Start Your Day by Getting Dressed

Over the past two days my productivity levels have been miniscule. In fact, it has been nearly 11 o’clock before I even got dressed for the day. The messes around my home have seemed to be unending and the neediness of my children only escalating throughout the day. We didn’t have time for any schooling let alone breather time until naps because I was just in cleanup mode.

I woke up this morning and felt the Lord giving me a gentle prompt: Why don’t you start your day by simply getting dressed? Dress yourself first and foremost with the gospel and then put on your physical clothing for the day.

As Ephesians 6:10-18 reminds us of the importance of putting on the truth, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” The enemy certainly likes to take advantage of my spirit and enjoys overwhelming me with thoughts of failure and discouragement when I have not first equipped my soul with a reminder of the beauty of God’s grace. My Lord loves me despite my failures…He bore them all. He gives the grace for me to embrace the work He has assigned me.

Seems like two basic concepts. I’m sure you have heard them before (I recall flylady encourages this!), but the depth of the impact wasn’t so amazing contrasting to me till today. I just needed that gentle reminder and encouragement from the Spirit. I woke up, spent a few moments in the Word so I could saturate my heart in the gospel before beginning my day (I’m currently reading one chapter in the Old Testament, followed by 1-2 verses in the NT to meditate on), acknowledge my dependence upon the Lord, and then I got dressed from head to toe. This was 30 minutes before my little ones began waking up. But simply getting myself ready for the day increased my productivity immensely. I felt refreshed and ready to go. My soul was happy in the Lord. On the other hand, waking to my children is challenging. I feel like I have to jump into the roller coaster ride without first preparing myself. If I dress myself, my children get a much more joyful momma.

Now I’ll be honest and say that my hair wasn’t tidied up till later in the day, but I was dressed…and somehow just getting dressed was a huge help! (Laying out my clothes the night before would be another helpful step!) There were certainly still challenges throughout the day, messes of yucky attitudes to deal with and hearts to reunite in love for one another, but I was much more peaceful and self-controlled, thanks to God’s amazing grace. We were able to get so many things accomplished today. Praise the Lord!

This is goal #1 for this year!

What’s one thing that you like to do that helps start your day out right?

Please note: Ultimately, I want to assure you there is complete grace for whatever season you might be in. Rising early is not a requirement for your Christian faith. This has just been a means of grace for me personally. Practicing this habit of getting dressed before starting your day doesn’t require it to be done before the kids get up, even if you can just get dressed before going downstairs or attending to the kids, you will find it very beneficial!

{Photo Credit}

Originally published on January 6, 2012.

 

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

100 Responses to Start Your Day by Getting Dressed

  1. Allegra January 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks Lindsay. Ever since I had my baby I have been struggling in this area. But a lot of books (and friends) talk about how important it is to get dressed. When I finally started making it a priority I was shocked at how much of a difference it makes!! I’m getting better but I still have my days when I wake to the sound of my daughters crying and at dinner time I’m still in my pjs.

  2. Cori January 10, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I can’t get out of bed without the kids waking up instantly. They second my feet hit the floor they both are awake. So instead of getting up before them, I spend a few moments in bed setting my intentions before the Lord to serve Him. Then when kiddos wake up, we all get dressed together before going downstairs for breakfast. Not ideal for some, but works for me during this season of life with a babies and a preschooler.

    • Allegra January 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      My daughter used to be the same way!! Whether I got up at 6 or 8 she would wake up!! Happy she doesn’t do that anymore b/c my day is always better when I get up before her.

    • Amanda January 11, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that happening to me quite a bit too. I try to be really quiet and stay in my room…so far it’s been working pretty well.

  3. Tracy January 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    O.mi.gosh! Praise God and thank you for your obedience! I needed this gentle reminder so much right now! Thanks, sista! :)

  4. Amanda January 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Starting the day off in God’s word…by his grace I’ve been able to wake up earlier than my baby, but on days it doesnt happen, I still try to avoid most social media like facebook, and email, and blogging, until I’ve been filled up with Him. I figure I wont have much to offer unless I’ve received from him first. After the quiet time, I get dressed :) , and do my 5-minute face with some quick makeup. :) . Loved the post…been thinking a lot about this lately.
    Amanda

  5. Angela January 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Great reminder, thanks!

  6. Hannah January 9, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Amen to this! The day starts out so stressful when I wake up to my crying daughter and have to cook breakfast, tend to my husband, my daughter, and myself then clean up messes – all before 8am!
    My number one goal of 2013 is to get up at least 30 minutes before my little 14 month old daughter, spend some time with my bible, my cup of coffee, and at least get out of my pjs ;)

  7. Valerie January 9, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Wake up and be thankful that another day has arrived!

