Speaking of rhythms. My blogging rhythm got off a bit by not blogging last Thursday or Friday. I thought about including this series of Family Rhythms into parenting series but decided to separate them so I did not have Parenting 541 - Such and Such. So instead of making this Parenting 15 - Pancake Saurday, it is the first of Family Rhythms. I will finish the Parenting series this week with a few other thoughts and a recap. For today let's start thinking about family rhythms. I want to focus on rhythms of how our family operates because some people look into our life and get a bit tired. I would never suggest anyone try to take on our lifestyle all at once. I run somewhat often but would never set out to run a marathon without proper training. This training would include an incremental running schedule that would increase in mileage and difficulty as I go. Running a marathon versus running a few miles is a capacity issue. The more I run and the harder I run the further and faster I can run (increased capacity), but if I increase to quickly my body will break down and injury comes.
Robin and I have instituted rhythms into our lives for three reasons. God has designed it so that we work from rest, rather than resting from work. In order for our family to work most effectively, we first need to have times to rest and energize. We also have life rhythms to increase our capacity. We have seasons of more active life and seasons of more restful life. Finally, we have rhythms that serve as landmarks to our days, weeks and months. Whether you are crazy busy or live a very relaxed life, life rhythms will keep you in sync. Without them you can easily drift and when the winds of life pick up you may find your family scattered all over the map. Robin and I seek to live a very intentional life for the sake of the Father and His Kingdom. In order to do this effectively we need both a greater capacity and connecting points.
Where is the 4-mile marker? A few years ago I did my first triathlon. After swimming a mile and biking 24 miles, I set out to conquer the 6 mile run. I prepared myself for a hard and grueling finish but it was turning out to be pretty easy. The course had half-mile markers and at each mile marker there was water and energy gels to keep you going. But then for some reason they did not have a 1/2 mile markers or a station at the 4-mile marker. Miles 3-5 were the longest miles of my life. I had a bit of a mental breakdown and the run all of a sudden became the worst run of my life. I almost gave up. The 1/2 mile-markers and stations served has landmarks and refreshers. These landmarks helped me stay mentally focused and the refreshers helped me fight through the pain. When the 4-mile marker went missing my whole mental game was lost.
Life rhythms are the mile markers to our daily, weekly and monthly schedules. When things get difficult we can look to these landmarks to keep us moving forward. They refresh us and energize us to go back out. They keep our family close and strong. Life rhythms can and should be daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally. We have daily prayer and dinner time, nightly devotion, Tuesday night dinner outing, Saturday morning pancakes, etc. Spring to Fall time tends to be more active for us while winter slows down. All of these are done with some continuity and rhythm to make life easier for us.
Before getting into some specific in the days to come, I would love to learn from you and your family rhythms.