Hi, Jim Daly here. Today's culture deeply needs help, but in times like these, the light of Christ can shine even brighter.
So be encouraged to share his light in this broken world. Listen to the Refocus with Jim Daly Podcast. Without time limitations, I'll have deep, heartfelt discussions with fascinating guests who will encourage you to share God's grace, truth, and love.
Check out the podcast at RefocusWithJimDaly.com or wherever you get your podcasts. Ninety-five percent of my time being a mom, and the rest I am at work. Even though I have a full-time job, I'm always a mom. My kids call me at work, but I'm also a mom to those at work a lot of times, too. Okay, I spend eight hours at work a day, come home. Dinner, homework, baths. I definitely work more than I have one-on-one time with the kids, and during the weekends, a full-time mom. Try to get a workout in.
It's about an hour, hour and a half. Busy moms know what that's like, trying to fit everything into the to-do list and juggling more responsibilities than they can count. If you're a busy mom or you know a busy mom who wishes she had more hours in the day, this episode of Focus on the Family is for you.
Your host is Focus President and author, Jim Daly, and I'm John Fuller. You know, John, I want to give a lot of credit to my wife, Jean, who managed those parenting years so well. When I think back on it, you know, I was working hard, and I had a lot of responsibility here at Focus, which is really no excuse. But, you know, Jean just, she'd batten down the hatches, took care of the home and got the kids off to school and all the things that needed to be done, all the boo-boos and entertainment. And really, one of the things she did so well, you know, she didn't like screen time for the kids. So, I mean, keeping their imagination going, having them in the basement building things and all the erector sets and all the other things that we ended up getting to keep their little minds thinking of creative ways of using their time. It was just awesome, but the strain was there. I'm kind of painting the perfect picture, but there was strain, and she often struggled to have enough time and energy to get through the day.
That may be where you're at, and this program is going to be for you. I remember one of the amazing things, I got home one time, you know, six o'clock, which was a typical time for me arriving, and I didn't even get my foot in the door. She was already at the door with the two boys, and she said, okay, I'm done for the day. They're yours. I was like, okay, maybe I could, you know, change my clothes. I don't care what you're going to do. You're just going to take them right now. So I knew that day was the end of the road for her.
And thankfully, you're not going to be hearing from a couple of us guys on what this looks like. We have a guest, Crystal Payne. She's an author, a blogger, a speaker, a podcast host, best known for her Money Saving Mom blog. And she's a busy mom with six kids ranging from teens to toddlers. Crystal has written a terrific book, The Time Saving Mom, How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most.
Contact us today for a copy of that book and learn more about Crystal when you call 800, the letter A in the word family, 800-232-6459, or check the show notes for details. Crystal, welcome back to Focus. Good to have you. You know, I am so excited to be here, but I have to say from the get go, you said I was a busy mom. I actually prefer to say that my life is full because I feel like when we use the term busy, it kind of makes us a victim of our calendar and our circumstances. And it kind of is like, I'm a busy mom. I actually have a very full life, but it's a wonderful life. It's awesome.
Your son is out in the gallery feeding your infant baby, you know, the bottle. That's awesome. Way to go. And let's talk about your stage of life right now. In fact, how are you doing?
You know, I said I have never been on this radio broadcast when I've had three under three and not really slept for the last three nights. So I am living the message of this book and straddling a lot of seasons. My oldest is 18 and she is a senior, so we're getting ready to launch her. So I have two college visits in the next two weeks and then we have a 15 year old, a 13 year old, then we had 10 years of secondary infertility. And then we have a two and a half year old, a two and a half year old and just turned eight month old. And our second two and a half year old that we adopted from foster care, we fostered him for 22 months.
