Friday, October 30, 2009

Morning Musings

This morning I've been re-reading in one of my journals some notes I took in 2000 when our ladies bible study was reading Treasures of Encouragement by Sharon Betters. From chapter V I wrote: "If we refuse to spend time getting to know God, our ability to encourage others will be severely diminished in that it will be based on our own limited understanding of ourselves rather than on our understanding of God and on His unlimited understanding of us." And this: "The less time one has, the more carefully it should be managed. If you wait for free, convenient seasons in which to fulfill real duties, you run the risk of waiting forever."

I've spent a great part of my life waiting for what comes next. I've thought, "I'll be able to do ......when THIS is over." I've tried to train myself to stop this kind of thinking. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. All we have is this moment. Do we really want to waste it by looking to a future that may never come?

The reason I did this is because whatever was happening in the present was too hard or too painful. So to make it bearable I would momentarily daydream about a better day. I'm not saying that's always wrong, but for me it kept me from dealing eye-to-eye with the present.

I also spent too much time reading for escape and not enough time reading Scripture and praying. This goes back to the first quote. We HAVE to make time in our schedules for God and His Word. It is imperative that we have daily quiet times BEFORE the children get up to set the tone for the day. If we wake up with them it seems like the rest of the day is spent playing catch up or doing damage control. Life should be more than just keeping them alive moment to moment!

This takes much discipline to get to bed early enough so that you can get up earlier than the children. The temptation is great to stay up for those quiet hours at night after everyone's gone to bed. But if the children are in bed by 7:30 or 8:00, then you'll have about two hours of quiet before you have to go to bed. That's when I soak in the tub with a good book, straighten the house, and plan for the next day. It's my favorite time of the day!

Try an experiment for a week or even half a week. You know about how much sleep you need each night to be functionable. For me it's about 6 1/2 hours a night with an hour's rest time in the afternoon when I sleep about fifteen minutes and rest and read. So figure out what time you want to get up. Be sure and allow a time of worship. Even fifteen minutes is better than nothing. More is even more beneficial.

Last thing at night, take a few minutes to plan on paper what you want to accomplish the next day. This will greatly increase your productivity. I know it works, because I've tried it both ways. If it's not on paper, I spend most of the morning just spinning my wheels not getting anything good accomplished.

I believe these things are THE KEY to being good homeworkers and mothers; a daily time of worship alone with God (preferably in the early morning before anyone else is awake), a disciplined bedtime for children and yourself, and planning the next day the night before. Try it for a few days and see if it doesn't make a big difference in your life. I've been living this way for thirty years and have no plans to change. This plan is good for all stages of a woman's life but especially the years with young children. Let me know how it works for you!

1 comment:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I completely agree about getting the next day's chores written down the night before. When I don't do it, my wheels spin, too.

I have to say I'm such a non-morning person that getting up thirty minutes early in the morning has never worked for me, and I've tried it many times over the course of my life. However, I do believe strongly in setting aside devotional time everyday, and for me that's at night from 8:30 to 10:00. I stay up until 11:30, have all my evening chores done by 7, so there's not much chance of that time being used for other purposes, especially I've come to really look forward to it and need it.