  8. Diane January 9, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    I have found something that “forces” me to get dressed first thing in the morning…wearing a skimpy nightie to bed! I used to wear a t-shirt and lounge pants to bed and I would stay in them half the day! Not anymore!

  9. Ashley October 25, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    What do yo recommend a new mom wear considering all the spit up and the fact that I’ll be cleaning throughout the day? I don’t want to be a bum, but can’t really wear ” nice” clothes either….

    • Erin January 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      Hi Ashley!
      I am a mom of four and have an infant as well. Get yourself some cute yoga pants and some cute t-shirts (long or short sleeved)! That is like my daily mom uniform! Fleece in the winter. I guess “acitve-wear” would be the right category. Comfortable, something you can run-out in if you need you. I have just found that yoga pants are cuter and more flattering than sweatpants, but just as comfortable. :)

  10. Elaine January 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Just ‘found’ your blog today through my niece…your articles are so encouraging! Thank you.

  11. Ashley Pichea January 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    I make it a point not to leave my bedroom without having gotten dressed that day. Nothing fancy or “fashionable,” but starting my day by intentionally getting dressed helps me to be more intentional throughout the rest of my day. I use my blog as a means of accountability in this endeavor, as well, sharing a weekly recap each Wednesday.

  12. Deborah January 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I get up extra early for a few cups of coffee and quiet time. I never even turn on the tv. My coffee maker with timer is a huge blessing. Having a cup of coffee waiting for me is a gift.

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      Sometimes I just wish I liked coffee!!

      • Hannah January 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

        Same here! Green smoothies are my cup of coffee:)

        • Allegra January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

          Same here!! I force myself to drink coffee sometimes because I love the smell!! But I don’t really like the taste and it gives me tummy trouble sometimes :( I should just let it go… It’s obviously not meant to be! Haha

  13. Amy Walker January 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Needed this! Thank you. I’ve been trying to follow flylady routines as much as possible and finding it very helpful, but I skipped this one. I have a 3 mo. old right now and mornings haven’t exactly existed since we’re not on a normal routine yet. Today though I was was telling my husband that in spite of this there must be SOME way for me to get a better start to our day, even if I can’t get up before him. Maybe I’ll try this!

  14. Mona @ Healthy Homesteading January 11, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    When I was following FlyLady, she said start each day by getting dressed and putting on slim tennies. That was one of the best pieces of advice I received. I usually get dressed early and I always put on either slim tennies or mocassins. I like the mocassins better than the tennies because I am having to go outside a lot during the day. Since I live on a “farm” I have to make sure I am not tracking in animal poo ;) . I can slip in and out of my mocassins and muck boots. Wishing you much success with your new daily habit.

  15. Amy S. January 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Yep, I find my days go much better when I do this too. Pregnancy/new baby always throws me off too. A shower, clean clothes with even just flip flops, breakfast, & a cup of tea –I’m ready to go. But try to start the day without my little bit of order –it just never quite starts :)

  16. Barbara January 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    We have all been there at one time or another. Dependance on the Lord is key. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Lorie January 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I totally understand this situation. I have found that when I wake up to my children the day tends to be hard for all of us because I tend to be grumpier. Their needs are, as you said, a roller coaster ride from the beginning. I have found things are better for us when I wake up and get to work out (away from home is better) and I am much more productive for the day.
    Thanks for the important reminder that I shouldn’t make it a habit to sleep in :o )

  18. [email protected] January 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    I am ashamed to say I have fallen off the wagon. I was doing really well about getting dressed to shoes each day (aka Flylady), but today I was cold so I wanted to stay in my p.j.’s. I feel exactly like you described. All I’m doing is caring for needy children and cleaning up. Things are just going around in circles. I’m off NOW to shower and get dressed so I can go get something done!

  19. Faith McLaws January 9, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    I have found that getting dressed first thing helps my day also. It’s interesting to me that If I pick out my outfit the night before, including jewelry and shoes, I have more time in the morning to focus on other things, and not just how I look for the day.

  20. Bethany January 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this – very encouraging! :)

  21. Jody January 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    ….just wanted to say I needed that. It is good timing for the “season” I am in, as well as it being the New year.