He has a lot of special needs down syndrome, cleft lip, palate and a feeding tube. And so God has just stretched me in so many ways in the last few years, but also been so faithful. Yeah. And that's the whole point of your book, The Time Saving Mom, and you're living it, which is awesome. I mean, you're learning as you're even expressing things that you found that are very helpful to shape your day. You wrote or gave a speech in high school that kind of gives shape to this that you mentioned in the book. What was the speech and how does it fit today?
Yes. So when I was 18 years old at my high school graduation, I gave a speech not because I was the valedictorian, but because I was homeschooled. So you graduate at the top of your class and I guess the bottom of your class. You get to give a speech at your graduation. And my speech was time is short. That is really what I just wanted to leave with people to remember. You only get one life and so use it well. And that's something that I've been passionate about since the time I was a teenager. Yeah.
In that regard, how do you help moms get into a better frame of mind when it comes to their time allocation? Because what you said at the opening is so true. We look at ourselves almost as a victim of our circumstances rather than this is life and this is good.
And we can do this. We get to choose our perspective. And I really feel like gratitude reframes our perspective. And so for me to recognize like this is a gift.
Like I said, we had 10 years of secondary infertility. And so having three under three, one with pretty severe special needs. Life is very full. But at the same time, I look at them and I think this is a gift.
And so when there are messes, when there are hard things, when there is crying, when it feels like there's just not enough of me to go around. I keep reminding myself this is a gift. I prayed for this. This was 10 years in the making.
I could have never dreamed that this is what God had. And I just want to be every day living in light of gratitude. And that reframes your perspective.
Absolutely. I mean, moms are watching on YouTube and listening and they're going, OK, great. She's a superhero. She's that superhero mom.
Way to go, Crystal. I'm living down here where it's not really fun and it's not a superhero kind of thing. But you look at Second Corinthians 12, I think, and you pulled something out of scripture. What is it? I think one of the things is it's so easy to look at someone else and feel like that they have it all together. And one of the things that I talk about on Instagram, I'm the money saving mom on Instagram, and I try to give a real view of what it's like, that it is not perfect.
My room is a mess a lot. I have a lot of just challenges every single day of my life. It never goes exactly like I expect, but I have God's spirit in me. And so I, as a child of God, having his spirit in me, I'm supercharged with superhuman superpowers because of the ability that I have to lean on his spirit that I don't have to do this in my own strength.
And that's really in the time saving mom. I started out with talking about prayer and what it looks like to truly live from that posture of reliance upon God. I feel like so often our frustration comes because we're trying to white knuckle our way through life.
Like we're just trying to cling and do it all in our own strength instead of releasing and saying, God, what does it look like for me to live just fully through your spirit? And Crystal, age and stage, I think plays into this. I can remember just observing Jean as her husband. I mean, when the kids were little, it was hard. I mean, she just was busy keeping their fingers out of the electrical switch and, you know, keeping them out of the fridge and battening down all the drawers and cupboards.
In addition to all the other stuff that was going on. So, you know, again, maybe speak to that stage and phase of parenting. I'm sure moms are listening going, seriously, Crystal, time for prayer?
Do you know what I'm going through? Well, you do. So speak to that necessity to create a little bit of time, maybe wake up a little earlier or in the middle of making a meal. You can also pray and speak to that need to do that. I think prayer is a posture of our heart and it's not necessarily getting down on our knees for 30 minutes.
That's great if you have time to do that. But for me in my life, I oftentimes when my feet hit the floor in the morning, there are people calling my name, you know, and they need me. And and I can't just drop everything and go to my closet for 45 minutes or even four or five minutes. And so I have what I call flare prayers. And so it's just shooting up little prayers throughout the day. You know, when I wake up in the morning and like last night, my son was up my eight month old every 40 to 50 minutes. He was up crying. He's teething.
