This week I am linking up with Monica at The Homespun Heart to share the different ways that I try to make my home a haven for both my husband and our children. Today, we are sharing ways that we organize and plan our days to experience both efficiency and peace in our sometimes hectic, fast-paced lives!
Please feel free to join us by either linking up with Monica and sharing your own post, or leaving a comment here with other ideas for creating a haven in our homes and in our hearts.
In our home, our mornings used to be both chaotic and rushed. Breakfasts were served at the counter. Milk cups were often overturned. Conversation was nil. I knew that something had to change.
As our home was built to resemble a traditional farmhouse, we don’t have a huge “country kitchen” like many of today’s more contemporary homes can boast. Rather, we have a small “working” kitchen that meets our family’s needs, but does not provide for a large eat-in area. To overcome this challenge, I recently rearranged our family room furniture, removing a large coffee table that took up a lot of floor space. By opening up the family room, it allowed for a small pedestal kitchen table with four chairs to be placed in the space between the kitchen and family room. It is the perfect solution to a not so perfect floor plan!
(Please excuse the poor images! My husband has taken our DSLR camera with him on business and I am using an old “point and shoot”. Clearly, that camera has seen better days!)
Our newly-created “eat-in” kitchen area has made such a difference in our mornings. The children actually look forward to breakfast; especially our oldest as she loves the sense of unity that the table provides and gets to lead us in grace at each meal.
A few other efforts at creating a haven for breakfast time and the start to our busy days…
- reviewing the family calender the night before so that we know where each of us is coming and going;
- setting the alarm clocks one half-hour earlier for each member of the family and their respective “awakening” times;
- setting out the bowl and spoon or plate and fork at each place setting the night before;
- turning off all electronics (t.v., radio, phones, computer, etc.) at the start of breakfast
- lighting a candle and beginning our breakfast with grace;
- sitting at the table and eating with the children.
It just seems that by beginning our day at a slower-pace, the rest of our activities flow more smoothly from getting out the door to drop off our kindergartner and preschooler, to arriving on time for scheduled appointments, and finally to sitting down as a family for dinner!
I won’t lie though. Not every morning runs smoothly, we still have our hiccups or bumps in the road! Today is a perfect example. I wished to follow Monica’s lead and start my day a half-hour earlier by preparing for my upcoming Bible study lesson and I just could not get up when that alarm went off! While our newest blessing is such a welcome addition to our family, his “breakfast” schedule is just a wee bit off from the rest of ours and that 3:00 AM nursing session sometimes interferes with a 5:30 AM awake time!
So how do you begin your mornings? I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you use to get yourself and/or your little ones out the door in the AM!