Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On Scheduling

I have fought it, fought it, fought it and now must finally give in. I hate schedules. Detest them. I like plans but when it comes to actually nailing down a schedule for every day, I cannot stand it. However, I am finally facing reality. I need a schedule.

I first tried doing a pie graph with basic activities that should be done everyday. But the reality of not having a time frame set aside meant that activities were often missed or they were all crunched together in a random, spastic time. It was not going well. I was struggling with slothfulness and depression and feeling overwhelmed all the time.

My Lenten resolution for this year has been to try to integrate prayer throughout the day. Trying to accomplish this led me to realizing that I was unable to do this consistently because my day had no set routine. I fought the routine hard. However, the Lord has humbled me this lent and I have realized that the so called freedom and control I tried to grab at through NOT having a schedule was not freedom at all.

So we are on a schedule now and it is great. It is refreshing. It is hard. But struggle is good. Struggling for self discipline over the body and desires is healthy and needful for our salvation.

Our new schedule revolves around the Hours. I wake up and jog (focusing on praying while I do so. If I am unable to focus on intercessory prayers, I simply say the Lord's Prayer over and over and the Jesus Prayer). Then I come home and read Matins. Our time is now blocked into 3 hour allotments around prayer times. Each time block involves chores, education (reading, math, art), read aloud time and free play. At the beginning of each time block we read aloud one prayer from that section of the Hours. We end the day as a family with Vespers, reading Scripture and talking about it and a hymn for the week.

It is strange to me having such a disciplined schedule now. But oddly, I feel much free-er. Who would have thought?

I highly encourage every stay at home mom to try to schedule your day this way. Centering each day around prayer is beneficial not only for the souls of us mothers, but also for the souls of our children.

Blessings.

3 comments:

sjm said...

Thank you, Ma for this post. I've been trying to figure out how to schedule our time and have been having a hard time. I'm going to try your idea this lent. Pray for me!

~the other half said...

We've just begun something similar but I think I may tweak ours to follow a bit more in alignment with the Hours as well since I'm still trying to find just the right fit for us. We have 8 children ranging in age from 7 to 22 so we have various activities in the evenings on top of homeschooling and me being in school myself.
Currently, I'm up at 6 and do my morning routine including prayer. Wake children at 7:30 for their own small morning routine including prayer and the Daily scripture readings of the day. 8:15ish we start school work. Lunch hour at noon that includes reading and discussing from the Proverb chapter of the day and more prayers. The next couple of hours is broken in to chores and finishing school work. 2:30ish they may play with friends until dark or we must leave for an activity (or work on something for a 4H activity). Snack is around 4 to 4:30. Different afternoons have different time frames but mostly this is free time. If dinner is not in the crock pot then I start making it around 6:30-7 depending on what it is (children have a rotation of dinner time chores including helping me make dinner). Then we eat around 7:30/45 as a family after the husband half comes home and we have a family "devotion" time during dinner followed by family evening prayers and clean up (the rotating chores I mentioned) and bath/bed routine starting at 8:30/45 for the youngest on up until everyone is in bed by 10.

As we've done this a little while I still feel there is some tweaking to be had - just wasn't sure where. I'm so glad I was lead here to be reminded of the Hours!

Sorry to be sooooooo long-winded!

~olga said...

We've just begun something similar but I think I may tweak ours to follow a bit more in alignment with the Hours as well since I'm still trying to find just the right fit for us. We have 8 children ranging in age from 7 to 22 so we have various activities in the evenings on top of homeschooling and me being in school myself.
Currently, I'm up at 6 and do my morning routine including prayer. Wake children at 7:30 for their own small morning routine including prayer and the Daily scripture readings of the day. 8:15ish we start school work. Lunch hour at noon that includes reading and discussing from the Proverb chapter of the day and more prayers. The next couple of hours is broken in to chores and finishing school work. 2:30ish they may play with friends until dark or we must leave for an activity (or work on something for a 4H activity). Snack is around 4 to 4:30. Different afternoons have different time frames but mostly this is free time. If dinner is not in the crock pot then I start making it around 6:30-7 depending on what it is (children have a rotation of dinner time chores including helping me make dinner). Then we eat around 7:30/45 as a family after the husband half comes home and we have a family "devotion" time during dinner followed by family evening prayers and clean up (the rotating chores I mentioned) and bath/bed routine starting at 8:30/45 for the youngest on up until everyone is in bed by 10.

As we've done this a little while I still feel there is some tweaking to be had - just wasn't sure where. I'm so glad I was lead here to be reminded of the Hours!

Sorry to be sooooooo long-winded!