And and the night before it was every 10 to 25 minutes. So, you know, gratitude reframes your perspective. I was like, oh, my goodness, he slept better last night. But just starting from that posture of, OK, God, you are going to have to give me what I need because I don't have it in my own strength. And so leaning on him instead of waking up and being like, I did not get enough sleep last night. I don't know how I'm going to do today, saying, God, I'm expectantly excited and waiting on how you're going to show up today and be strong in my weakness. And so shooting up those flare prayers, a lot of times for me, I start my day on the treadmill and I just pray over my day as I'm walking, because I find that it's something about having my body moving helps my mind be able to be still. And it might just be five or 10 minutes, but just praying over whatever is happening that day, whatever is heavy on my heart.
And oftentimes there are children that are running around right around me while I'm doing this. But just it's saying, God, I need you. I want to rely upon you. Give me the strength for going through today. Give me wisdom for that meeting or that conversation with a child. I'm weary today.
Give me what I need. Yeah, I would think temperament plays into this. I mean, again, I'm thinking of my wife, pretty black and white. Jean is and I think she values that longer kind of prayer time structure is important to her versus the flare prayer. She might not think that's adequate. I could get that. I understand that. But do you think temperament plays into this? You've got to basically learn to undo some things in how your personality is in order to, you know, rest a bit in this life.
You know, the last two and a half years, we brought home four babies, two that I birthed and two that we fostered. And that really challenged my temperament, which used to be so black and white, very type A. And it was like I couldn't be that anymore. And I had to rely upon God like never before.
And I talk about in the opening of the book, bringing home David, who is our two and a half year old who we adopted. And they they dropped him off in the middle of the night. And he had, you know, this cleft lip palette and this feeding tube.
And he had Down syndrome. And I didn't know how to deal with any of those things. And they just it was like 15 minutes.
The caseworker drops him off and then, you know, she leaves. And I just had to cry out to God and rely upon him like never before. And over the next few weeks, as we tracked down all the different specialists and he had a surgery and and there was very little sleep happening. And so much of it was just far beyond what I was capable of in my own strength. But every single day I saw God be so faithful. He would bring someone into our path, a doctor or some therapist or someone who would connect us with someone who would give us the piece of information that we needed. And it was just that reliance upon God and seeing him be so faithful. And that has been spread to every area of my life of, you know, wanting to live my life in that space of I can't do this in my own strength. But God, you can.
And so I release it to you and I live trusting you to live through me. Yeah. In the book, and I'll use strong language because I think you did in the book, you encourage women not to complain. They don't have enough time in the day to get everything done. You kind of sit in that group dynamic with your girlfriends and say, yeah, there just isn't enough time in a day.
So what should they do instead? I think it's so easy for us to focus on what we don't have instead of to really celebrate what we do have. And so you have 24 hours. And so trusting God that he is going to give you everything that you need to do what he has called you to do. And so instead of saying, I don't have time, I really challenge you to reframe your mindset to say, I'm choosing to spend my time differently. Now, I wouldn't say that you're going to tell someone that if they ask you to get together with them and you're like, I'm choosing to spend my time differently. But it's a mindset shift of I get to choose how I spend my time instead of saying I have to do these things.
I get to. And then it also challenges you to say, well, how am I spending my time? What am I investing my time in?
What do my days look like? Am I intentionally investing that time? Because I get to choose how I spend it. Right. And we're covering prayer was your number one idea. And then secondly is priority step two, if I could call it that priorities. And in that context, you created something called the six by two priority system. And for only nine ninety nine, I mean, it sounds very applicable.
So what's the six by two system? So this one, I just sort of fell into it. I have two hands and I can hold two things at once. Like I have three little ones right now.
If I try to pick up another child and I have two and I try to pick up the third, it doesn't work very well. And it's the same thing with our priorities. So I for years would try to do all the things every day. Like I need to be focusing on my marriage. I need to be focusing on my kids. I need to be focusing on the business. I need to be focusing on my health. And I would constantly just feel so overwhelmed because I couldn't do all the things every single day. So instead of focusing on a day, I now focus on a week. Over the course of a week, have I invested intentional time in each of my six priority areas?
