Back to life as….normal?

Christmas is over. New year’s is over. Family visiting is over. School break is over. So what’s new? Back to the usual routine, I guess. But what should ‘usual’ look like? I honestly hate routines. I am not the kind of person who derives energy and comfort from same ol’ – same ol’. Unless it’s my coffee every morning, but I’m pretty sure that’s the only exception.

So how do I keep from routine becoming mundane?

          What’s the secret to life staying jazzed in the midst of housework, mom-duties, and homeschooling?

                        What can keep me involved and putting effort into parenting, cleaning,

and life in general??

I think the key will be a word that keeps re-occuring in my thoughts this week: DILIGENCE. Sorry, I know that doesn’t sound as exciting as you were hoping. I probably should have kept the secret a little longer and built up to a better climax before unveiling my idea. You might not finish reading just because nobody likes the sound of diligence – that sounds like work, not innovative and new. But what does diligence mean?

“persevering application.” “persistent personal attention.” “Assiduity (constant or close attention to what one is doing).” “attentive care.”

Imagine with me for a second – what would doing the dishes look like if you were taking personal interest in what you are doing? What would happen if making dinner was done every time with attentive care (I wouldn’t burn the broccoli as often, that’s for sure)? How would your kids feel if while helping them with homework you did it with assiduity? Does this sound too exhausting? I’ll give you two little pointers on how it could actually be rejuvenating instead of tiresome:

1. Use diligence unto the Lord: If you are diligent for anyone else, you are going to get frustrated because it won’t be appreciated like it should. If you are diligent just for yourself you will eventually wear down and get selfish and tired. But when we are diligent in what we do unto the Lord (I don’t care if this is even walking your dog) something magical happens. He rewards it. (see 2 Peter 1:5-11, also Proverbs 10:4 – “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich”, and Romans 14:8)

2. See each task as a new opportunity to practice diligence: Yes, I know. You are putting laundry in the dryer for the eighty-ninth time this month. not fun. not exciting. You are telling your daughter – again – to eat over her plate so her taco fillings don’t all end up on the floor. annoying. And tomorrow won’t be much different. But what if we turn our focus off of the menial task and onto how we perform this task this time? This is a new chance: you’ve never done laundry on this day at this time – and with the possibilities of smiling and singing, right? You have a new chance to not sigh and huff in giving instruction to your kids, and to take persistent personal attention to how you address the situation this one time.

I’m going to try this, I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