This is a really hard post for me to write because I am not good at this family tie.
And that means it is probably one of the things about our family life I need to work on most.
Ann Voskamp is the one who first made me realize the damage that can be done to a family by constantly rushing here and there.
I see it every time we get ready to go anywhere. I try to plan ahead – I really do. But somehow, I almost always end up rushing everyone out the door, often with harsh words and much tension.
I don’t want us to hurry about anymore.
We are unpleasant to one another in the midst of hurry.
Hurry causes a breakdown in communication and hurts family relationships.
Most of the responsibility for this family tie rests on me. I am the family manager. I schedule our time and activities. If I am not planning our days wisely, everyone suffers.
We talked about margin in regards to outside commitments, but margin must also be present in our day-to-day activities.
I rush us off to the grocery store. I don’t plan well in the time before Bible study and end up yelling as I try to get everyone out the door.
I will take full responsibility for the hurry in our life. And I will take full responsibility for banishing that hurry as well.
For the coming week, I am going to focus on the following things to improve this area of our family life:
1. I will prepare the night before for any outings we may have the next day. Do we need any bags or lunches packed? Any uniforms or swimsuits that need to be cleaned? Is the diaper bag fully stocked?
2. I will put away all distractions when we are getting ready to go somewhere. I will not text or tweet or blog or answer the phone while trying to give directions and get out the door. This ALWAYS complicates the process.
3. I will start the “getting ready” process ten minutes earlier than I would normally think necessary. I am not a good judge of time in general, so I will be grossly OVER-estimating how much prep time we need this week. There are always unexpected complications with young children – a diaper blowout, a shoe-tying crisis, a lost toy. I will be expecting the unexpected and making time for it this week!
4. I will teach the kiddos a routine to follow for every time we leave the house. If you’re like me, I can quickly tire of telling the children to do the same things over and over again as we are trying to get somewhere. This is where the hurry and tension come to a boiling point in my head. A routine for the children could help us all stay on track before our activities and errands! Ours will involve clean-up time, a trip to the bathroom, putting on proper clothing, and asking Mommy or Daddy if there is anything else they need to do. We’ll see how it works!
Today, I am thankful for a day of rest, but I want to banish the hurry from our daily lives and follow these precious words from Ann…
Life is not an emergency.
Life’s a gift.
Just. Slow. Down.
Family tie #7: Stop rushing from place to place! Make a plan to take the “hurry” out of your family’s life. What causes hurry in your house? What can you do to avoid it? Think of two or three ways you can plan ahead to avoid the rush this week!
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