Routines: Rhythms and Rests

Routines: Rhythms and rests #back2basic2018
I’m not someone who like to follow a routine.

I get bored easily with repetition and I can probably count on my one hand the movies I’ve seen more than once or the books I read twice.

Most of my life I really liked change and the challenge that comes with learning something new, or trying something different.

Way back in my final year of high school when I had to decide what to study, the facilitator of the career assessment test told me in so many words that, “If I want to commit suicide I should become a radiologist”.

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve had three career changes, and worked in at least seven different places.

Fast forward fourteen years and here I am. A stay at home mom with two little ones, only five days into the ‘going back to basics‘ challenge and my first revelation is that there is no way around it. Not only is repetition unavoidable in marriage and motherhood. The only way to get anything ‘right’ is to do it over and over and over again.

If I want to make something part of my life in 2018, I have to add it to my daily routine and repeat it 365 days in a row. The same is true for getting rid of bad habits and addictions. I’m pretty sure if you ask someone in the AA program, they will be able to tell you (to the day) exactly how long it has been since their last drink.

A routine can be such a powerful tool when it comes to making a life change.

Especially when you have children. I’m slowly learning that a routine is not the same as a ‘schedule’ or a ‘to do list’. It is not set in stone and still leaves plenty of room for creativity.

The second part of my revelation came when I watched a music lesson for toddlers with my three year old.

I’m not very musical either, but I always wanted to learn to read notes. What a better way to learn than from someone who’s really breaking it down into the basics? Starting with rhythms and slowly introducing chords, notes, and rests.

It was the introduction of the rest (or shhh bell) that grabbed my attention.

The shhh bell isn’t really a bell at all because the shhh makes no sound. In music the shhh bell is what we call a rest, and rests and shhh bells are really important because without any rests, without any space in our music, all music would sound like this.. (insert teacher beating on a drum like a crazy person) and that is too loud and too fast! So that is why we have the shhh bell.”

I’m sure you get where this is going 😉

Our lives, just like music, are made up of rhytms and rests. Our days broken up into chords, filled with all kinds of notes. We get to choose the notes or shhh bells we play, and the lyrics are made up of the words we say.

At the end of each day, each month, each year, it all adds up.

Perhaps a new year simply represents clean music sheets, journals and calendars spread out before us, waiting to be filled up. And whether or not we made new year’s resolutions – we will all end up playing a song in 2018.

The only question is what will it sound like? Heavy metal? Jazz? The crazy beating of a drum? A worship song?

I have a feeling that we’re designed to feel in tune when our lives add up to be songs of praise.

I may not be a natural at any of this, but at least I love learning.

So here I am… learning to play the daily rhythm of doing life with my boys. Taking notes and trying to figure out when it is time to work and when it is time to rest. Trusting that it will all add up to more. Maybe a love song, or a life song.

All I know is that I’m grateful His mercy is new every morning. If we don’t get it right the first time, we can do it over and over and over again, until we (at least) master the basics.

What song are you playing with your life?

Image Credit: Unsplash


Routines: Rhythms and Rests


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  1. Amen! So hard for us to cooperate with the reality that life does have repetition and rhythm to it. I often get off rhythm, lol. But rest is the secret ingredient that helps rejuvenate our souls to keep in the race of life. Great post. Thank you!

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