    Jody
    <

  22. jennifer January 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    thank you so much! I was thinking about this just this week. i feel so much better if i take time to get myself ready for the day. this week i had to remind myself of this and your article just confirmed it.
    Yes, i have heard that on Flylady, too. What an encouragement. i can handle everything so much better having gotten into God’s Word and gotten dressed.
    My new thing for the year is wiping the dining table at least once for the day, preferably more than that… but so many times we just don’t tidy up and then we want to use the table for something else and have to clean it or remove stuff that doesn’t belong there. (the almost 4yr old’s spot is usually the worst) . It seems small , there are so many “small” things that really adds up to a lot of things to do, especially with 4 kids ranging from 8yrs to 10 months.
    Thanks again for the encouragement!

  23. Adele January 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Thank you for the encouraging post. I find it very difficult to get going every morning during the long winter months.

  24. Bridie January 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I just find getting my underwear on helps – even if its all I manage under my PJs :o ) Due to pregnancy complications I can’t shower by myself and while I’m currently working at getting up at 6am (yawn!!) so I can shower before I start breakfast for the kiddos and DH I’m not succeeding well so I have to wait til my househelp arrives. This is definitely the final kick in the pants I needed to finish unpacking the baby boxes currently covering our entire bedroom floor so I can atleast get to my chair for some bible and prayer and get the bed made. I find it so motivating to have everyone up, dressed and make beds, open windows and curtains and make sure bedrooms are ordered before we head to the kitchen. Even if the rest of the house is a pigsty I have a serene, fresh and calm place to remove us all too if it gets abit much ;)

  25. Colleen January 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    You are such a sweet encouragement. I fall asleep praying for strength to get up early — and wake up weary and unable to follow through. At the end of my first trimester with fourth pregnancy and struggling with much greater nausea than ever before. It is hard to get up before my early rising little munchkins. But — I know the blessings of centering my heart on Christ and His mercy before the hustle and bustle starts, as well as physically preparing myself. So, I am encouraged to purpose my heart to “just do it!” Thank you!

  26. Tiffany January 8, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Gracious I loved reading this! I live in asia – up in the mountains – and there are days when I don’t leave my house. Getting up and getting dressed may sound simple – but can be such a huge thing for me starting my day off right. Just a little make- up, something with the hair and putting something other than pj’s on seems to help my energy level and perspective a ton! Not to mention not feeling mortified when I have an unexpected visitor stop by! :O) I enjoy breakfast more, feel more able to focus on my quite time and really have more fun teaching my kiddos!

    Such good encouragement! Thanks for posting this!

  27. Glenys Hicks January 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    As a chronically ill woman, I find the days I bother to get dressed are more productive than the days I stay in my night clothes… it’s something to do with the emotions as well as the physical… good post, Thank you.

  28. Ann Dunagan January 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Lindsay,

    WOW!!! The appreciative response regarding this insightful-ly simple post is a testimony that you’re being led by the spirit in sharing just such a little thought — and then to see how you are blessing and ministering and encouraging so many mommies.

    BLESSINGS TO YOU
    as you continue blogging-as-you-go with fresh thoughts and inspirations!!!!

  29. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf January 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I agree! My mom rarely let us do our schoolwork in our pajamas because she felt that it would make us less productive. I know that I feel far less productive when I wait until 5pm to get dressed!

  30. Katie January 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I’ve been realizing this myself as well. I was so good about getting dressed phyicaly and spiritualy for the day and then I let things slip. What a difference it makes in your day!

  31. sara January 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Ya got me! I’ve been struggling with this – I appreciate the timely reminder, and will be praying for the other moms too!

  32. Holly @ Faithful Womanhood January 7, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    This is such a great post and so true! I would never think about going to work without getting dressed & I usually set my clothes out the night before since I have to get to work by 6:30am, but for some reason when I “go to work” in my home, I don’t have the same mindset. I am much more productive when I get ready first thing, and also ready for surprise visits from neighbors or the postman bringing a package.
    What helps me prepare most for the day is prayer. I like to start my day off with prayer and scripture recitation so that my mind is set on the things above. If I start my day out with God as my focus, I am much more likely to keep Him as my focus as the busy day goes by!

  33. Karyl January 7, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I liked this. I read the Bible at night but I am going to start reading a little first thing too. Great way to start the day. Cute photo for the post!

  34. Jessica January 7, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Thank you Lindsay! You are such an inspiration! I really needed to hear these words. I keep beating myself up for being so lazy. I’m extra hard on myself and it only furthers the problem and makes everything worse. The way you write is so gentle, compassionate and encouraging… I think much more like our lord’s voice then my condemning thoughts. You truly encouraged me and lifted my spirit. Thank you sister!

  35. Woodland Woolens January 7, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Oh mama! How inspiring you are! I can completely relate to what you are reading, it is now almost 11 and I yet to get dressed! I have three little boys under 5 and another due very soon, and it’s all too hard with the homemaking, homeschooling and life, to just get dressed. But in His name I am encouraged to be the Godly wife to my husband and get dressed in such a way that he is happy and knows I am serving him as my earthly God.

