Structure in Chaos

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My schedule is usually pretty hectic. I. Am. Always. On. The. Go.

Juggling work, friends, church, family, and other miscellaneous commitments is an arduous task.

So I love that over the last few months I have formed several little routines that are peppered throughout my calendar.

They keep me grounded. They keep me in community. They keep me on task. They provide structure in the chaos.

Here are just a handful:

Every Sunday, I go to church at Cross Point. After the last morning service, I head out for Mexican food with Justin and Trish Davis, their boys, and whatever stragglers we can pick up. I’m not quite sure how this tradition started but I love it. It is one of the highlights of my week.

Every Monday, I have a “lunch huddle” with our Thomas Nelson executive team. This meeting helps me stay connected to the team and keeps me aware of what everyone is working on.

Every Tuesday, I drive down to Franklin for “Campus” dinner at Pueblo Real. (Are you seeing the food theme here?) This evening is always filled with enlightening conversation, laughter, and good food. I am so thankful for this community and the investment that make in me each week.

Every other Monday night, my Cross Point small group convenes. It actually could be called a “minuscule” group. It is just a couple of close friends who get together to eat (yes, food again), dream, and talk lives, love, and God.

Once a month, I attend Thomas Nelson Business Reviews. The entire Thomas Nelson leadership gathers to talk about what is happening in their business unit. It always is an informative way to spend 4 hours.

What routines do you have? Do you appreciate the structure they provide?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Lindsey – I love to read about people who weave strength and perspective into their journey. You've certainly done that. I noticed a theme. A lot of your routines seem to involve relationships. This is great. You are proving how true it is that we do not serve in a vaccuum.

    Routine of mine? Walking and/or running regularly – especially with my wife.
    My recent post Dont Stop Growing Vol 7

  • I can relate to being on the go. I'm writing this comment from a hotel room in Louisville, KY. But I have built in some routines in my life that keep me sane: dinner with the family when I'm in town, 5:30 a.m. runs with my running group at least 3 times a week, gym workouts with a buddy 3 times a week, lunch with my A Group executive team once a week. Man, I'm tiring myself out.
    My recent post Managing Expectations Is Often the Difference Between Success or Failure

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  • My schedule isn't quite as crazy as yours but I do like structure.

    Every Monday is our small group that I lead.
    Every Tuesday, I go out for coffee with my Board chairman.
    Every Thursday is my pure office day as I seek to wrap things up so that I can take off Friday and Saturday.

    I have many more "mini" routines but that would fill a few pages. 😉
    My recent post What Martina Mcbride taught me about moving forward in life- Do it anyway!

  • Yes, Thursday morning breakfast meetings with my accountability group. None of the three of us are "morning people" but we gladly get up before dawn each week to meet for prayer, scripture, fellowship, encouragement…oh yeah, and food!
    My recent post Cartoon- Commitment

  • For the first time in a long time my life is totally unstructured and I’m not sure that I like it. I didn’t realize how important the every Tuesday creative team meeting was or the every other Wednesday small group or the every Thursday rehearsal, etc. I have a unique season of time right now in which I can anchor my life to the things that I am passionate about and let all other commitments fill in the gaps in my schedule if I so choose. Interesting time of life. I feel strangely disconnected to the things I once threw my life into. I sense that God is preparing me for a new season of life and ministry. As I create a new structure/framework for life and work, I will be constantly looking for ways to incorporate “tribe” time into my days and weeks. Those times of connection (over food for sure!) are what I miss the most about my life right now.

    • Oh, I have been in those seasons before. I have to create some sort of structure – waking up at a certain time, going to get coffee, etc. to create some semblance of routine.

  • I'm most likely ADD (it runs in the family) and tend to forget things. If it weren't for routines I'd be toast.

