Rethinking Home: Creating Space for Mornings

This is the first post in a new series I’m calling Rethinking Home.  My goal is to share different ways of making your home work for you and not the other way around.  I hope you will find both beauty and purpose in the weeks ahead…

Confession:  I am not a morning person.  I am not that mom who wakes up early before her kids and greets them with a smile on her face.  Another confession:  I am really trying hard to change this!  Last year, with only one in school, and that one being a boy child, he could wake me up with 30 minutes until that bus pulled up and we could be waltzing out the front door with time to spare.

This year is different.  I have two in school and one of them is my precious dear daughter who, bless her heart, takes after her strong-willed mother.  I’m guessing this is payback for all those struggles over hairstyles and outfits with my own mom back when I was a kid (sorry, mom!!) Thank the good Lord the 90’s era of big bangs is over so at least we’re not dealing with hairspray and curling irons, but I have come to learn I cannot roll out of bed at 7:15 and have my kids out the door at 7:45.  I also cannot do anything nicely with my opinionated daughter at that early hour when I have not even had time to drink my coffee or (ahem) put on a bra.

Walking to school

Here enters my need for an alarm clock.  There are admittedly a couple times a week when I keep hitting that snooze button, but when I actually get out of bed I’m able to put on said bra, change out of my colorful pajama pants for equally comfy but maybe a little more stylish black yoga pants, drink some coffee, and work on my bible study before I ever see my kids in the morning.

So to encourage myself to get up and get going, I need a little atmosphere.  I’m a beauty seeker.  I don’t want to wake up to last night’s dishes (which are sometimes still there).  I don’t want to wake up to a laundry pile or toys on the living room floor, you know what I mean?  It feels impossible at the end of a long day to take care of all of those things and get the house into order.

But it doesn’t feel as hard to carve out one little space and keep it sacred.

We’ve had this gray chair in our living room for a long time but I brought down the ottoman from the baby’s room (he’s two now).  I’ve started keeping this side table empty so I can rest my bible study things and my coffee there.  Creating this space cost me nothing but has made a huge difference in my morning.

Just knowing that this cozy and pretty spot is waiting for me invites me to sit, rest, read, & pray.

Ottoman :: The House of Figs

I read something that struck a chord with me several weeks ago on Instagram written by Ruth Chou Simons of @gracelaced. Ruth also blogs over at Gracelaced and has a beautiful shop full of original artwork.  She’s talking about husbands here, but I think its true for kids as well.  She said this:

“Who our spouse becomes in 20 years will be shaped significantly by the small and seemingly insignificant choices we make everyday in the words we say (or don’t say), in our touch (or lack of), and in acknowledging with our eyes: You are valuable for who you are not just what you do (or don’t do). From the same sky comes water that erodes in time or rain to a thirsty field of crops… let our words, touch, and eyes be thirst-quenching and not eroding. And reality check: it doesn’t come naturally… so let’s go to the Well that does not run dry… satisfy our hearts in You, first, Lord, that we might be a blessing to the ones who need us to be well watered women.”

Its not in my nature to be nice in the mornings.  But when I am filled with His grace, then I can pour it out on the little people around me.

I don’t want to be grumpy and snap at my kids every morning just because I haven’t had my coffee yet or because I woke up already feeling behind.

I don’t need to have the whole house cleaned up.  I don’t need to have lunches already packed or be ready to serve a full breakfast.  I don’t need to have things perfect or have my entire life in order before my kids get up in the mornings.  Just in rethinking my home and creating this little place of grace for myself in the quiet darkness of the morning, I am welcoming an opportunity to be guided by the Holy Spirit.  And that is all that I need.

Rethinking Home

*A little note for all you moms with little ones who may or may not be sleeping through the night but who generally make life exhausting:  please don’t feel pressured by this!  After seven and a half years of motherhood I am just now in the place where waking up before my kids is starting to make sense for me (and it still doesn’t happen every day!!).  How you seek the Lord doesn’t have to look exactly how I’m doing it or how someone else is doing it.  It may be a cry to Him in the wee hours while you’re rocking your baby for the fifth time that night.  It may be two verses read during nap time before you close your eyes in sweet solitude as well.  We’re not all in the same season of life, but may we all turn to the Well that never runs dry.*

So how do you create space for your mornings?  Or how do you create space to fill yourself up with grace?  I’d love to hear or see!  Leave me a comment here or share a picture on Instagram and hashtag it #rethinkinghome!

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21 Responses to Rethinking Home: Creating Space for Mornings

  1. Nichole October 8, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    One of my favorite posts you’ve done so far. I could win some sort of award for hitting the snooze button a record amount of times each morning. Getting out of bed before my kids would make my life so much easier but I just don’t do it! Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Thank you so much, my friend. Maybe we can help each other out with this, because I definitely still don’t do it every morning!!

      • Nichole October 8, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

        Yes! What’s our plan?

        • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

          I don’t know?! Let’s chat tomorrow!

  2. Lyndsey October 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Wow thank you for sharing this! I struggle with mornings exactly the same way. I tell myself if I could just stay on top of things or even ahead of things (have everything perfect) that would make it also much easier . Easier said than done though . I finally drop my kiddos off and then beat myself up with guilt over how stressful/hurried our morning was for the rest of the day. I especially appreciated the note at the end. While I don’t think I am in a place to wake up early enough to spend that time the morning yet, I do see the need for making time for it during the day and how that can impact my time with my kiddos. Thanks again! Love your blog. Keep it up!

    • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you so much for your comment Lyndsey. You have no idea how much that means to me and I appreciate it so much!! Hang in there- you are in a tough season and the last thing you need is guilt added in on top! Grace to you and your precious littles!!! xoxo

  3. Kelly October 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    Thank you for this–I actually already have a chair in the living room with a small table next to it that never gets used. I’m thinking it’s time to give it (and my mornings) a renewed purpose.

    • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      I love that, Kelly! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. John October 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Bethany…..what lovely and refreshingly honest thoughts on making personal time and family obligations more balanced and beneficial for all.

    • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      Thanks Uncle John!

  5. Joni October 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    I love this post, Bethany, and I love this whole idea for a new series! Appreciate your honesty and your spirit, so sensitive to God’s leading. . . . and I love you, my beautiful, artistic, strong-willed daughter and I love YOUR beautiful, artistic, strong-willed daughter!!

    • Bethany October 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

      Thanks, mom, I love you too!! 🙂

  6. Cerissa October 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    SUCH a great post! I just found your blog and already am soaking up the encouragment in it…we had our third child a few months ago who is blessedly sleeping through the night but I am still dragging in the mornings, which is not good for my homeschooled first grader and 3yr old. I love the side note at the bottom about how we are all in different stages but can draw from the Well to get us through it….beautiful reminder that brought tears to my eyes! Blessings to you and your family!

    • Bethany October 24, 2015 at 8:08 am #

      Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me, and I know so much where you are. I homeschooled our oldest (for kinder) the year we had our third, and and my middle was three. That was an exhausting but rewarding year. My oldest two are now in public school but I still look back on that year fondly and will treasure that time we spent! Hang in there and thanks again. ~Bethany

  7. Angela December 20, 2015 at 6:57 am #

    I just found your blog in a desperate search for beauty. This blog and post is honey for this weary Mom’s soul. I have a 1 year old, 2 year old and 5 year old. Needless to say, I am exhausted!

    Thank you for adding hope and beauty to my day!

    • Bethany December 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      Thank you so much for your words Angela, I’m so glad to hear. Blessings to you and your little ones, I completely understand the exhaustion!!

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