Has someone ever asked you this before? This question is usually unspoken; one that can almost be felt. Or, perhaps someone has said this in a statement about you: “I don’t know how she does it.” Whatever your “it” is, people make comments like this because they are amazed at what you accomplishing.
The Joshua Ormsby household accomplishes a lot. I have been an organized planner for as long as I can remember, and it is something that I am constantly working on becoming better at. (Yes, enter nerd-status.) This summer more than one person made the “how does she do it” compliment about me, and hearing it sparked this blogpost. Granted, I am writing this in a time that I’ve actually had to cut a few things out of life due to some health struggles…nonetheless, maybe this will help someone realize how they can better do their “it”.
Accomplishing much well is largely about perspective. Without God, nothing happens. The fact that I am able to do so much is not to my glory, but to His. Without Him, I would be a huge mess. The fact that certain things aren’t optional – like church and family time – are also stamped deep within my person. By having safeguards like this around my life, I automatically block out things that would take away from the most important thing: to glorify God in all I do.
I don’t focus on me – my hobbies or my dreams…I often deny myself. This is not a point to be pitied – this is a point to be pondered. As a Christian, wife, and mom, my life is not my own. My priority is always others. This perspective also helps me pause to enjoy the spontaneous moments of life, especially those my sweet babies bring about. Going “off schedule” for a few minutes is actually a good way to stay on track with the life God has called you to.
Organization is key…organization of time, belongings, schedule, money, commitments, etc. Lack of organization always leaves me feeling frazzled. The important thing with organizing is to find what works for you. There are hundreds of “how to organize” blogposts out there, and I enjoy reading other people’s ways of organizing…but in the end, I’ve learned not to feel down about myself because I can’t make so-and-so’s way of life work for me. God simply wants me to be the best Lois Ormsby that I can be, and nothing more than that!
Daily time with God is essential for a successful day. That should be common sense for a Christian – but common sense isn’t so common in our world anymore! I also write EVERYTHING down. If not, I will forget it. They say that you remember things much better when you physically write them down (typing it on your phone doesn’t count 😉 ). All of my little notes to self are kept in one place…for me, this is in my planner. Everything that has to do with our family and our schedule is in that planner. I even have random lists in it like “Pending Gifts” or “Specific 2018 Prayers”. Multiple books don’t work well for me, but maybe it does for you!
Keeping my word is a huge part of “how does she do it”. If I commit to something, I am going to do it (unless something like health demands I cancel). Canceling on people for my own convenience is not an option. To do so is lazy and speaks of a lack of integrity. Sometimes, though, I put too much on my plate (though this doesn’t happen very often anymore! God has taught me so much!), and I am willing to ask for help. Sometimes it is overwhelming to know the right time to ask for help…but this is something I am growing in.
Doing a little every day of many things helps me accomplish much more in the long-run. Instead of waiting until the deadline to complete a task, I try very hard to keep it in mind weeks beforehand and chip away at whatever it is. I don’t cram a day, if we can help it. Planning to use every last minute in a day only leaves me feeling defeated, annoyed with my husband who unknowingly cramps my to-do list, and makes me a miserable person who is always feeling behind. Unscheduled time in life is essential to make the scheduled times go smoothly.
Let the tears of frustration out. When hurricane Irma came through our area last year, I was 10 weeks pregnant and sick as a dog. Quite literally. The day after Irma I knew I needed to go to the ER, but I didn’t want to. I was so tired of everything being such an ordeal. Letting the tears flow helped me feel better about the right decision to go to the ER.
Remembering that routines are for a reason keeps me focused. The older Malachi gets, the more I realize that he thrives on routine, and really – we all do. Routine provides an emotional stability and security that is healthy for the home. I see that all four of us function way better when we have a relatively routine week as opposed to a week that is overcrowded.
Today’s society is going to tell you that you can do it; that you can keep up a crazy schedule because everyone does, that you don’t need to keep spiritual things a priority because God understands, and that what you want is the most important thing and should be chased after with whatever sacrifice necessary. I encourage you to step back, however, and look at your life. What is going to matter for eternity? This one question will help you organize your life into a schedule that glorifies God, exhorts others, and satisfies your soul.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14