I can’t believe it. I really did leave God off my list. After working on this post for a few days, I went back to my first post in the Designing My Day series where I shared what was upcoming first to re-read last week’s thoughts. Sure enough, this post was missing from the list. Don’t we do that in our own planning? We get focused on what we’d like to accomplish and leave God out of the plan! (The post has since been corrected.)
From Psalm 127, we know that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” So, while I am working so hard to organize my home and design my days, I try to continually be seeking what the Lord wants from me. Whatever I accomplish in my day is for nothing if I am ignoring what God would want from me. If I teach a child to read or how to multiply, but I never show them how to show love to others or care for those around us, what did I teach them? As a follower of Christ, I want to make sure that I don’t go about planning my day without thinking about God and what He would have me do. If I say I’m a Christian but give no thought to the Lord, I’m certainly not acting like it.
Instead of laboring in vain, here are a few things I try to do to design my day with God in mind:
- I read my Bible and pray as part of my daily morning routine. Days are nicer with my start including the Lord, and He continues to work in me to teach me what I should do for Him. Some days, this gets pushed back because of sick kids or a slow-moving mommy, but I try to take time to read God’s Word before too much of the day gets by.
- The kids and I have devotions together in the mornings (usually 3 or 4 times a week) using picture-ponder-pray (an idea I got from my friend at Classical Conversations At Home). This is probably one of my favorite activities with my children. There is nothing sweeter to me than hearing my children’s prayers and spending time with them talking about God’s Word. My tendency is to want to “just get done” with devotions so we can “start our school day” and yet, this is far more valuable. My version of picture-ponder-pray is 2nd hand and tweaked to fit our family so I’m not sure what I do is anything like the “original” idea.
- Other than our CC memory work, we listen to Christian music in the house and van. This helps me to be thinking about the Lord instead of other things.
- We try to keep Saturday evenings less busy to make Sunday mornings and attending the chapel go more smoothly. I also plan time on Saturday evenings to get clothing laid out, a breakfast planned, and supplies gathered to make Sunday morning departure easier. My schedule on Wednesday afternoons is pretty free as well so that we have a greater chance at success in attending our chapel’s Wednesday night meeting. If God’s a priority for me, then wanting to be with His people and worship Him as part of the local body should also be a priority. (Of course, with lots of illness in the family, sometimes protecting the local body from illness and keeping our germs to ourselves takes precedence.)
- We hang up Bible verses around the house: some as nice decorations and some as little post-it-notes. Walking down the stairs and seeing “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” really does help my attitude.
Those are all little ideas about designing my day with God in mind. Ultimately though, what I really need to do is to not allow my plans to trump His! I try to seek His plan for my day when I’m sitting down to make my goals for the day. If God has a different plan in mind, I want to be flexible and willing to give up my plans for the day.
How does this play out practically?
If my plans involve running 15 errands or some other activity, but a friend needs some help with childcare, then we scrap our other plans. I want to model for my children practical ways we can be a help to others and help with childcare is one of the easiest ways for me to do this. (Obviously not everything can be scrapped, but this is one reason we don’t have a ton of regular commitments in our schedule.)
Another way this plays out is when something comes up in our family that should be taken care of right away. Literally, one day at picture-ponder-pray, one child started asking great questions about salvation. Instead of “sticking to my schedule” of quickly finishing up and getting onto “real” schoolwork, I postponed my plans in place of sharing the gospel with one of my children. In fact, the other kiddos got a little bonus playtime while I had some sweet conversation with a little one. I think God’s plan was way better than mine!
By no means do I do any of this perfectly, but thankfully God is not finished working on me yet!
How do you design your day with God in mind?