Life Planning

How do you plan your life?

There are a million philosophies about how to plan your life.  But at the core of your plan, you really need to decide what you think the purpose of your life is.  I think there are two main ideas that people believe about the purpose of their life which are the following:

what one does matters,

or what one does, doesn’t matter.

I believe in the first idea.  I believe that everything we do matters.

Here’s my basic outlook on life:  Krystal’s Perspective.

Life is a test to see whether we will think, choose and do good or bad things.  My goal is to past the test of life and help as many other people pass the test as well.  Then we can all go to heaven.

As a child I believed in the latter idea that what one does, doesn’t matter which is kindof the “eat, drink and be merry concept.”  Make yourself as happy as you can.  Play.  Have fun.  Eat lots of candy.  Take care of yourself and everything will be fine.

Luckily, I had a marvelous mother who mentored me.  I would be down in my bedroom drawing or coloring up a magical worlds of mermaid lagoons, pixie paradises, or fairytale stories.  Hours could go by which felt like minutes to me.  I am the eldest child of 11 children including a traumatically brain injured brother one year younger than me and my mom really needed my help.  She would call me from upstairs and I would act like I didn’t hear her and keep drawing merrily.  Finally, my mother would come into my room and tell me that she needed my help.  I explained that I only needed a few more “minutes” to finish and that I didn’t really want to work today.  Then she would sit down and have a talk with me about putting the Lord and the family first.  She’d say that if I put the family first, that was putting the Lord first because when you serve others you are serving God.  She promised me that if I would serve the family first, somehow my needs and wants would be taken care of – not necessarily immediately, but somehow it would work out in the end.  I trusted her.  I tried it.  She had to have that talk with me probably 6-8 times before it stuck, but finally it stuck and I learned that it was true.  Things were not necessarily fair, but in the end it always worked out that I got the time I needed for friends, art, and fun.  Somehow it worked.

Life Planning Excerise #1- Write where you want to end up in life.  What do you want to have accomplished?

Is it coffers of gold that you want piled up or is it a happy, joyful family?  Is it a meaningful life as a teacher, or is it a life as a great artist who beautifies where ever she goes?

Write down what you want.

Then work backwards to figure out what you need to do to get there.

Write down what you need to do to 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 15, 10, and 5 years.

  • For me, I want to raise a happy, righteous family and create beautiful art, picture books, books, love and teach others.

What do you want?

Life Planning Excerise #2–  Discover your Purpose:

  • Ponder your purpose.
  • Pray to know your purpose.
    Everyone’s life has a mysterious meaningful purpose.
    Florence Nightengale learned as a youth that she had a calling to help sick people.  Joan of Arc received a calling to save France.  What is your calling?
  • Find Wise Mentors you can trust.  Look for successful people – role models, examples that you want to emulate and follow in their footsteps.

    One of my mentors was my Grandma Oldham:

    I graduated from college with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration & Graphic Design.  I had one child and I wanted to get published immediately since I had chose a career that I could do as a stay-at-home mother.  My grandma counseled me to not focus on my career yet, and establish my family.  She said that once my eldest child was 8 years old and I had trained them to run the house then I could work on my career.  I considered her advice heavily, because she I greatly value the counsel of my elders and she was such a wise and inspired women.  I decided to listen to her counsel although it was hard to put my dreams aside for a few years.  I didn’t waste my time.  I learned everything I could to run a successful home, family, and I worked on my relationship with my husband, improved my cooking, cleaning, and organization and decorating skills, and I trained my children how to work. Amazingly, I enjoyed it.  When my eldest child was 8 I started to wake up at 5-7 am to paint, write about what I’ve learned.  It’s been a joy.

Life Planning Exercise #3: Write a Mission Statement.

Write down a goal affirmation statement of what your home will be like.  Write down a 1-3 sentence goal affirmation about your dream life.  For example, my sister wrote “I create moments worth remembering, spaces worth seeing, and my relationships eclipse fairytales.”

