Chaos is inevitable
As a Type A, checklist kind of gal, I do not like that reality. I really want everything to flow according to a schedule, routine, and plan. I want focus to be easy because life is ordered.
But the truth is that very few of my days fit into the neatly ordered flow I would love to have. Instead, interruptions come, tasks take longer than planned, or regular seasons like summer and Christmas bring a disruption to routine. Then there are those times when life takes a turn that produces an even greater redirection – like an illness, a move, the need to care for elderly parents, etc. – that makes a daily or seasonal interruption seem like a picnic in the park.
I have experienced all types of interruptions and redirections, from largest to smallest. As I’ve walked through those experiences, I have learned little ways to order my life so I can stay focused, even when the routine and schedule go a bit haywire.
First, I have to stay focused on Christ.
This always, without fail, begins with time in His Word. It is not simply a matter of reading the Bible, but of internalizing it through meditation and prayer. If you are in doubt about where to start, consider reading a Psalm and a chapter or two from the book of John every day. Choose a verse or paragraph from the day’s reading and spend some time meditation on that small portion, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal truths to your heart and mind.
Second, I try to stay communicative with my family.
When we cannot follow our normal flow and routine, life flows much more smoothly if we all make sure to actively process through what we expect of one another during the disruption. For instance, if we are taking a summer or holiday break, do I expect my children to still get up at a relatively “normal” time and complete their morning routine or chores, or is it okay for all of that to relax?
Finally, I must allow myself some grace.
When life is odd and out of routine or when interruptions throw the to-do list all out of whack, I must remember that I am hardest on myself. Tomorrow is a brand new day, so it is important for me to be okay with a fresh to-do list, a new start, and a little bit of rest as needed.
Staying focused in the chaotic times requires an odd combination of discipline and flexibility. But when we choose to put the effort into staying on top of life, even in the chaos, we find that the results are well worth the energy required.