The Race is NOT Given to the Swift…

After our three-day weekend, I sat down on Sunday night with our son’s school planner and a very simple plan: wake up early and get a full day’s school in before the older two leave for dance classes and I drive the youngest to her book club meeting at the library.   But I forgot some things.

I forgot that our license tag sticker on the car had expired as of yesterday, and if I did not get it renewed, the oldest and I would drive around on grace probably until Friday.

I forgot that the youngest had a pair of new glasses that failed to arrive before Easter, and so they would surely call this morning for her to be fitted, and of course, I could not wait until this evening because of the book club meeting.

So, after another night of broken rest, I got up at the last minute to drop the oldest off at college and then get the new sticker.   Our son’s job was to get breakfast (cereal) for himself and the youngest and get their school day started.    I LOVE that the kids are old enough now to delegate tasks.

On the way to college, the oldest and I talk about her gum infection, which has kept her from eating for almost a week and still is not completely healed.    We agree that I need to consult with the orthodontist about extending her prescription.

Sure enough, as I am driving to get the sticker, the eye doctor calls; I speak with him briefly, then call our son to tell him that plans have changed.   Tell the youngest to get dressed, and I will swing by the house to pick her up and get to the eye doctor.

As we leave the eye doctor, it hits me that I wanted to buy some roti to carry our son and I through the week with Dad away, but the vendor operates on a cash-only basis, so we have to trek by the bank, which brings me to the next thing I forgot: it is the first of the month.  Grrr…

I spend a minute (literally 45, to be exact) with the younger two at home before jumping in the car to get the oldest from college.   In route, I speak with the orthodontist, who adds a pharmacy trip to the day.   On the way home, cash in hand, the oldest and I get to the roti shop.    I also forgot how many people, including the local schools, take a vacation on the Monday after Easter.   No roti today.

By the time I get home, I am whipped, and it is barely noon.

This glimpse into the morning’s first few hours is a small microcosm of what has been happening in my life for the past few days and weeks.   There is enough going on for me to become quite frustrated.  Yet the Lord continues to show His grace and mercy, and a number of calming thoughts have come in waves to give me peace that passes human understanding.  I don’t always understand why I don’t have even more worries!

A constant theme in my life, and consequently on my blog, is the whole concept of being productive/ planning/ redeeming the time.   It occurs to me as I often ponder how I got here that when you are an educated woman with abilities to do a number of things and do them well, you get pulled in a number of areas.   And on one hand, there is nothing wrong with that–as long as you know when to say “when.”   Here are some other thoughts I have had about my time while on this earth:

Stay focused on purpose.   As Rick Warren states so much more eloquently, just because you can do something does not mean you should.   There are a number of items that compete for my attention.  Some are projects that I genuinely need to make time for, like home maintenance and improvement projects (I dare not list them out).  Some are projects that I enjoy, but just do not have time for right now, like sewing or scrapbooking.   Some items are just fun, like “visiting” around on Facebook–but do I really have the time?   And is this activity furthering my progress or fulfilling my purpose?    Well, yes and no…

Keep the main thing, well, the main thing.   I have overall prorities; I grow increasingly clear on my purpose.   Yet, I also have to submit my schedule to the Lord each day, allowing His wisdom to guide me in what needs to be accomplished on that day.  And though I know some will disagree, it is not always as simple as husband second, children third, etc.  If I went about every day in that order, I would never do anything else, as family is a non-stop ministry.  Plus, it would not allow the children to grow into the necessary self-sufficiency for them to function as young adults.   Some days, laundry is the main thing.  Other days, grades or a writing deadline might be the main thing.  And yes, many days, family is the main thing.

A list is your friend.   When I worked outside of my home, planning the day, complete with A, B, and C priorities,  was a part of my morning, over-coffee routine.  At home, however, I might heat my tea three times before I actually make a list, and then I write items that I have completed and check them off just to give myself a feeling of accomplishment.   Getting up before the kids would be of immense help here, but let’s face it: I have not sprung forward well.  Yet, I have been using my phone for more of its total functionality as a tool, not just a toy. My calendar has each week’s activities loaded, and I am using my “memo” app to keep track of my notes, and–check me out– I even wrote the lion’s share of this blog post with it!!  Yay me!!!

The Scriptures say that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end.   May our wonderful Counselor guide us each day in how to run our races such that others might see us and glorify Him who is in Heaven.

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