Pencil…Or Pen?

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV).


I read a great devotional today which included this: “Write your schedule on your calendar in pencil.  That way it won’t be so annoying when you have to erase it because of (fill in the blank)”  (Cynthia Ruchti).

Lately this aspect of motherhood, or life, has bothered me.  I’ve been so focused on what I want to get accomplished (or not get accomplished), that I’ve been more irritated than the situation calls for when my plans have changed.  I’ll wake up, have my quiet time, and then go about the list in my head of all I want to take care of.  Nine times out of ten, none of it got crossed off, not enough got crossed off, or I got irritated with all the interruptions.  And, I feel horrible admitting this, but even my kids were crossing into the “interruptions” instead of the blessings arena.  My priorities, obviously, were way out of balance.  Work was becoming more stressful and more “important” than my family, the people I was working for.

I read an article about Michelle Duggar, mother of nineteen children.  She and Jim Bob were at the kitchen table writing a book.  The children kept coming in and interrupting them, so that they were very slow making progress.  The interviewer made a comment stating if the children would stop interrupting, they would be able to get some work done.  Michelle answered in essence saying the book was the interruption.  Raising her children was her real job.

That statement hit me hard.  My main role in life is not working for any company.  My main goal in life is to work for God, and He has placed three children under my care to love, protect, nurture, and train.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped holding my hands out to God and asking Him to balance my day, write my “to do” list, and show me what He wanted me to accomplish.  I failed to remember God was in charge of my life, He was in control of my schedule, and it was truly His goals I wanted to accomplish, not mine.

When I remembered the truth and started putting it into practice, my whole outlook changed.  Flexibility remains important as the amount of time I have still doesn’t equal the amount of work that needs to be finished.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed and succumbing to stress, real or imaginary, when I let go and let God be in control, I started to enjoy the process more.  The joy was back in my step, I was able to enjoy the activity I was involved in, and my kids stopped being an interruption and again became my focus.  That doesn’t say I don’t need to set boundaries since I do work from home with deadlines and turn-around times, but instead of taking the defense and deflecting situations, I’m on the offense and heading off crises.  By preparing a little bit ahead of time and relearning the art of flexibility, my mood is happier and therefore, the day goes much smoother.

I find when I keep my priorities in line with God’s priorities, giving Him my firsts and keeping Him in charge of my life, (something I needed a reminder of lately), then even the interruptions don’t bother me so much.  And, keeping that pencil handy to write my “to do” list sure helps too!



Copyright 2013: Cheri Swalwell

One Reply to “Pencil…Or Pen?”

  1. Cheri,

    I can totally relate to the long To Do list and being annoyed at anything that keeps me from getting it done. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of what is truly important.

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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