Flexibility. Not one of my strengths.
I'm a planner. I don't like surprises in my schedule. I like to know what I'm doing today and usually don't stray to far from that.
My husband is a totally different story. He loves to be spontaneous. When we first married he would come home from work and say, "Let's go to the mall!". That simple sentence would throw me into a tail spin.
"I can't go to the mall!"
"I didn't wash my hair today."
"I haven't cleaned the kitchen."
So on & on & on. Bless his heart. He finally learned that I do better when I have had at least 2 hours notice before he changes my plans.
Having children helped me to learn the importance of being flexible. Things are gonna happen that you just can't help.
Did you know that flexibility is a character trait? I had never thought of it like that until I found it on a list of character traits to teach your children.
Here are some definitions I found.
- Learning the wishes of the one I am serving and adapting my priorities to meet them. Learning how to cheerfully change plans when unexpected conditions require it. Avoiding obligations that would hinder us from taking the best course of action. (IBLP - Character Clues Game)
- Not becoming attached to ideas or plans which could be changed by my authorities. (Character First!)
- Flexibility is not setting my affections on plans or places that could be changed by those whom I am serving. (The Power For True Success)
Living with family in two different places has definitely stretched my flexibility. The younger kids & I are usually at each house for about 10 days at a time now. It is easier for us to travel between the two places than the older kids since they work.
I am learning to be flexible. I never really know how long we will be somewhere. It is hard to plan. It is hard to make commitments. I am learning to not hold on to any plans because as soon as I do they will get changed. I write my plans with a pencil.
Psalm 40:8 "I delight to do your will O my God.."His will. I delight in his will, not my own.
Matthew 6:19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal."
Colossians 3:2, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."
1 John 2:15-17, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Flexibility understands that nothing is about me or what I want. My life is all about Him! Even in the simple things like missing dinner with friends because I am not in town or not getting to sleep in my own bed. When my attitude gets nasty it is because I am being stiff necked, impatient, determined to make my plans work.
When I set my mind on things that are above and I set aside my fleshly desires my attitude is not only better, but I am now free to see God is working all around me. Who am I to think my plans are better?
Below is something I made a few years ago when the kids & I studied this. It is the "I Wills" of Flexibility. Feel free to use it.