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The Trouble with Over-scheduling

All of the schools in my area have either already returned to classes or they begin next week. It is officially “back to school” time and, in a sense, the end of summer.  The temperatures are still very much summer but the relaxed schedules and carefree (dare I say, lazy) days of summer are gone for another year.  And it really seems that everyone is already full-speed ahead into the hyper-scheduled, full day of commitments, feeling the stress mode that back to school seems to bring – even those who no longer have kids in school!

I am a schedule kind of a girl.  I thrive on an organized routine.  However, I think there is a nugget of wisdom in holding onto a bit of the carefree summer mindset.  Too often, we hold up our over-stuffed, color coordinated planners – with every line, every hour carefully accounted for – as badges of honor as if crazy schedules will prove we are good mothers, efficient wives and/or super productive women.  In reality, the bulging planners just show we are busy.

And there is much to be missed when we are over-scheduled.  The unplanned fun of playing with our children.  The impromptu coffee break with a girlfriend.  Simply soaking in creation on an extra long walk with the dog. Finding yourself completely absorbed in your devotional time that a whole hour slips away before you even realize it.  Learning about a need – a neighbor needs a babysitter or a coworker needs a meal – and having the time to not only meet the need but not feel stressed while doing it.

We so often allow ourselves the time to do these things during summer – and even look forward to them.  But once back to school season begins, there is a shift in our thinking that affects our time and, very often, robs us of blessings. And that’s a shame. I’m certainly not tossing my schedule out the window – but I do want to keep it fluid and do my planning with more of the carefree attitude of summer.

3 thoughts on “The Trouble with Over-scheduling

  1. Our schedules are crazy! We both work full time and run a farm. Our oldest is in school now and our youngest goes to daycare. One thing I have learned to do is say no. We do not need to attend everything or participate in everything coming and going. By doing so, we open the door for those impromptu moments you mentioned. And I love it! There's an art to being scheduled yet fluid. Ive not mastered it and probably never will, but I'm better than I used to be. 🙂

  2. Jennifer, God has been talking to m about busy-news too. I am actually relieved that my boys re back in school. This summer was crazy with their schedules. I am being intentional about keeping white space in my days, at least as much as I can. I am weary and need that time to refresh myself in the Lord.

    I so appreciate your insight about when we have a more fluid schedule time is more open to minister to others without feeling stressed out. Great truth there

  3. Love the part about when our planners are overstuffed it shows we are busy, not good mothers, etc. Sometimes we confuse the two things. I love having margins in my planner for those daily surprises. I can't always have a margin, and when I don't have one, I find myself getting cranky with life and its surprises. As I have learned this about myself, I am trying to leave room for margins.

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