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Days can get so busy! Sometimes weeks pass by before I even know what month I’m in. Activities get scheduled, family plans are made (whether it’s lunch plans or family vacations), and time flies by. It’s taken me a while to learn that you don’t always have to make plans and you don’t have to say yes to everyone else’s plans either.
Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.”
There are a lot of times I have said ‘yes’ to lunch dates, shopping dates, or other plans just so I could be out of the house. I never enjoyed simply being at home. I wanted something to do! More so when I wasn’t working. I had gotten so used to working multiple jobs, going to school full-time and having a social life that when 2 of the 3 came to an end, I put all that extra time and energy into the third one and ended up broke. It wasn’t an easy adjustment.
And the adjustment period wasn’t short either. I had several friends that were older than me that I met with on a weekly basis for bible study. And because they were older meant they were in a different season in life and more financially stable. I was a broke post-college girl trying to keep up.
But no one was forcing me to go out on those lunch dates with them. No one forces you to go to the movies, have a shopping spree, buy that car that’s slightly out of your budget, and no one forces you to have an adventure every weekend with your kids.
It wasn’t until after having kids that staying home just seemed easier. Now, I say kids because it took having my second one to really understand. Because hauling around two of everything was starting to get overwhelming! It took having my second child and reading a few books and devotional plans about being a Godly woman to find my motivation to be the homemaker my mom and grandmothers are.
The biggest thing that made me stop in my tracks though was my oldest son.
He told me no! -Big shocker, right? He’s two, of course he tells me no!
One of the several instances of him telling me no
But I remember the day it happened. It was a Friday and I was trying to put his shoes and coat on so we could leave because I had promised someone I would do something for them. He looked me right in the eye and said “No!” Instead of getting frustrated like normal, it dawned on me that every day that week I had dragged my two boys, under the age of three, out of the house! We were barely home and they weren’t getting the time they needed to grow and develop through play and imagination (not to mention, my housekeeping skills were none too impressive).
My schedule consisted of:
Tuesday: Breakfast with my grandparents and then to their house to visit
Wednesday: Tutoring and grocery shopping/run errands
Thursday: Lead Bible Study morning and evening, visit grandparents when picking up boys
Friday: Random errands to get out of the house
Sounds a little full doesn’t it? But now that I had it brought to the forefront of my mind, I could see where a lot of things could be combined to be more efficient with my time AND family.
So, I told that bright two year old that God blessed me with, “Just one more day, Buddy. I promise, mommy will figure something out and it will be better.”
In one of the books I was reading it told me to make a schedule and stick to it. Say no to yourself and everything else, unless the Holy Spirit is guiding you to change courses and say ‘yes’. And with this, I found the beauty in saying no and my schedule is a lot more condensed. Take a look:
Tuesday: Breakfast with my grandparents, Staff meeting at church, Tutoring
Thursday: Lead Bible Study morning and evening, get groceries, run ALL errands, visit grandparents when picking up the boys
Friday: Say no, and stay home
Yes, you read that right. Friday I say no to everyone and stay home. I’ve started to tell everyone that wants to plan something with me on a Friday, “Sorry, that’s my day I stay home with the boys.” But with that ‘sorry’ it’s a ‘sorry if you are disappointed,’ not a ‘sorry’ that riddles me with guilt.
And with that change in our schedule, my boys have been a lot more accepting when we go out. It’s not just random trips that take a few hours in the middle of our day. There is a purpose for each outing and I push it accomplish as much as I can during the time I have.
The ability to say no has changed my house into a home as well. Now, I have planned out time to clean, organize and have a place for everything and everything in it’s place (mostly, I do have two little boys). But because of saying no, I’m creating a place my husband can be proud to say that his wife stays at home and I’m happy that I get to be that wife.
In what ways can you condense your schedule to create a happier life for you and your family? Will using a calendar help you be more efficient with your time? Sometimes having things mapped down to the hour will help you get into a better routine and help with time management. How can you find the beauty in saying no? I’d love to hear from you!