Family Bytes

How to Keep in Step with the Rhythms of Fall

It's back to school time! You don’t have to be a parent or have a kid in school to be affected by this change in season.

The beginning of school creates a different rhythm for just about everyone. The commute to work is longer. The check out lines in stores are flooded with frantic parents buying the EXACT items on the official school supplies list. Our conversations change from, “What exciting things do you have planned for the weekend?” to “We are so busy this weekend!”  

For those who do have school-aged kids at home, the stress begins as soon as the morning alarm goes off.  Get the kids up, fed, dressed and don’t forget to ask,

“Did you brush your teeth?"

"Did you take a shower?” 

"Did you use soap?”

“Did You USE SOAP!?!?!”

The small victory felt as we or our kids get out the door (on-time!) quickly turns into another frenzied push toward the rest of the day. The start of the school year affects all us.   

We should consider the following as we adjust to rhythms of fall. 

Balance Is A Myth

For years, I was on a relentless in the pursuit of balance. I believed I could orchestrate my life in such a way that would reduce stress, increase effectiveness and develop an exciting well-rounded life. I soon realized that balance was a dream … a myth. The longer I pursued this fairy tale the more frustrated I was my life and the people in it. 

Balance is a myth because we cannot control the people and events in our life. The best we can do is to appropriately respond to life’s circumstances. I would encourage you to let go of the fantasy of an evenly “balanced” life. Instead, view life as it is - a series of seasons.

The Bible teaches, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV) 

Right now, you may be in a season of singleness or developing your career. You might be rearing young children or a troubled teen. Or perhaps you are caring for an aging parent. Learn to enjoy and embrace the season you find yourself in. Step up to the demands and responsibilities that come with these unique challenges. Remember, it may be hard, but it’s only a season and will pass.

Complaining Doesn’t Help

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Philippians 2:14 (ESV)

Complaining is one way people try to manage the stresses and struggles of life. Some believe if they verbalize their frustrations and struggles, they might feel better. However, the exact opposite is true, the longer we dwell on these frustrations the stronger they become and the harder it is to work through. I am not suggesting that we should be in-authentic or deny hardships of life. Instead, I challenge all of us to accept the season we are in as we faithfully and joyfully step-up to the demands of our reality. Look for the obscure opportunities in your everyday  that can give your routine meaning and purpose. 

Create Time To Recharge

Genesis 2 reminds us God created time for rest. While God doesn’t get tired or take vacations, we do and need to. God created a space to rest for us, not Him. Yet, I wonder how many people actually follow God’s command and create time to recharge. Let’s not fool ourselves; times of refreshment don’t just happen, they have to be planned and developed.  

Mindlessly binge watching another TV show, spending hours on social media or surfing the web will not recharge us, it will only distracts us. As we create time to recharge, we must look for what gives us life, fill us up and clears our cluttered minds. Consider the following as you create this important time in your life.  

  • Every person needs time alone to recharge. Some may want to journal as a way to collect their thoughts, others may go into a quiet room and listen to music, other find refreshment through exercise or doing a project that has nothing to do with their job or family responsibilities.  
  • Every person needs time with others to recharge. People are social creatures and we need others in our lives who will love and challenge us. We need people we can have meaningful and meaningless conversations. This is the way God has designed us. We put ourselves at a huge disadvantage when we do not make time for others. People we can give to, share with and receive from. We will never find joy nor have the ability to meet this season’s demands in relational isolation.
  • You are wise, not selfish, when you take the time to recharge.

The rhythms of fall can overwhelm anyone. Since we can’t change the season, we must ask ourselves, “How will we respond?”

Posted by Freddie Albaugh at 9:15 AM
Share |