03 February 2011

Managing Your Home and Time Wisely

My Dear Lissy,
Another storm has gone, and we're digging out from about 15" of snow.  We're expecting two more storm systems in the next week, so we'll be getting plenty of exercise!  We're looking forward to dinner with friends and then a missionary speaker from Israel at church tonight.

I wanted to share my philosophy of home management with you today.   Home management in my mind occurs in three dimensions.
2-D management is how you plan your days and work on paper.
3-D management is how you organize your physical space and belongings.
4-D management is how you utilize your time and energy.
These three interlock to create a system of checks and balances so that our home runs smoothly.

The basis of 2-D management is a set of tools that includes a calendar (virtual or paper), a tickler, a weekly plan, and a scheduled to-do list  These require very little discipline or time to create and maintain -- literally minutes a day.  Without them, life becomes  helter-skelter.  The bigger and busier your family, the more you'll depend on each of these tools.  When they are faithfully used, they free up a great deal of time, save substantial amounts of money, and allow you to serve and bless your husband, family, and community.

The basis of 3-D management is the acronym S.P.A.C.E. created by Julie Morgenstern.  SPACE (Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize, Equalize) describes the process of keeping our belongings from overwhelming our homes and lives with clutter.  There is a great deal of discipline, work, and time required to keep your belongings thinned out and in their proper place.  The rewards are time and tranquility, both of which are of great value to our family, as well as the opportunity to bless other families who may have a genuine need for an item that we no longer wear or use.

The basis of 4-D management is routines and that scheduled to-do list.  Routines are lists of tasks that you implement every day or week at about the same time.  While they take discipline to implement, they require very little effort to maintain.   A to-do list should contain one-time tasks (or tasks that repeat very infrequently).  I know a few diligent homemakers who because of their discipline and motivation at the 3-D and 4-D level are able to devote time to providing additional income or ministry opportunities for their families, just as the virtuous woman did in Proverbs 31.

A homemaker is much like a clock.  A clock has dozens of gears spinning in all directions simply to keep the two hands moving in a prescribed rhythm day after day, year after year.  Our families, our communities, our entire society rely heavily on that structure.  Even in places where there is no man-made clock, God has set the sun, moon, and stars to determine the rhythms of life.  God has given us the task of managing our homes under our husband's loving leadership.  We are to provide the structure and order that allows our family to live lives that are glorifying to God.  It is an awesome responsibility, but can often seem (when our faith is small) that we are simply "going around in circles".

Once again I've used up my time.  I have so much I want to share with you!  I'll try to expand on these thoughts in the days and weeks ahead and link those letters back to this one when appropriate.

I love you just because you're you,

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