button

Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
Ellen Stumbo
Ellen Stumbo

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


We want to lose weight, to exercise, run a 5K, a half marathon. We want to wake up earlier, go to bed earlier, get more sleep. We want to eat healthier, cut down on fast food, discover delicious recipes that even the kids will love. 
 
We want to stop smoking, or drinking, or binge eating. We want to get a promotion, make more money, get noticed because of our amazing talents. We want to spend less, save money, and erase our debt. We want to limit our screen time and spend more quality time with the people we love. We want to pray more, read our Bible every day. We want to finally pursue our dreams and passions: this, this is our year!
 
And too soon our resolutions remind us of how easy it is to fail and feel broken.
 
I have three young girls, and two of them have special needs. I often feel as if I am surviving rather than living. The last thing I need to do is add an unreasonable list of more things to. I have limits, and I’m not afraid to embrace those limits.
 
I need to stop surviving and start living. So I say forget it, the only resolution you and I might need is to live intentionally.
 
Almost five years ago, I had only two kids, they were three and one years old, yet, I was struggling to keep up with life, and I felt embarrassed when therapists came to work with my youngest daughter. At a MOPS meeting, our speaker (Staci Yoder) talked about living intentionally, and how adding charts and routines had changed her life.
 
I was skeptical, but she shared a story I intimately related to. Like 6:00 pm and still not knowing what’s for dinner, having no clean underwear, dishes so dirty some of them are easier to trash, a messy home and the embarrassment of having people stop by unannounced, spending more time moping about my reality rather than doing something to change it. Yeah, she was talking about me, so I looked at her charts and routines more closely and decided to give it a try.
 
So I divided my chores and laundry into the days of the week, leaving a day free of work. Each day there is a chore and a load of laundry (seriously, when I don’t keep up with it I have piles and piles and piles of it taking over the bathroom, bedroom, and basement floors). Of course some maintenance chores are hard to schedule.
 
chart
 
 
And there are two rules:
 
1. When your chores for the day are done, you are done! If you have extra time, you pat yourself on the back and enjoy a good book, or a cup of tea, go for a walk, take a yoga class, or you spend guiltless time on Facebook.
 
2. If you miss a day, you don’t have to catch up, you only do your work for the day. The following week you can tackle cleaning the microwave, or whatever you missed (after all, if you are like me, this might be the way you live right now).
 
The girls have some chores too, but since two of them have special needs, the chores are simple, and we keep those mainly to the evening. That is when the girls help clean up the living room and pick up their rooms before starting their bedtime routine (they are pretty good at helping out when asked). The other chores will be associated with pets.
 
When evening routine starts, it means we all do our own routine. For example, while the girls pick up, I work on my routine too:
 
  • Pick up stuff on the floor
  • Check calendar
  • Make to do list for next day
  • Charge cell phone
  • Write down a schedule for the next day on a dry/erase board (this helps a lot with transitions for my girls with special needs)
  • Know what is for lunch and dinner the next day
  • Get clothes ready for the girls
  • My husband tackles the kitchen during that time, he is also in charge of paying bills.
 
I know what you might be thinking, “How is this living intentionally?” Personally,  these little details of life weight me down! They really do. The state of my home directly reflect the state of my emotions. I spend much of my day wasting time being involved in social media, rather than investing my time in the people I love, like my husband and my girls. And this helps me live intentionally because if life makes sense, I am more likely to engage with real people and feel like living!
 
I have two girls with special needs, so we already have a few extra challenges. I need to do something to make life a little easier for us so when the next unexpected sickness or extra appointment shows up, I am not already struggling to survive. And if I find myself in a good rhythm, I can tackle organizing toys, or the book shelf, or the stack of mail.
 
And yes, it does mean we need to be intentional to make it happen, but the investment will reap it’s rewards.
 
I don’t need a New Year’s resolution, I just need to take my life and time back, and that starts when I live intentionally.
 
Adapted from Ellen Stumbo's blog at www.ellenstumbo.com. Ellen is a pastor's wife and she writes about finding beauty in brokenness with gritty honesty and openness. She is passionate about sharing the real – sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly – aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. She has been published in Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, and Mamapedia among others.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • The Things That Hold Us Back

    The Things That Hold Us Back

    The rich young ruler, like many of us today, was in a “quandary.” He wanted to follow Jesus, but he loved the lifestyle his money provided for him.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Fidel Castro

    Castro Couldn't Kill Christianity in Cuba

    The sober truth is the world is a safer place now that Cuba's dictator is dead.

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button