Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rocks vs. Pebbles

You might have seen the illustration about putting the big rocks in the jar before you pour the pebbles in. If you pour the pebbles in first, the big rocks won't fit, overflowing out of the top of the jar. That's exactly how it is with life. If we don't commit to putting the major things into our day (time with God, investing in our families, etc.), we will be constantly chasing the small things (practices, matching stray socks) and may miss what is most important to us.

For many moms, our time is taken from us by the demands of school, extracurricular activities (ball games and music lessons), church commitments, or a job commitment, not to mention all the responsibilities a home and family bring. For single moms, your time is stretched even further, beyond your limit at times. There are more books and articles on the subject of balancing our time than there are jelly beans in a "guessing jar." But why are we trying to keep all the plates spinning at the same time? Even the trained circus performers who spend hours trying to keep the plates balanced allow one to drop on occasion!

What plates are you balancing? The beginning of a new school year is a great time to set some goals and be intentional about what we spend our time on.

Lord, Thank You for watching over my family as we go through our day. Some days are so full that I feel like we didn't live them--we endured them. Help us learn how to rest in You and enjoy our days. When we are home, Father, help us to really be together. It will be something only You can do, but lease, Lord, help me to see my children's faces before I see the mess. Trim our schedule as You see fit, Lord. Give me wisdom to see things the way You would. Learning to rest...Amen.

Now it is your turn to chime in. What are some ideas that work for your family to spend time together? Any tips to get house work done to have time for some fun? How about keeping the family schedule within livable limits?

adapted from Laurie and Sharon's book Mom...and Loving It!


  1. I just brought up the rocks n' pebbles thing last week! What a great illustration for remembering to schedule the important tasks first. :)

    We do our best to be loyal to a Family Fun Night on Friday nights. We play games, we go to the park, we go bowling, etc. We do SOMETHING together as a family. Sometimes the kids may sleep over somewhere or have someone sleep over at our house, but not very often.

    We do a little housework each day so we don't end up having a 'whole' day of cleaning to do on Saturdays. has been very helpful to me for getting a system of organization for cleaning what and when so I don't feel the whole house has to always be perfect (and then not doing anything because I'm overwhelmed).

    To keep the family schedule within livable limits I try not to fill more than 1-2 'time slots' a day (meaning morning, afternoon and evening). I stay at home with our 2 yr old during the day and our 8 yr old and 10 yr old may have activities in the evening. I do my best to either not schedule anything on the days we have evening activities or not schedule two time slots back-to-back (ex: do morning and evening if I have to do 2, but do afternoon if I'm only doing 1 timeslot).

    I guess I need to write more about this on my own blog as I've gotten quite wordy!! Sorry.

    But thanks again for the great post!!


  2. Laundry seems to be a monster at my house. When I'm looking at the week's schedule, I plan my laundry day(s)--one week I wash Wednesday and the next week Monday and Friday--then I plan the rest of my cleaning, shopping, errands around that. It seems to help a lot. (I just couldn't stand the thought of washing 2 days a week every week, but once a week made it too monstrous!)

    My husband works at a school. Sometimes our family time is spent at ballgames that he has to go to for work. We have a good time in the car traveling together. As our kids get older, our schedule gets crazier, so we take what we can get!