Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Wednesday... Why Keep a Planner?

When I was in elementary school I got in trouble for one thing: asking too many questions. :) It's been payback having my own inquisitive children. I thought we hit our peak during the young "why years," but having a teen and a tween now, I hear many "why" questions posed about our life and choices. Don't get me wrong, unless it's just a ruse for staying up when they've been told goodnight, I welcome their "why's" as open doors for times to reflect on life and apply God's truth to how we do our days. As they get older and notice that all families are not just like our family (imagine that!), they want to know what causes us to make the choices we do. And as we try to answer, sometimes I find we have GREAT thinking behind our habits, and sometimes it was a good thing they asked, so that we can re-think our ways.

Some of life's simplest events reveal a lot about what we value. Like ...

  • why DO we have to make our bed every day? (This one took me a long time)
  • why do I make a grocery list and plan a menu?
  • why do Jeff and I go to bed together?
  • why do we sit down at the table for dinner as often as we can?
  • why do we buckle our seat belts?
  • why do we check a movie review before we go see it?
  • why do we carry our Bibles to church each week?
  • why do we take cookies to the new neighbor?

So much of what we do it shaped by our life's history, by our family, the culture we grew up in (wow I learned this in ministering in other countries), and our faith. I like to think my habits are driven by God's Word, but sometimes I stop and think and realize they can be driven by .... me. Like "close all the blinds when it gets dark, so the neighbors don't watch us" :) ..... That one's just me.

So I thought it would be fun to take some Wednesdays to ask some "why" questions. Questions other women have asked me, some from my kids, and some of my own. Today, since we've just started a new year: "Why do you keep a planner?"

I have been keeping a planner for over 25 years. Oh, my goodness, I'm almost embarrassed to say that. I think it qualifies me for therapy of some sort or at least a day at a spa. I started keeping a planner when I began to really grow spiritually in high school. God showed me my time is His and my life is short, so I need to make the most of the time He gives me. I was so impacted by Jerry Bridges' Pursuit of Holiness and wanted God to steer the minutes of my days to produce holy habits and purposeful living.

I have always used either a free (thanks Dad!) planner or a very inexpensive one with no frills (usually Wal-Mart), but the style makes little difference. Beach scenes just distract me and make me want to lay in the sun in the sand, so THAT's not productive. My planner is not a taskmaster, but a tool to strategize letting God take over my time, instead of letting circumstances take over my time.

I find these words from James so profound, & believe them to be true:

James 4:14

14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

If the time I am given is that precious, I want to carefully plan how I will use it, knowing God will divinely intervene at any time my plans don't match His. And that's why I use a planner.

What works for you? And is there a "Why" you would like to hear about? If I just wait, I know someone around here will ask, and I'll let you know what they say. ;)

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Oh yes - I love my planner too and can't live without it!!!

I've had to try quite a few and tweak it to find the one that works for me.

I love to have all my future plans and dates to remember out of my brain and onto the calendar so I can be free and not have any clutter in my brain. Happy Planning!


Chaos Cottage said...

I love day planners coz I'm a planner at heart. I began using one when I was a state employee and we were given a Franklin day planner and given training to know how to use it. Can you believe it? Yep, and that training has stayed with me.

I worked full time and went to school full time to get my degree and that day planner really came in handy at helping me to remember projects, study dates, etc.

Now as a homemaker, it helps me keep track of Robyn's schedule, Robert's schedule, my schedule, menus, birthdays, and such. I don't agree to anything without checking my planner first.


Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Amen, girls. Courtney, I feel the same way ... putting something on my planner gives me the freedom to "let it go" in my brain and not take up precious space. :) And I LOVE that you were TRAINED to use yours, Pam. You have to tell me what wisdom you have. It IS such a help as a keeper of the home, and I am like you ... before I agree to anything, I check the planner.

Melanie said...

I've really enjoyed your blog, especially your marriage post of course! And I'll definitely look forward to returning and referring ladies to you! blessings!