Three nights ago I was trying to go to sleep when I got an idea.
A very appealing, wonderful, exciting idea. So exciting in fact that I had to get up out of bed at one o’clock in the morning to act on it.
I had lain there for a half hour with thoughts swirling in my head:
“I need to start getting up earlier so I can get the kids up earlier.. so they can help feed the chickens and water the plants, but I can still have time for quiet time and coffee before they wake up…”
“I need to start encouraging the kids to have their own quiet times, too, I need to do a better job of teaching them in that area and setting an example (and letting them see it..)…”
“I’ve got to put my foot down on our habit of getting up and going straight to the computer and the tv.. we had stopped doing that.. what happened? Oh yes.. I was covering the tv with a sheet before bed and I got out of that habit..”
And suddenly it came to me (it may have been Holy Spirit inspired I’m not taking all the credit!):
“A basket. I need a basket. With bibles and prayer journals and allegorical children’s stories. Books for all of us, and books for us to do together. I can cover the tv at night and encourage the children to use the Morning Basket to start off their day…”
And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I wanted to do it. I had to do it!
“I already have a spare basket, I know just the one. We have several story books and we all have bibles. I can pick up some inexpensive journals at the dollar store and I already want to get A Girl After God’s Own Heart and A Little Girl After God’s Own Heart for the girls.. I need to read A Mom After God’s Own Heart… we can do it together!”
And the more I thought about THAT.. the more I itched to get the books headed on their way to my house so we could begin as soon as possible! And knowing that I was just TOO excited to go to sleep at that point… I did! I got up out of bed and I ordered the two books for the girls to go with my book that I already had. And after ordering them and jotting down a few notes I was finally able to get to sleep — with a great big smile on my face!
The next day, Saturday, I told the kids about it. They started to scoff until I told them all the details and promised that I’m not going to be on the laptop, either. I’m going to spend the morning WITH them and we’re going to do it together. So Saturday we put together our Morning Box with the supplies that we already had and Sunday morning we started our new tradition. Drama Queen didn’t want to read but I didn’t push it. Princess slept in too late and I didn’t make her get up any earlier. This morning was even better. I got Drama Queen interested in a children’s devotional book we have and I got Princess up earlier than yesterday (and then she read the devotional book, too.) Later when we had to run to town we picked up journals at the Dollar store. I let them pick out one they wanted and when we came home, Princess immediately sat down with hers and her very first Visual Prayer. When our other two books arrive they will be going into the basket, too.
And it makes me happy. I’m so hopeful. =)
We haven’t been doing this long enough yet to say it’s a wonderful thing or that it’s working for us, but I certainly think that it *could* be. And my prayer is that it would become a wonderful family habit for us. Though I have to admit, I’m reconsidering the name “Morning Basket” because I don’t want to limit it to only morning time! On the other hand, the kids have already pulled books out at other times of the day and I just made sure they put them back. So maybe it doesn’t matter. ; )
And ONE MORE THING:
The book I started reading two days ago? A Mom After God’s Own Heart? Guess what the very first thing it tells me to do is… any guesses?
Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings
1. Develop a Template For Your Weeks – She mentions fine tuning what is going on in our home to truly put first things first. To make sure that my children and I all have enough time for a daily bible (or bible story) time.
2. Analyze Your Tv Time – She says, “think about how you could use that time to grow in your knowledge of God, to put better things into your heart and mind, to pray for your family to follow God.” And she also applies this to our children.
3. Choose a Devotional Book – “Select a devotional book for yourself, and one that’s age-appropriate for each child. Then set aside a special time each day for enjoying these books.
4. Memorize One Verse – Memorizing one verse a week is something we already do (most weeks) during homeschool.. I’m tempted to move the memory verse box into the Morning Basket instead?
5. Pray for Your Heart – Give it to God, offer it each morning, and pray for the hearts of your little ones!
Oh my goodness!! Do you see how I’ve done all those things in the process of establishing our morning box? Each night since then I’ve prayed over our morning time and our hearts and each morning for the past three mornings my alarm has been going off 15 minutes earlier as I move up our morning schedule so I can have quiet time alone before I have quiet time with them. And then after I set up our basket I choose THIS book to start reading and it all lines up so well with what we’re trying to do here — coincidence? I think not.
I’m very excited and very hopeful and I cannot wait to see what our morning look like a week from now, a month from now, a year from now!
What about you — I want to know what your quiet time looks like and how you involve your children, how you encourage them in their devotions and which devotionals you recommend. What about the littles that can’t read and what about serious prayer and study for yourself? I’m always open for good book recommendations!
Great post Amber! Love the idea of the basket! You really got me thinking!
Well let me know where your thinking leads you! =)
I could totally see myself staying awake because of a wonderful idea. I’m learning that creative ideas like your morning basket actually help me to start on some habits/projects that haven’t come easily. I’d love to create morning baskets for my kiddos. Off to brainstorm what baskets I’ll use and what I’ll include. And now I want that Elizabeth George book for myself. Maybe it’s already on my shelf and I forgot about it : )
It isn’t the first time I’ve had to get out of bed to jot down some ideas but it might be the first time I’ve ever gotten out of bed to spend money. =p
I love your “Morning Basket”! We have something similar. It is more of a “Devotional Basket”. It use to sit in our kitchen, but we have been reorganizing and now it is in our Dining Room. It has all the JClan’s devos in them and our Family Devo, plus a prayer journal for our oldest (“My Talks with God”), and many more things. It is a blessing and if I forget or if I take to long to get to that part of the morning at breakfast time I am reminded by my 3 oldest. In the evening again we… Read more »
I considered calling it the “Devotional Basket” or “Bible basket” but I think for now I’ll call it the Morning Basket because I want the kids to use it to transform their Morning Routine. Who knows, maybe at some point I’ll start calling it something else. =p Ours is in the living room next to the tv (hehe.) So now they get up and go to the tv and the covered tv reminds them that it’s supposed to stay off and they can grab a book out of the basket instead. The 5yo has actually done just that for the… Read more »
I love this!! We do something similar, but we have been starting day off with tv (their only tv time of the day) and with the iPad (me). This really convicts me of tv and iPad in the morning. Wow! We are starting some new things on Monday, and I have been feeling the pull to cover tv with sheet also. My best friend did this not too long ago. She taped notes to sheet that said “use your imagination”, “read”, “go outside”. Reading this post let’s me know that the pull I’ve been feeling is the Holy Spirit’s prompting.… Read more »
I LOVE THIS AMBER!!! The Lord must really be directing us mother’s to make a move like this in the home right now, because this is the 4th blog or subject I have read on setting up a morning devotional/quiet time routine for the family!! He is up to something and it’s exciting to see and to see that the Lord is confirming a few things to me that He’s been putting on my heart here lately regarding this very thing!! I love the idea of the “Morning Basket”. However, I am stuck when it comes to what to do… Read more »
I laid awake thinking about the exact same thing the other night. I’m getting my basket together right now! My kids are little (5 and 3) so I’m thinking notebooks, coloring supplies, their bible. Love the visual prayer idea. So excited!!
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