What is This Season?

Last year I finally succumbed to the popular description of life that it happens in seasons. I even gave a talk at a retreat about reading the Bible in different seasons. So, as I seem to be both happy and sad, healing and in chronic pain, basically suspended in a limbo of paradox, I have been wondering what is this season?

When God has spoken and we choose to ignore Him, of course there is no peace in our hearts. Sometimes we put off God’s call for so long we forget what God has asked of us. It is a recurring theme in my life to ask in prayer for a reminder from God because, if I am feeling a lack of peace, chances are God has already given me the answers. Recently I have been memorizing a Bible verse that also shares a similar message of God reminding us and I was looking at it and realized, it also speaks to the source of peace.

Davy’s new movie is Kung Fu Panda (all of them actually, so like 3 movies and a bunch of mini episodes). The storyline follows that in order to be the best at your job you must have inner peace. In order to have inner peace you must know who you are. The red thread between each movie is the role that Po is learning he plays.

Movie #1 = Po is the Dragon Warrior

Movie #2 = Po is the son of a goose

Movie #3 = Po brings his quest for self complete circle asking:

“Am I the son of a panda? The son of a goose? A student? A teacher? I’m all of those things. I am the Dragon Warrior!”

It is a great visual as he speaks he draws the dragon, sharing that by being all of those things he can be what he first sought. This is the lesson I have been learning, so it has been fun to watch this with Davy and derive personal significance from the movie.

There are seasons when being a stay at home mom means more than in other seasons, it is the focus. There are seasons where being a homemaker (cleaning, cooking, etc.) is the focus. There are seasons when my marriage, the romance, dating is the focus. There are of course seasons with any blending in between.

So what is this season now, the season in which I learn how to live a life of discipline?

Discipline and inner peace. In high school I found the word Simplify to bring me peace. In college I felt like I had never known the peace like I felt there. Now I feel like peace eludes me again, and I know that part of it will be to simplify, that I already know the answer. God already simplified my life by limiting my goals in the way that was determined at the beginning of the year.

Bible (Reading & Memorization), Reading, Blogging, Routines, and Weight Loss. These five categories are done in the home for the most part, keeping me in the roles of house wife and stay at home mom. I am actually quite satisfied in these roles when I am entering into them. When I am burdening myself with guilt I find myself losing sight of the purpose of these things. Since picking Discipline as my word I have realized the times when I am giving up way too quickly. I put down a book because it is making me think. I stop blogging because I can’t focus. I haven’t been working out because I can’t find the time. Yet there is plenty of time to worry, criticize, and argue.

Instead of using that time so negatively, I am changing, little by little

شوي شوي, to heal, to use my time for God, to grow.

This picture above, in Arabic, says “Shway, shway”. It means little by little, or slowly by slowly. This time of training will help me in innumerable ways and I know that the lessons, though painstakingly slow to grasp at times, will be so worth it that I have no reason for complaint. The wall in the picture above is empty right now, but will soon be filled with my successes, redemption, and healing. I am so glad to have you along for the ride!

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My Google Calendar Method

During the Make Over Your Mornings ecourse, Crystal shared about writing a To Do List vs. Brain Dumping. Both super valuable, but the latter is what I had been calling writing a To Do list. I would end up with a million things written down all over the place and then I would get completely overwhelmed with all there was to do.

Now I have a new perspective. I can brain dump, but that stuff needs to stay dumped. There needs to be less brain energy spent going back over and over and over to that list to decide what to do and not do. Instead, I need to write a doable To Do list for the day, and use brain dumping as a method to get rid of excess, not burden myself with it.

I have used Google Calendar in the past, and now I have new motivation. When Crystal shared that she uses Google Calendar there were several people curious about how to utilize it. Since I know I do way more than a lot of people would, hopefully you can find something useful in my method.

Another Daily View

First: I create all the daily events and have them repeat daily.

