by focusing our efforts on them and the actions that support these responsibilities.

And at night when we crawl into bed, we can know that even though there is much left to be done--"A woman's work is never done!"--we have done the things He called us to do that day. Then we can reap the reward of hearing His words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

*This article published August 10, 2007.


Copyright 2007 by Marcia K. Washburn, homeschooling mother of five sons. Adapted from an article published in The CHEC Update Fourth Quarter 2006; reprinted by permission. For information about workshops, articles, or books, please contact her at marcia@chec.org or 970-842-4776.

This article was originally published in the July/Aug '07 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more details, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com