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Monday, June 10, 2013

Prep Work - Just Do It!

 I have noticed and learned lately that the better I, or my husband, or anyone for that matter, prepares for something ( a task, a meal, a sermon, a lesson, a trip, etc), the better the outcome usually is.

As a teacher, most of the good lessons I taught came from being prepared.  When I had all the materials ready, the technology ready with a single 'click', the script in my head, and the objectives on the wall and explained to the students, I taught a better lesson, the students LEARNED more, and I was less stressed.  Now, as a parent, I am learning the same principle applies.

When I take the time to prepare meals in advance (mostly consisting of cutting all veggies and making sure I have all ingredients needed), it really helps me to accomplish more and be less stressed during cooking and at meal times.

When I read my Bible and have quiet time in the morning, I am preparing myself to be a kinder, more loving wife and mother with the influence of my Savior.  When I prepare our household for big events the night before - making sure everyone bathes and picks out clothes, and the diaper bag is packed - we are much less stressed in the morning trying to leave the house. I have watched my husband prepare for a message or sermon for 3 weeks and totally nail it, or throw something together the day before and blow it.

When I was pregnant with Jonah, I wanted to have a natural labor and delivery, so I had to prepare mentally and physically for it.  I walked a LOT, did some yoga and pilates, and read several books and articles about it. I wrote down encouraging scriptures, had my husband write me encouraging notes, and we hired a doula to help.  It was totally worth all that prep work!  (You can read about his birth story here Jonah's birth) I wanted to breast feed, so I took a parenting class, read articles, and talked to other women who knew about nursing.  Jonah wasn't the greatest nurser because he was so easily distracted, but other than that, it went pretty well, for the first solid seven months, anyway.

When I taught exercise classes (mostly Les Mills), I had to know the choreography well to teach each class.  On days when I didn't have to think so hard about what came next, because I was well-prepared, I could lighten up, have fun, joke a little, sing, dance, encourage, and give better instructions for how to do the exercises.  I knew I had to prepare to be a good instructor.

I am viewing exercise now as preparation for our future.  We are preparing ourselves to be healthy parents, to age well, to be able play with our kids for many years to come by staying active now.

I'm not saying I'm an expert at this by any means.  We still have plenty of stressful, rushed, hectic days where I sit back and say, "Why did I not prepare better for this?" We often miss Sunday School because it's just that difficult to get 5 kids and 2 adults out the door in time.  So don't think we live in this pristine preparation bubble.  Oh No, I want to be real and honest and tell you that we don't.  However, I can tell you 100% of the time that we prepare ahead for things, they go exceedingly better than the times we do not.

This week, we are preparing to go on a big trip, bringing all the kids to Alabama for sort of "Summer Vacation."  I am about to be entrenched in laundry, cleaning, and packing, so that the day we leave, we will be less stressed and it will all go smoother.  Prep work isn't easy, but I have learned in numerous situations that it is completely worth the effort.

Jesus prepared his whole life for his ministry, and continued to pray and meet with the Lord to prepare himself daily.  Our pastor preached a phenomenal sermon around Easter on how Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was a preparation time for him to be fully surrendered and ready to go to the cross.  He sweat blood during those prayers - he did the preparation to get himself ready to be the sacrifice, so that during the trial, the beatings, the mockings, the torture, and agony, he could continually draw on that strength and peace he had established in the Garden.

What do you need to prepare for today, so that you will be better tomorrow? It's worth it my friend!

1 comment:

  1. Good reminder/encouragement! Thanks! Hope your trip goes well.