Do More Better | Roles, Responsibilities & Mission Statements

Do More Better is a practical  guide to productivity. The author, Tim Challies, moves you through a set of exercises to help you learn to do more better.  On his website he supplies a productivity worksheet to aid in the task of defining your roles and then your responsibilities within those roles and lastly creating brief mission statements for each of those roles. This post is the outworking of that worksheet in my life. It has been awhile since I have defined these roles and mission statements. I found the exercise very beneficial and know I will return to it as I move throughout my life.

 

Roles, Responsibilities & Mission Statements 

 

…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

 

Personal

Spiritual: Bible, Devotions, Church, Worship, Prayer

Cultivate: Reading widely, Writing to process my thoughts, Listening to podcasts

Creating: Creating beauty through photography, organizing to claim the chaos, arts & crafts

Relationships: Invest and maintain the friendships God has given me

Physical: Rest, exercise, & outdoor time in God’s creation

To pursue God by cultivating my mind, heart and soul. Tending to my soul through participating in the means of grace. Nurturing my mind and heart by reading, writing and listening. Cultivating truth, goodness and beauty around me through creating. Loving my neighbor and resting in the finished work of Jesus.

 

Family

Relationship with my husband, children and extended family.

To bring glory to God by loving my family as I do myself. By investing time in them and with them and cultivating a relationship  built on the kingdom of God.

 

Home Management

All things pertaining to the running of the home. Paying bills, cooking meals, keeping order

To provide a sanctuary for my family and friends by keeping the daily operations running smoothly so that others can rest and rejoice in Jesus.

 

Home Education

All things pertaining to my children’s education. Casting a vision yearly, planning and ordering curriculum, planning weekly/daily lesson plans, execution of the lesson plans

To point my children to Jesus through the means and method of home education.

 

Church Member

Be a Titus 2 woman, who opens her home so relationships can be nurtured. Teaching children on Wednesday nights.

To love God by loving and serving my neighbor through teaching, relationships and hospitality.

 

Classical Conversations

Record keeping, outreach, training, bookwork/computer work, training, discipleship & encouragement of tutors and families, practicum.

To serve homeschool families in SWMO by walking along side of, encouraging , equipping and administrating our local Classical Conversations community so that we can pursue the mission of knowing God and making Him known.

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Self Care, Crazy Busy, Productivity & The Truth

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I’ve been on a reading binge this year, knocking out a few books that have peaked my interest in recent years. One reading priority I made toward the beginning of the year was to read a few books on productivity and time management.  As I have mentioned time and time again one of my biggest struggles is self discipline. It’s not that I don’t get things done it is more that I often feel overwhelmed as I am getting those things done. So I set out to read a few books that might aid in my endeavor to be less overwhelmed and more disciplined. While I cannot wait to share about the books themselves, this post is more about my response to the reading of these books in general.

So far I have finished The Fringe Hours and Crazy Busy. I am working my way through Do More Better. The Fringe Hours is really about making time to take care of yourself and do things that you love so you can be better at what you are called to do. Jessica Turner encourages readers to find what fills them up. That may be a book club, craft project, dinner out with friends, taking a nap or anything of the sort.  The focus is very much centered on taking care of you. It is a self care book after all. Crazy Busy dives into the problem of busyness and some reasons we are busy. Kevin DeYoung really focuses on diagnosing the busyness so we can better deal with the busyness. Do More Better is doing what the subtitle claims to do, it is a practical guide to productivity. Tim Challies practically walks the reader through how to figure out what you are suppose to be doing and doing more better.

All three of these books have blessed me in some way and challenged me in others. As I am walking through Do More Better after reading the other two books I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Let me explain, Challies has the reader list their responsibilities, roles and to create mission statements for each role. I have been working through this over the course of a few days. As I was typing this up for my benefit I was struck by the reality that there is NO way I can do all that I am responsible for. ABSOLUTELY, NO WAY.  I looked at the list and was struck by the reality that I was suppose to take care of myself, cultivate relationships within my four walls and outside of my four walls, manage my household, educate my children,  and serve our local homeschool community. This exercise also showed me all the things I’m not doing that I should be doing.   My natural inclination is to throw my hands up and run for my bed so I can pull the covers up over my head and pretend life is easy and there is no balancing act that is required. I often opt for blissful ignorance. But, by the grace of God, He shined light into what was about to become very dark.

 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

 

Truth is what dispelled the darkness that was seeping into my mind. I am thankful that when we spend time in the Word we are making deposits into a deep well that we can draw from when we are weary. My flesh and the world wanted me to believe that I wasn’t enough and couldn’t measure up. Truth told me that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and I was reminded that my identity was not found in what I was doing or was not doing but in Jesus Christ alone.  When my flesh said “I cannot do this, I am not enough” Truth told me that I wasn’t suppose to be enough and my boast can only be found in my weakness because that is when Christ is made strong.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) After coming to the realization of who I am in Christ and that a weak vessel is what we are called to be I still wondered how I was going to get it all done. Again, Truth spoke life into my soul reminding me that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

As I saved the document I was working on my heart was full. It was full because the Holy Spirit breathed life into my dry bones. Self care, curbing busyness and productivity are all worthy endeavors within their right place.  As I prayerfully move forward seeking to honor God with my endeavors and time, peace has quieted my anxious heart. That peace is found in knowing that God is working and I am a long for the ride. I am trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to continue to convict and change me so that my productivity is measured not by what I get done but on WHO I am getting it done for.

