I have no rhythm. Seriously, none. It’s comical, except that I’m incredibly insecure about it, so unless I can laugh at myself first, I really don’t want anyone else laughing at me.
But this summer, I will be incredibly proud of the fact that I will have been a member at my local Jazzercise center for five years. These two left feet and off-beat hips have somehow found a rhythm that works, mostly because I always watch the feet of the person in front of me.
Motherhood is a bit like that. Sometimes if we can get past our own insecurities and stop comparing ourselves to the next mom over in the carpool lane or the celebrity mom on the cover of the People magazine we had to sneak into the bathroom to read, we can find a person whose rhythm it’s okay to follow.
And sometimes we can find our own, even if it’s a little off beat.
At my house, we are three days into a new school semester and three days into a new morning routine. As a family, we have often had devotions and Bible readings and prayer times at night before our girls head off to bed and I utter a silent plea to the Lord that no one will wake me in the middle of the night just because they have to go the bathroom. (By the way, I realize that eventually I will have to stop referring to my kids as “the girls.”) But, here’s the problem we’ve had lately. Now that the big girls go to big school, there’s a pesky little nuisance called homework. Reading logs. Spelling practice. AR book reading.
I suddenly have new sympathy for parents who used to complain to me in their conferences. It’s not that they have a lot of homework, it’s just that between dinner and nursing and rocking Amelia and baths and finding clothes for tomorrow and lunch money and dance lessons and AWANA and committee meetings for daddy and Bible study for mommy, our evenings are jam-packed.
So when I told the girls that we were going to start having family devotions regularly again and asked if they thought we should do them in the morning or evening, I wasn’t surprised when they both said morning. I was surprised when Madelynne said, “That way we can all be together.”
Ouch. But reducing commitments is another topic for another day.
Today I am just happy to say that I think we might be finding our own rhythm for this season of our life. Joshua and I committed to one simple act: we get up earlier. Now that’s hard. Especially since Gus doesn’t sleep through the night and it’s winter and our house is cold. But we’re doing it, and for the past three days, morning has been the best part of the day.
He gets ready for work. I make the coffee and breakfast. (I’m on a hot breakfast kick. It will probably last about a week and then we’ll start integrating cereal back in.) We wake the girls when he’s ready and lure them out of bed with promises of cheese grits or cinnamon toast or oatmeal. We sit down as a family and he reads a few verses while we eat. It’s simple. It’s far easier than I expected. It will have to be adjusted when Gus decides to change his morning rhythm again, but for this moment? It works.
Madelynne wanted to start in the beginning. So, we did. I’m going to start looking for a devotion series that suits us right now and maybe I’ll even jot down some ideas of my own.
But don’t think we came up with this routine on our own. Remember, I told you I like to watch the feet of the person in front of me.
Some feet I’ve been watching…
HomeLife Magazine (the article “Everyday Devos” was really my inspiration to consider the morning)
Michael Kelley Ministries (author of the article)
The 1 Habit at Every Meal that will Change Your Life (the always inspiring Ann Voskamp)