Before you buy your new planner...


"God has given us adequate time to do what we are called to do." 
~ Jeff Cavins

For some of us homeschoolers, this is "anxiety month"... the time when we are suddenly faced with our end of the year review (self-inflicted, of course) while simultaneously being thrown into feverish planning for next year.

I hover over a blank calendar. It has been blank for weeks while events and items float around it. One of these days I will have the courage to begin in earnest but meanwhile, I bend under the self-inflicted torture...

"Next year" begins in 4 months.
My district notification papers for 5 children are already due in August (only 3 months away).
I'm having a baby in July (2 months away).
We are going to be living up Summer in June with about 16 fun, planning-intensive things to do every day (next month).
We have 3 rooms to paint, stain, and finish by next month.
The baby things are still in the attic.
I can't find the Christening gown anywhere.
Summer sports.
Family gatherings.
Cookie needs a haircut.
I need to make curtains for prominent windows.
Road trip planning.
Potty training.
"Urgent" emails are piling up.
What on earth am I going to make for dinner?
It's already May... the month that we are supposed to be assessing and getting ready to relax.
All I really want to do is lay down and read a book.

I made my book order lists lasts week and, after I recovered from sticker shock, began researching used materials. I've saved $17 so far but have... uh.. a bit more to spend. And the kids need shoes and dentist appointments. And I do believe that teenagers are higher need than 2-year olds. Yes, I'm certain of it.

Oh, and I realized this morning that I needed completely revamp my book lists to accommodate a complete shift in direction in at least two subjects.

My house is a mess. I do not feel like cooking anything today. And why must gestation be 10 months instead of... say... eight... or twelve? Ten seems terribly inconvenient.

Am I expressing anxiety? Yes, I thought so. I've simplified it all for you. Left out a few gazillion details. But really, I'm sure you can relate. In fact, knowing so many homeschooling moms like I do, I am positive that you can.

I cleaned my room yesterday and listened to one of my favorite CD's. If you are struggling like me and about to hit the "purchase" button on anything at all designed to ease your anxieties, I recommend the following...

The first thing I recommend that you do is get a copy of Jeff Cavins CD "How to Simplify Your Life." I love it. The best way to listen is while cleaning. It is life changing each time I listen. I forget the contents over time and then laugh as I listen with fresh ears while I discover that God has once again nudged me at just the precise moment of urgent necessity...

Before I purchase an expensive planner.
Before I make book purchases.
Before we definitively plan out our Summer or school year.

As Cavins says (in my own words): If we have disordered priorities, we will be anxious. When Jesus tells us not to be anxious, He is telling us to get our heads and hearts on straight. To reorient our lives to Him and to our vocation. To understand the difference between the "urgent" and the "important."

Buy the CD before you buy your planner.
Let's get our hearts and heads straight before we order our books and choose curricula and plan our days.
Spending money on planners and books will not fix the anxiety in our hearts.
God gives us all the time that we need to live our vocations well.
Tap the source.

Below is a much shorter version of Cavin's talk. If you don't want to spend the $5 on the mp3 version or $10 on the CD, this is a small taste...
Posted on May 7, 2013 and filed under "homeschooling", "jeff cavins", "planner", "simplify your life".