How does my life look different today than it did before my October diligence revelation and commitment? What does diligence in the home look like for me? Several readers asked me this following my series of homeward diligence posts (more posts on this here, here, and here); this post will answer those questions.
First a reminder: diligence is is not a to-do list or an organizational system. It isn’t legalistic and thus can’t be distilled to daily action items. Rather diligence is a mindset and a heart commitment. It’s Spirit-empowered focus and attentiveness to the tasks God’s put before you – to optimally stewarding your life and all its details. So there’s nothing right or magical about my specific habits in pursuing homeward diligence. They’re things that work for me, allowing me to convert diligence from theoretical to practical. Another mom’s diligence in the home might look entirely different. That by way of disclaimer, to encourage all moms to reject legalism in favor of straight-up faithfulness to God and his call on them, as a lead-in to my list. My personal “Top 8 Things that Foster Homeward Diligence“:
1. Undergirding diligence with Scripture. The two verses that God used to spark diligence in me – through a kick in the butt by the Holy Spirit – were these from Proverbs 31 about the wife of noble character: “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks… She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Verses 17 & 27). I read these verses over from time to time during my morning prayer times, and I whisper them to myself sometimes as I go about my household tasks as a form of active meditation and on-th-go prayer.
2. Investing in the necessary tools to manage my household effectively. Until three months ago, I used my Outlook calendar almost exclusively. Great for my personal and professional lives, bad for centralizing information for family life. My main tool for daily reminders were post-it notes… strewn all over my kitchen. Not optimal. So I thought through the items that would best foster my household management and then purchased them. These included: two white-board calendars (a month-planner and a week-planner) that hang side-by-side in my kitchen; a whiteboard to-do list on my fridge; kitchen step-stools for my preschoolers; two recipe binders with labeled tabs to organize my cooking; craft supply organizers for my pantry cupboard. Total investment about $80, which I overcame my reluctance to spend by meditating on the fact that my heart will reside where my treasure is spent. And also by drawing the parallel to professional life – how effective of a consultant would I be if I used dial-up internet or a typewriter? One must equip oneself for success, whatever the realm of work. And because I acquired the tools after the commitment was firmly in place, they’ve worked wonders. (more…)