Routine is a bad excuse

Everyone says they like change. Everyone is a liar.

No one really LIKES change, unless it’s a super positive change. Raise. New baby. New House . . . But even with positive changes, it’s still hard! Raise = more responsibility. New baby = sleepless nights. New house = new mortgage . . .

Change is basically the worst – but it’s also a non-negotiable when it comes to growth.

I am a creature of habit. I would eat the same thing for breakfast every day, lunch, dinner – I would even wear my favorite outfit every day if it weren’t frowned upon in our culture. I would like to be in bed before 9p and up at 5a every day.

I like to start my day the same way: Grab my coffee and bundle up. Go outside and sit to receive the morning. Kids get up at 7. Not before 7. Never before 7. Make breakfast, get them off to their places and head in to work. Every day has a theme and my head can’t work around it. Then, home for dinner, baths for kids, bedtime and the Voice.

It works. Every minute is slated. It’s like a good Dave Ramsey budget – every dollar has a name, except every moment has a name.

My routine is well set and seasoned. So much so, that this morning when the kids got up at 6a, I about had an anxiety attack – real talk.

In my head: These are my only moments to myself. Everything else has been allocated today. I only have this one hour to sit and breathe and talk to Jesus. I don’t think I can survive if there are tiny voices and basketball bounces during this hour – they don’t belong in this hour . . . They don’t belong in this hour . . . Jenni, do you hear yourself?  

My routine has accidentally made me selfish. My routine has accidentally made me forget one of the better disciplines in life – listening. My routine has become an excuse to NOT HAVE MARGIN.

My to do list is so well planned out, and executed, I might add 😉 My Jesus time is on lock. My kid time is set too (coffee dates with Ryder, Fridays with Jayne). Richard and I get the last hour of the day together. Work is a machine. Every moment is named, and none are up for grabs.

It occurs to me in this moment: that’s not the full life Jesus paid for. In Dave Ramsey’s every dollar budget, every dollar has a name, but some of them have these names: SAVINGS, SPENDING, BLOW MONEY.

Margin. Planning well is a beautiful discipline I have worked hard to include in my life, but like every good thing, it is a tool, not the rule.

If I had more margin – intentionally unplanned hours, grace for shifting schedules . . . I bet moments like this morning would include a lot more snuggles with littles and a lot fewer “stay-in-your-rooms.” Instead of being misspent moments, they would be cherished moments, knowing there is enough room in my life for all the good things God wants to give me.

Bottom line: God is bigger than my routine. And at the core, my anxious heart when things go differently is a big fat red flag screaming my lack of trust in that truth.

If I miss something, God can pick it up and give it back to me at the right time. If I am empty, He can fill me – in any environment, at any time I ask. If I am tired, He can give me rest. If I am not enough, He can remind me that I have never been asked to be, because He is all I need. If I am just me, failure and all, I know I am more loved than I ever dared imagine.

It’s in the unplanned, unexpected moments that growth happens. It’s in the discipline and in the wisdom to let the routine go. Growth is found in the moments in which character trumps schedule. And when it comes to the deepest place, growth is evident in our choices of who and how we love.

I chose wrong this morning. I chose the safety of my selfishness thinking it would fill me up. I hear the kids coming down the stairs now, and I’m gonna go on the Easter Egg hunt they are inviting me to in our living room. The routine can wait.


Thank you Jesus, for being our true and real constant. 
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. –James 1:17 (NLT)

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