Growth | Beginning Quiet Mornings

When I share about my Morning Time on social media, the most common question/comment is, "I cannot seem to get myself to get up.  I am such a night owl."  I get it... believe me, I've been there!

I am very open about the reality of life seasons.  I never endorse neglecting time in the Word, but I am aware that there are seasons for rising early (after the babies learn to sleep consistently) and seasons for milking every last minute out of our mornings for sleep (hello, newborn days!).  So, be kind to yourself and if the mornings don't work for you, find time throughout your day to have quiet time.  

My baby had been sleeping through the night consistently for about a year and I started to notice my laziness when it came to mornings.  My kids would always be the ones waking me and I would be frustrated that they came into my room with their, "I'm hungry," demands.  Why were they bothering me??  Don't I serve them all day long?  

Then, I realized that I had been out of the newborn season for awhile and it was time for me to start some better habits.  It was time for me to rise early and be prepared in my heart and mind for the ministry before me.  

I didn't start by instantly rising at 5 am.  I began by transitioning in 15 minute increments.  I planned to turn in for the night 15 minutes earlier and then get up 15 minutes earlier. I would bump it up 15 every week until I was getting up at 5:30 or earlier.  

Our flesh is strong.  That bed feels warm and awfully cozy when we are snuggled in and it is still dark outside.  That is why I brew coffee and make myself a cozy spot in the corner of our sofa to enjoy during my morning time.  It helps leaving the warm bed not feel so grueling. :)  During the chilly months, I light my beeswax candle and set it on the table beside the sofa.  I turn on the fire and make it an inviting place to wake to.  

Obviously, that plan works gloriously when you have nothing going on and evenings flow the same day after day.  There are times when we have a busy season and I have to repeat the process all over again because I have worn myself out and need the sleep in the morning, BUT I have come to realize that I always need to rise at least 30 minutes before my kids to read and pray.  That 30 minutes of sleep is simply never more important (for me in my circumstance) than that time with God.  

As with any good and worthy habit, it takes discipline for those of us who aren't naturally early risers.  What I love is that now I am a morning person and I feel like everything flows better.  I get breakfast prepared.  I get school underway in an orderly/timely fashion.  I seem to be more productive all around.  I dunno... I like that I no longer live for sleep.  That feeling had become all too familiar.  :) 

Growth | Quiet Mornings

Self-care... it's a buzz word that is thrown around constantly in the social media world.  I'm all for sneaking away for an hour to run to the thrift store or going to get my hair tidied up, but self-care for me comes in the morning and it is long-lasting.  

In the quiet of the morning, with the sky still dark and all of my little ones still snoozing away... that's when my "self-care" happens.  The coffee brews and I turn on the soft, glowing lamp next to our chaise.  I grab my coffee and cozy into the corner of the sofa with my bible.  I begin with a Psalm and I read it slowly.  I pray over my heart and the heart of my husband and children.  I am profoundly aware that this time of meditation and prayer has eternal implications.  Like, what better thing could I be doing besides this???  Nothing.

When that time is over, I have two other regular books that I read an excerpt from.  They are the words of men who have finished their race well.  They have spent time examining the Scriptures and it inspires me to do the same.  One of those books was recommended by a friend and I am so glad she did.  I asked for it for Christmas last year and it has been such a lovely book to read day-by-day.  It is Day by Day by J.C. Ryle.  This is wonderful book to add to your library and you will not regret getting it.  I am also subscribed to a quarterly mailing that sends out a pamphlet every season filled with rich exposition.  It is a free service and I highly recommend it- the Free Grace Broadcaster.  

When I mention my morning times on Instagram I always get loads of comments from friends who don't know where to start.  I am going to share my process in a later post.  I haven't always been a 'morning' person, in fact, I used to be a night owl.  I wanted to utilize my morning time, though, so I made some changes... changes I will share later. :)

I hope this helped even in the slightest.  If you have any questions, please ask away!

Home | Small Updates with Comfort Works

It's been awhile since I've shared in this space and I've missed it.  Life has been rolling along as we enjoyed this past summer and are now a month into the new school year (which I intend to share a bit about in another post).

One thing that has become apparent to Mark and myself over this past year is that it feels like we will be planting roots where we are at.  Every place we have been prior to this has felt like the perfect place for us... for a time, but this place feels different.  This is the first time that we have looked around and thought that we will be here for a very, very long time (Lord willing).

That being said, it changes the way you look at your home.  I have been looking long term at decisions we've been making along the way and ones that we see coming down the pipe for the future.  What feels homey and cozy?  What will be a timeless decision that I will still enjoy decades from now?  What is the feeling I want my kids to have when they think back about our time in this home?

It seems silly to some, but it feels important to me.  We envision this place as being somewhere that our kids and their friends gather.  A place that we open up to our neighbors and church family.  A place where we host dinners and back yard bar-b-ques.  You know... a home.

So, with that I want to share a small change that we recently did that made quite a big transformation in our living room.  Our Ikea Kivik sofa has been a great choice for our family.  We have all crowded on it for movie nights and many a nap has been had on a Sunday afternoon.  Our cover was looking a bit worse for the wear and I wanted to brighten it up a bit, so I searched for a simple solution- a sofa cover!

Low and behold there was a company out there that made covers specifically for Ikea sofas.  I messaged them right away and got the process underway.  I had originally planned on going with a blush color, but opted for the color that I felt like was timeless- Linen Luna Flax.

The cover fits the sofa like a glove and each piece was labeled (thank you!!!!) so I knew what part of the sofa it belonged to.  I even got some pleats on the bottom corners to give the sofa a more traditional feel. Y'all, the workmanship is excellent and their customer service has been just as good.

I wanted to share because sometimes the integrity of our furniture is still good, but we need a little update without buying an entirely new sofa set.  I encourage you to check Comfort Works out.  They even make covers for other brands, so peek at their website and see what they can do!  If you decide to give it a shot, please send me photos!!!