Women of The Word | Going Deeper

… a human mind is nurtured over time with hard work and discipline. – The Awakening of Miss Prim page 54.

Discipline is something I have have battled, no, been at war with since I left the halls of my hometown high school. I have struggled to be on a consistent schedule since life was planned out for me. This has been especially true when it comes to studying the Bible. Over the years I have sat through Bible classes, started countless reading plans, participated and led numerous Bible studies only to be waylaid by life. Something came up or the bible study ended.
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//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI recently finished Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word and walked away changed. I rarely finish a non-fiction book, usually, I drag my feet kicking and screaming all the way to the last page, but once I started this book I completed it in an afternoon. I sat the book down feeling admonished, corrected and equipped with a deep hunger to study my Bible. To truly love God more by knowing Him better. The whole premise of the book is “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know,” (page 31). If we truly desire to love God we must KNOW Him and we cannot do that apart from His word. Here is a favorite excerpt,

The answer lies in knowing God, in loving him with our minds. Never has the phrase “to know him is to love him” been more true. As we grow in the knowledge of God’s character through the study of his Word, we  cannot help but grow into an exponentially deeper love for him. This explains why Romans 12:2 says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We come to understand who God is, and we are changed — our affections detach from lesser things and attach to him. If we want to feel a deeper love for God, we must learn to see him more clearly for who he is. If we want to feel deeply about God, we must learn to think deeply about God. – Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word, page 33

The challenge to love God with our mind is one God has been calling me to and after reading Women of the Word I feel equipped to tackle that challenge one day at a time. Jen lays out 5 P’s to study God’s word. She calls women everywhere to study with purpose, perspective, patience, process, and prayer. She provides helpful tips on how to dig into God’s word, what resources to use, and how to get started. After completing the book and spending some time reading through a few of the Epistle’s of Paul I decided to study Colossians. I have a burden to see my children better equipped than I was to study the Bible. My daughter is looking forward to studying along side me as we learn more about God. I am looking forward to learning more about God by digging into His word and coming away changed. september2015_0015ed

Linking up with Intentional At Home @ Creative Home Keeper

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What We Read | August Edition

In the past year I have learned the importance of reading aloud and reading widely. Thanks mostly to the amazing Read Aloud Revival podcast. I confess, reading aloud is not something I enjoyed at first. However, read aloud time has become one of my favorite things we do throughout the day. When I was looking at what we wrapped up in the month of August I was impressed with how much we read this month. This list includes read alouds, independent reads and audio books.

Read Alouds:

  • The Hundred Dresses
  • Homer Price
  • Mary Slessor
  • Little Pear

Independent Reads: (this is assigned reading and free reading)

  • Treasure
  • Pumpkin
  • Clara & The Book Wagon
  • Flat Stanley
  • Pompeii, Buried Alive
  • Owl at Home
  • Abbie Keep the Lights Burning
  • Prairie School
  • Arthur and the Poetry Contest
  • Titanic Lost & Found

Audio Books:

  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
  • James and The Giant Peach
  • Magic Finger
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Crocodile

My Books: (my list includes reads from June-August)

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
  • An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher Perrin
  • The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

My Favorite Homeschool Books

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I love books! I am a self confessed nerd remember. 🙂 That being said I wanted to share a few of my favorite books about home education.

These are the more practical, how-to books:

  • Honey For A Child’s Heart – I have skimmed the first portion of this book and often return to the book lists in the back when I am looking for quality literature to read to my children. I love her selection of picture books and authors! If your building your children’s library this is a great place to start.
  • The Well-Trained Mind – I treat this book as a resource. I don’t read it cover to cover but only what pertains to me in season. This was the first book on classical education I ever read. It caused me to LOVE classical education but feel very overwhelmed with the “how” of classical education.
  • The Core – This book took what I loved about classical education and made it accessible to me. Essentially in this book, the author, Leigh Bortins took the cookie jar off the top shelf for me! When something isn’t working well at home I pick this up and see what I can do differently or better.
  • Classical Education Made Approachable – I love the brevity of this book as a basic introduction to classical education and Classical Conversations.
  • Teaching the Trivium – I treat this book a lot like I treat The Well-Trained Mind, as a resource. However I LOVE the section titled Ten Things To Do With Your Child Before Age Ten. I think it is a great jumping off point. Wanna know what is awesome, you can read it and download a pdf of that section by clicking here!
  • An Introduction to Classical Education – I am working my way through this little pamphlet. It is a shot accessible booklet on classical education for any parent wanting to better understand classical education. The best part, you can download the complete PDF here.

