As my life has gotten busier, I’ve had to really prioritize what to do, when to do it, and how to get it all done.
I cook dinner for my church Wednesday nights. A couple of weeks ago, a working grandmother who is raising her grandchildren said to me, as she was eating homemade bread with her home cooked meal, and we were discussing my upcoming speech to our women’s group, “I don’t know how you do it all.”
I had an immediate knee-jerk thought of, “I don’t really do that much,” but the words never really made it past my lips. Because, I really have a lot on my plate. So, the answer to her, “I don’t really know how you do it all,” is simply this: organization, delegation, and understanding limits.
It’s been just over 2 years since I started publishing. As I type this, I finished my 8th fiction work today (yay!) and have also put out 3 cookbooks. I’ve opened the door to my public speaking this year, and am traveling two or three weeks a month through November. I have 3 children and a husband who, despite everything else, are a top priority to me.
When my schedule first started getting so busy, Gregg and I looked at our lifestyle and determined what we were willing to sacrifice and in what areas we would be willing to compromise. We would not compromise with food – our home would stay whole food, real food. We would not compromise with God – our home would stay Christ-centered, and church, service, and giving would remain a priority. Our family time/marriage time would not be compromised – date nights, family nights, meals together would remain a priority.
Once we established our boundaries, it became easier to see what could be compromised. Here is how I’ve done it to date:
- I have housekeepers who come in and clean my house. I tried maintaining it, and discovered that I just let it go and let it go. I cannot explain to you the relief in coming home on Friday afternoons to a deep cleaned house.
- I take the ironing to a dry cleaners. I started doing this when my laundry pile was hours of work high, and Gregg faced a Monday morning with only wrinkled clothes as an option. I wash the clothes. I fold and put away all of the laundry except the clothes that need to be ironed – they get taken to a dry cleaners and get pressed. Once a week, I take a stack and exchange wrinkled for pressed.
- I have a lawn company come and mow my yard.
- I will not have a garden this year.
- My work day ceases at 3PM and there is no exception to that. I take Sundays off of the computer, and there are very few exceptions to that.
- We’ve hired a professional to give Hallee the Homemaker a facelift and help maintain a really amazing and functional blog (SO looking forward to unveiling that to you!)
This is what works for us. It’s crazy how little I dread laundry (which has never been my favorite chore) now that I don’t have to iron. Maybe my issue has been with ironing and not with laundry!
Sometimes, a part of me wonders why I’ve loaded my life down in this way. Where did the homeschooling homemaker go who is now writing books and public speaking? I know God had this planned for me, and for now I’m just doing His will and learning how to juggle my life around it. I’m loving it – it’s been an amazing journey. But it definitely took some changes in the way I think and the way I do things.
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