Around this time of year, I begin planning my schedule for the coming school year. And when I say "my schedule" I actually mean my family. Managing myself and five children, and also considering my and my husband's work and commitments, this often feels like organizing a jigsaw puzzle.
Usually I sit down and make a list of the days of the week and fill in the commitments: co-op, church, school, work, chores.
Then I add in the things we want to do: piano lessons, swimming lessons, playtime with friends.
Then I figure out what time I have to give. The last few years there have been specific portions of time that seem to appear, and I am prompted to be generous with that time. Babysitting, cleaning, visiting. The time gets filled.
Usually, that time is fulfilling to me and I feel like I'm getting the better end of the deal. I love the message it sends to my children, and I hope they grow to be generous with their time.
Sometimes too, a week will feel too full and I'll have to cancel something. Usually the "miraculous time" commitment is the first thing to go. This is an exercise in boundaries for me. I get to practice saying "no."
We all have busy schedules, sometimes by choice and sometimes not.
Where can you be generous with your time?
To whom can you be generous by simply visiting?
What can you do that makes someone's burden a little lighter?