Greetings all! My name is Gina, and I serve as the Shoppe Manager here at GraceLaced. I'm coming to you as a guest on GraceLaced blog today due to something many of us want but almost none of us have right now: plans. And when you have no plans, what are you supposed to do with your 2020 planner?
Any member of GraceLaced team - and anyone I know, actually - will tell you how much I love my planner. I'm a pen + paper gal all the way, and as soon as I know something is coming up I write it down. As we're all doing our part to shelter-in-place, days have rolled into weeks which have rolled into months, and I - like many of you - started finding myself with a completely empty planner. Pages once filled with appointments, assignments, and get-togethers were sitting blank and I started to think about how I could reclaim my planner even though I had no plans.
Here are three ways (though there are many more) I've used the pages of my planner more intentionally with cancelled plans during my quarantine days that I want to share with you. I'm using my 2020 GraceLaced Planner (the 2021 Planner is releasing later this year!), but you can use any planner or calendar you may happen to have.
1. Grow in the Lord.
Planners are typically used to help us, well, plan ahead, but that doesn't mean they can't multi-task and help to keep records as well. The week view and accompanying notes page are perfect for chronicling what you're reading in God's Word each day and anything that stands out to you from a particular reading.
As I've been finding myself with more time on my hands I am trying to use that time in the best way I can and increase my daily Bible readings. I started the M'Cheyne Reading Plan, which has four chapters per day as part of it's schedule (it's great - you can have the readings emailed to you each day!). On the notes page I record the chapters I read each day, and then in the week view I write down a verse that strikes me from each day's reading, whether it be reminders of God's favor, inspiring faith, or instructions from the Lord Jesus.
2. Plan a project.
Certain tasks can seem overwhelming when you think about them, but if you start breaking them down into smaller pieces they can seem a bit more do-able. Use your week view to set small tasks for yourself each day to accomplish an overall project or goal.
Cleaning out my closet always feels like a bear of a project, but since I have weeks at a time where I'm not leaving the house and thus don't have to think about what to wear, there is no time like the present! It's also that time of year where I swap out my cold-weather and warm-weather clothes, so it gives me a great opportunity to go through my entire wardrobe all at once. Breaking it down into a set list for each day - with delightful little boxes I can check off - means I can balance the project with working from home and not let one thing consume my time to the detriment of the other.
3. Find value in every day.
Use your month view to record something positive each day, however big or small. Be general or be specific. Scribble it quickly or take time to make it fancy. And think about a theme to bring an added angle through which you're chronicling your time in isolation.
Me, I chose food. So many meals have such happy memories associated with them and I thought, even though I'm making a lot more of them, quarantine meals shouldn't be any different! While I'm a meal planner, usually looking ahead to what I'm going to make, looking back on a favorite culinary "adventure" from each day was a nice exercise in looking for something special each day. I'll remember the stress relief that came from crushing stale bread into breadcrumbs, and the elation I felt in accomplishing Mary Berry's scones recipe when it seemed like I couldn't do anything else right that week!
Our planners are often a tool to chronicle or keep track of our lives - in this season, God is teaching us and growing us more than we know. Even though we currently find ourselves in less than ideal circumstances, I hope these ideas help you reclaim your planner - and your year! - as you live with intention each day and cultivate joy in the Lord.
How are you repurposing your open calendar and planner for good? Post your ideas on Instagram and tag @gracelaced - we’d love to see how you reclaim these days!