Redeeming Your Time in the School Car Line

School started back in our county yesterday, August 17.  My son gets out of school at 2:50 pm.  I was in the School Car Line to pick him up for 35 minutes.  Wait times are customary in the mornings and afternoons.  It’s something we all build into our schedules.  This year, our district changed the school start and end time so that our elementary, middle, and high schools have a staggered start time.  My son has to be at school by 7:50 while my daughters start time is 8:45.  We live 1 mile from my son’s school and 3 miles from my daughters’ school so our wake up times are all different.  In the month leading up to this I started making some changes in how I used and viewed social media and moving from reacting to reflecting.  I knew I did not want to spend the time in the car line mindlessly scrolling a news feed.  I also need that I would have 15 minutes here and there in the morning that I didn’t want to waste.  Here are some things I’m trying this year and I hope they will help you in redeeming your time in the school car line.

  1.  From 6-6:40 am I am waking up and doing my devotions and praying.  Right now I’m using the book The Rhythm of Prayer: a forty day experience by Mark Moore as a prayer guide and Walking with Wesley: A Ninety-Day Devotional by Nick Harrison.
  2. 6:40 am is wake up time for my son, Drake, and I will spend 10-15 minutes managing emails after waking him up.  This is mainly deleting and unsubscribing from email lists.  I’m not really mentally processing things at this time.  I’m just trying to reduce digital clutter.
  3. After I double-check to make sure Drake is up and getting ready I will have 10-15 more minutes before we leave.  This offers a chance to give a quick glance to some news sites and ESPN.com or even do some Fantasy Football team management.
  4. After taking Drake to school at 7:20 I will have 1 or maybe 2 more 15 minute time slots while getting the girls ready for school and then I’m home from taking them at 8:20 and the day is off and running.
  5. For the afternoons I have decided to not go so early to pick up Drake.  This will cut my line wait time from 35 minutes to hopefully 10 or less.  I’ve placed a devotional book in the console of the van so that I’m not tempted to let that time slip by.  Whose mind doesn’t need a refresher and reminder at that point in the day?
  6. If the wait is longer I can catch up with folks on the phone, do a calendar review, or make a Facebook live video.  I did several last year called the Car Line Diaries just as a way to encourage folks and share things that have been going on with my family.  I can also use this time to rehearse my sermon.

The point of this is not for you to copy what I am doing.  Your family and routine are totally different from mine.  What I hope we can all start doing is making the most of these little bits of time that we’ve started sacrificing at the altar of the mindless phone scroll.  What are the tasks we can do that “clear the deck” and make our days easier later on?  What are the quick decisions and actions we can take to relieve our minds from unneeded stress?  How can we use these times to renew our minds and allow God to speak into our hearts and lives?  I’d love to hear from you about what you’re doing for Redeeming Your Time in the School Car Line.  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter or by leaving a comment below.

The Land Full of Excuses

edge of cliff

There are lots of excuses to stay where you are.

 

Fear.  It can be paralyzing.  I believe fear and excuses were born on the same day.  Excuses are a dime a dozen.  They even have apps to help you come up with a good excuse for various scenarios.  As a habitual procrastinator I have created and used excuses for most of my life for things like not making the honor roll, being late to work, not getting a project done on time, being late to meetings, not riding certain roller coasters, being late for a date, needing extra time to finish a paper, being late to pick up my kids, and not posting to my blog regularly.  Somewhere along the way, there was some fear involved.  Fear that caused a domino effect in too many situations to list.

As a father, fear is not an excuse.