Maximized my Mornings?
I took part in this great challenge to wake up early each day this month and use the time for worship, exercise, and planning. I really think it’s a great concept, and starting my day off before the great harried morning rush certainly helps on the rare opportunity that I managed to do it. Having said that, I’ve been mulling over my reasons for so massively failing this challenge. I rarely actually managed to get up earlier than my kids! After many frustrating conversations with myself, I was able to come to accept it as a fact: this is not my season for waking up early, and that’s ok. After I chose to stop beating myself up over this fact, I was able to see some things that God had been trying to show me for some time:
- I need alone time every day. When I don’t get it I get cranky. This is nobody’s fault, nor is it my failure as a parent. Being alone is critical to my well-being and something I need to take the time to do. And not at 8pm when I’m barely awake either!
- Spending time in His Word is always going to be more rewarding than reading anything else. Enough said.
- Exercise? I’m just not ready to tackle it. I walk daily with my kids, dance around, vacuum/mop/carry heavy laundry, lift a 26lb weight (and occasionally a 40lb and even my very own 65lber) and you know what? I manage.
- Evenings are the perfect time for me to plan for my day. It calms me down to ensure that I know all my details for the day ahead and enables me to hit the ground running. The early morning fog isn’t my best time to prepare all the details, and looking up a last-minute fun activity feels easier to do the night before.
Where does that leave me in terms of the challenge? I think it leaves me with a pat on the back and telling myself “job well done.” I practiced some things and realized that with a frequently night-waking toddler this is the time to catch as much shut-eye as I can and to find creative ways to meet me other needs. I thought deep and hard about my own daily needs: what do I need to be effective as a mother? And I found some answers about what works for me and what doesn’t. MrH and I have refined our language around this as well. I can now ask him for ten minutes after dinner and before the bedtime routines kick in and he’ll gladly watch the kids, knowing that those ten minutes, on that day, are all the alone time I’ve gotten. Instead of opening my laptop during those ten minutes, I open the Bible and meet with God.
I learned to continue to forgive myself for not doing a formal exercise plan, while nudging me in the direction of ensuring that I do use my body on a daily basis. And lastly, I’ve renewed my commitment to preparing for the next day by starting the night before. Most importantly, I’m reminded that the answers about what’s best for me lie not in someone else’s e-book (though I absolutely love the material in Kat’s book and fully intend to try it again in a year or so, when surely I’ll be getting some more sleep?!), but the answers come from God and from within. As mothers, the best we can do is to tap into our own hearts and souls and ask God to show us how to fulfill the deepest desires we find there. Through this challenge, I learned a great deal about myself and had many a heart-to-heart with my Father. I’d call that a success anyday.