Psalm 23:2-3, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Are you a strict constructionist or a loose constructionist? This term came about when the U.S. Constitution was adopted. A strict Constructionist takes the document exactly how it is, simply black and white. A loose constructionist sees the gray and finds room for different applications.
As you go about your daily routines and schedules, are you strict or loose? Do you stick to your to-do list, doing everything you can to get it done, making sure you stick to your time clock, or are you easygoing enough to shift gears when opportunities come up?
When I was younger, and from the early years of my marriage until now, I have learned to adjust my outlook on life. I was a person who had to stick to schedules and plans. I didn’t like the days that my routine was messed up and my plans changed. The house had to be cleaned a certain way. When guests visited, I worried about keeping things clean. Dishes went in the dishwasher a certain way, clothes folded ‘properly,’ naps had to be on time so we could make time for play before meals had to be prepared, and so on.
My husband had to work nights since our children were little and slept in the mornings, so I felt the need to stick to a more rigid schedule. We cleaned up on specific days, did laundry one day a week, were quieter in the mornings, and so on. If anything was off schedule, I found myself staying up late to get caught up, which of course, made me frazzled and short-fused. Things did get done and I enjoyed my time with my children, and we did a lot together, but because I was more of a strict constructionist, I see how I missed some moments that could have been more treasured now that my children are adults.
It took me many years to learn to lighten up more and relax if the flow of my routine was a little messed up. I had to learn to let my children ‘help’ their way and be okay with it. If dinner wasn’t on time or bedtimes came a little later, that was okay. As long as we all were happy and healthy, each day could turn into a blessing instead of a stress. I still like order and keeping to routines, but I have learned to go with the flow better than before. There will always be bills to pay, messes to clean up, dishes to do, and meals to prepare, yet each day with a loved one and friends are a blessing, and time is fleeting. If your child wants to play with you or stay up just a little later, give them your time. Life will pass by all too quickly and in a blur if you don’t stop to smell the roses.
There’s a story of a mother who had four children and a husband who worked long hours. She decided the only way to run her house smoothly was to become a drill sergeant. One day her five-year-old came into the kitchen while she was planning dinner. “Come to my tea party,” she smiled. On any other day, the mother would say no, I’m busy, but today looking at her sweet daughter’s smile, she flashed back to when she was a little girl and wanted her mom to have a tea party and her mom was ‘too busy.’ The mother decided to let go of her rigid schedule and join her daughter.
After they put together a tray of cookies and bite-sized sandwiches, with a small pot of tea, the mother and daughter sat down with linen napkins in their laps and some finer china and shared in a little tea party. With two kids at school and the baby napping, this to-the-book mother couldn’t remember when she had enjoyed such a nice cup of tea.
Life keeps us busy, and our families grow up too fast. If we don’t make room for little gray areas in our lives, we will miss the beauty God has set before us. When we start to go with the flow from time to time, we can see and hear what His plan is for our lives and feel His presence abiding in our hearts and our relationships will grow stronger with friends and family. These are the moments we’ll find that we can treasure forever. Take some time each day to go with the flow along with the schedules.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on ConnectWithGodDaily
Featured Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay
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