Posts Tagged ‘Intentional Living’

A Peek at our Daily Routines

As we have been preparing to go on a low-key version of the GAPS diet, it has become extremely important for me to get organized and stay that way. While I have daily routines posted on my fridge, I find that I do not do well at consistently following them. I tend to decide in the moment whether or not I feel like doing the laundry or baking bread, instead of seeing that it needs to be done, gritting my teeth and just doing it!
But with our desire to live more healthfully, I am finding there are simply not enough hours in the day to do all that needs to be done. One way I am finding I can combat this is by making goals, prioritizing them, designtaing a specific time to accompish them, and being disciplined about following through.

This has created so much more peace in our home, I always wonder why I allow myself to beome lazy and slack off. I find myself much less anxious throughout the week because I know what needs to be done and when and how to do it. However, it is also important to not allow my schedule to rule our home. When kiddos are having a rough day and need extra loving, I may not get the laundry put away; and that is okay. If someone calls and needs a hand with their errands, I may not get the toys picked up; and that is okay. The goal is to facilitate rest and peace–to have structure and order, to strive to maintain it, and to ultimately desire God’s plan for each day.

Now that we are back into our routines, Jeshuah is old enough to have his own little routine, and I find it adorable! Each day goes something like this:

Morning Routine

5:30am–I either shower or make juice
6:00am–Personal devotions and nurse Eliana, put her directly to sleep and pump extra for Jeshuah or to freeze.
6:30am–Jeshuah is usually awake. Daddy takes him to the bathroom and dresses him, then sets him up with some favorite toys and an audio drama/music for independent playtime while we have our devotions. When his music is over, we help him pick up his toys and put them away, then we move that chore from “do” to “done” on the fridge.
7:30am–Breakfast. I set out two otions for Jeshuah of each so that he can choose: cow bib or choo choo bib? snow man bowl or green bowl? Kefir or yogurt? We then sit down to eat our breakfast together. Jeshuah picks a stick from our prayer mug, and we pray for whomever is on the stick.
7:45am–Daddy reads a story from the Big Picture Story Bible
8:00am–Jeshuah plays by himself while I clean up breakfast. Jeshuah clears his own dishes and moves that chore from “do” to “done” for the morning.
8:30am–Nurse and dress Ellie, then she goes down for nap around 9:15.
9:00am–Each day we have a morning activity–either going to a park or to a friend’s to play, or a learning activity from Slow and Steady Get me Ready. We use Eliana’s naptime to spend focused learning time together.
11:30am–Lunch. Jeshuah picks a stick to pray for again. Nurse Ellie.

Afternoon Routine
12:00am–Naptime routine for both kids. For Jeshuah, read books on the potty, then read a couple books and sing songs in his bedroom before nap. Then put Ellie down for her nap. I use the kids’ nap time to first take a daily pause, then prepare dinner and complete my afternoon routines (email, paperwork, budget, laundry, cleaning, etc.)
3:00pm–Nurse Ellie, then down for a nap around 4. Afternoon activity with Jeshuah. Again, this is either errands, playing outside, or a learning activity

Evening Routine

5:00pm–Nurse Ellie
5:15pm–Dinner with daddy! We draw another stick to pray. After dinner, Jeshuah and Daddy play while I feed Eliana and get her ready for bed then clean up dinner.
6:30pm–Bedtime routine. Daddy takes Jeshuah to the bathroom, lets him pick out some jammies, then reads him stories and sings him songs before laying him down for bed.
Each day looks a little different, and the times are a rough estimate of when each activity takes place. But I find it is better to have a goal and aim for it, than to have no goal at all.

For more inspiration on daily routines and a good balance between schedule and flexibility, I love these posts:

Developing a Simple Schedule and Routine

Simplifying the Schedule

Pitfalls of To-Do Lists

Taking a Weekly Planning and Prayer Retreat


Intentional Living: Daily Routines

One of the most important ways for me to stay on track with my household jobs is making daily routines.  I find having tasks divided up over the week and assigned to specific dates not only helps make certain they are accomplished, but it also keeps me from stressing all day every day about “what else do I need to do?! A million things!!”  I also find it very helpful when I am fighting the fury of feelings and every little thing is overwhelming me to help me get off the couch and know what needs to be done. And then, when (some days if!) I accomplish it all, I can actually relax in the evening with my husband instead of wanting to collapse into a ball of tears because I can’t even begin to finish everything in the whole world that needs to be done! (that was a bit of drama, usually trying to slip its way through my rationale multiple times a day. I struggle to keep it at bay!)