And so I call it the six by two priority system because I focus on two priorities per day. And so that doesn't mean that, you know, I don't know if the kids it's not their day. So I'm like, oh, sorry, you can't talk to me or my husband. I'm like, can't talk to me.
No. But it would look like a date night, you know, maybe an at home date night or just spending an hour with my husband and us having that time twice a week if we just have intentional time. Over the course of a year, if you have invested twice a week in your marriage, that adds up. Same with your relationship with your kids. Same with your health.
Same with your business. And so there's things that you every day are going to just need to do. But you can also choose to spend some intentional time in certain areas. And instead of trying to spend it in all the areas at once, let's pick two per day and then rotate those over the course of a week. And that's how you really can intentionally focus and be fully present but not feel overwhelmed.
Yeah. Do you ever feel like the Lord's laying it on your heart? Maybe that would be one of the things the Lord, you know, don't forget about your marriage.
Don't forget about your kids. It would be kind of a natural cycle for you to begin to hear the Lord just say, don't neglect this area. Well, I think it's really helpful for me because then, you know how sometimes you can get so focused in one area and to the detriment of others.
Maybe one of your children is going through a really hard time. And so you just kind of put every single thing on them and you let some other important things go. And so this helps me to make sure, okay, we are spending that intentional time with them, but also I'm not neglecting my marriage or my health or, you know, these other areas of my life in the process of focusing on that. And I do feel like it really helps me to look at my week as a whole and say, have I invested in those areas that are really going to matter at the end of my life because that's what I want to wrap my time and my life and my energy around. That's Crystal Payne, the money saving mom, and she's with us today on Focus on the Family with her new book, The Time Saving Mom. And we have copies of that here at the ministry.
Get a copy when you call 800, the letter A in the word family, or stop by the show notes for details. Crystal, you encourage moms to develop some kind of a calendar system to make sure they're writing things down. I think I get that because it gets so chaotic. Who's got the doctor's appointment, which day, and what obligation do you have on another day?
But it takes time to do that. So how do you keep up with just your calendar? So I have a hybrid planning system that I use. I'm not saying everyone needs to do this, but this is just what works for me with working full time, running my own business, and having a child who has a lot of therapies and doctor's appointments, and then also having a spread of children who have lots of different things going on with sports and activities and all of that.
And so Google Calendar is really helpful for me because you can have multiple calendars, you can see it all at once, and it has the drag and drop feature, which I really love. And I put in anything that comes into my head, I put it in Google Calendar as an all-day event. And I have found that when we make space in our brain, it just helps us to be able to breathe. And so for me, there's a weight that you carry around as a mom if you have 27 things that are just swirling around in your head that you need to remember and do right now. But if you can get them out of your head into a safe place, then you can breathe and you can focus where you're at. You can focus on that conversation with your child. You can focus on that conversation with a friend.
You can focus on your marriage because you're not having all of this swirl around in your brain. So I use Google Calendar to put everything, to just brain dump all the things, every single little thing that comes into my head, put it into Google Calendar. And then when I need to be reminded of it, I'm reminded of it. And then every day I create a written time block to-do list. And that's why I call it hybrid because technology plus handwritten. There's a lot of research that has shown that handwriting something down, instead of just typing it out, you are going to remember it better and you're going to be more apt to actually follow through with it.
Yeah, that makes sense. I tend to try to remember too many things during the day and I end up forgetting them because of that. So getting it down, writing it down, that's a great idea. You also promote writing out the to-do list every day.
I mean, I think that's similar. These are things we've got to accomplish, not just appointments, but speak to the differentiator of that. What's a to-do list versus what you're doing in Google Calendar? So Google Calendar is where I brain dump all the things, whether it's something in three months from now, three days from now, three hours from now, whatever, I need to get it out of my brain. My time block to-do list is where I actually write out the plan for the day. It's like a budget for my day.
