“Our schedules reflect our priorities.” – Dr. Kevin Leman
Think about that for a moment. Would you agree with that statement? I have to admit that when I first read that statement, I wanted to disagree. The priorities I have for my family don’t always match up with what is written on our calendar. But, maybe that is exactly what the problem is. Maybe I’ve been filling my schedule with things that don’t really matter in the long haul. Maybe I’ve been too busy doing things that I feel others expect of me. Maybe I’m not setting boundaries when it comes to my time and how I spend it. What about you? What does your schedule say about you?
Maybe it’s not your schedule that is too full. Maybe, just maybe, it’s your kid’s schedule. How many extracurricular activities is your child involved in at this moment, and why are they involved in those activities? I’m all for extracurricular activities, don’t get me wrong. I love watching my oldest perform with the marching band, my daughter race her pony, and my youngest play floor hockey but, I think it is important to ask yourself if participating in a particular activity is moving your family in the direction God has for you. Is the time spent away from home worth the trade?
Many feel that extracurricular activities give kids new and varied experiences, extend their social network, and give them a jump start over other kids so they’ll be more successful in life. They may very well do that, but Dr. Leman cautions us. He says that, “Stacking up activity after activity won’t guarantee your kid success in life. Don’t hand your child’s heart, time, and talents over to other people, programs, or institutions who don’t know nearly as much about your child as you do.” Instead he suggests choosing one activity at a time. One activity that your child shows interest in, not one in which you are interested in your child participating. There’s a difference.
When my oldest was younger, he loved to play summer soccer. I saw what I thought was real potential and pushed him to play travel soccer for a season. The result? My son hasn’t played on a soccer team again. He loved soccer, but he loved playing it just for fun. He wasn’t interested in improving his skills a great deal. He didn’t enjoy competing against other teams. He didn’t enjoy playing soccer in the snow. The dream to play soccer was mine, not his. Now, this year, he’s joined the marching band. Marching band is a huge time commitment for our family, but you know what? My kid loves it! He looks forward to rehearsals, he loves to perform on the field, and he is making some amazing friends. This is his niche. This is the only activity he is participating in outside of school. And it’s more than enough.
What does your schedule say about your priorities? If you feel that sharing your faith with your kids is important, are you intentionally spending time doing that each week? If education is important to you, are you devoting time to that each week? Are you devoting your time to those areas that are important to you, or are you placing other things or other people above your own family? Are you filling your schedule with numerous activities that take you or your kids away from your family? If so, perhaps it is time to reevaluate and make some changes. Those things that are dearest to your heart, those are the things that need to be your top priority.
Anne-Renee Gumley said, “Tomorrow can’t be rushed, and today will never come again, so let’s make each moment count. This one life is our one life. We don’t get a second chance. “
Remember that God has entrusted you to raise the kids He gave you. Be purposeful in how you raise them. Spend your time on those things that matter most.
Bacon, Amanda and Gumley, Anne-Renee. Shiny Things. Harvest House, 2019.
Leman, Dr. Kevin. Have a Happy Family by Friday. Revell, 2014.