ON vs. IN: Getting

Prepare your work outside;

get everything ready for yourself in the field,

and after that build your house.

Proverbs 24:27

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Luke 14:28

Most of us get so caught up working in our lives we don't take the necessary time to work on our lives. Thus, we get distracted, sidetracked, and frustrated when the unexpected creeps up on us. Sure, you take the time to write out your "to-do list" and have a general idea of what your work week looks like, but have you synced it with your home schedule? Have you taken the time to look at what the next quarter, 6 months or year looks like both at home and work? Here is something that Becky and I started doing that is helping us stay on track, focused, on mission and hopefully helping us be more fruitful in ministry, as parents, as neighbors, and be better friends (read: considerate) to each other.

Sync Up:

Becky and I recently took out our Fall Calendars for both work and home and went to work on getting in sync with each other. This proved to be very fruitful as I am a big picture thinker and Becky gets lost in the details. Here is what we did:

Necessary Tools:

  • Calendars (his and hers - it doesn't matter if its a physical or digital calendar)
  • Time (block out at least 45min -1 hour to really focus on getting on the same page)
  • Necessary information including school calendars, work schedules, kids activity schedules, etc. Think of everything.
  • Get in sync! By being specific about working on your life you will be better prepared for the unexpected and establish a rhythm for your family.

    Step 1:

    Establish your time frame. (will you work on a month, a quarter, a year?)

    Step 2:

    Ask Questions:

    Write it all down on both calendars (if you have digital calendars or use mobile or google you can simply synchronize them.)

    • What are the "big rocks" (vacations, other travel, Holidays, big projects at work, etc.)
    • When will we have one day of rest per week (Sabbath)?
    • What is the family dinner schedule?
    • What day of the week is typically the long work day (for me its Wednesdays)?
    • What days of the week do the kids have activities?
    • What is on the school calendar that we should be aware of? (off days, PTA events, performances, games, etc.)
    • When will we have out of town family over for visits?
    • When will we have a family fun day? (one day a week where you intentionally build in family activity time. Our Family Fun Day is on Tuesdays (This week we're doing Taekwondo at the YMCA)
    • When is our date night? (gotta plan it!)
    • Which church service will we consistently attend?
    • What day of the week is the "crazy day" and mom or dad need more help?
    • How does our schedule affect Journey Group?
    • When are we traveling alone, without the kids?
    • Does anything on this calendar affect our budget? If so, how? How should we respond?
    • How often will we review our calendar for changes and updates? (daily, weekly, monthly? We try to do it weekly)

    Step 3

    Make decisions

    • What will we say yes to and no to?
    • Which questions do we not have answers for?
    • What questions do we need to ask that we aren't asking?

    Things to remember:

  • Don't overfill your calendar. If, after this activity you find that you do not have very much margin in your life (space for flexibility, down time, and empty space) you will be over taxing your family and that is unhelpful and you will soon be unfruitful. Remember, this is a great time to decide what you will and will not do over this period of time.
  • Men, your wife will appreciate when you take the time to initiate this activity. It shows her that you value her time just as much as you value your own. It can be a big win for you!
  • Hope this blesses you.

    By His Grace. For His Glory,

    Elvin