I need to add some additional thoughts to a post that went up some time ago and, as January 1 marks the start date of your 2014 resolutions, I thought you might find it helpful.
I wrote a post about being more purposeful with scheduling your day, week, and year. I like the concept, and I believe that if you don’t put the “big” things on your calendar first that the little things will eat up all of your time, but something has bothered me since the post went up. A subsequent Sunday school lesson made me stop and consider if my schedule was arranged in a way that is best for me and my family.
I wake up at 4:30AM, Monday through Thursday, and run. (Truthfully, I don’t run when the forecasted morning temperature is in the low 20s. I’m not training for the Iditarod.) I don’t particularly like getting up at 4:30 and running in the dark, but I’m willing to do it because running (at least trying to be healthy) is important to me. My daily quiet time is from 5:35 to 5:50 each morning. By definition, “quiet time” can’t be filled with TV noise or the noises that a family of four make so, as with running, I do it before anyone else wakes up in the morning.
What our teacher said was something that I’ve heard before. With respect to teaching and leading, Matt said, “More is caught than taught.”
The schedule doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is that my kids, my family, never see those things that are so important to me on a personal level that I’m willing to wake up before the roosters to do them.
Work, obviously, takes up huge blocks of time on my weekly schedule. Work is important, and – if they’re awake – the kids see Work Daddy leave every day and they know that they are home before me every evening. Family time is also important, and Family Daddy has that scheduled for every day of the week. Church is important to us, and at least three hours on Sunday and an hour on Wednesday are devoted to attendance for Church Daddy.
Without even looking at the schedule, my kids understand that work is important. Family is important. Church is important. What they don’t see or understand is that exercise is important to me. They don’t see that personal spiritual growth is important to me. Except for Saturday mornings, those are both pre-dawn activities for me.
I believe that kids place importance on those things that you show them are important. You are your child’s example. Your schedule reflects Work You, Church You, Family You AND You You, but don’t totally compartmentalize yourself. Make sure your family sees all of you.
I’m not saying to NOT get up early to work on things that are important, but find ways to incorporate what’s important to you in to time devoted to family. For example, there is a 5k race just about every week. I’m going to take (make) my family go and watch me run in a 5k. I also need to look for opportunities to talk with my children about what I read in my devotional. Find ways to show your children what’s important to you.
I’ll close with a quote from James Dobson, “Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.”