We all live pretty hectic lives, but I feel women are especially focused on and stressed by all of the day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished. Whether we are wives or mothers or single ladies or career women, we all attempt to have it “all together.” In the midst of this, many things get overlooked, forgotten, pushed aside. Our perpetual to-do lists are constantly on our minds as we race back and forth from place to place, appointment to appointment all the while neglecting the things that are truly important to us, the things that make us feel like women, that make us happy, that give us our sanity. We struggle with how to organize it all so that all of it (or most of it) can actually get completed each day.
One way that I’ve learned to try to “get it all done” is by taking time to plan out my days, my weeks, and my months while taking time to reflect on how well they went, what I could have done better, what I need to change, and what I should continue doing. I’ve used many different planners to try to achieve this, but none of them took into account one matter that has become more and more important to me within the past few years: my faith. I know some people are wondering how a planner can help with my faith. Well, it’s my pleasure to explain.
Since I switched to my Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner, my life has changed. For a while, my relationship and time with God were separate from my daily to-do list. It was almost as if it that time was something separate from my “real” life. However, since getting my planner, my perception has changed. With this planner, I cannot write my plans for the day without noticing the columns indicating whether or not I have spent time that day journaling, reading my devotional(s), reading my Bible, and praying. If you enjoy utilizing a planner as much as I do, you’ll understand that there is a sense of satisfaction in being able to check off or cross something off your to-do list; seeing that little check mark or that line drawn through the task is (excuse the expression) a high for me. Knowing that I have checked off those four columns each day makes me feel even better than usual because I know that that represents quality time spent with God, time that sets the tone for the rest of my day, preparing me to deal with the other items on my to-do list or situations that I may have to face. That time is not something separate from the rest of my life; it’s an integral part of it.
But this planner is so much more than a list of things to complete. I’ve never felt more convicted about my faith than when I spend time with my planner. Yes, you read that correctly. I spend time with my planner. That’s because, as stated before, it’s more than just a to-do list.My planner is a place for me to really hold myself accountable for being the type of woman that God has called me to be. There are areas for me to document which daily devotionals I am currently reading, my prayer focus, my biggest goals, and my memory verse, and this is a part of the weekly layout! There are also monthly layouts so I can plan for the entire month as well as an area for reflection at the end of each month. Did I stick to my plans? Did I grow spiritually that month? Which prayers did God answer? There’s even space for me to document whom I have served that week and that month! How many of us really put in time thinking about how selfless we can be each day and how we can work harder to serve someone else? I’m sure that most of us want to do more for others, but life usually gets in the way. Purposefully planning ways that I can be more giving throughout my week has been a game changer for me.
Another thing that I love about my planner are the blank spaces. Yes, blank spaces with no templates, no words. Space for me to just write, draw (although I have no artistic ability) or doodle, glue pictures, put stickers, to basically do whatever comes to mind, a place to get all of those things that are on my mind onto paper. My planner almost reads like a journal or diary because I can go back and see all of the things that were important to me at the time, challenges that I faced and overcame, happy times spent with family and friends, achievements that I’ve made. It can serve as encouragement when I look back and see that God has answered prayers and that my good days really do outnumber my bad days.
I know that in this high tech world, most people use their phones and computers for everything, but there is something extra special in time spent writing down my thoughts and my plans and truly reflecting on my actions and words throughout the day. I know it might sound comical to some, but my planner has become my friend (as well as my sanity saver). Using my planner and going through my morning devotional time also provide some much needed “me” time that many women take for granted or never seem to fit in to their busy schedules. What’s even better is the online Facebook Sanctuary Girl group where I can go in order to get ideas about how to use my planner, put in and respond to prayer requests, discuss topics of faith, family, and life, be held accountable for using my planner, and just to get everyday encouragement. I’m grateful for the fact that I have finally found the perfect tool to use to organize my life, to focus on my faith, to plan for my future, and to reflect on my many blessings and successes.