Hi everyone! I’m so excited to welcome author Jeanette Levellie to my blog today! Whenever I visit her site, I always know I’m in for a smile and a laugh. She also sprinkles in Godly wisdom to uplift and encourage. That’s exactly what her post does today. If you’re a busy mom like me, keep reading. You won’t be disappointed.


Guest Post by Jeanette Levellie

When Sarah asked me to write a guest post for moms juggling careers, kids, and kisses—chocolate or otherwise—I was happier than a cat with dirty paws on your car hood. Although my kids are done being kids, I’ve learned a few secrets—mostly the hard way—of managing my time when I had only scraps of it to manage.

  1. Give God the first portion of your day. He’ll give back to you the time you need to accomplish your goals. Giving and receiving works for time as well as money, and you cannot out give the Lord. You can read your Bible while baby naps or sits in her bouncy seat at your side. You can pray while you do laundry, cook, and take a shower.  God is your best ally in the war against insanity and overload!
  2. Utilize wee snippets of time to work on big projects.  Of course, you’d rather have three hours at a time than ten minutes while Daddy bathes Sophie. But never underestimate the power of little chunks of time to accomplish big goals. Even God created the universe in increments.  He is able and willing to help you create your masterpiece in portions.
  3. Flush the perfect house fantasy. Be willing to let the bed go rumply, hubby to make supper, or the laundry to pile up for a few days. I don’t mean it’s okay to live like Jonah in the whale’s belly—with seaweed in your hair and nothing to eat—but if you need a pristine abode, you’ll have to wait ‘til Claude and Claudette grow up to start a writing career.
  4. Simplify your environment and life. The more clothes to clean, toys to pick up, and meetings to attend, the more discombobulated you’ll feel. And the less you’ll accomplish. Get rid of half your junque and most of your memberships. Now you’re free to focus on people and your dreams.
  5. Put no more than five items on your to do list each day. I know it sounds crazy, since you have 100 things to accomplish each day. If you write down 45 and only get five done, you’ll beat yourself up for not being more productive. But if you only write down five, when you get those done, you can add more, along with a feeling of accomplishment.

Thanks, Sarah, for inviting me to your lovely world. I hope something I shared today helps a tied-in-knots mom get loose, and closer to the peace and abundant life Jesus promised.

Now let’s generate a little dialog. What time monsters attack you most often? What secrets have you found for managing your days?  Do you have any questions for me?


More about Jeanette:

“Nutty with a dash of meat” best describes Jeanette Levellie’s speaking, writing and life. She has published hundreds of humor/inspirational columns, articles, greeting cards, and poems. A spunky pastor’s wife, Jeanette is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to four cats. Her debut humor/inspirational book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top releases April 10. Find her mirthful musings at www.jeanettelevellie.com.



Five Ways to Stay Sane while Raising Cain (or Jane)
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29 thoughts on “Five Ways to Stay Sane while Raising Cain (or Jane)

  • April 11, 2012 at 7:03 am

    This is one of the most encouraging posts I’ve read in a long time. I’ve been fighting the whole “wee snippets of time” reality for a while now. I won’t anymore. The time monsters I battle the most? It’s always the unexpected. Plain and simple: I just never know from day to day what the interruption(s) will be.

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      What’s the famous quote, Beth? “Expect the unexpected”? Now we have Jeanette’s approval to throw housekeeping out the window when the unexpected comes. 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I love Jeanette’s tips!!! I do the same thing with my list. Just a few things and I try to do them in the morning. Then my evenings are completely free. I also avoid commitments. LOL Thanks ladies!

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I love having evenings free too, Jessica. It doesn’t always work out that way, but I aim for it anyway. 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Hi Sarah & Jen –

    I love your time-management tips! They’ll work even for those of us who don’t have a “Claude or Claudette” to raise.

    I keep a large to-do list and a smaller one. You’re right. I feel so much better when I accomplish the five items on my short list. The bigger one makes me want to pull the covers over my head. 🙂


    • April 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      So true, Susan. We all have schedule challenges, whether it’s kids or day jobs or elderly parents to care for. Hope you have a productive Wednesday! 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Thanks for having me today, Sarah. It honored me that you asked my advice. Many blessings on you and your readers,

  • April 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Oh my goodness!! I love the truth in this post! As women, wives, and mothers we seem to think we need to have it all together. Ha! My boys are spreading their wings and getting ready to leave the nest, but during the day, I’m a family childcare provider for 6 Little Darlings. My days are crazy, so if I don’t give them to God, they’re practically unbearable.

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Lisa, So true what you said about having it all together. It’s like we’re ducks who try to look calm, but below the surface, we’re paddling like crazy. 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Consider my house flushed! 😀

    Great tips. That number one changes the entire course of my day every time I put it to practice! ~ Wendy

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      I started my day off with a prayer for you, Wendy. Seriously. Thinking of you…

  • April 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Love this! I’m not even a wife and mom (yet) and I still struggle with managing my time. I want to get better at using snippets of time.

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Melissa! It’s always good to get practice before kiddos turn life upside down. 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Love Jeanette’s advice here. Thanks so much for hosting her, Sarah!

  • April 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Great stuff Jeanette. Your #3 is right on; learning to settle with a best effort is much easier on the mind.

    We battle lists that are too long. Simply using what time we have to cross off a few things is more comforting than stressing over the length and not feeling that we accomplish anything.

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      I liked #3 too, Slamdunk. Every once in a while, I like to organize my house in an effort to organize my mind. 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I can’t wait to read Jeanette’s new book! I love humor–it’s the spice of life. Or is that romance? Well, anyway, I love Jeanette’s outlook and her refreshing take on the ordinary. And about her tips—I can really relate to #5 since I live by my sticky notes throughout the day. Whittling them down to 5? Ooooh, I get hives just thinking about that. But it would be a good thing. A really good thing. 😉

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I’m with you, Cynthia. I get scared at the thought of shrinking my to-do list, too. *sigh* One of those things I need to learn…

  • April 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Great tips and love your humor, Jen! Sarah, thanks for hosting! You guys are awesome!

    It’s easier to manage my day now that the kids are grown. I have more time for myself and for hubz. I’ve learned to do just one thing at a time…then go to the next on the list. Sometimes, multitasking just makes you crazy. It wears you down.

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      I agree about multitasking, Loree. You saw my Top 5 list on that, right? 🙂 If only I could follow my own advice sometimes…

  • April 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Jen, and thanks, Sarah for hosting her! Congratulations, Jen , on your book! 🙂

  • April 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    the to-do list method is my conquer-all method! you climb a mountain one step at a time….i just like to fully lay out the intricacies for just one step….all so that i feel better about my accomplishments (b/c i’m checking off more!). 🙂 great post, jeanette!

    • April 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      I do the same thing, Jeannie. In fact, just tonight, I wrote an errand on my to-do list, then proceeded to run the errand, and came back home to mark it off my list. 🙂 Ahhh, the endorphins…

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