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Pam's Life Chart

Posted by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 4:50 PM
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My husband and I were recently at the home of dear friends who are retired missionaries.  Their stories of life in Africa and their years of gleaned wisdom make each visit a treat.  During one of our conversations, my husband looked out their sunroom windows and commented to our friend that the yard was beautiful.  He smiled at us and told us that he keeps it simple because he doesn’t like to spend more than 11/2 hours on lawn care per week.  Having made this remark, they both eased back into deeper topics.

My mind, however, began to reel.  “What do you mean 11/2 hours per week for lawn care?”  “How did you come to that amount of time?”  “Was that an arbitrary number or did you somehow figure out how much time you could realistically devote to grass nurturing?”  I mean really.  I have a planner with little squares and numbers with months and everything.  But there is definitely no space allotted for “horticulture manicuring.”  How does someone get life so orderly?

That’s when I decided to create, “Pam’s Life Chart.”  This was going to be the chart to end all charts.  No longer would I be ruled by the immediate, the cell phone or my bladder.  I would now determine in purposeful action those things which would please the Lord, nurture my family and keep my out of the local padded facilities.

Feverishly I began writing down everything that I do from the first moment my eyes pop open.  (Okay, when my eyes form slits and teeny rays of sunshine rudely push their way through to my resistant pupils.)  Devotions.  Yes, I want to spend quality time with the Lord.  Check.  Next…I should shower and then do ironing.  No wait.  If I mix up some muffins before I get in the shower, they could be baking and it would keep me to a short cleaning session.  Oh, yes.  This is good stuff.

Many columns of tasks and several pencil leads later, I had it.  The culmination of a life wrapped up into 24 gloriously organized hours.  Now to type it up and print it in triplicate so that I could begin my day (5:45 am) with a copy available at my fingertips at all times.

Happy with myself and my fabulous life chart, I headed toward a lunch appointment (11:30-1:00 pm) with a great friend..  I say “great” because up to this point she has always been so incredibly supportive and encouraging of my latest “whatever.”  So at just the right time, I told her that she—yes, she—would be the very first person to see the typed version of Pam’s Life Chart.  I could tell by her wide-eyed expression that she was impressed beyond words.  Laying the chart in front of her, I folded my hands, leaned forward and waited for her to hug me and beg me to tell her how she could get one, too. 

She looked up at me.  Then back at the paper.  Back up at me.  Just when I thought words of amazement would come gushing out, she got a twinkle in her eye.  Then the twinkle turned to a few tears.  Until finally she couldn’t hold it in any longer.  She began an explosive laughter that wouldn’t stop.  She couldn’t be contained.  She laughed and laughed and laughed.  Taking the napkin from her lap she began dabbing her eyes and apologizing at the same time.  “I’m so sorry, Pam.  It’s just that this is so…planned…so meticulous…so not you.”  At this she burst into laughter again. 

You would think that I would be offended by this, but I couldn’t be.  You see my friend knows me very well.  She also knows that such a well-organized life may work for wise and seasoned missionaries, but maybe not for her “friendzy’d” friend named Pam.

7 Tips to a More Organized Life

1.  Have a master calendar that records every family member’s events.  Use a specific color marker for each person.
2.  Plan to be creative and have fun.  It doesn’t just happen.
3.  Be realistic in your commitments.  Know how much time you can really afford.
4.  Prioritize relationships and events before determining your schedule.
5.  Don’t say “yes” on the spot.  Say, “I will seriously consider this and give you an answer in 3 days.”  (Then keep your word and respond.)
6.  Be honest in your reason for committing to something.  Busyness is NOT the same as fruitfulness.
7.  Maintain a sensitive heart before the Lord to know His direction for your day, your week, your life.

by on Jun. 20, 2007 at 4:50 PM
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