Time flies! Another year has drawn to a close and we are now in 2017. In another few months, some of us will be finishing our school year.
How many of you remember making New Year resolutions at the beginning of the year and resolving to keep them? Well, we may sigh or groan looking back at it — or maybe smiles of victory?
New Year resolutions are good in the sense that they help us in setting our goals about what we’re doing in our lives, our plans, our awareness of where we are going, and what we are intending to do about all of it. All of these require time, a good management of time. I don’t profess to know much, but I will share with you my own experiences.
The year 2016 has been a challenging year for me. I thank God that no matter what happened, I felt the presence of God and I was able to find time to spend with Him each day. During the beginning of the year and before the start of the school year, I prayed to God to help me to plan wisely. As my daughter moved to the next grade, there were more things to do, and besides music lessons she also joined the swim team and started taking Spanish class once a week.
As I was working on my plan and setting priorities, I was reminded in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cared for you.” Some of us have many responsibilities, or children in different grades, or kids who require special attention. Before we know it, the day has come to an end and there are still lots of things to accomplish. We are tired out and stressed. We wish there were more hours in a day. In Psalm 55:22 it says, “Cast all your burdens on the Lord, and He will sustain you, he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” And, in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Clinging onto God’s promises, I try to take each day at a time.
Working on a plan is not easy. There is a lot to think about, and other tasks to tackle besides teaching and cooking. When working on my plan for last year, I reminded myself that I had to prepare for some adjustments or emergencies. Everything was working well and going pretty smoothly. Just as we started the new school year in September, I found myself in a situation where I had to reschedule my plan. One of the family members had to undergo major surgery. This meant that I would need extra time driving back and forth to the hospital. We were thankful that we were able to stay in the hospital room, so I had my daughter bring her homework there. Some things had to be delayed until a later time. It did work out, though.
For almost a whole month, I was not able to follow the plan that I originally had, but we made sure those things that needed to be completed in time were accomplished. Each night before I went to bed, I planned out my schedule for the next day. During that time I had to take each day at a time. At times, I had to call up a friend to help me out with driving my daughter. Sometimes in situations like this, we may have to accept help from friends, like meals, babysitting, or driving our kids to classes.
God is good. We were thankful when our routine was back to normal. I was able to go according to my plans again. I no longer had to rush for time. But then — it was cut short. I received a call, and I had to leave the country for a family emergency. I had less than 12 hours before I was heading out to the airport. I quickly sat down and planned my new schedule for the week I would be away in Asia. Things would have to change, as part of the time my daughter would be staying with a friend. I prayed for God’s guidance as I planned.
The journey would be long, and it was a last-minute flight. I calculated a total of 42 hours for my flight and transit. With a 16-hour time difference, I would surely have jetlag going and coming back. So, while waiting to board, I started to figure out the timing. I tried my best to start adjusting myself to the time in Malaysia, where I would be the next couple of days. I knew that when I came back home after a week, I might not have time to overcome jetlag. So, while trying to stay awake on the flight, I took out my notebook and started planning the things I needed to do in Malaysia. With the limited time I would be there, I had to work out a schedule for each task. I prayed to God to guide me, and continued to cling to His promises.
Before I knew it, it was time to head back home to California. I was glad that I was able to accomplished most of the things I need to do. Once home, I reshuffled my schedule back to what I had planned at the start of the year. I was thankful that I had prepared myself to be ready should emergency arises.
It can easier said than done. One may have everything planned out nicely, and then the next moment, everything just doesn’t work out. Don’t get discouraged. We all make mistakes or are subject to circumstances, but remember that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
When planning, it is good to be prepared. Time schedules may change for some days or emergencies may arise. It is always good to plan your time in such a way that if you need to make any changes, you can without getting frustrated or stressed out. Once you have it planned out, you will have sort of a basic guideline. You may not follow it 100 percent, but at least you have something to guide you.
Don’t get stressed out if your master plans do not work out. Ask God for guidance. Set some time each day for rest and quiet time with God…then go through your plan for the next day before you head to bed.