I fully anticipated today would be our “baptism of fire” in getting into a routine. After all, school is over, and due to putting together a garage sale one week, and my back and shoulder pain the next (thanks to said garage sale) we just came off of two weeks of unlimited play time, more videos than usual, and lower standards for orderliness.
Today, however, was not filled with complaints and resistance by the kids. In fact, I am happy to report that they were excited to have a special summer schedule. This never happens to me. I am the one who reads the article written by the mother extraordinaire, think to myself, “hey – that sounds great! I am going to do that!” And then, somewhere between that thought and the execution of that thought I find myself experiencing something so different from what was described in the innocent article. Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, and perhaps its past experience that makes me think of today as a sort of “honeymoon” period. I mean, really, in a brief discussion during dinner of things we were grateful for today one of my children actually said, “I’m grateful for our new schedule!”
Okay, It’s only fair to admit that today’s schedule just happens to be the one day of the week that is particularly kid-centered. We went to a free movie at our local cinema, did the dollar menu with friends at McDonalds afterward, hit the pool, and finished the day with going to daddy’s softball game (at Beachmont Christian Camp –a.k.a. little boy heaven). This is an unusually “fun-filled” day, so of course they loved it. But still, they worked on their math facts, did their reading, and even helped with some of my housework.
I think my experience tomorrow is going to give us all a better idea of what this whole scheduled life is like. But if it encourages any of you out there to jump in and try, I want you to know that the Girls are right, kids really do thrive on order and routine.
What about me? The kids did great, but what about the Mom? Actually, all of my feelings were inclined toward getting some sense of order back in the home – so this helped. As I said before, my two anticipated weaknesses are that when I don’t feel like doing something on the schedule, it will be harder to implement. The area of legalism is also a concern. Today I believe I am truly considering it all grace that things went so well. There was, however, one point during the day when I sinned against one of my children (not schedule related), and detected that my heart felt less guilt than usual and deceitfully reminded me that “at least I have kept my schedule”. In a subtle way, I was using my good work as some sort of conscience anesthetic. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit immediately stopped me in my tracks and I was able to recognize the pride and legalism, confess it, and receive forgiveness.
So I end this day full of gratitude for God’s kindness to me and my family in helping us be happy in following a schedule. I am grateful for so many fun things that happened today as well. And most of all I end this day aware that God receives all of the glory for any success we had.