Absence and Order

Sorry for the long absence.  Honestly, for the last two months or so, I’ve just completely crossed the blog off of my mental list of things to keep track of.

Wherever you are, life is busy.  However, sometimes I feel like living in another country means that “basic living” is another part-time/full-time job.  Then throw in kids, household responsibilities, ministry, and practical correspondence on its multitudes of levels and you’ve filled in every single hour of your day.

I don’t say that to ask for pity or ring my own bell– I’m rather just explaining that some things… many things… I’ve had to cut from my list of things to think about. The blog– as much as I enjoy writing– has been one of those cut things… for the time being.  I’ve read that for a blog to be viable, you need to post 2-3 times a week.

Whelp.  That can’t happen in this season.  But I will post, as theme and energy allow.  🙂

I’ve found a personal strategy for ordering our life so we aren’t swimming in chaos.  I’m not good in chaos.  I feel it’s of the Lord– and He totally does these things.  I feel like He just drops these things in my brain.  It’s happened so many times lately– just the wisdom of the Lord– the creative plan of the Lord will drop into my mind and all the pieces just instantly come together.

A few months ago I wrote down a list of all our responsibilities.  Like, everything.  It was intimidatingly long to us.  Then I tried to start prioritizing them in my mind and figuring out a way to live that reflects those priorities.  There’s so many necessary things pulling in so many directions! But throw in a couple babies and all goes to the wayside.  Something sturdy but flexible was needed.

So I’ve alighted on having scheduled “theme days”.  For example:

Mondays- grocery shopping for the week, family time and household needs

Tuesdays- Rosalyn’s English preschooling done by yours truly during baby’s morning nap

Wednesdays- An extra English preschool day; Ministry needs that have to be addressed and other errands; doctors appointments

Thursdays- Meeting up with Japanese contacts– usually moms

Fridays-  Rosalyn’s Japanese preschool and preparation for Home Fellowship

I’ve given up on the weekends.  They’re nonstop.  This isn’t rigid–it revolves around the kids and their needs.  Sometimes I have to rearrange, but this schedule has really helped bring some order to the ocean of to-dos and people who want or need our time.  And– it’s just what works for us.  I’m not trying to sell it.

 

I keep a list on our refrigerator of major things that need to be worked on after the kids go to bed, etc. There’s usually 1-2 major projects a month that I’m working on.  In the coming months, 3-4 a month– and none of those are negotiable– they just have to get done.

This stuff is just my schedule– it’s not even my husband’s schedule.  I have no idea how he keeps up with it all! His schedule is much more demanding.

Anyway, if you don’t hear from me (or us), that’s what’s going on.  We’d appreciate your prayers.  For wisdom, for energy, for endurance, for more of the Lord’s working in us and the lives around us.  Also, please don’t feel like you shouldn’t drop us a line if the mood strikes you.  Actually, we need to hear from people!  Sometimes it takes us a while to get back.  We (and probably most missionaries) have few people who reciprocate communication, and though we can be late to reply, those emails touch a special part of our hearts.  It might not seem like much to you, but it does mean a lot to us.

Well…  Baby is up for a middle of the night feeding so…  Gotta scoot!

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2 responses to “Absence and Order

  1. ​Janine,

    Thanks for some practical tips on order and chaos. I’m thinking​ it’s time for me to have some order like that, but especially starting with listing out the priorities. I’m a big LIST kind of person, but the problem is, I don’t always keep those little notes where they help me most effectively, or they’re misplaced or forgotten. I’ve thought of doing an actual planner kind of method, but doubted it being any more effective… So, maybe I’ll begin with the listing of things and then see if this sort of daily arrangement might help me.

    Love ya,

    Vonda Briles WIM Receptionist

    On Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 11:32 AM, Mission Japan wrote:

    > nipponalva posted: “Sorry for the long absence. Honestly, for the last > two months or so, I’ve just completely crossed the blog off of my mental > list of things to keep track of. Wherever you are, life is busy. However, > sometimes I feel like living in another country means ” >

    Like

    • Hey Vonda!

      Good to hear from you! 🙂 yeah, I’m a total list person too! But I also lose the papers. Especially grocery lists. And I used to be able to keep mental lists but that ability is rather fallible these days.

      We found an app called planner pro which allows vicente and I to input all our schedule and it’s always synced. I can also write notes on the dates and schedule tasks that alert me. I’m such a geek about it.

      But even that didn’t help me to manage it all in a big picture sort of way. So, this “day” thing works for me for this season. And it helps me to say “no” to people and things, which unfortunately includes the blog for the time being.

      I feel guilty about saying no to people— but there it is. At the same time, I feel empowered knowing that right now, this is what’s best for the family and ministry. And so I can say no, or say “this is the time that I have available”. I have one person I really have to be strict with, or she’d eat my every hour.

      Anyway good luck with your own list and ordering process. What did you do on the field when the kids were younger? Did you have a similar “day” kinda thing? How did you do it too with the kids going to school and then studying their English studies at home? I’m interested how you managed it all. I’m definitely interested in pro tips. 🙂

      Well, Eliana is finished now with her feeding and is asleep in her swing. Praise the Lord for swings.

      It’s back to bed for me!

      Love ya!

      Janine

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Like

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