    I thank you whole-heartedly for your blog, your words of encouragement to us and your online presence!

    God bless you!

    Blessings,
    Samantha (Woodland Woolens)

  36. Carol January 7, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Amen and thanks Lindsay. Your Godly words were so refreshing and a reminder on how to start my busy day.

  37. Carol January 7, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Amen and thanks Lindsay. Your Godly words were so refreshing.

  38. Blessed Mama January 7, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    I really agree with “preparing” yourself for the day. We have 4 children and my hubby is military, so his shift is constantly changing. One week he may work 6:30am-5:00pm and the next 6pm-6am and the next he may be gone for 6 months! I homeschool our children, so I am their sense of stability as far as schedule go. One thing that may be helpful to some of the moms who said their children wake so early is a schedule. I know, I know, I never had visions of myself walking around with a clipboard reminding everyone what its time to do! Lol! But I must say, children love routine. And if you write down the things you’d like to get done and realistically schedule them into time slots (i allow more time for each item in case of interruptions) you find yourself getting more done! (at least I do!) I have two of those hyper children who seem to be on their own schedule, but they lay down each night and are tired! And my older children can see that if they work hard at school work and behave during mommy”s scheduled tidy up time they get 2 hours of outside play (good for tiring them out) before supper. Also, when ours turn 3 y/o they begin having chores. I give our 3y/o a slightly damp rag and she wipes down the window sills and table legs, while the older children do their chores. They really enjoy helping out! And also, I schedule two weeks worth of meals and display them on the fridge. I started this so I could remember to take meat out of the freezer the night before, but it has been a blessing. When we come in from outside free time I know exactly what I’m making. No wasted time on figuring out what to make and seeing if I have ingredients. And everyone has nights they “look forward to”, b/c I rotate one child per night gets to help with supper prep. And lastly, prayer! Which I should have put first! Ask our Lord to guide your day. Accept certain interruptions to the schedule as Him redirecting our focus to one of His matters. And allow yourself to relax and enjoy these messy little blessings disguised in jelly covered faces:) “All ones ways may be pure in ones own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:2-3 Your sister in Christ, Carrie

    • Kayla January 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Carrie, I was very blessed by your comment! I have one little 4 month old and am trying to figure this momma thing out. You seem so content with all that God has given you. I would love to hear more about your daily routines. haha Blessings to your family! Thank you for your thoughts. Kayla

  39. Evelien January 7, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    I find it very helpful to get dressed in the morning! If I don’t, I just don’t do as much as I would like to! Thanks for the reminder… I might need to look into the dressing part a bit because I was not very good with it! Excuse? “I have to study so need to wear comfy clothes”.
    Hah!
    Thank you :)

  40. Valerie January 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Getting dressed first thing is a huge help for me too. This comment thread is really helpful – lots of good ideas and things to consider. Baby and toddler sleep issues are huge at our home. I have always co-slept and nursed whenever baby wanted, but with baby #4 due in two months, I’m seriously considering being intentional about gently teaching baby to sleep early on. So that is my goal for this year. PRAY FOR ME, HA HA! :)

    • Kayla January 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

      Praying for you!

  41. Erin January 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    My personal goals for this year are all about bringing balance into our house through small, significant little changes. One of my goals is making sure I get myself up and ready for the day before my kids! If I sleep through my alarm and get up when they do, I let them set the tone for the day. Our house feels more peaceful and organized when I am intentional about preparing myself and our home for the coming day before the kids wake up. I get the house ready for the morning action the night before.This means that everything I need to get breakfast ready and the kids dressed is laid out and waiting, and I also shower if I have time before I go to bed at night. That way, I can get up, get dressed and go!

  42. Nicole January 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Oh boy is this me…I am in a season of a sleepless, teething baby nights, of uncertainty, and it all has pushed me to borderline depression. Especially on the days that I too wake to the kids, don’t get dressed, and never really get going. Thank you for the reminder, and the encouragement to do what I already know.

  43. Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife January 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    I have to admit that some days I don’t follow my normal routine and it really does set the tone for the day. When I get up I have some must do’s that really help me start my day in the right direction: wash my face, moisturize with a tinted moisturizer, put on mascara, brush my teeth and fix my hair, then get dressed before I go and get my little ones. Once we go downstairs I feel much better even though it is just us around here all day. I feel more motivated about doing the things I need to do around the house as well as exercising. Drinking water and eating clean healthy foods also start the day off in the right direction.