You can also create a mission statement as a couple and as a family mission statement.

Make 5 copies of your goal affirmation and post it in several places in your home.

Goal affirmation statement

Declare your affirmation statement of what you want to 5 people.  There is power in making your dreams known through word and speech.  Your dream is no longer a wish.  It is a goal.  When you make your wishes known things start happening to make your dreams come true!

Goal affirmation statementPost your goal affirmation statement everywhere – the fridge, car, doors!

Tell 5 people your goal affirmation.

Goal affirmation statementMake your goal affirmation as beautiful as you want – or write it on a notecard and tape it up.

Directions to make magnetic goal affirmation statements:

  1. Print out your affirmation statement.
  2. Cut the statement into a square.
  3. Cut out a fancy shape out of cute scrapbook paper.
  4. Cut out the fancy shape out some stiff paper like a phone book.
  5. Glue it all together.
  6. Put 2 magnet strips on the back.
Goal affirmation statement backHave your husband write his ideal life and a goal affirmation statement too and talk about it. You need to get united on your perfect, regular life together. These would be some fun discussions to have on your date night.

goal affirmation statements for menHere’s a manly husband goal affirmation statement.

 

Life Planning Exercise #4:  Create a Vision Board.

Create a vision board of your dream life.  Create a vision board or dream poster to help you visualize the home of your dreams.  Notice I said a home – not a house.  I’m not talking about dreaming up a mansion full of objects.  After we die what’s a house anyway?  It’s just some wood, brick, and carpet.  Your dream needs to be much bigger than the furnishings, walls, and carpeting.  What kind of feeling and atmosphere do you imagine in your home.  Don’t focus too much on the “how” but focus on your true goal and “why” you want it so much.

vision dream boardCollect pictures, photos, and affirmation statements that inspire you to create the life you desire.

Life Planning Excerise #5:  Write an essay.

Write a 500 word essay on your life’s purpose.  Life is short.  What is your mission on earth?  Your  life is important.  Pray.  G0d will let you know what your mission is.  (Family Organization Tips –  Remember, don’t look beyond the mark.)

In searching for a mission that is grand enough for your life, be careful to consider your purpose as a mother in a sacred light.

Dean Hughes, a famous author once said that in reality their are only two careers in the world, a mother and a father.  All other careers exist to support those two careers.  A teacher works to teach her students how to lead productive lives, to learn how to read so they can grow up and earn a living for them and their family, a policemen works to keep families safe, a grocer works to provide food for families.  Be wise in how you treat your role as mother.

“Motherhood is God’s Work for Me”

By:  Krystal Meldrum

As I see my 12 year old daughter watch me wrestle her five little brothers into their seatbelts or try to get them to behave at dinner I see a look in her eye that I wonder about.  She sees that motherhood it is not all moonlight and roses.  But I wonder, does she see what’s in my heart?  She thinks motherhood is a never-ending, unpaid babysitting job.  But it doesn’t feel like that to me.  I helped my mom raise my 10 younger siblings and it often felt like work.  But when I got my own babies it felt different.  Between an inner constant flowing mother’s love, knowing my purpose, and a nap, I love being a mother.

Motherhood is a journey full of expectations, unexpected twists, setbacks, and joyous surprises.  As a young mother I thought I could create such an ideal environment and shower my children with so much love that there would be no need for discipline.  Wise mentors taught me that discipline is one of the highest forms of love.  There are days however, when I have struggled to feel the importance of my work as a mother especially when I have to discipline.  As I talked with a friend about my grand dreams for life she advised, “I don’t know what your mission is, only God knows.”  When I prayed about it I felt my purpose was “to love my children as only a mother can.”  It may sound poetic, but I was disappointed.  What about my dream to win a Caldecott Medal, create Disney movies, or revolutionize the educational system?  As a little girl I always longed to be in the public eye, but that doesn’t seem to be God’s plan for me right now.

