Monday, August 20, 2012

Inspired to Action update

So far I've started my morning before my family wakes.... 2 days in a row! Woohoo! Small beginnings, right? It feels great! I've had time to sit and soak in scripture with a study guide to help me think through some probing questions. I've had time to praise God through song, prayer and journaling. I've done a few leg lifts (a bigger exercise routine is to come...) and yesterday I even slowly enjoyed a warm cup of decaf coffee all to myself. What a treat!

Two amazing things have happened these past two days. One has been that the Lord had me up at 5am, wide awake and ready to go, with no alarm and no one else awake. So perfect! The other is that Emily has slept in WAY past her normal wake up time both times! Was God waiting for me to walk in obedience to getting up before He arranged this little blessing? Not only have I gotten up early, but I've had tons of time to myself after the fact. What I had only planned would be 30 minutes ended up being a whole hour and a half these past two days!

Emily's now up (at 6:30! Woohoo!), so off I go to greet her and the day. Hope you all have a wonderful day with God's new mercies as well. :-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Inspired to Action

I had a major confession with my small group last night- one that really ought to have to been to the Lord and to my husband first. But as is my way with burdens, they sometimes get blurted out at random times or when the pressure inside pushes the words out. Having an open ended "What do you bring with you to small group tonight" question was just the kind of question to get that little confession moving on out. (by the way, Thanks, Lord, for knowing I needed that!)

I've been a not-so-great mom this whole summer. Combine a little bit of Olympics perfection and commitment with the realization that my baby will be at preschool two mornings a week in less than a month with a host of toddler tantrums and power struggles and I realized there is a lot more I can and want to give to Emily every day. Sure, I've got loads of excuses. First trimester fatigue, distractions of some shopping needs over the last two weeks, trips that threw off routines, an early riser combined with me being a night owl. But at the end of the day these are just excuses. And I'm ready to throw them away and face this snowballed problem head on.

I've already changed my attitude about Emily's early wake-up inevitability (5:40AM on the dot e.v.e.r.y. d.a.y.) and am praying God will help me keep a positive attitude. I am also trying to adjust my expectations for what I need and want to accomplish before she wakes up at that time each morning. I am not a morning person. Never have been, not one day in my life. So instead of joyfully waking up at 5am, I've allowed her "Mooooommmmy" to be my alarm clock every morning. It really hasn't worked out well for any of us that this has been the case. I'm sometimes cranky, always out of it, ill-prepared for the 6-7 hours ahead of us before nap time, and definitely not focused on meeting my family's needs the first couple of hours I'm waking up.

I've been following a blog I absolutely love called Inspired to Action for months now, gleaning wisdom but always being too chicken to take the plunge and wake up even earlier than 5:40 to start my day with the Lord, with a plan, and with some stretching and exercise. Like many things in my life, I don't start them unless I feel like I can perfectly complete them the first time. I think I've always been like that, too. ;-) I keep saying "I need an hour to get all that done, and I am not waking up before 5am on a daily basis."

But the truth is- I just need to start. Even if it is just waking up at 5:30 and reading a scripture before everyone else is out of bed. On the rare day I wake up before Emily and can just lay in bed and get myself awake, I at least wake up talkative, patient, and kind to everyone. How infinitely better would this be if I could combine that with being filled with the Word, having a plan for our day, and feeling like my lungs have a little fresh air in them rather than still breathing like I am sleeping 30 minutes after I wake up.

Today was a good start to a changed direction for the last month of summer. Emily and I played hard, laughed plenty, learned new things, and hugged frequently. Battles were fewer, nerves were more relaxed, and I felt so thankful for a great day.

Here's my list of things I hope to change by the end of August:
1) I get up before 5:40 every morning and at least am reading scripture before she wakes up
2) We have at least 2 weekdays at home just the two of us. I think I love our frequent playdates more than Emily does.
3) Greg and I find our rhythm with discipline and stay consistent. I think inconsistency and continuing to try things that don't phase Emily haven't helped.
4) That I spend way more time playing with, encouraging, and hugging my child than I do redirecting behavior. What do you bet this will have a direct affect on behavior and heart change? :-)
5) Get the dishes done every day. Seriously. This would help me be a better, happier, less stressed mama and wife!
6) Join the HelloMornings challenge on Inspired to Action, which gets me plugged into community and accountability about waking up earlier every day! --- DONE!

Ok, thanks for listening to my long confession and plan. :-) Feel free to hold me accountable along the way. I can't wait to see how this might revolutionize our days in this family! I may not be able to change the fact that my husband and daughter are happily morning people, but I can try to join in the fun and glorify God in the process!