I have constantly fought the battle between chaos and structure in pretty much every facet of my life. I am completely drawn to the chaotic lifestyle. No deadlines or schedule constraints, freedom to do as I please, "take life as it comes..."--what could be better, really? Besides all of those wonderful ideals, I often find, like most, that God is in the messiness. The most beautiful moments of transformation in my life are when I am most frazzled, life is messy, and God is present. Chaos is incredibly appealing.
On the other hand, I see the absolute necessity of structure. Even Adam in the garden of Eden had times of work and rest. Granted, his work was probably pretty enjoyable...I know I would totally dig spending my days naming creatures, tending to living things, and hanging out with my girl Eve. Even still, he had times of work, and times of rest. Structure is life-giving. Without structure, I probably wouldn't get out of bed, I'd stink a lot worse than I already do from my lack of shower time, and my overall work ethic would be pretty much absent.
I am discovering this lately in Noa's bedtime. So far, we have not had a ton of structure in putting Noa to bed, or naps. We've taken them as they come, we've put her to sleep when she's tired. Now that we are focusing on a little more structure, I am finding our experiences with her bedtime to be FREEING. She is falling asleep much more quickly, she is RESTED in the morning, and I am able to get at least a little bit of time to myself or with Bryce/people in the evenings.
So where is the balance? When is it okay to veer from the schedule? When can the schedule become too constricting to real life, or what the Holy Spirit is doing? Here are my ideas:
1.) Community is important. As much as I want Noa to nap, or the laundry to be done, spending time with people MUST be at the forefront of my mind. Without community, my relationship with God becomes dead, or close to it.
2.) Noa's growth, development and socialization are aspects of life I do not want to miss. Bedtime can not become more valuable to me than watching my daughter grow up.
3.) Schedules are super important, but not the only guide to how my day should go.
4.) Stress is contagious. If I'm stressed, my family will feel it. Taking time for myself is not only pleasant, but necessary. I'm thankful for a husband who makes that a priority for me as well.
I think that's all for now...what lifestyle are you choosing? Have you found the balance of chaos and structure?