These are the more thought-provoking,  why books:

  • An Echo in Celebration – This was the first book on education that I read when we started homeschooling. It is a short, encouraging read. It is a great place for anyone to start. Greatest part about it, you can download it NOW and read it for FREE! Your welcome!
  • The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling – I picked this gem up at a local homeschool convention after listening to the author speak. I think the education part of homeschooling is fun… to me, the relationship part is the hardest. This book has convicted, encouraged and equipped me as much as any other parenting book I have ever read.
  • Teaching From Rest – I haven’t yet read the newest print version of the book but the original was a great encouragement to this mom who was a bit weary. I am looking forward to carving out time to read the expanded print version.

Books I am currently working through or are in the to be read pile that are worthy of a look:

  • For the Children’s Sake –  I am enjoying this book after hearing so many recommendations. I know people who read this every summer to be refreshed and reminded of “why” they choose to educate their children at home.
  • A Charlotte Mason Companion – I have been intrigued by Charlotte Mason’s methods for awhile but cannot devote the time to read Charlotte herself. I can see the beauty in a Charlotte Mason education but cannot say I agree fully with all her methods. This book has been helpful to me as I seek to integrate classical and Charlotte Mason methods.
  • Awakening Wonder – This is in the to read pile. I was sucked into the title, Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
  • The Classical Reader – I am a sucker for a really good reading list. This book is just that!
  • Educating the WholeHearted Child – This book gets rave reviews from so many people. I have worked through portions of the book and been blessed. I can’t seem to get all the way through it but I wouldn’t blame the book but rather my preference for fiction. 🙂
  • Consider This – Also in the to be read pile because of it’s title, Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition.

These books are the ones that have blessed me and the ones I most recommend. What other books have you found useful in equipping and encouraging you as you educate your children.

What I am reading…

I love to read but life often keeps me from cracking a book and actually seeing the final page. I am notorious for starting books but not finishing them. Within arms reach are 5 books I am “currently” working on… or not!  One of my desires is to spend more time reading. I am attempting to read many of the books I never read in school and also those books that come highly recommended from fellow book lovers.

With that being said the two books I am currently committing to read cover to cover are Home by Marilynne Robinson and For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaffer Macaulay.

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One of my book loving friends suggested Gilead by Marilynne Robinson years ago and I read it and honestly did not love it…. or like it very much at all. However I did finish it which says something. Honestly, I think I lacked maturity to truly grasp the beauty of Gilead. After spending time with the same bibliophile she suggested trying Home. Same story, different perspective.

Friends have described Susan Schaffer Macaulay’s book For The Children’s Sake as transformative and inspiring. I have heard of people reading this book every summer as a balm for their soul. I am looking forward to a thought provoking book on education as I am praying and preparing for the upcoming school year.

Ever read either of these books? What are you reading?

What I am reading…

I love to read but life often keeps me from cracking a book and actually seeing the final page. I am notorious for starting books but not finishing them. Within arms reach are 5 books I am “currently” working on… or not!  One of my desires is to spend more time reading. I am attempting to read many of the books I never read in school and also those books that come highly recommended from fellow book lovers.

With that being said the two books I am currently committing to read cover to cover are Home by Marilynne Robinson and For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaffer Macaulay.

One of my book loving friends suggested Gilead by Marilynne Robinson years ago and I read it and honestly did not love it…. or like it very much at all. However I did finish it which says something. Honestly, I think I lacked maturity to truly grasp the beauty of Gilead. After spending time with the same bibliophile she suggested trying Home. Same story, different perspective.

Friends have described Susan Schaffer Macaulay’s book For The Children’s Sake as transformative and inspiring. I have heard of people reading this book every summer as a balm for their soul. I am looking forward to a thought provoking book on education as I am praying and preparing for the upcoming school year.

Ever read either of these books? What are you reading?

Light out of Darkness

Like most people I love a good story. There is something a story does deep in our soul that nothing else can touch. Homeschooling has given me the opportunity to reclaim my education as I am educating my children. I am attempting to catch up on all the great literature, especially children’s literature, that I did not read as a child. I recently finished The Wing Feather Saga by Andrew Peterson. While not a classic, this beautifully written series stopped me in my tracks on a number of occasions due to the deep truth that was conveyed. This is one quote in particular caused me to marvel about the goodness of God and stand in awe of His plan to send a light into a dark world.

Artham is speaking to the dragons, who are one of the oldest created beings,

“Of all creatures, you should know that the darkness is seldom complete, and even when it is, the pinprick of light is not long in coming — and finer for the great shroud that surrounds it.”

North! Or Be Eaten, page 311

What hope this should bring to those who have trusted in Christ. I know it can often feel like the darkness or worldliness have overcome but there is always a pinprick of light and it truly is finer, brighter because of the shroud around it. 

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Have you ever been in a room that is completely dark but yet there is one stream of light you just cannot keep out? That stream of light illuminates the rest of the room, just like the Light of the World who will bring the darkness to light.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the
light of life.”

– John 8:12