We talk a lot since MoneySavingMom.com, a lot about budgeting and I've helped for years people with their budget. And I feel like when you have a budget, when you tell your money where to go, you're going to spend it a lot more intentionally. Same is true for our time. If we pre-decide how we're going to spend our time, we're going to be much more intentional with it and we're going to be able to prioritize better. So my time block to-do list is just me writing out my budget for my time for the day. And the other thing with it is it helps you be realistic because I used to have this problem of I would write this massive to-do list with 37 things, but I would assume that I had 45 hours in my day if I was able to get those things done.
And then I would get to 5 p.m. and I would be like... Halfway. Yes, and then all frustrated because my list was so far from getting done. So a time block to-do list really helps because it helps you see the confines of what you actually have realistically, the hours that you have in your day and to be able to stick with those and prioritize well with what you have. You know, I think too for the person that's not maybe that organized, if I could say it that way, what about the creation of some margin for your own space, just think time or downtime, whatever it might be.
Do you put that in there? Yes, so one of the things with the time block to-do list is I always allow wiggle room. I mean right now with having three little ones, there's interruptions galore. I mean I have gotten so great at using four and seven minute time blocks because a lot of times that's all I have. The fact that you're saying four and seven is a little like, what?
Not eight, not five, just four and seven. Okay, I'm throwing it out there but you get the idea. It's amazing what you can get done in a small amount of time when you're motivated. But I allow lots of wiggle room. So each of the time blocks I'm going to buffer them with wiggle room. And then at the end of the day, I allow two to four hours where I don't plan anything because interruptions are going to happen.
And if I plan for interruptions, then when they happen, I'm not all frustrated because it's like, oh, I planned for this. You spilled the milk? Oh, yeah, we got time for that.
Oh, you broke that thing? We've got time for that. And so it just allows you to have a lot more peace. It's the same like with a budget but when you have a budget for your time and you budget for the unexpected, then you're going to have so much more peace in your heart and these things that used to would have been emergencies or cause a lot of frustration and stress no longer do.
See, all this time I thought it was my personality. I didn't know I just needed a block of time to clean that milk up. It would have been far easier. We're kind of covering four P's. So we talked about prayer, priorities, plan, moving into the fourth, which is prep. And I think this is really wise. I think a lot of moms, again, my observation of Jean is she learned this kind of as she was going through it, which is why young moms particularly really need to get the time-saving mom because these concepts are so beneficial. But just getting some things done the night before, once she started doing that, I think her day got a lot easier.
But sometimes it might be a discipline issue within yourself to say, okay, I got to do this stuff. What does that stuff look like for you to prep for the next day? So prepping for me is not only physically prepping but also mentally prepping. And so with physically prepping, I believe that a successful day starts the night before. So what can you do before you go to bed? It could be just simple things like maybe you need to leave at 9 o'clock in the morning, so get the bag ready and set it by the door, something you need to bring with you, put it in the car. Picking out your outfit before you go to bed. Little things like getting breakfast ready or having the kitchen clean or starting the dishwasher, starting a load of laundry.
Just what can you do to help yourself have a more successful day tomorrow? But also mentally prepping because I feel like we've talked about this a little bit about changing our mindset from have to to get to. I feel like so often we want to blame other people. We want to say, you know, well, it's just the season of life that I'm in and it's just super, super hard, so I just can't be organized. Instead of us to take ownership and say, you know what, I can do what I can do, so what can I do?
What are the things that I can do right now to make small changes? I feel like I know this is so true. With Money Saving Mom, I'm talking a lot about helping people to cut their grocery bill and so often when I'll just share about our grocery budget, we have a $100 grocery budget, and I will share that and share what we got and immediately people will push back and they'll be like, well, I can't do that because, you know, we live out in the country or we're gluten free or whatever. And I'm like, I didn't say you had to do this, but it's our instinct I feel like to go to making excuses versus taking ownership. And so to take ownership and also I feel like one of the things that I say in the book is to fake it until you feel it, that feelings follow action. And so instead of just sitting there and being like, I can't do this, I'm not an organized person, I'm just not good at this, this is not me, to say, okay, how would an organized person act? Well, I'm going to start acting as if I were organized or how would someone who is starting their day well act? Well, I'm going to act as if I know how to start my day well.
