This post is by Amy Mykytiuk.
Eleven years ago, I took on one of the most daunting tasks of my life, homeschooling. In a desperate search for guidance, I found a book by Marilyn Rocket, Homeschooling At the Speed of Life. My oldest son was seven, and up until this point in my parenting adventure, planning was not a priority. With four little ones at home, planning felt more like an impossibility.
Rocket’s advice on time management changed the way I viewed my daily schedule. She said,“You cannot manage, organize, save, nor spend time. Managing time is God’s responsibility. Your only true option is to use time wisely through yielding to the Holy Spirit.”
Through all those early days as a stay-at-home-mom, I felt like a failure. I would make lists and hang them on my refrigerator, hoping to cross out a few activities so that I could prove I did something throughout the day. If I had a list of accomplishments, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad about myself as a homemaker with piles of laundry, a sink full of dirty dishes, and a floor carpeted with Legos and Hot Wheels.
The truth is that in those early years, the majority of my time was spent rocking, nursing, cuddling and playing, picking up toys, teaching, refereeing, correcting, and chasing down those babies, none of which I regret for one minute. However, because there were so few tangible results day to day, I often thought of myself as lazy rather than productive, and especially lousy with time management.
Rocket’s advice gave me a different perspective. My responsibility isn’t to create a fool-proof plan and manage my time precisely without any hiccups. My responsibility is to make a plan with the leading of the Holy Spirit, then continue to submit as I carry out that plan, knowing He could change it according to His will because He knows things I don’t.
That’s what I love most about Psalm 143:8. David doesn’t wake looking for guidance from his to-do list. “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love…” David turns his attention toward God the Father.
“…I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
After the to-do list is made, and the plan is set, do I trust in the Holy Spirit to lead me? Do I place that plan in His hands and follow Him, wherever He leads, even if it means throwing that list out the window?
Not all days go as planned, and we can feel thrown off course by a sick kid, a friend that needs a listening ear, or a flat tire along our commute. Those are the moments that our faith is put to the test and, as my good friend Joyce says, that’s when we are given the opportunity to prove that what we believe is true.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).
When my husband and I were engaged, we taught a Bible Club for kids once a week, an hour away. One Wednesday, we were late, so we prayed God would help us to arrive on time; we had no clue how God would answer that prayer.
Along the way, a car was broken down on the side of the interstate and Jay said, “God wants us to help this family.” We allowed the Holy Spirit to lead on that evening, even though it seemed to be the most irresponsible choice.
We followed the couple safely to the mechanic, then continued on our way, knowing we would arrive well after classes began. Our belief was proven false as we pulled into the parking lot with minutes to spare! It was as if God had stopped time so that we could be obedient to His plans and time management.
That is the prayer of Psalm 143:8. Let us never become so rigid that we leave the Manager of Time out of our plans and ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit, forgetting to make ourselves submissive to entrust our life to Him.
Amy resides in Ulysses Kansas where her husband, Jay, serves as pastor. She spends her days homeschooling four of their five children that still live at home and serving alongside her husband as the ministry assistant for their church. Amy received her BA in religion at Wayland Baptist University and is the author of Send Help.. and Coffee: A Shot of Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. She has done freelance writing and has edited multiple books. In addition to writing history and English lessons, Bible studies, a few fiction novels, and the occasional blog post, one of her great passions is speaking to youth groups at special events, or anyone that will listen for that matter, whether it is sharing her testimony of God’s miracles, or teaching God’s Word. You can find her latest musings at www.aftertherain407.home.blog.
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
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