I am tired of feeling like I am always behind. Behind what, anyway? Behind the people I know who somehow keep up with the cleaning and laundry and the homeschooling and still manage to have time for a hobby more than once a month? Do I REALLY know anyone like that? I'm not sure, honestly. And I don't want to try to live up to some standard that in the eternal scheme of things REALLY doesn't even matter.
Each day there is something that falls through the cracks. It might be the laundry that remains in a basket- clean, but unfolded. It might be a math lesson with a child who is just frustrated and needs to stop thinking about it and try again tomorrow. It might be a writing or phonics session with a preschooler who should really just go ahead and run around outside and chase butterflies and dig in the dirt. Any one of these things and more will probably be left undone in a day, but there is one thing I don't want to allow to fall through the cracks. It is what matters MOST. It is the time we spend in God's Word. Oh the guilt I felt recently as I lay in bed thinking about our day and realized not once had I opened the Word to my children! They are little. We were busy. Pete wasn't home for dinner so family devotions didn't happen in the usual way. I felt horrible. Not becuause I was unable to check "Bible time" off my mental to-do list. But because they ARE little and if I don't MAKE time to read to them, they can go a day- or longer- without training in the most important area in their lives. Not that their spiritual instruction ONLY happens when we actually read God's Word, for I hope it's happening all day. Still, I need to focus on making time for that EVERYDAY, no matter how busy!
For several months I've been having my devotions early in the morning before anyone gets up. I really love that time when the house is quiet and I can think. Then there are the days that I have a hard time getting up early and barely get a shower in before the kids are all up- then my devotions just don't happen. I know that if I had trained myself at a younger age to make personal time with the Lord more of a priority, it wouldn't be such a struggle now. With that in mind I have added a new thing to our morning routine. Here I've been telling Peter and Kate for awhile that since they can read they need to set aside time for devotions, yet I don't necessarily encourage them daily to take that time. So now right before we gather to read our Bible story, recite our memory work, and pray, it's devotions time. I put Charlotte in the pack n play, Ella next to me on the couch, and Maddie, Kate, and Peter pick a spot on the floor. The three youngest each have a Bible story book to "read" and the two oldest get their Bibles. And if I happened to miss my early morning quiet time, that's my opportunity to have it. I'm hoping that the kids will see this as a REGULAR, NON-NEGOTIABLE part of their day as they grow.