As a mother of 2 very active boys I am always perfecting my organization routine. A couple of years ago I met a young lady who introduced to me the concept of a prayer journal. At first I totally loved the idea and was fully into using it. Soon it became a hassle and more of a strain on my family than a help.
It has been roughly 5 years since then and I have revisited my journal days. I have perfected a system that works for me and that can be customized for just about anyone. Not only have I created this little notebook for home organization, I have been able to use it as a way to help moms in their quest to help their children.
Each 1st and 3rd Monday’s of the month 4 ladies including myself, join me in my little apartment for a short Bible Study and snack. All children are there, playing, reading, interacting, and some are even nursing. After the study, we have a general informal time of chatting.
This is the time where we work on the notebooks that will eventually be our Prayer Journal Organizers. We share a bit about what has been going on in our lives, what challenges we have faced and get feedback on how we can do things differently.
Usually these sessions last about 10 weeks. I try and hold them with a small group so I can really get to know the moms. I do a Bible study, but I do not require the attendees to be Christian.
I do however ask that all participants respect one another’s point of view and no bashing is allowed. You however, may choose to hold these sessions in your home, at a local moms club or even at a church. It really is up to you. Remember this is not only to help moms in your community but you as well. If you are not comfortable, you will not be effective in leading them in this study/mentor group.
Summary of meetings:
1. Meet in groups of 5 ladies
2. Start with a small Bible study
3. Chatting tea time (or coffee)
4. Pick one area for this quarter to work on
5. First session put together the Prayer Journal Organizer
Another thing I try to do in these sessions is to teach moms different skills that can be used in the home not only to simplify their life, but to also earn a little extra income on the side.
Homemaking is becoming a lost art in the new age and the simple arts like crochet, sewing, spinning, homemade cooking, etc.. are not being taught to girls anymore.
We have moms who have never in their life cooked a meal–not even a pan of water! I met a lady who never uses a broom. She literally had to be taught how to use a broom! I know these may seem like trivial things but to some moms they cause such frustration, guilt, and even depression.
If we do not know how to do these things, how are we going to teach our children? Below I have listed some subjects we have covered in the past but you are free to choose what ever your group would like to work on.
2. Cleaning (rhythm)
3. Gentle Discipline
5. Kids Chores
6. Family Service
7. Bible reading (1 chapter a day)
13. Educating children
14. Role of Mother
15. Community service
16. Working outside the home
17. Living on a single income
18. Working from home
19. Mothering as a profession and calling
At the end of the session every mom has learned something about themselves and improved on their homemaking and parenting skills. We have all made a Prayer Organizer Journal and personalized it with photographs and artwork of our choosing. It is now Our Notebook. Below you will find a rough idea of what this notebook consists of, you will of course customize it to your own needs.
1. 3-ring binder
2. Tab dividers
4. sheet protectors
Notebook: (This is an organizer and PRAYER Journal. When looking at each section, remind yourself to pray for the people you have included in your journal.)
In this section you put your meditations, your verses, your studies, and things you want to work on. I have included my Bible reading section, verses and poems that really mean a lot to me, and poems that inspire me to LOVE.
In this section you put items that remind you of your love for your husband. Things he likes, things that make him happy, and things you would like to work on with regards to him, e.g., stop nagging.
In this section you put items that remind you of your children. Their first word, their pictures, their drawings, things you want to work on with regards to them, e.g., stop yelling at them, speak in a calm non-threatening tone.
You can either merge your children into one file or seperate them as I did for my 2 boys.
This is the part most mothers like about this journal but I need to warn you that this is not the most important part. This is where I went wrong. I stopped concentrating on the above parts and became obsessive of this part to an extreme. Remember***Life is more than a clean house, orderly schedule, and nice fresh baked bread. It is about the above people in our lives. God, Husband, and children, Friends and relations and community.
a. Monthly Schedule
b. Weekly Schedule
c. Daily Schedule
d. Potty Chart
e. Diaper wet/dry chart (newborns)
f. Breastfeeding/bottle chart (newborns)
g. Homework helpers/Homeschool/School schedule
h. Menu planner 1 month
i. Shopping list (master)
j. Recipe collection (month)
k. Phone Log
l. Babysitters Log
m. Shopping/Gift list
n. Storage list
o. Housing Repair projects
In this section you put those in your life that mean something to you. Some people you are praying for. Your family and friends, neighbors, or co-workers. What can you do to help them?
I like to use this section to do a community project. Ideally this should be done as a family. It is a great lesson to the children and brings the family together in a very special way. You may choose to do a group project with your moms, or individually. Either way you choose, helping the community you live in, connects you to people outside your “fish bowl”.
Now, you have a wonderfully full notebook decorated and enhanced with things that will make you smile and hopefully 🙂 make you open it. You have met 4 – 5 moms you have shared deeply with as well as learned some new skills. What do you do now? Keep each other accountable or better yet, pay it forward.
If each one of us mentored another mom after being mentored, we would have many moms who have learned to care for themselves, therefore care for their children, and hopefully build strong and stable families that will flourish.
Sara Duggan is a mom of 2 boys and wife to her sweetheart for 11 years. She enjoys crocheting, web surfing, and writing.