Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reordering the Morning

I need to start the day (after the prayer and exercise start) with a shower, clothing and lip gloss, and then some quiet time with the Bible. I want my children to find me in that room, with a candle lit and the Bible on my lap when they first wake up. I don't want them to find me staring into my laptop." ~Elizabeth Foss

I kept the computer turned off this morning until around lunchtime...that had been a firm goal of mine in the past but somewhere along the way got neglected. Reading Elizabeth's words (and also these from Rachel) helped me to renew my mindset to stop the morning computer habit. It distracts me from really being present with my children...I am here in my body but not with my mind. It also distracts me from the work I know I need to do in the home and can water seeds of discontent. Not to mention the fact that it is wasting my most-productive, least-tired hours of the day!

So this morning I immediately got up after nursing the baby back to sleep. I quickly slipped on a fresh shirt and a cotton skirt and pulled my hair back into my standard ponytail. I made the bed and then my dear husband brought us our morning coffee. We chatted and read and journaled. When my first little sleepy one came in our room, I felt like I was so much better prepared in body and spirit to see him.

As I got moving around the home, I just felt so tired. I always feel this tired when I come to the end of year 1 with a new baby. Nursing a little one literally drains me. I realize that when I feel this tired, I just want to sit...and that is when the computer gets turned on! So I fought off the urge to go turn it on, and I just sat at the kitchen table with my older children talking. And then I laid on the floor and allowed the baby to crawl all over me. I just allowed myself to accept the fatigue, not run away or distract myself from it, and entered in to relationships with my kids.

If I could keep this goal going, it will change our lives.

I got some energy after that and got some laundry done and the kitchen nice and pretty. I felt inspired to pull out Clean House, Clean Planet and replenish my homemade cleaners that had all run low. The kids played Monopoly and Legos while the baby played in his room while listening to music. It was so peaceful and I was so happy to have my mind uncluttered and free to focus on the task at hand!

Morning internet and email clutters my mind and heart. Pure and simple. It is not easy to stop this habit...and that is what it is, a habit. But that means I can change this habit and begin better habits. It's not without a little pain, but I know the fruit is worth it.

photo by D L Ennis


Bonita said...

Lately, I've fallen into the habit of checking email first thing in the morning and have been convicted to stop it. Life is more peaceful when I say good morning to God before I tackle the world. When I check the email it has a way of catapulting me into activity and makes it hard to settle down to God or anything else after that.

I used to make cleansers from the book you mentioned. I was really slow at it and had a hard time keeping up with it so I finally gave up. Also, some of them didn't clean as well as I'd hoped, or maybe I just didn't use them often enough and stuff got especially grungy between cleanings!

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

Aimee, Today was a new beginning for me too. I set the alarm early so I could enjoy a Bible study before they awake. As it turned out, God blessed me with a little sewing time WITH the kids, where they actually helped (shock!), after I had finished my morning chores. New homeschool year = new rhthyms. Blessings on your efforts!

laurel said...

Aimee, this was so motivating to me. I have been really thinking about having a media-free week soon, and this makes me want to start NOW. Maybe I will at least reduce computer time for now. I loved this.

Aimee said...

Bonita, yes CATAPULTING is the right word!! I get unsettled in my mind and spirit when i start the day with email, etc.

I LOVE and swear by the "Alice's Wonder Spray" recipe in that book. I use it to clean everything and love the results. I also like her idea of baking soda shakers with essential oils. I made "Merlin's Magic" for the first time today and will see how that does. I also really like the Earth Tub Scrub. Those are the only ones I have done...besides using her tip to use club soda for cleaning windows!

Rachel, YEAH!!! What a blessing!! New rhythms are always a good thing and I love God's unexpected blessings :)

Laurel, I am glad you are motivated! Me too! I think you and I can really relate to each other on the fatigue front...it's just soooo easy to fall into bad habits when living in a perpetually tired state. But we can change, oh yes we can!

Misty said...

this post is a good, gentle reminder, but convicting too b/cs i keep telling myself i want to start habits like the quote you mentioned, start my day BEFORE my kids wake me up (so that i'm not grouchy!) and have time dedicated to learning about him so i can see him in my day and teach him to my kids. but i, too, get caught up in email and blog and facebook. too easy. i need to go back to only during naptime! thank you

BethS said...

Aimee- Thank you for this. As we begin my husband's 6 month deployment, this is just the reminder I need. E-mail, blogs, Facebook, etc. need not be the first, or last, priority for me. My days, and nights, are much more peaceful when I am disciplined.

Shelly said...

This is exactly what I'm struggling with at the moment! I am in the same awful habit of turning on the computer first thing in the morning. Thank you so much for sharing, it's nice to know I'm not alone in this!

Charity Singleton said...

I love the idea of accepting fatigue rather than running away or distracting myself from it. I've heard more than one person say that sometimes the most worshipful thing a believer can do is just lay down and sleep. I need that more than I allow.

Doodlebug's Mommy said...

What a lovely post. I am trying to make it a habit to only turn the computer on when Doodlebug is asleep. I don't want her to remember my face glowing from the light of the laptop. I want her to remember it glowing with life! Lately I have fallen back into "taking a break" on the computer at night, but you have inspired me to get back on track. Thank you!

Hill upon Hill said...

Great advice, and timely for me. Also to those who wrote comments. When should we deal with the emails though? Many of mine are organisational relating to school/soccer etc?

Bennett and McConnell Family said...

Awesome post, Aimee - thank you!!!

Bennett and McConnell Family said...

PS Just saw the comment "I've heard more than one person say that sometimes the most worshipful thing a believer can do is just lay down and sleep."
WOW. Yes and amen!

Lindsey in AL said...

I too have been waking up a bit earlier to get a head start on the day and spend time with my Lord right at the start. I have an 8 week-old and it works out really well to nurse here when the alarm goes off at 5:45. The 9 minute snooze is usually what she needs to fill her belly. Then she's off to dreamland while I get up, turn on the coffeemaker and get hubby's things in order. I sit down with my Bible while he gets ready for work. When my older 4 start to show their faces, I can greet them with a sweet "good morning" instead of a grunt with my face in the pillow and a guilty feeling in my heart.

It never works perfectly and most mornings I pray first of all to stay awake while I read :) I have found that having a notebook and pen to jot things down as I read and pray helps me focus instead of dozing. When I start to burn out later in the day I either lie down with Baby while the big kids read/sleep/rest or I catch a cat nap in the rocker while Baby has a snack. I find a few minutes sleep while nursing is much more restful and less of a time-sink than getting on the computer.

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

This is me right now. I always feel like I'm missing something if I don't check my inbox, FB, and dashboard in the AM...but really, all I'm missing is the best hours of the day with my children.

I've left the computer off in the morning twice in the last month or so (yes I remember, twice) and it was amazing the difference. And, I realized I hadn't really missed anything at all when I logged on after lunch, during naps.

Now, to follow your links...and I may just have to share this post on my blog.

Enjoying looking around!

Aimee said...

Kathi, thanks for chiming in...I needed to re-read my own post!! I so easily rationalize falling back into the morning computer time and it really really isn't the right use of my time in this season. I really need God's grace of self-control in my life in this area!

Seraphima said...

Fellow South Carolinian (relocated to CA) and homeschooler of, yes, FIVE children...living a parallel life! Love your blog. Inspiring!