Do first things first-the formula for “winning families”

by Mary Ann on October 20, 2010

Expressing joy


“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” ~Lao Tzu

I have had opportunities to teach small children in church. Once I had a co-teacher who had not had many opportunities to teach. She was really excited about the prospect. When it was her time to teach she had made the most adorable handouts. They were so colorful, perfectly hand lettered, really keepers. Then she began to teach. I could tell that she wasn’t prepared and the children knew it to. Later as we talked it over she admitted, “I didn’t really get to it. I was so busy making the handouts.”

Fun with family

Clowning around being prairie dogs

This story reminds me of a principle that we really need to know to be successful in our families; do the essentials first. Take an inventory of all the activities you are doing and select the most important things. In other words, stop with the busy work.  Really!

I know, I know, I have written three posts in a row about looking at our schedules and purging them. But really, this is such an issue for modern families. There is so much good out there. It’s so hard to decide what the BEST is.

When we can’t find time to eat a meal together, when mothers spend great amounts of time in their cars chauffeuring, when we are so exhausted we can’t have a familiar conversation with a child, when we aren’t doing the things we know will create a GREAT family culture then we are too busy. We are in the thick of thin things.

Fun playing games with family

Aftermath of the silly string war!

It is valuable to really take some time and consider how you spend your days. Make sure that what you put in your schedule is worthy of your family and your time. Make sure that it adds to the family culture you are trying to create. Do not run faster than you have strength!

Get rid of business. Delegate, say no, and bravely make changes.

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” ~Jane Austen

Enjoying a day with family

Enjoying our own company

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