In the last post I wrote about how having a new baby in the house is a good time to re-evaluate priorities and make new resolutions.
"Resolution zero" was, so that we could use our time well, to acknowledge and honor our priorities:
- Connecting with God.
- Showing love to, and taking delight in, each other.
- Connecting with people outside our family.
- Resolving conflict and encouraging generosity, particularly among the children.
- Helping each other work, and learn to work, with diligence.
- Caring for our bodies (and that extension of our bodies, our clothing).
- Physical activity.
- Order in our environment.
- Creative work.
- Work that serves others.
As I contemplated these essentials and thought about trying to schedule time for all, it occurred to me that they fall, for us into two categories.
One category: priorities that we can have "times" for. There are times for rest and sleep, for example, and mealtimes. We can set aside time in our days and weeks for schooling and for chores and for getting to the gym.
But there is another category of priorities that need to be practiced, bluntly, "all the time." There is no "time" that we block out for, for instance, showing interest in our children, or resolving conflicts between them. We have robe ready to do that at any moment that it may be called for.
Does that mean we parents have to be ON all the time? Sort of. I can reasonably anticipate some down time, after the kids are in bed, or when I go for a run, or during the after-lunch break when I send them all away for me for a while. But we are pretty much always on call, and always called to love.
I drew a vertical line down a sheet of paper. To the right I made a list of the things "There's A Time For." Meals and chores and the like, a rough schedule marked out by hours.
But to the left, outside of the schedule, I made a list of things to strive for "All The Time:"
- Serving God in everything
- Showing each other LOVE, INTEREST, & DELIGHT in one another
- Anticipating/resolving conflict by modeling KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, & REASON
- Helping each other work by teaching DILIGENCE
+ + +
These all have to do with keeping a certain intentional attitude while taking care of all the busy-ness of the day.
Resolution one is to keep these in mind as all-the-time intentions, and find ways to do each thing -- to spend each "time" -- that honors these priorities all day long.
note: I slightly edited the first, "Serving God in everything," a few hours after posting it. No reason, I thought it was a little more precise than the first version, "Doing everything for love of God."