"Thoughtful parenting requires time to think. Yet many of us don't have time in our lives for thinking. We need to make time. Even a few quiet moments alone early in the morning will enable me to lay the foundation for a day of living and loving from the heart. I meet my children then with heightened awareness, having already sorted out my own needs and priorities and achieved some sense of balance." (Katrina Kenison, "Mitten Strings for God")How TRUE is this?! I'm a thinker. A major, sometimes compulsive, full of ideas, internalizing everything, need to write everything down, kind of thinker. And do you think I have much time to think?!
Ha. Not so much.
I feel like I'm constantly trying to carve out time in my life to think. Like yesterday, I threw six or seven books in a bag... (even though I knew I'd NEVER get to them all)...I got in my car, stopped at a coffee shop drive-through, grabbed a latte and then drove to the nearest very, VERY quiet park, parked my car and just sat.
I read my Bible, journaled, read a couple of essays and then simply enjoyed the quiet.
It's funny, I used to crave time in coffee shops for reading and writing and now, more often than not, I find that most coffee shops are too noisy for me. The people, the music, the movement...I don't feel refreshed after I've been in a coffee shop these days...so, I tend to park my car somewhere quiet and just sit and read and pray in the car. It's like a mobile retreat, actually.
However, as much as I crave and try to carve out quiet time for myself, and I feel like I'm pretty intentional about it, there is not much space for it and it doesn't happen nearly as much as I need to find the "balance" (is this really ever a reality anyway?!) that I'd like in my life.
That said, I like what Kenison says, "even a few quiet moments alone in the morning will enable me to live and love from the heart."
As of late I've been going to bed quite late and not getting up early enough. The girls finally go to sleep (sometimes not until 9:30 or 10 by the time they stop calling for us, or actually settle down) and I just want some ME time...however, I'm so tired that I do mindless things like watch t.v., or read magazines, or blog hop, which is all a fine and o.k. use of "me" time, except that it keeps me up until 11:30 or 12 and then not out of bed until one of the girls either beckons us from their bedrooms or tip toes to our bedside.
Not the most mindful way to start my day.
So...last night, I forced myself to turn off the lights just slightly before 11:30 (even though I had more I wanted to read/do!) so that I could get up before them this morning.
And, even though I hadn't gotten my desired 8 hours of sleep (I know that sounds like a luxury, but truly, I find that I need it to get through the day!) I got out of bed at 7, thinking about Kenison's words...I quietly snuck downstairs, made some coffee on our new Keurig (which ROCKS by the way!) and read my Bible, jotted down a very loose "schedule" for the day (including some house chores, something fun to do w/ the girls (paint in the garage or go to the park), as well as some thoughts on dinner) and started this blog post...
Ava came wandering down 45 minutes later...crawled into my lap and snuggled her sleepy head against my chest and I was able to live and love her from the heart because I wasn't thinking about how badly I needed coffee before I could look her in the eyes, or frazzled because I wanted to think about my day before the requests for juice and cheerios and chapstick and tissues started (which is usually right away!).
So...I will strive to live from a place of slightly more discipline this week...I will be disciplined about getting to bed earlier so that I can get up earlier...while it may feel, momentarily, like I'm giving up some "free" time at night, I gain it in the morning and tend to have a better day for it.