All the chit chat on email and the social networks seems to be about gearing up for the busy Fall. The sense I’m getting is that this time of year is met with some dread. The Fall does bring more of a regular routine no matter what season of life you’re in. But my heart’s cry is that we would live intentionally during busy seasons and not let activities control our families. Since we all know ahead of time that the Fall is extra busy, we would benefit from pre-planning rather than letting life hit us with no plan in place.
Start with prioritizing
Decide what the “big rocks” are in your family
o The things you won’t compromise on like play/down/quiet time, meal time, family worship, homework, hobbies, work requirements, maintenance of your home, conversation, solitude, SLEEP
After you know what MUST go into the family’s schedule, decide which additional activities can be added without compromise.
o There are many good things for our families to participate in. But an intentional parent thinks first about the impact on the family. It isn’t reasonable to think that we can allow every activity in which we want to be involved into the family schedule. Spread things out as much as possible; pick and choose. Get everyone involved in the decision-making. This helps train our children to learn to set their own priorities.
o Stress kills; manage the family schedule to minimize stress. A family with too many activities going at once is a stressed out family. We get irritable, grumpy, angry with each other. Many times we choose to keep ourselves busy to avoid dealing with the things God is trying to speak to us about.
o Learn to appreciate silence and solitude so you can think more clearly and refresh and restore. This is a generation of entertainment addiction. Do some free stuff! Unplug! Picnic, swim in the river, watch a sunset, play with your pet, reflect on your blessings, look at photo albums together, talk about the past and the future, have actual conversations. Big payoff.
– Record all known events, deadlines & appointments
o Make this calendar the official one; all others must be sync’ed with this one, not the other way around.
– Keep it updated and check it at strategic times during the week. Check it every evening and especially check it at the end of the week so you can be prepared for the following week.
– Check it before committing to anything new
– Make a command center in a central location in your home that is accessible to everyone. Here is a great post from a blog I follow about how to set up a command center.
There is so much more to say but this will get us started. My heart says especially to the younger ones … stop and think: make home a winsome, inviting, comforting place to be for you and your family. Do it your way, but I encourage you to have an enjoyable yet intentional Fall season.