Often I’m asked, “What’s your secret to juggling life?” Most people wonder how I manage being a mom of five kids and having a full time writing career.
My days are jam-packed with teaching my kids, and my afternoons and evenings are crazy-busy with running them to all of their various activities.
In addition, I try to squeeze in all of the responsibilities that come with being an author. Not only am I continuing to write historical romances with Bethany House Publishers, but this year I’ll also be branching into YA (young adult) and historicals with two new publishers. If all goes as planned, I’ll release three books and one novella in 2015.
The truth is every year gets busier, but the hours in my day never increase. So how do I do it all? How can I possibly juggle everything that demands my time and attention?
What’s my secret? Well, honestly, I don’t really have a secret. Sometimes I juggle life very poorly, bumble around, and drop balls.
But at the beginning of 2015, as I evaluate how I juggle life, I narrowed down three principles that guide me:
Principle #1: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
In other words, I try to keep up with things as they come up—in real life and work. Whatever the job might be (whether answering emails or washing dirty dishes), I do it when I’m thinking about it and it’s fresh on my mind, instead of putting it off for later.
When we can check something off our to-do list (whether written or mental), we have greater energy and more capacity to freely embrace other things.
Principle #2: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Put another way, I work hard at my priorities and whatever I commit to doing. I labor diligently during the day to be a good teacher to my children, challenging them with a rigorous education. But I don’t expect more of them than I expect of myself.
Whatever writing project I start, I focus on it, labor over it, and give it my 100% best effort. I live out Ecclesiastes 9:10 by making a conscious decision that whatever I find to do, I do it with all my might, soul, and heart.
Principle #3: “Live intentionally, clinging to what matters, letting go of the rest.”
I can’t do everything I’ve done in the past. Not even the vital, most important things—like cooking dinner every night or making grocery lists. I’ve had to figure out what things are critical, be intentional about doing those things, but then be okay with not doing the others.
It’s all too easy to get swept away in the day to day rush of activities and responsibilities. But instead of being carried along, I want to stop, go against the flow, and carefully pick and choose to do those things that matter most at this point in my life.
~Summary: I’m not perfect. I fail often. But whenever I do fall down, I eventually pick myself back up and keep on striving to live after the high principles that are set before me.