It started last week.
One daughter’s weekly piano lessons re-launched on Monday after a six-week hiatus…we began a new schedule for the other daughter’s voice and guitar lessons on Tuesday…and we returned to dance for both – one in ballet and the other jazz – on Wednesday. We also sit poised to start up with their choir and drama classes on alternating Fridays in another week. On top of all that, they have monthly Friday night gatherings with a small group of same-aged girls, monthly Saturday night events for their tween group, semi-monthly get-togethers with fellow tween/teen homeschoolers from church…and babysitting jobs – not one or even two but three regular gigs.
That doesn’t include the various ministries in which we all serve at church. Nor does it begin to take into consideration the girls’ homeschool academics or my occasional outside activities…to say nothing of my husband’s enterprises, which are so random and varied as to defy any attempt at listing and classifying.
But the funny thing is that I purposely aim to avoid over-commitment.
And even though the thought of sailing hither and yon almost every day of the week for all of the above makes me shudder at times, when I look more closely, I realize that most of my girls’ activities are simply different expressions of a few of their interests. So in the grand scheme, we’re not doing that much. It just so happens that I have to play ship’s captain a lot in order to facilitate those relatively few passions.
I know I’m not alone in the busyness. Fact is, even when we purpose to keep a handle on outside activities, the reality is that those of us with school-aged kids are simply in the midst of a very full season of life. We can ameliorate it to some extent, but if we hope to help our children discover who God has wired each to be, we have to provide them with opportunities to explore various interests. And that translates into some inevitable busyness.
But, of course, we can’t use that as an excuse to sideline the most important things. Specifically, we must choose to prioritize deep, abiding relationships with our spouses and children. And even more than that, we must insist on holding ourselves accountable to maintaining and strengthening our personal relationships with the Lord. If we have those anchors, we can weather the storms of busyness. But if we attempt to navigate through activity after activity without that relational ballast, we’ll surely sink.
So before you get too far out of the harbor this fall, pause and ponder. What are you doing to daily spend meaningful time with God? How are you deepening your marriage relationship? Are you connected to your kids or merely steering them around town? How are you growing closer to Jesus as a family?
Once you get under way with that, you’ll be ready to face even a gale-force wind of activity.
Photo Credit: Loïc Lagarde