Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Working your plan...

My Grams always said, "plan your work and work your plan." But I didn't always do that well. Yesterday, I talked briefly about Making A Plan (you can read it here). Today I'd like to tell you about the benefits of having a plan...

As I've said before, I've been poring over Proverbs 31, trying to drink it all in. The world would have us, as homemakers, feel that our calling is less than desirable.

But God has dedicated part of his book of wisdom to describing a Godly wife and mother. That, in my mind at least, means that God believes this is a noble calling - a calling worthy of His attention.

What is clear from the verses in Proverbs 31,  it is God's plan that a wife look after the affairs of her home.

She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

When I was not planning our days, our home wasn't running well. Even right-brained me was frustrated that our days lacked peace and order. Making dinner was a major undertaking because I hadn't planned ahead - sometimes I didn't even have the right ingredients on hand to make much of anything...

Thankfully, as I've undertaken to look well after the ways of my household, things run much more smoothly in our home. That does NOT mean that every day is blissfully calm and predictable. What it does mean is, when the day's plans are derailed, it isn't catastrophic.

My pantry is well stocked, and while I still sometimes struggle to plan all meals every day, I'm doing much better. Eventually, my goal is to have a posted meal plan for all 3 meals we eat together. I'm taking baby steps toward this goal and have seen lots of wonderful meal planning ideas online.

Over the weekend, I try to do some make-ahead meals. I'll make bread or pizza crust to freeze for a later time. I break bulk items into meal-sized portions. One of my favorite new ways of saving time is to put marinades right into the freezer bags with the meat. When I pull meat out of the deep freeze, it marinates as it thaws in the refrigerator. Two steps in one!

We've also started to schedule our school days a bit more. We start promptly at 8:30 most mornings with our Bible time. This has helped the children tremendously! Previously, I felt that I spent the whole morning nagging them to get chores done and get ready for school. Now that there is a definite start time, they have learned to be responsible for being ready - they'll even help each other out if someone is struggling to get done on time. What a valuable lesson!

I've learned that laundry can be done and folded while I give them their spelling words or while they are reading. Floors can be swept and or mopped while the children are getting ready (then no one is under my feet either!). Lunch can be prepared while they retell me their history lesson, or while we practice Spanish. Nap time is an excellent time to chop and prep for supper and it also is a great time for me to finish up laundry or clean a bathroom.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes do, we've learned to be flexible but it doesn't ruin our whole day as it may have before.

Plan your work and work your plan is sage advice from my Grams. Becoming more like the woman in Proverbs 31 has drawn me closer to the heart of my Heavenly Father. It is a noble calling to tend to your home.

What are some of your best tips for organizing your day?

Find more inspiration here:
Women Living Well: Living Well Wednesday
Deep Roots at Home: Encourage One Another Link Up
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


Lori said...

I love your idea of making a plan - too often I just drift through the day "fighting fires"!

When I'm behaving in an organized way I use the Pomodoro technique. It's a productivity technique created by an Italian grad student. His premise is that we get more done, if we do things in 25 minute segments. Then take a 5 minute break. Because I spend a lot of time on the computer (writing) I need more exercise, so I use my 5 minutes to move around. That way I get my work done, and, in an 8 hour day I get an hour of exercise (5 minutes at a time.)

That's my way to be organized... :-)

Dionne said...

How awesome that you love staying at home. One thing I have to point out about the Proverbs 31 woman that so many people forget is SHE HAD servants. Most of the rest of us don't have help to raise our brood or do our chores.
Yes, a plan IS always the best way to go about things...your Gram is right.