Feelings follow action and so get up and take that first action and you'll be amazed at how much your feelings will eventually follow. Well, and what I hear you saying, it's a learned behavior, not a genetic trait. You know, you can learn to be more organized. Yes, and it doesn't have to be perfect.
I think that a lot of times people think that organization looks a certain way. I feel like we can all use our time intentionally even if we're someone who we have a very like type Z personality. You can still be intentional with your time, it's just going to look different. You know what's so interesting to me as we're talking, these principles can apply to everybody, not just moms who have a lot on their plate, but dads too if we just read it and put it into play. We're right at the end, Crystal, and I love the conclusion in your book where you share the story about fostering and eventually adopting your son, David. You've mentioned it a couple of times, but you actually credit your ability to be accountable for your time, to giving you the opportunity. And I, wow, what a way to look at it. It feels spiritual in nature that you're able to do these things so you can do ministry. And that is why I'm so passionate, not only about helping people get their finances in order, because I feel like if Christians can get their finances in order, we can do great things for the kingdom of God. But same thing with our time. If we budget our time well, we're intentional with our time, it frees us up to be able to minister.
It frees us up to be able to have the space in our lives to be able to do the work that really matters. And so that is my passion. And actually, the last chapter of the book is the chapter that I never expected to write. That's what it's called, because in the middle of writing this book, we found out that we were going to be adopting David. We said yes to that. That wasn't the plan, but God opened up that door. And so we wrapped our brain around all of that and what that was going to look like of lifelong caregiving. And then we were like, OK, he's the caboose, you know, five kids.
Wow. And then four weeks later found out I was expecting and so wrote this book in the middle of morning, noon and night sickness and really had the opportunity to practice the principles of it. And, you know, at first I was like, I don't know. I don't know if I can do this. And I was like, well, let's put it to the test. Let's see if this works when your life is turned upside down. Let's see if having your starting from that posture of prayer, if prioritizing well, if planning and if prepping, if all of those things can actually allow me to write this book while I have six, you know, five other children and to just do it from a place and a space of peace. And by the grace of God, I did and got it actually turned in early. OK, so every mom, you need this book.
That's the point. And if you can get in touch with us, we'll send it as our way of saying thank you for supporting the ministry. Make a gift. A monthly gift is great.
A one time gift is fine. If you can't afford it, we'll get it to you because this is desperation time. And we want to be in your corner helping you with your day to day activities. And I think this is probably one of the best resources I've seen that's so practical, so down to earth.
And as Crystal just said, she's in the heat of it now and it's working. So why not get a copy and you can connect with us. And John, what are those details? That's why, Jim, our number is 800 the letter A and the word family 800-232-6459. Click the link in the show notes and that'll take you to find out more about donating to the ministry and getting a copy of Crystal's great book, The Time Saving Mom. Crystal, thank you so much for being here and the sacrifice you made to be here time wise. So thank you for that. You're so welcome. It was such an honor to be here.
It's good to have you. Thank you for choosing to spend your time with us today on Focus on the Family and coming up tomorrow, Dana Gresh and her husband Bob reveal how God restored and redeemed their marriage. And when we hit these bumps in the road, we tend to believe the lie. I don't need to tell anybody.
Nobody needs to know about this. But there's still healing to work out in our lives and in our relationships from the consequences of that sin. And that healing, according to the book of James, happens in community. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Focus on the Family based counselors will help you learn how to prioritize each other, make your marriage feel new again. Focus on the family dot com slash getaway for dates and locations.
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