Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Goal...

I've made my lists of many goals in past years, and this year, I'm keeping things simple.  While I did jot down 10 things I would like to be able to do this year, I really only made 1 goal that I plan to completely devote myself to.
Rising early has been so life-changing for me in the past that it's a wonder I ever stop doing this and have to re-start it every New Year.  Somewhere in the fog of holiday party planning, staying up late watching cheesy Christmas romances, getting less sunlight and time outdoors, I always seem to fall off the wagon and start sleeping in late again.  Sleeping in may mean lots of zzzzz's, but no amount of sleep is worth waking to bickering, fighting, crying, kids yelling that they need to be wiped and "Where are my socks???" and "What's for breakfast???" as I try to open my bleary eyes.
Getting up before the kids is so beneficial to me that it enables me to meet my other goals and energizes me to better myself.  When I rise early, I begin the day with peace and quiet, components that really set the tone for my introverted-self for the entire day.  When I rise early, I prioritize my relationship with God, spending time praying, reading the Word (so I can finish the whole Bible in 2014), and just taking a moment to reflect on my day.  I begin the day with a plan of attack instead of feeling attacked by needy little ones and therefore am less resentful toward them and am able to start the day feeling like a more-patient mama.  Arising before my family enables me to get a nice shower in, without kids banging on the door; I can dress, light a candle, listen to a favorite worship song, and then spend time loving on, reading to, and making breakfast with my earliest risers as they trudge up the stairs.
Making the commitment to get up early seems to also spur me to exercise more.  I can do pilates before the kids get up, or at least get a jump on my day so that I can carve out time for exercising later in the afternoon or evening.  Perhaps it's merely a case of "discipline begets discipline" that exercising is easier to find time for on days when I rise early.
My husband has made comments about how he notices I'm at my best as a wife and a mom when I'm making early rising a priority.  So, in addition to doing it for my health, my relationship with God, my job as a homemaker, my role as a mother and my desire to be a kind and patient mom, I'm also thankful that this habit blesses my husband and marriage too.
I'd better get to bed so I can get up early tomorrow! ;)


  1. This is an area of struggle for me too. I cherish my time in the evenings after the kids are in bed and find that I stay up way too late because I want to take advantage of the quiet house. Combine staying up too late with the fact that I am still getting up multiple times a night with little boys, and that makes for a very tired mama in the morning. But I know that if I start my day before the kids are up, things go so much more smoothly. Honestly, I find myself a little bitter that I am still getting up at night so many times. So I'm either starting my day bitter at the lack of sleep, or bitter that I slept in later and now things are chaotic. It seems like a no-win situation at this time in my life. I don't really know where I was going with this, but I do keep telling myself that one day I will get a full night's sleep again.

    On a different subject, I like the new blog, but I'm curious why the switch? Thanks for inviting me!

    1. Your full night of sleep will come. Hugs! For me, the big problem is that no matter what time I get up in the morning, they're up (bright eyed, bushy tailed, and talkative) within 7 minutes.

    2. That used to be a struggle for me too Thia! With a bigger home, with a basement where the kids sleep, they no longer hear me get up. They are in the habit of sleeping until 8 or 8:30am these days. I wonder if you awoke, but just laid in bed and did a little reading, would they still hear you? I guess you would have to figure out a way to wake silently though, which would be tough! I'm hard to wake up and have to use a loud clock or have my hubby turn on the light in our room.

    3. Kristin, I switched my blog partly because I was getting a lot of spam on the other site, and partly because I've outgrown a lot of what I wrote 7 or 8 years ago there. I was more narrow-minded and legalistic back when I started the blog and as I've grown, matured, and interacted with more people, I want to have a site that brings encouragement and hope to people no matter where they are at. I also felt restricted by the title. While I used to have time to blog about crafts, do sewing tutorials, share tons of recipes, etc. I prefer, at this stage of life, to share little tidbits of joy from my days as a mom, and as a servant of the Lord. So, rather than focusing on homeschooling or homemaking, I want this site to be a place where all women, regardless of whether they have children, homeschool, stay-home or work, can find a little tidbit of encouragement and cheer. A lot of folks were sad when I went off fb and some urged me to still find a way to use my gift of encouragement and my love of writing even if I wasn't on "face-hook." So, I dreamed up the idea for a new blog. A fresh start! With a little less focus on the kids and a little more personal privacy, I hope this site will be a little haven of heartening for my friends!

    4. Kristin, that is so frustrating that you are still losing so much sleep. My kids were never great sleepers until a year so I totally understand that. Having 4 wears a mama out as Thia well knows too. At this stage of your life it might be impossible for you to rise early. You may have to just do your planning, Bible reading, and quieting your heart in the evenings before bed even if you are dog-tired. Or, put the kids in front of a worship DVD or character-building movie or Bible cartoon and take 30 minutes before or after breakfast when you try to prepare for the day with the kids distracted and busy for a half an hour. Until Jonah is older, it will be a struggle. KK is now 3 and having all of my kids potty-trained and sleeping well has made an ENORMOUS difference in my personal sanity! I wonder if Madison would be able to read to your kids for a while each morning while you get ready for the day? You're in that difficult time of pushing through and surviving little ones...a time I look back and wondered how I survived...only by God's grace!

    5. LS: I do manage to grab my phone (which is my alarm) pretty quickly most mornings, so I don't think it usually disturbs the kids. But our small house is definitely a factor and just using the bathroom and having the well pump kick on is enough to raise some of my lighter sleepers.
      Kristin: If you're like me and need your sleep to not be so grumpy, don't worry about rising early when your littles are still waking so frequently. In the past,when I've put the effort in, I've fed children first and sent them to play while I had my breakfast or lunch and read. I've crawled into bed at night with a flashlight to read and not disturb the babe next to me (we co slept with each baby in turn). I've also done some reading sitting next to the bathtub while they've played. It's such a HARD time. Do not be hard on yourself. Time will come when they (mostly) sleep through the night and don't need you to feed them every mouthful. And there will be some breaks in the clouds. Hugs.

    6. Thank you both for your encouragement. I keep telling myself that this is just the season of life I'm in right now, and I, too, am leaning on God's grace to get me through.