“She’s drowning! Quick, someone throw her a ________.” People don’t throw a drowning person a brick but something buoyant. Yet, we often hear of moms who are drowning in all they have to do, but then Dad (or Mom) makes decisions that are like a brick, guaranteeing she will not succeed. There are all sorts of “good reasons” why bad decisions are made, but the end result is Mom goes down with a gasp.

Companies do not succeed when their culture is chaos. Their success takes focus, discipline, and eliminating time wasters. Thriving companies make the hard decisions because they want to continue to exist and produce a profit.

In your home, it begins with consistent bedtime/wakeup time. A schedule that is lived and habitual ensures the important things are done every day, and it frees Mom’s mind from a host of ongoing decisions.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).


It’s Honorable

One beautiful morning, I observed Bob, a veteran city worker, driving a gigantic, triple-deck, Toro lawn mower. His mission was to mow a small “island” of grass, edged with curbs and many obstacles. If he made one mistake, he’d either damage the city’s mower, one of the obstacles, or possibly injure himself.

If a mower could ballet dance, this one did. It gracefully flowed—grooming every inch, decks raising and lowering while whirling and twirling around obstacles. Bob was a master with an incredible show.

Chris is a sanitation worker. He “flies” along the streets of Leavenworth perched on a small platform that is just big enough for his feet. Before the truck stops, he launches from his perch grabbing bags of trash from the side of the street. In one smooth movement, he flings them into the gaping, hungry mouth of the trash truck.

Fifty years old and working like a fit twenty-year-old, Chris runs, grabs, throws, runs, grabs, throws, and then once again jumps onto the side of the truck. When I complimented him the Saturday morning he manned the brush dump where I was taking a load, he smiled wide and said, “Ya know. That day you saw me, I threw twenty-four ton.” What a guy!

No matter what you do to provide for your family, give it your all. There isn’t a shortage of jobs, just hardworking people.

I’m not aware of Chris or Bob knowing the Lord Jesus, but this verse would apply greatly to each follower of Christ. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).


Courageous Love Required

It takes courage to be a good leader and be obedient to the Lord. The Lord’s instructions to Saul were very clear, “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Samuel 15:3). It would have been extremely difficult to carry out this command, but the Lord was clear.

Yet Saul disobeyed and blamed his disobedience on those he was called to lead. “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24). Notice a halfhearted confession with no real repentance.

Saul gave a great excuse to say he feared the people  – God didn’t buy it. “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:22-23a).

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). God’s command to fathers is equally clear. Ya think?


Which Group?

Every decision made is based upon value. If you purchase something, having it was worth more than keeping the money. When you eat something, the taste or nutrition is more important than what it cost in money and calories. When time is spent on something, it was of greater value than what you didn’t spend your time on.

For many, TV is an easy choice because they consider it harmless, pleasurable entertainment. Have you wondered if you can ever have enough pleasure? With food, God designed the body to signal that it has had enough. (I know this can be ignored, but God gave it for a purpose.) However, there are no signals sent to limit pleasure so our fleshly appetites crave/covet more and more.

As parents feed their appetites for the pleasure of being entertained, it creates and fuels it in their children. Where is your value – on your pleasure or your children’s future?

“And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14).

For some the thoughts I shared against TV and movies are compelling. They get it, and their life in Christ benefits going forward. For others, they aren’t moved. What is the difference between the groups? Value!

Deborah Claims Her Summer

Here we are, it’s June already. Can I encourage you to have a no-regrets summer? I’m pretty sure I share about this every year (see last June’s get-ready-for summer article).

Real-life testimonies always motivate, so follow Deborah’s summer journal below. 

I am delighted that I actually have the summer schedule in place, and we are using it this early in the summer. Last summer was a huge wash for a variety of reasons, so I am really looking forward to this summer. Deborah

I am beyond excited with our summer schedule. I put in special activities I’d like to do, such as crafts with my daughter, “Funtime with Mom” times with each child individually, and an hour of family activities (bike riding, sitting by the campfire, playing games, taking a walk, etc.) after dinner. Since my son is older, I asked him what he wanted included and was able to find blocks for those activities, as well.

We’re still going to do a bit of homeschooling, but we also have time for outdoor jobs for the children, as well as gardening/canning, and other projects. I am truly hoping that this will finally be the summer I’ve always desired. 🙂 Deborah

Last week was our first week on our summer schedule. The children really seem to like the new schedule, and I am loving the peace and order it is bringing to our home, as well as the way it is allowing me to do those tasks that I desire and feel are important, rather than frittering away the summer.  In just one week, happy memories have been made, work has been accomplished, our house has stayed orderly instead of turning into a mess from chaos, and our standardized testing went smoothly.

In the middle of the week, we had a situation arise that could have wrecked havoc to our schedule, but I was able to say “No” to a request from a friend—something that has always been very difficult for me to do. Although I felt very guilty at the time, I now see the good that came out of it and the great benefit to our family and our week of testing. Deborah

I see how keeping with a consistent schedule this summer has really helped my children, so I want to be able to do the same in the fall. Deborah

I’m still loving our summer schedule. For the longest time, I’ve wanted a craft time with my daughter, but I never got around to it. This summer I have a block twice a week to do crafts with her. Oh, how she looks forward to it! This week, she sweetly called down to me, “Mom, it’s our time together!” Needless to say, I made sure I came right up and worked with her. Currently, I’m teaching her to crochet and she’s so pleased with what she is learning! Deborah

I am so excited about the difference using a schedule made this summer, that I’m already looking ahead to next summer and want to make sure we plan well for the school year, so we can start our summer schedule on time. I only wish I could go back in time and would have used a summer schedule when my oldest was still young. It makes me sad to think of the many lost years, but I am encouraged that we are on the right path now and am glad my children are not yet grown. 🙂 Deborah

I want YOU to experience a summer like Deborah. What an amazing feeling to get to the end of the summer and have no regrets for how you spent your time!

If you need resources to help you reclaim summer with scheduling, putting together a chore system, or planning for the new school has them available.