  • Morning Routine (Repeats Every Day Except Sunday for 90 Minutes, I have even written down the whole routine in the Details section to check if I need to review or remember)
  • Nursing my Baby (While I am doing on demand it is helpful to recognize the approximate times she eats because those are times I can’t really be doing something else, so as I plan things I am able to recognize that I might get interrupted or need to feed her first or after)
  • Eating Meals (I will absolutely forget to eat if I don’t have someone or thing to remind me)
  • Checking Email (Ditto to Eating)
  • And for This Season, Skyping my Boys

Repeating Daily

The reason I put things on that I do daily is because it is so easy to fill a day with other things to do and at the end of the day think I failed when in fact I just didn’t account for the time that I need to take care of these daily routines.

Second: I Look at the Weekly Events That Repeat & Make Adjustments

  • Add Church & Have it Repeat Weekly (I made sure to put the start and end time from when I need to leave to when I usually get home after hanging out, etc.)
    • After adding church I realized my Morning Routine would be shifted, but I don’t want to wake up way earlier with a baby still nursing and up throughout the night
    • I split my morning routine by taking out Coffee & Bible Reading. I get both at church, but I also added Bible Reading in the evenings previously so Sunday I decided to have a longer Evening Quiet Time.
    • I am sharing a little of my thought process here, but you will have to see what are other variables in your week that disrupt or interrupt daily routines and how you are going to make your life a Thriving Life.
  • Add Friends
    • I have several friends that I see weekly, so I added those weekly engagements and adjusted the meals and Evening Quiet Times that were at the same time.
    • For me my Fellowship time does not replace Quiet Time in the evening and I still need to eat
  • Add Bible Study
    • I have a monthly Bible Study and a Weekly Bible Study available to me, and with the baby I don’t always attend, but if it isn’t on the calendar I can’t even begin to remember or prioritize that

Scheduled Tasks

Third: Add My Goals

At the beginning of the year I prayed through a lot of goals. I won’t talk all over again how this all came together, but one of the things I did was break the goals up from Year to Month to Week to Day as appropriate.

For Monthly Goals I decided what needed to happen each week to achieve those goals, so on Google Calendar I used the All Day & Repeat buttons to have these repeat for that week of the month. As I get to that week I create a new event on the day I decide will work best to accomplish that piece of the task.

  • Encouraging Louis’ Talent in Photography
    • Week 1: Find a List, Challenge, Technique, etc. for Louis to Try
      • When I get to the first week of a month this will be already on the Google Calendar for the whole week, so I can choose a day.
      • I do not change the repeating event. Instead I add a new event to the calendar on the day I am going to sit on Pinterest and choose something to give to Louis
    • Week 2: Ask Louis About Photography
      • This can happen any time, but I know that this is a way to show Louis love so I want to make a special point of doing this. However, I might not even put this on the calendar as a new event.
    • Week 3: Make a Date to Look Through Pictures
      • This is one that will take two events
        • Day 1-Make a date with Louis
        • Day 2-The Date
    • Week 4: Upload New Pictures to Computer & Blog
      • Create an event to upload
      • Create an event to select some for my Blog Folder on my computer
      • If there are blog posts ready in need of a picture, Create an event to find specific pictures for the blog

This is an example of how I go through my Monthly Goals, and I am not going to go through each event I have on my calendar.

Task List

Fourth: The Task List

This is a really fun part of Google Calendar where I put goals and new habits I am building. This part has due dates and you get to check things off and they will get crossed off the list! Fantastic feeling!

As I am working back up to my Quiet Time being all I love it to be, I am not trying to do everything at once. One thing I am working back up to is my actual Study. In the earlier days of my pregnancy I was reading a chapter a day of 1 Samuel, but I have been posting them once a week, so I was able to have a surplus of chapters posting ahead of me. In August that surplus will end, so I am starting to work toward my every day reading. On the Task List I put one chapter for next week, then two chapters the following week. If it turns out my adding a chapter a week doesn’t work I will change the deadlines, but I am looking to go back to reading a chapter a day every weekday.

Year Long Goals I originally split into Monthly steps, so I have added those with deadlines to my task list as well.

Hopefully this is helpful, and if you have any questions or want to share how you organize your days please comment.