..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blogging Break

So I needed a little blogging break! Can I say it was just what the doctor ordered? Honestly, it's been kind of nice to be freed up from the computer. I've had the opportunity to pursue other interests, but most importantly I've been reminded of the importance of keeping first things first.

Recently Tim and I have challenged one another to waking up at 5:00am in order to offer the Lord the first fruits of our day. Not only are we able to come together in prayer and prepare ourselves for the day, but it also allows us time to do whatever else we need to before the little tornados wake up. For Tim, he's been able to get in an early morning jog and though I need to do the same, it gets kind of tricky with the little guy. So, I've been using this time to enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading or even tackle some early morning housework.

A night owl by nature, I have realized that in order for me to wake up early, I must first develop the discipline of going to bed early. What I am quickly discovering is that this discipline is far more challenging than waking up to the dreaded sound of the alarm clock. That's because I can find a million and one things to do after I put the kids down. Things like hanging out with Tim, watching TV, reading, sewing, or even tackling some unfinished housework.

But hey, this is my mommy time right? The only time I get to do something for me...or so I thought. Recently, I have been challenged by Martha Peace’s frank words about women such as myself who claim not to be morning people. Here's what good ol' Martha has to say,

"I have heard of women who pride themselves on being "night people." That means they have trouble getting up in the mornings because they come alive at night. They may stay up till all hours reading, watching television, or pursuing some sort of interest. The next morning they are too tired to get up and care for their family... These women are not "night people." They are lazy and selfish. Who would not rather stay up late to do whatever they please and sleep late the next day? Once a young wife begins getting up earlier than her children and her husband, she will cease to be a "night person." She will be tired at night and go to bed at a reasonable hour so she will be there to serve her family the next morning."

Ouch! I must admit these were tough words to hear. I mean did she just call me lazy? Selfish? Though I would not consider myself lazy or selfish when it comes to my family, I can see her point. After all, if going to bed late means being irritable, snappy, and or frustrated with your family, then how are you really offering your best to them (or for that matter to the Lord)? If I'm honest with myself, I've been guilty of that. Parenting in general is tough, but it takes extra creativity, intentionality, discipline and hard work to model and teach our children about God. How can we effectively do this if we're too tired??

As I have been contemplating these sobering words and how I can apply them to my own life, it has really challenged me to develop the discipline of going to bed early so that I can offer the Lord the first fruits of my day and be better rested to serve my family.

So, how am I developing the discipline of going to bed early so I can rise early? I can answer with one simple word...Accountability. And since Tim loves to go to bed early, he loves holding me accountable to being in bed at a reasonable hour. Though Tim would love to have lights off at 9:00pm, we've come to an agreement of 10-10:30pm.

Reality is: how much more would I have to offer my family when I am well rested?  How much more can I be when I make it a priority to sit at the Lord's feet BEFORE the day begins? To put on the armor of the Lord instead of rushing off into the battle spiritually unarmed.

I want to begin my days in a proactive mode and put first things first by mentally, physically and spiritually preparing before rushing off to respond to the demands of the day. Proactive and not reactive when I get that 7am call from the bedroom down the hall, "mommy I'm done!" I want leche! Can we watch Super Why? Then there is the little guy waiting for his morning feeding, not to mention saying goodbye to Tim as he rushes out the door in the morning.

All too often in this season of raising such small children I am finding it much harder to safe guard this precious time. While I know there is grace, spiritual laziness shouldn't be an excuse either. For me, there is a fine line. I long for the days where I could uninterruptedly read my bible and journal for an extended period of time with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Thankfully Tim does recognize the importance of giving me this time. In fact, we joke about him kicking me out of the house every Friday morning. But what was once so easy to do now requires much more discipline, creativity, planning and scheduling. That in and of itself can be exhausting and difficult to make time for. 

Starting my day with prayer and reading is good for my soul and essential for my sanity. In an effort to model the importance of putting first things first, we've even begun doing this with the girls. The first thing we do before breakfast, before the tv is turned on, before we get dressed and start going about our day is to have a short devotional and prayer time. We generally read something from their Children's Rhyming Bible, which is usually no more than two pages long followed by a short prayer. The girls love it!

So, Tim and I have joined the 5am club. Are we always successful? Nope. But I do recognize the importance of being obedient and developing this discipline in my life; especially with our growing family.


The Vann's said...

Glad to see you are back to blogging. I always enjoy reading your posts. This one was especially encouraging! Thank you for sharing.

Love ya,

Jen said...

ouch is right...ooops.

Terri said...

Great seeing you back here! Your blogs are insightful - I enjoy them!