One of the most challenging things for me to date as a parent as far as general organization and planning has been starting our days in an organized yet somewhat pleasant manner. It doesn't help that school here starts at 7:40 so we have to be out the door by 7:15- just so early! In years past morning have always left me feeling like I've just never quite caught up and I just have to pray that the girls don't feel half as frazzled heading off to school as I felt as I shoo them out the door stuffing snack boxes and water bottles into their back packs. This year one of my biggest prayer requests as we started back to school was that the Lord would help me organize our morning routine in a way that didn't leave us all feeling like we'd run a marathon. As I prayed through this, one of the first things I realized was that we would sacrifice some of their typical morning chores like making their beds since they are now sharing a room with Naomi who is ideally still asleep (in the bed that needs to be made) when they leave for school. We decided that the majority of their chores could wait until they got home from school so that we could help them focus on beginning their days with the Lord. Our guest bedroom has become their morning "get ready" room since Naomi is still snoozing when they get up and get going. We've arranged their quiet time area at the little table in the corner. They each have their Bibles, their prayer journals and there is a selection of some kid devotion books. I have a white board propped up on the table with some reminders for the girls of some things to think about while reading their Bibles and praying. We started off trying to keep a family journal (this was an idea from a Beth Moore bible study from several years ago), but I realized that it was taking Maddie a little too long to write things down. So we modified things a little to where Maddie simply reads each morning in her Bible and keeps up with her journal at night. Abbey typically reads in the morning and writes in her prayer journal. I"m trying to have them right things down like what passage they read, what they learned from it, what they didn't understand, what they want to pray about because of what they read etc. The amazing part of this whole process has been that literally EVERY morning since school started in September both girls have started their day reading their Bibles and praying without us having to remind them AT ALL. It has been such a blessing to Jason and I, and it has truly been amazing how much smoother our mornings have gone this year compared to last year.
I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, Jason, and four beautiful daughters, Abbey, Maddie, Naomi and Anabelle. We are living our dream of living and working cross-culturally in the Middle East. Life is an adventure and never dull. As a child of the Eternal King of Kings, held together in the palm of His loving hand, I am a work in progress, thankful to share my journey with anyone who wants to listen.