One morning my oldest daughter pleaded with me in desperation, "Mom, please stop rushing me -- it's stressing me out!" I wanted to make our mornings calm, but I didn't know what to do differently.
On the Sunday after that exchange, a challenge was presented during our Sunday School lesson: make time for our morning prayers. I reviewed our manic morning routine. Though praying at night is something we do without hesitation, our morning prayers were hit and miss. How could we add consistent prayer to our already hectic mornings?
We had tried to use our breakfast prayer as our family morning prayer time, but not all of our family was able to gather together for breakfast each morning. I didn't know what we could do differently short of waking the family earlier, which hadn't been successful in the past. I knew I needed to find the answer that would work best for our family. I finally realized I needed to prepare and plan ahead.
Now our Saturday chores include packing lunches and preparing breakfasts for the upcoming week. We wash and dry fruit and vegetables; slice cheese; count out crackers, pretzels, and cookies; and place all of the servings into baggies. Each child places his or her lunch items into a labeled grocery bag and places it in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. This preparation cuts out much of the early day scurrying.
Then on Saturday evenings, I hard-boil eggs and bake muffins for the week's breakfasts. Easy-to-grab breakfasts have made our routine more streamlined; even if someone wakes up late, they can grab a good breakfast and eat on-the-go.
We now have peaceful mornings, and the kids, kindergartener included, delight in their new responsibilities. By preparing ahead we now have a calm morning routine that allows ample time for thoughtful, meaningful, sincere family prayer.
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