Do you think of your schedule as a gold mine?
Let me explain.
If you are an adult – and especially a parent of multiple kids – you’ve almost certainly faced (at least once) a constrictive schedule dominated by ‘who needs to go where, for what, and when.’
Two weeks ago I found myself in a surprising position. A schedule that for years had allowed me to serve in a volunteer leadership position on Thursday nights suddenly steamrolled my plans. As the fall sports schedules were released and carpools were worked out, I challenged myself:
How can I drive from Columbia to Annapolis, make dinner, and handle homework questions in between 5:45 and 6:45?
I know! I will use the slow cooker and pray there is never a traffic jam.
I have worked logistical miracles before, but seriously?
Thankfully, I came to the sober realization that I needed to step down from leadership and take a back seat to my kids’ plans for Thursday nights.
I tell you this because my first inclination was to say, “I take a back seat to my children,” but the Plan for me was: You get to spend more time one-on-one with them.
See the change?
How often do you view your schedule and say:
Wow! Today I get to go to the dentist!
I get to walk my dog two times!
I get to cheer up a friend!
I get to coach my child on handling disappointment!
I get to give a presentation at work!
I get to choose my own attitude!
My kids are at three very different and important life phases right now: elementary school, middle school, and high school. Their needs are discrete. They often don’t share details with me.
But if I am fully present to them – I hear what they don’t say directly.
I get to listen more.
In the last few days I’ve heard…
- My second grader say that he visualizes drawing red circles on the ceiling with lasers, and I learn that his mind is like a painter’s, creating anew in the abstract.
- My middle-schooler say that a teacher asked her to show a new student around, and I hear in her voice that this has made her feel valued and confident.
- My high-school freshman explain that any boy who would someday want to date his sister must be “smart, kind, and considerate – opening doors for her on dates and stuff,” and I understand that despite his constant chiding of her, he feels protective.
Observations like this are gold – gold mined in the quiet moments between life’s scheduled events.
Our days are filled with opportunities to participate in creation, because we are made in the image of the Creator. His imprint is within each one of us, and He has given us the ability to work in collaboration with Him.
Our choices can work with His plan for our best interests – or against it.
And when we go with Him, blessings abound.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11