For the first time in my life, my schedule does not revolve around a school calendar.
Even before I started kindergarten in 1957, our family’s schedule followed the school calendar because my father taught high school.
I went from attending elementary school to junior high, then high school, and on to college. I graduated in June of 1974 and began teaching in August of that year. When we began having children, Phil was in seminary, afterward he began working at WCU in campus ministry, and then on to his teaching career as our own children began school. All that time we followed a school schedule.
I re-entered the “work force” as a volunteer teacher when our youngest child entered kindergarten and have been teaching in one capacity or another until I retired in June.
Last week I did not get up and either get myself or others ready for school.
My life until now has had a definite pattern – the school schedule.
- start in August or September
- new classes, new lessons, new challenges
- off for Thanksgiving and Christmas
- classes through winter (hoping for snow days)
- off for spring break
- finish the year STRONG
- organize for the coming school year
- off for the summer to RECHARGE
- start again…..
Artists use pattern in many ways. The principle of design “pattern” is defined this way – “the regular arrangement of alternated or repeated elements.”
Patterns in art work give a sense of order and completeness.
Patterns in our lives give us a sense of order and security.
Children who have a pattern to their day are happier and healthier. They eat better and sleep better when they have regular times to eat and sleep. There will always be situations when these patterns are interrupted, but maintaining a routine whenever possible is so beneficial.
This pattern also develops a sense of security in the child because they know what is coming next. Children like the feeling of anticipating the activity they will do next and planning for it. That is not to say they don’t like surprises, but knowing what is next helps children cope with their surroundings and various situations. This is especially true for some children who NEED a pattern to their day to feel secure. These children will be better able to handle the inevitable changes to their routine better if they are given a warning of the change whenever possible and time to adjust.
We tried to maintain the pattern that our daughter and her husband have established this past week when their three middle boys stayed with us. Their family began to keep this schedule when their twins were born and their oldest child was 18 months old. The pattern was their link to sanity!
It has also created happy, secure children who generally know what is coming next. Not to say there are no surprises…. in fact there is never a dull moment!
The most important benefit is control of the chaos.
Truth be told, we adults function better when we have a regular routine. We used to tease my father that he always ate and went to bed at regular times, even when he was much younger. Now at 91 it seems to have paid off. He is very healthy and active.
Just as following a pattern, or repeating positive actions, is beneficial for our physical lives, it is even more important in our spiritual lives. Paul tells Timothy to follow the pattern Paul has set as he follows Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NLT)
13 Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
That is the most important pattern one can have in life – following the pattern of Jesus – living as He lived.
In a very real sense, my pattern has not changed since I have retired. I desired to follow Jesus before retirement – I desire to follow Him now as well.
May our lives be a beautiful pattern, reflecting the image God.