Category

Mindset

December 14, 2022

4 Practical Tips for a Peaceful Christmas

The days before Christmas are quickly slipping away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Zechariah’s Canticle when he proclaims in the first chapter of Luke, “…through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

It is right to long for peace, to want to shut out the noise around you, and just sit with your family and revel in awe of the fact that God is with us, that a Savior is born, that “a weary world rejoices.”

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s can be difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some practical tips you can utilize today to step out of your frenzied hurry and into the stillness of peace.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed and have some time to commit to really sorting through the overwhelm, it could be a great week to download our Taming Your To-Do List Guide (use the code TAMETHATLIST to get this resource for free). One evening of coming to grips with your list may be just the ticket to a peaceful week leading up to Christmas.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, delightful, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take moments to be still. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this season is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is eleven days away. That’s eleven days to cultivate peace in your home. Eleven days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Eleven days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.

August 3, 2022

Guest Post: How to Draw More Inspiration (Instead of Feelings of Failure) From Your Planner

This is such a delightful post, because it was written by Meeka Malone, mother of the sister-founders of Evergreen Planner, McCauley and Shelby.

Mama has always challenged us to reach for excellence, and to never settle with making excuses for ourselves. It’s been so fun to watch our Mama embrace this planner system that we created and gain a whole host of brand new skills in time-management and goal-setting for herself.

She’s been a behind-the-scenes secret weapon for the success of our business, from staying up late into the night helping us field test and work out the last kinks on our ROOTED Goals Workbook to watching her very large gaggle of grandkids so we can record the Make Space to Thrive Podcast.

And now, here’s a word of encouragement from our Mama. We couldn’t think of a more life-giving person to feature as our very first guest contributor. Here’s just a glimpse of the kind of very good things she’s poured into us since we were small. Enjoy!

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July 6, 2022

The Brain That Organizes Itself

Several years ago I read a book titled The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark. The topic of the book was home organization, but the author took an approach that was entirely new to me. The gist of it was this: instead of spending so much time cleaning up your house as is, take the time to set up your home in a way that it will clean itself.

She recommended you take time to really evaluate your home, including taking pictures to give yourself a new perspective, keeping an eye out for messy spots in the home, and to get really, really specific about the types of things you were always cleaning (be it toy blocks, laundry, shoes, school bags, etc.). Once you knew what was causing most of the cleaning issues, you could brainstorm extremely specific solutions for those issues.

She shared one story of how her kids’ backpacks would always get dumped in the hallway after school, meaning the entrance to their home was always cluttered looking. Instead of trying to train her kids to walk their backpacks to their rooms, she thrifted a thin chest she could keep in her hallway and voila, the cleaning issue went away. Her kids could just as easily plop their backpacks in the chest as they could the ground, and suddenly the home looked nicer, with practically no effort given to “cleaning” in the way we typically think about it. The author even admitted that the chest would have never been a piece of furniture she would have chosen for it’s aesthetic qualities, but it was far nicer looking than the consistent clump of backpacks that were previously in her entryway. A little investigation, a little brainstorming to find a solution, and a thrifted piece enabled her to have a hallway that “cleaned itself”.

How Mental Organization is Like Home Organization

By now you might be wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about a cleaning book, when we’re a company that focuses on planners and productivity. The reason is that it occurred to me this week that our planner does for your brain exactly what this book encouraged you to do for your home… it teaches your brain to organize itself, in a way that becomes increasingly intuitive (in other words, in a way that will take a lot less work once established).

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