It takes some trial and error to figure out what works for you, but I encourage you to try it–it is well worth it! Sometimes I balk at having too much structure and feeling like if I make routines it will enslave me to them.  But it is important to remember that a schedule is there to serve you, not for you to serve it!  Making daily routines is not law, and it should not bind you to them, but it must be held loosely, recognizing that some days that baby will be sick or cranky and need extra attention that may have gone to putting all the laundry away. It will get done another day!

Here are some helpful hints to get started:

1.  Make a list of the large/important tasks you need to accomplish on a regular basis.  For me, this includes making bread, making yogurt, taking lunch to Grandma, care group, laundry, etc.   Some people like to include every single detail (e.g. brushing teeth, making bed, taking vitamins, etc.) but I find this overwhelming to look at on a list! I do those things out of habit. I don’t want to see them written down! But do whatever serves your personality

2.  Ascertain how often these things need to be done.  I do laundry twice a week, Monday and Friday.  I make yogurt once a week.  I get milk from the farm twice a month, etc.  I have both a weekly and a monthly calendar since some things are only done once a month, like grocery shopping and bread making. Some things need to be done only once or twice a week, other things, like packing the hubby’s lunch, need to be done daily.

3.  Assign a day for each task.  This is the hardest thing for me and requires flexibility and trial and error.  If you try one day and it isn’t working, find which day you seem to naturally do it and re-assign.  For instance, I used to try to clean my house, make yogurt, bread and do laundry on Monday. I like to start my week of right! But, oh my!! Way too much in one day, especially since Monday is “recover from the weekend” day in my home since I don’t do housework or dishes on Sunday–things pile up! I have found by Tuesday and Wednesday I have the energy to tackle things like bread and yogurt, so I re-assigned.

4.  Divide each day into three sections, morning, afternoon, and evening routines.  Grouping the day into chunks of time helps keep me on task, and also mentally helps me turn the page from one thing to the next and feel like I’ve accomplished something. Divide your day into whatever serves your family best. I find having all three is very convenient since Jeshuah naps in the morning, afternoon, and goes to sleep at 7!  There are some things that remain constant every morning, afternoon and evening. Devotions, dinner prep, and making Stephen’s lunches, for example.  However, Monday mornings I start a load of laundry and Tuesday mornings I start a batch of yogurt.  Each day will have some of the same and some different.

5. Write routines onto pretty paper/print them off computer and post in a prominent place. I printed mine onto cardstock with pictures of nature at the top of each day, placed magnets on the back, and stuck them on the fridge near my monthly menu plan and shopping list.  I actually rarely look at it now, but if I feel stuck or confused about what comes next, there it is for reference.  And sometimes I even sigh in relief that there isn’t anything left for that block of the day, and I can head outside and enjoy reading a book or something else leisurely:-)

5. Wake up, look at your daily routine, and stick to it as best you can!  before long, you have it memorized and become comfortable enough to rearrange when life happens. Which brings us to the final and probably the most important tip!

6. Pray over each day and be open to the leading and intervention of the Spirit! Each morning, over my coffee and quiet time, I ask the Lord to bless and guide my day and make me open to his intervention. Again, routines are a tool to help serve your family and help you best serve those around you.  It can be tempting to enslave yourself to it and not be flexible when someone is sick and needs a meal, or a ride, or you get sick that day, etc.  But if you keep Christ at the center, praying for his guidance along each step, this can be a very effective tool to increase your efficiency as you serve in the kingdom!

I am a very practical, hands-on, visual type of person, and it is always helpful to see examples of other people’s schedules. Below is an example of my routines. Hopefully you can zoom in on it and get a better idea of what it says…Unfortunately, because I am not very technologically adept, I cannot figure out how to attach these files so you can download and personalize them, but I hope you can manufacture your own without too much difficulty. Enjoy!

Daily Routines on my fridge