I have been reminding myself of a wonderful talk given by my woman's ministry leader, Mary, awhile back. She spoke of living with margins thus giving the Holy Spirit room to work in your life. If your days are so jam packed that you are running here and there only to fall asleep in your bed at night exhausted, there is no room for God to use you.
I felt this "marginal thing" ring true not only in this area, but in others as well.
When I was first pregnant with Gabrielle, I read the book, Baby Wise. It is about scheduling your children and how God designed their bodies to function this way. I took it to the extreme and really "scheduled" her. I think, no, I know there is a big difference between scheduling and making a routine, and took some of the wonderful knowledge I got from that book and molded it to fit our family. Using much God given common sense in the process. I do not believe in letting my children holler and scream because they are hungry, but I do believe in a routine that leads to known feeding times. Naps are strategically placed in our day. (This is my time to gather myself, refresh myself, have time with the Lord, take a nap if I need one.) The kids know when they will eat and that they are expected to do their table chores immediately following. They know that snack comes after nap and that they do not leave their bedrooms in the morning until beds are made and rooms are tidy. They know that when I say, "Quick pick up" they go to their station and we have a neat home in a matter of 10 minutes.
*Disclaimer: We all know that we would have everyday run smoothly, but the goal is to have a plan and to live "marginally".
All this to say that throughout the day, my question and answer time with the kids is kept to a minimal. They know what to expect and I know what is supposed to be happening at any given time in the day, however, should something arise, such as illness ;) or a friend in need...we can easily accommodate and when we move on to tomorrow, everyone knows what is expected and we get on with our daily routine. Also, at the end of the day, I don't want my husband to get the very last (if anything) that is left of me. I want to be able to put a hot meal on the table for him (One that I planned in our routine) with a smile on my face. When he asks how my day was, I don't want to have a list of issues that arose throughout my day and give him even more to deal with. I don't want to hear myself say, "I NEED A BREAK!" I want to schedule in those needed breaks so that I am consistently allowing God to fill my cup. I don't want to run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done, I want to know that because I planned sufficent time to accomplish all that I needed, I am rested and pleased with my day.
Anyway, I was thinking this all to myself today as the house was very quiet at nap time. Praise the Lord for giving me the wisdom to train my children (and myself for that matter) to have order in their everyday life.