Thankful Thursday: Rest and Routine

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After all sorts of bellyaching about how Tirzah Mae is no longer napping and how that’s throwing my routines off and messing me all up, we have found a new routine and one that’s working pretty well.

This week I’m thankful…

…for new bedtime routines
It used to be, I’d brush teeth with Tirzah Mae, read her a Bible story, sing her a hymn, and pray with her before putting her to bed. Then I’d nurse Louis and put him to bed. Finally, I’d fall into bed exhausted myself. But Daniel has wanted for a while to do family devotions – and he decided that Tirzah Mae’s bedtime routine would be a good starting place. Now, Daniel changes the children into their jammies (usually while I do some cleaning up around the house) and then we sit on the couch together for a hymn, Bible reading, and family prayer. Then I brush teeth with Tirzah Mae and put her to bed while Daniel sings to Louis and puts him to bed. Once Tirzah Mae is in bed and while Daniel is still putting Louis to sleep, I finish tidying the house.

…for a clean house when I go to bed
Thanks to this new bedtime routine, I have gone to bed with a clean house all. week. long! It’s amazing. I write it on my daily thankfulness list every night. Where I used to be too exhausted to tidy before bed (even though I knew I’d feel so much better in the morning if I did), now the tidying is just a part of the routine, and it’s working well.

…for better sleep
We cried it out at naptimes two or three weeks ago (praise God for giving me the idea to do it at naptimes instead of overnight – SO much easier when I’m not exhausted and when I have plenty of household tasks to distract me), and while Louis is still waking up anywhere from 2-6 times a night, he’s not needing me to nurse him all the way to sleep. I nurse him until he’s done and then lay him down sleepy but still awake. He usually protests with a single cry when I close the door, but then falls right asleep – which means I can fall right back asleep too.

…for a later starts
Tirzah Mae has always been an early riser (4 am as an infant), but now that the days are getting longer (and maybe she’s wearing herself out with all the learning and growth?) she’s sleeping a little longer. Even if she isn’t sleeping longer, she’s become more and more inclined to just sit and look at books or go into the living room and quietly play with her toys until I wake up. Which means I’m able to get more rest when I need it.

…for quiet time
After abject failure when Tirzah Mae was in the process of giving up naps, I’d despaired that I’d never be able to institute a “quiet hour”. But I decided to try again last week, and what do you know? Tirzah Mae complained a little at first but then found ways to busy herself in her room such that my timer (I was trying for 10 minutes for a start) went off and she kept playing happily. I checked on her after another ten minutes and she’d curled up in bed and fallen asleep. By day 3, she was contradicting me when I announced it was quiet time. “Rest time,” she said. Well, okay then. Either way, I’ll take it.

…for a day of rest
I’ve wanted to make Sundays a true day of rest for quite a while now, but it just never seemed feasible. There was too much to catch up on. The house was always a mess, I never quite managed to get Sunday dinner in the crockpot the night before, etc. But I decided to give up the excuses and just make it happen. Sunday afternoon, I clear the table and wash the dishes – but I don’t do laundry or extra cleaning. As soon as lunch dishes are done, I hole up with my journal and reflect on the past week and make my plans for the up coming week. Then Daniel and I have our “family planning meeting” (not about birth control :-P) and we eat leftovers for supper or work on supper together. It’s a lovely day of rest.

I am so thankful that God created us for times of work and times of rest. And I’m thankful that He is teaching me ways of making time to rest.

“And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.'”
~Mark 2:27-28 (ESV)

1 thought on “Thankful Thursday: Rest and Routine”

  1. How great that so many parts of the routine are working better! We’re the same way with Sundays – trying not to do any work beyond what’s needed to get meals on and off the table. We also had quiet or rest times even after nap times faded away. Thankfully my oldest was amenable to that, and I think the rest just followed along as part of the routine.


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