How we manage our busy schedule

Monday, May 1, 2023

Easter Sunday in 2023

Spring can be busy but it doesn't have to drive us apart because of stress. Today I want to tell you about how our family manages busy times. 

Busy means different things to different people. Some families prefer to have heavy schedules. Others opt for lighter commitments so they can enjoy being together more often. The truth is that everyone gets busy at times. 

Springtime brings lighter temperatures and lots of activities for our family. My husband is a pastor so the church's schedule affects our schedule. Easter is a big season for us. Right after Easter festivities are done, we manage all the end-of-school-year activities. 

The kids have final exams, recitals, concerts, musicals, and sports. These additions to full-time jobs can be stressful. 

I want to offer a few simple suggestions for those looking for inspiration to thrive during a busy season. 

1. We talk about our week before it starts • we have a habit of looking at our schedule before the week begins. We talk about it as a family as well. Now that the kids are bigger, they can remind us of any important dates or pick-up times. Everyone in our family has a favorite way to keep up with a calendar. Speaking about the week before it happens has helped us cover busy weeks as well as offer assistance where needed. 

2. We help each other - When we speak about our week, we may notice someone with a heavier dose of commitment. One time, one of the kids qualified for an all-state clinic. The clinic required extra practice and travel. Our family came together to help one another so we could be sure all the kids have everything they needed. 

3. We ask for help - We learned not to be embarrassed to ask for help. I tend to try to do everything by myself. Asking for help allows us all to reach our goal of thriving during a busy season. I learned to ask for help with chores. I'm amazed at how it frees up my time so I can do other things. 

4. We schedule time together - my husband is especially gifted in thinking about how we can spend time together during busy seasons. The simple act of sitting down together to share our hearts is especially meaningful. We always feel better and we agree that we needed that boost of love and encouragement. When it comes to spending time together as a family, dinner time is our way of joining forces. It takes effort and planning to have meals on the table during busy weeks but this is a well-established habit for us.

5. We schedule rest time - A rested family is an effective family. We learned that being busy does not mean being restless. Sure, there are early mornings and late nights at times. We learned to cultivate the habit of resting adequately so we feel refreshed most of the time. To put things into perspective, we may decline a few invitations if it means we get multiple hours of rest before the busy season begins. I remember saying no to hanging out so we could spend a full day at home resting and recovering. We say yes to going to be earlier than most people. Resting well allows our bodies and minds to function at their best. The only thing about rest is that you can't put it on a pill. You just have to make it happen. 

6. We celebrate each other's accomplishments - We are teaching the kids to celebrate one another. During busy seasons, we stopped to celebrate big and small accomplishments. Celebration brings about extra joy. It seals happiness in the heart. It also allows us to see that all the work to get us where we are was worth it. Celebrations are part of Christian living. We want to be habitual about our celebrations. No need for a big banner and a marching band. To hear "well done" and to receive an affirming hug is all the soul needs. 

7. We practice JOMO - I've seen tears being shed over this practice. It is a difficult one to practice yet worth it in the end. Recently, I saw a particular family member adding a lot of extracurricular activities to our family schedule. One day during a way, we talked about our goal for this season as a family. We talked about the impact of the extra activities. Something had to give. JOMO is defined as "the joy of missing out." I honestly told the kid, "You can't do everything. You are very talented but wisdom comes when we only do what God gives us grace to do for that season." The kid cried. I didn't cry because I know how much it hurts to do the opposite of what I was proposing. JOMO does not show up until you gather the courage to say no. Families are the places where we can gather our courage together, coupled by the wisdom of the previous generation and the grace of God. 

I hope you and your family are well-equipped to thrive this Spring season. You have what it takes. With God and the love of family, you can do hard things.