It seems to be in my very nature to resist schedules. As immature as it sounds, schedules are very boring to me, so as soon as a new schedule’s novelty wears off, I find it very hard to follow. Being that routines are mini-schedules, I have very few. I recognize this as bad. And it sometimes gets me into trouble. It certainly explains how I can forget to put on deodorant from time to time.
Thankfully, God has not given me a child that absolutely must live by tight schedules. Or if He has, I have not recognized it yet. But I do recognize the need for order and a good schedule definitely has its place. My struggle has been to find the balance of variety and spontaneity with good sense and order. Over the years, I have swung the pendulum between ultra-scheduled with every minute tidily assigned to under-scheduled, as in complete chaos under the charming euphemism of creative scheduling. Neither works for me.
In my search for the answer, I turned in the Bible to the Book of Self-Management…oh, wait, that’s not in there, is it? Actually, I’m sure it’s in there, with pieces scattered throughout the whole, but I’m not wise (nor disciplined) enough to read it and apply it with such aplomb. I am still wading in the shallows and the answer is probably found in the deep after years upon years of searching. I will probably have to rely on the word of others who have plumbed that particular depth.
In the meantime, I have been amused by the answer I have found in the book of nature. God has shown me that schedules can be comforting and exciting at the same time. Take the seasons for instance. He provides regularity and rhythm -winter, spring, summer, fall – yet dazzles us with dramatic change. And never does he leave us to get too comfortable with one season. We find that just as we are tiring of one, we witness little signs of the next appearing. Yet, just as soon as the season we were just in passes, we find ourselves looking forward to it again next year.
This is the kind of schedule I want for our family. The question is what does that look like in our house? How do I apply the same principles of rhythm and regularity but keep just enough variety to keep our spirits burning with creativity? Or, in other words, how do I cook three meals, get everyone dressed with chores done, grow minds and bodies and make everyone look forward again to the next day, wondering what new adventure might befall?
I see the blueprint all around me…it’s just making it happen that’s the tough part.