    The weekday morning routine is the best structure for me (Yes, I do this every day):
    – 3:00am alarm goes off and I hit the gym
    – Protein shake and banana for pre-breakfast
    – I read on the bus halfway to work and nap the other half
    – Oatmeal and grande triple shot americano for breakfast
    – I read whatever new blog posts are sitting in my Google Reader queue

    Then a no-holds-barred work day begins!
    My recent post Communication vs Connection- Not One And The Same

    • 3 AM??? Oh my. I know feel like a total slacker.

      • Well I can't imagine the pressures of your job although I bet it is pretty exciting. 🙂

        (probably shouldn't mention I'm also a father of two and an MBA student working full time)

        Hey, Thomas Nelson wouldn't be interested in a Seattle satellite office would they? 🙂

  • Lindsey, I'm noticing that one of your favorite routines developed organically–that of lunch after church. I think my problem is tend to think big picture (so does my husband) so we'll say, "let's start getting together with those people after church!" But then we nix it because we are like, well, at Christmas we'll be too busy, or then we'll be out of town, and then our tradition will be SHOT.

    but that's not what you asked: as for me, I can't wait for school to get back in so I can have some routine. I am super-structured so I feel a little crazy with a no-structure summer and three little kids. 🙂
    My recent post A Mission Trip to Wendy’s

    • It's been nice…sure we miss some Sundays because I am out of town or they are out of town but if we can we do it.

  • That makes me smile. He sounds amazing.

  • I have lots of routines…they help keep me sane! But one of my favorite routines happens every Sunday late afternoon. After a full day of church, my husband and I load up our daughter, her books, toys, and the portable DVD player and we hit the road. We have the pleasure of living in Florida. Our routine is to get our daughter settled in her car seat with her toys, drive through Starbucks, and drive to the ocean. Sometimes we get out and play in the sand and watch the sunset and other times we just drive to see the ocean water. It brings such peace and calmness to our hectic busy life. You are welcome to join us anytime you are in FL! 🙂

  • jonwellman

    My week is somewhat varied, but I always reserve late Saturday night as my music review time (I'm a music pastor). I go through my scores, learn lyrics, read associated scripture, listen to tracks, play piano… just trying to focus on the next day's worship.
    http://jonwellman.wordpress.com – Not a Camouflaged Soul
    My recent post Community Car Wash… for Free!

  • mddeibert

    We are almost living a parallel life! (Ok, not quite) we go to church, and the is mexican for lunch (no stragglers, though:( )I have Mon meeting in the morn w our Dev team (I work in Real Estate)to update everyone on what’s going on,Tue evening in the summer is “Wipeout”, Wed is choir practice, and Saturday is cleaning/fun after day. Every 2 weeks we have small groups, that are to end @ 9pm but end almost always WAY past midnight.during the school year, I get up, get cleaned up/made up (awake) and the I pray. In the summer, I read my bible at night. I just realize how many routines I have! Totally love your blog.

  • Elia Garcia

    Hi. I enjoy reading your blog weekly and your Twitter feed daily. However, and please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be weird, but when you talk about going out for “Mexican” I was a little annoyed that you did not specify that it was Mexican food. Maybe I am just being a sensitive young Mexican American girl? A lot of people, including other Christians are very anti-Mexican right now due to current immigration issues in our country. I know that’s not you. And, maybe the way you referred to it is just a regional thing? I don’t know. And, I’m not saying I’m going to boycott your blog. But, I’m just saying… 😉

    • Sorry Elia. I changed it and I appreciate you speaking up. I am pro-Mexico, Mexican Americans and Mexican food 😉 Please stay with me…I'll learn!

  • Lindsey…Trisha and I and our boys love hanging out after church for lunch! Thanks for making it a part of your week…it is one of the best parts of ours!
    My recent post Forgiveness is Free- Trust is Earned

  • I think it's wise to prioritize relational stuff enough to build structure around it. It's just a matter of carving out those recurring slots on our calendars then fighting off the urgent for the sake of the important. I also try to empower a friend to consistently ask me if I'm investing in my core relationships the way I should be before hitting the standard how's life questions. You can't beat community to stay replenished and on task!
    My recent post Healthy Rhythm

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