Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Here's the most helpful post I've read for a long time. It feels like it was written just for me as a mother of three small ones, struggling to find a melody amidst the chaos of life.

Some quotes:
"Parenting is the composing, the performing, of music, song upon song. Musicians play one right note after the next right note after the next right note. It's not an erratic splattering of sound, a fickle, helter-skelter banging of random notes. Music has order. It is composed. Notes are intentional, considered, deliberate.

As music has rhythm, recurring refrains, order, so does peaceful parenting. One action thoughtfully follows the next action that wisely follows the next. Days of habits, fluid and lyrical, create pleasing harmony. Lives with known rhythms, thoughtful arrangements, sing."

"And in reality, living in cacophony is more wearing than the hard work of practicing habits. 'Laziness means more work in the long run,' writes C.S. Lewis. Flubbing away at whatever strikes our fancy leaves us in far worse dire straits than applying ourselves to the work of playing concertos."

Ann Voskamp wrote those words, and they exactly describe what I've been trying to put my finger on lately. Part of the secret to a peaceful home is a fluid rhythm of good habits, routines, learned behavior that begins to come almost effortlessly over time, like washing my face in the shower...I do it so unconsciously that I can't remember doing it minutes later. The slow, deliberate, difficult days of learning new habits pay off in the lovely melody of excellence that begins to come naturally.

That is my vision for this "school year", this winter season of time spent mostly indoors. Establish routines of reading practice with my four year old, alphabet learning with my two year old, counting, Bible stories and Bible memory. These are listed on my new habit calendar along with other personal habits I want to form. To establish a rhythm for our days that will help us accomplish those things that need to get done, learn what should be learned, and live life to the fullest.

Days spent following the whims of the moment leave me humming lazily until the crises start, then chaos results and the day always ends badly. Days planned and lived with intentionality are rarely wasted. I'm more prepared and ready to hear and obey God's promptings when I have been diligently staying on top of daily tasks and parenting with all my heart.

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