I used to be a routine bound person. I needed to know when everything was happening and how it was going to happen. Being in control of the when's and how's gave me security. Security in me......
Over the past five years though the Lord has shown me how I have let routines rule me. He has begun to set me free. Let me give you an example: When I taught I was required to keep a planner of my daily and weekly goals. I was a meticulous planner. I knew what I would teach, when I would teach it and how I would teach it. Initially nothing was left to spur of the moment inspirations. If I didn't have my planner near me-I didn't know what to do, I wouldn't feel secure! Oh yes, I did eventually reach a point when I realised that this was not a good place to be in and I did eventually convince myself that I was good enough to teach without a planner. But that was only after I was experienced and I could pretty much run on routine and in built instinct. But still, it was me I found my security in.....
When I left teaching to have my daughter these insecurities just became highlighted by the unpredictability of motherhood! Raising children is even more unpredictable than a class of 35 six year olds! I tried desperately to force my daughter into a routine (feeding and sleeping!) Yes, after 6 months she did eventually have a regular sleep and feed pattern (which I had decided on) but in the process I had laid down the rails for later habits in both her and myself that would need to be lifted up and rerouted.
As she grew older I wished that I could have freedom from not always having to rush home or leave a social event for sleep times or meal times. You see, mommy had been so stressed about everything happening at the same time in the same way, that my precious little daughter became ruled by routines and "needed" them now, just as much as myself, to feel secure! I was stuck in fear. Fear of what if? What if I keep her up too late, will she cry too much? Will she be too tired that she won't go to sleep? Then that would be way too stressful for mom, who desperately needed everything to run smoothly and to the T so that I could feel in control and "safe".
Then along came my second child. I had decided that I wouldn't be as "strict" about sleeping and feeding routines. I had definitely learnt many lessons from my first mothering experience and wasn't wanting to repeat them! Although I was more relaxed with him I can't say that I totally stopped all routines. Letting go of routines has happened slowly.
All this time the Lord waited patiently for me to realise that He is in control. That He doesn't work according to the same routines everyday. Yes, I know He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow-but that means that He is the same loving Father, who loves us patiently, waiting for us to accept His way for our life and family. It doesn't mean that what He says will work for one is going to work for all. He created us as individuals. He loves our individuality. He doesn't need or want us to be the same! He needs us to be a body made up of different parts working together to reveal His glory.
So when I finally realised that learning to rely on Him for my daily plans was what He was wanting, I started to walk in the freedom He came to give me!
And now? Now my weekly planner doesn't get written on as often-only when I need to remember a play date or a swimming lesson time or a Bible study meeting. In fact at times I have to remind myself that I had better write something down incase I forget to go!
I am learning to let My Shepherd lead me alongside the quiet waters. I am learning to put my security in Him!