the rhythm of family life :: balancing it all {or not}

{making pumpkin spice salt dough ornaments}

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Our home and family has been simply bursting with fullness these last few weeks!

Oh my, it’s been interesting, and altogether a different rhythm for us.

I mentioned yesterday how my husband’s dissertation work wrapped up this month.  In the middle of this, a magazine article due and the recent 10 Day series filled my mind.

The process of hiring another administrative assistant for church was in full swing, along with lots of other ministry goodness.  I’m hiring a virtual assistant for behind-the-scenes blog help, and of course, children needed to be home schooled, the family fed, the house picked up, and everyone needed sleep!

Notice I did not mention laundry; not sure this was a priority. 🙂

The living of our days as a family was nothing short of a carefully master-minded plan, which then adjusted each night (or sometimes every few hours!).

{creating caramel apple chalk pictures}

I sat down with our children and explained the challenges of those 2-3 weeks.  I shared how Mom and Dad didn’t usually work this long and hard, and how they could help out.  I promised them it would be over soon.

Then, we outlined fun things to do during the short-lived craziness!

And you know what?  I think we did okay.

Yes, laundry was seriously behind (I’m talking mini mountains), at least once dinner was a find-what-you-can-eat affair, and summer clothing still lingered in closets.  Sometimes, I had a hard time keeping track of it all.

Yet, the ‘stuff’ which makes us a family, the part of us we value as central, remained.

We created together, worked hard together.  We spent an evening around a campfire with our church family, my husband and I on a date night with friends.  Our missionary family came over for dinner and conversation.

There were before-bed chats with my teen girl, and plenty stop-animation movie updates from our 7 year old.  I read many books and stories to the children (original fairy tales are the new thing around here).  I memorized Scripture and practiced weekly solo moments.

Community and relationship, this connection with one another, could still be seen throughout our days…even though it was quite different than our norm.

I say all this to hopefully encourage you:  ‘balancing it all’ doesn’t need to be the goal.

There will be seasons or days of back and forth, up and down – it’s the nature of family life.  We’re not static beings with eternally fixed schedules.  We’re living, breathing members of a growing, changing organism called FAMILY.

Forcing our family rhythms into some box is a sure recipe for frustration – if not by Mom, definitely by the family.

This doesn’t mean we toss organization or providing routine for our days.  No!

But, why beat yourself up?

Especially if you’re in a season of fullness and organized chaos…release the idea of balancing daily life.  Instead, look at the big picture and ask if your life is balanced over time, as in months.

We didn’t try to ‘keep things balanced’ these last few weeks.  I knew eventually, all would return to more normal rhythms.

The important, and not simply the urgent, kept us steady.

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A blessed weekend to you…

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6 comments

Your writing is so good! I love the way you write so candidly about the challenges and rewards of raising a busy, talented family.
God bless you!
Helen 🙂

danieatdomestic

Thank you so much Helen, appreciate the compliment!

Your post spoke RIGHT to me today. We are so busy right now with job changes, blog opportunities, a trip to Ecuador, and much more. I like how you sat your children down and explained to them that it was going to be busy, but that it was also going to be OVER. My husband and I need to do that.

Thanks also for your thoughts about balance over the long haul, not just in a day.

You’re very wise. 🙂

danieatdomestic

Thank you Mary — grace in the juggling of your family’s schedule! Sounds like many good things are in store.

Danie this is a great reminder to be flexible in our scheduling! I hope you will share it with my Small Victories Sunday linkup so I can share it with my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest followers. My linkup is to celebrate small victories and focusing on the positive aspects of our life. Feel free to link up any other posts that are family friendly too! http://momssmallvictories.com/small-victories-sunday-6-the-one-where-karma-goes-bad-and-we-rocked-to-bon-jovi/

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