early to bed early to rise

A wise writer says, "I look with wonder on that old time, and ask myself how it is that most of the things I suppose my father and mother built on, especially to mold me to a right manhood are forgotten and lost out of my life. But the things they hardly ever thought of—the shadow of blessing cast by the home, the tender, unspoken love, the sacrifices made and never thought of, it was so natural to make them—ten thousand little things so simple as to attract no notice—and yet so sublime as I look back at them—they fill my heart still and always, with tenderness when I remember them and my eyes with tears." - J.R. Miller Home-Making

My bed where she usually ends up in the late morning.

One of my biggest yearnings is for our home to be cozy and inviting. A place of refuge and comfort. A place that gives the children when they are grown a memory and feeling of warmth and safety. Perhaps they will also yearn to be back there some time and make it a goal to give this to their children.

One of my favorite moments is being in a cozy bed with a dim light on reading a book. Some how bedtime in our home has become quite the opposite of warm and cozy. Somewhere along the road we got completely off course and bedtime got later and later and became a mad dash to get the kids in bed. I've known for a long time that it was a mess but some how every night it was way too late again and we were rushing to get everyone in bed. Rushing around and bedtime do not go well together.

Recently we went a week with getting to bed on time and it was glorious! But it was still summer time and somehow we ended up getting back to a late bedtime. A late bedtime (9 or usually later) for our 3 and 5 year old never really mattered because they could sleep in until later. We weren't usually up early for anything so the kids always got plenty of sleep. But I have always secretly wished for a little more down time before I have to go to bed. The plan is if they go down earlier then I will too without feeling like I haven't had a wind down time.

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

With the new school year quickly approaching and a new commitment of needing to be somewhere before 9 am Monday through Friday I've vowed to get us on a better schedule. We have a little over a month to whip our bottoms into shape and by ours I mean my husband and I. Because let's face it we're the ones not sticking to our guns. Tonight was the first night of many nights ahead of wrapping up the evening in a calm blanket and slowly moving towards the bedrooms. 

With more time to get to bed things are much more calm. We do not do baths every night and sometimes they are during the day so we start our down time usually with a show (usually Caillou or Berenstein Bears). We like this because it gives the kids one last thing to enjoy, a wind down time and it's easy to see when it ends it's time to brush teeth, the kids understand it and they can't argue.
Then it's pj time, diaper changing, singing songs ( always "You Are My Sunshine" and "Jesus Loves Me"), then story time, prayers, kisses ( always counted for her and usually 19 and sometimes 5 extra), drinks of water and then night night. For the most part they stay in bed even though it is now 2 hours after we put them to bed and he is still awake. We all have to adjust.

Mama is looking forward to an earlier bedtime and getting up earlier. The plan is to get up earlier and get some Bible time in with a real Bible not laying in bed and doing devotions on my phone, which isn't a bad thing I just want to start journaling and making more of an effort, especially with the fall approaching. I'm just really looking forward to coffee, lit candles, pen, paper, Bible and time with my Teacher. Praying we keep this up!

Wishing for all of you a warm evening, sweet rest and refreshed soul.

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