When a grand castle is built, no one remembers the stone mason who worked down in the dungeons laying stone upon stone to lay the foundation.  But his work is there undergirding and building the support beams for ballrooms, throne rooms, and towers.  Likewise, I must help my children lay the foundation for their lives by loving them, training them to work, teaching them obedience, love, compassion, and a host of other attributes – and even disciplining them.

Sometimes the baby is crying, I’m exhausted, and I’m crying too.  I’m overwhelmed with feelings of is this really what I was born to do?  Then my sweet 5 year old says, “Mom, you need to sing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ to the baby.”  I am surprised with joy that he remembered.  I used to sing that lullaby to him as a baby.  There are days when I desire the world’s fanfare, but then I realize that it is always fleeting, but God’s approval of my work is all that really matters.  Some days I do experience a little moonlight and roses.  When the perfect song comes on the radio, my dear husband takes me in his arms and waltzes with me in the kitchen.  Motherhood is God’s work for me.

There is a story by the Grimm brothers that illustrates the importance of fulfilling the role that God appoints you to do.

The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage

By:  The Grimm Brothers

Once upon a time, a mouse, a bird, and a sausage, entered into partnership and set up house together. For a long time all went well; they lived in great comfort, and prospered so far as to be able to add considerably to their stores. The bird’s duty was to fly daily into the wood and bring in fuel; the mouse fetched the water, and the sausage saw to the cooking.

When people are too well off they always begin to long for something new. And so it came to pass, that the bird, while out one day, met a fellow bird, to whom he boastfully expatiated on the excellence of his household arrangements. But the other bird sneered at him for being a poor simpleton, who did all the hard work, while the other two stayed at home and had a good time of it. For, when the mouse had made the fire and fetched in the water, she could retire into her little room and rest until it was time to set the table. The sausage had only to watch the pot to see that the food was properly cooked, and when it was near dinner-time, he just threw himself into the broth, or rolled in and out among the vegetables three or four times, and there they were, buttered, and salted, and ready to be served. Then, when the bird came home and had laid aside his burden, they sat down to table, and when they had finished their meal, they could sleep their fill till the following morning: and that was really a very delightful life.

Influenced by those remarks, the bird next morning refused to bring in the wood, telling the others that he had been their servant long enough, and had been a fool into the bargain, and that it was now time to make a change, and to try some other way of arranging the work. Beg and pray as the mouse and the sausage might, it was of no use; the bird remained master of the situation, and the venture had to be made. They therefore drew lots, and it fell to the sausage to bring in the wood, to the mouse to cook, and to the bird to fetch the water.

And now what happened? The sausage started in search of wood, the bird made the fire, and the mouse put on the pot, and then these two waited till the sausage returned with the fuel for the following day. But the sausage remained so long away, that they became uneasy, and the bird flew out to meet him. He had not flown far, however, when he came across a dog who, having met the sausage, had regarded him as his legitimate booty, and so seized and swallowed him. The bird complained to the dog of this bare-faced robbery, but nothing he said was of any avail, for the dog answered that he found false credentials on the sausage, and that was the reason his life had been forfeited.

He picked up the wood, and flew sadly home, and told the mouse all he had seen and heard. They were both very unhappy, but agreed to make the best of things and to remain with one another.

So now the bird set the table, and the mouse looked after the food and, wishing to prepare it in the same way as the sausage, by rolling in and out among the vegetables to salt and butter them, she jumped into the pot; but she stopped short long before she reached the bottom, having already parted not only with her skin and hair, but also with life.

Presently the bird came in and wanted to serve up the dinner, but he could nowhere see the cook. In his alarm and flurry, he threw the wood here and there about the floor, called and searched, but no cook was to be found. Then some of the wood that had been carelessly thrown down, caught fire and began to blaze. The bird hastened to fetch some water, but his pail fell into the well, and he after it, and as he was unable to recover himself, he was drowned.

I know my mission is to love my children as only a mother can.  Sometimes I think that maybe the grass is greener somewhere else, but I don’t leave my role as a mother like the unwise bird in the story.  And actually, I experience a lot of joy in my role.

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