  44. Brandy January 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Such a simple, yet needed reminder! It is true that just getting dressed in the morning can make the day go so much smoother. Putting on the gospel, of course, is even more important, especially when the hearts and souls of the little ones entrusted to you are being molded by your hands. Thanks for a great post and gentle reminder of God’s calling for us wives and mommies. :)

  45. Beth January 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Before I get out of the bed I am praying to be a patient mama and not to be annoyed with the 5 of them immediately. I am half asleep and they are ready to go the minute they wake up! I won’t say I really “get dressed” every day. We homeschool and well if we are staying home sometimes I let it slide. I have been thinking alot about getting with it in the morning too. Does a nice sweat outfit count, if my hair is brushed nice and I have on earrings and lip gloss? No, probably not. I just don’t know how some mothers get all fixed including a skirt every day! I am making an effort this new year for sure.

    • Beth January 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      I would certainly say that a nice sweat outfit counts if it’s not pj’s and your hair is done! I would say it’s more about the change of clothing and the intentional changing your clothes that matters. Sometimes a sweat outfit (OK, most days) probably makes more sense than a skirt with five little ones. I wear jeans (when I’m not pregnant) most days and just a knit shirt, but it’s getting dressed to me! I take a while to wake up, too, and can’t just bounce out of bed wide awake. I’m sure you’re doing a good job!

  46. Lauren January 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    As a mom of “littles” also it is so easy to relate with you all. I have two children ages 3 and 2 and another one due May 1st. For the past few months I have found myself in a rut and just doing the necessities each day (due to morning sickness). Thankfully the season of sickness is over now and my energy level has increased once again. At first it was hard to accept the fact that my children were not being “schooled” (pre-school) or feed the best meals on time everyday, but through the encourgement of the Word and other women I came to realize that this season would only be for a time. This week has been a bit of an adjustment after the holidays and traveling. The kids are rising earlier and most morning I only have a few minutes to myself before they join me. I have found that the Youverse app on my smartphone has helped me fit in a few minutes of “quiet time” in the morning as well as throughout the day. Dressing all of us every morning and also helped me to be more productive and less stressed each day. I do dress according to my day though. If I plan to be home I dress comfy and casual and save the dressing up for days I plan to go out.

  47. Rindy January 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I have to say I found your video on youtube with your home management binder. I’m in the middle of making one for my family. Anyway, I was really impressed with all you had to say so I followed your link to your blog. Goodness! You could’ve been at my house! I totally agree that somedays it’s just getting out of bed and getting dressed. I was reading an article about a woman who had cancer and was overwhelmed with her radiation treatments. Her mother asked if she could get through the one today to which the woman said she could. Her mother then replied that today was all she had to do right now (http://lds.org/ensign/2012/01/recognizing-gods-hand-in-our-daily-blessings?lang=eng).

    So through all the babble I’m saying I appreciated your post. A good reminder for us busy moms;-)

  48. Lacey Wilcox January 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I love that you shared one of your messes with us today. And I love even more that the Lord so graciously revealed how it can be made a little less messy through Him. Praying that He might grant you the grace and energy to wake up in time to clothe yourself with His Spirit, and that He might grant you the grace to take joy on the few days when He bids your heart to stay in bed a few minutes longer.
    Blessings to you..thank you for the willingness to share reality. It’s good for my heart.

  49. Joy January 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I read the bible during breakfast. The kids and I sit at the table and eat our oatmeal. I read my bible and pray – sometimes out loud so that I can concentrate. They are not silent, but pretty busy eating. This is what works for me. Hope it helps someone out there.

    • Michelle January 7, 2012 at 4:56 am #

      Love it!

    • Kayla January 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      Enjoyed this!

  50. Rachel O'Neill January 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    It’s amazing the difference that starting your day right brings! For me it is the same- the earlier I read my Bible and get dressed, the more I will accomplish and the better I feel. I love what Wayne and Joshua Mack say in their book “God’s Solutions to Life’s Problems”- (excuse my paraphrase) We were made to work, because our Father works. We will only be satisfied as we live lives productive in glorifying God.

    • Tomesia January 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      I love that, we were made to work. He prepares good works for us to do. Its up to us to do them!

  51. Michelle January 6, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I have children ranging from 2 -11 yrs. My husband has been a pastor and now we are missionaries. I say that only to say this: our ability to have “quite times/time with the Lord” changes in form drastically with young children. As the Psalm says “He gently leads those with young”….Our Father knows mothers of young children are on the edge with sleep deprivation and high demands. This is not an excuse but reality.

    When I have a child that I am breastfeeding and consequently nightwakings (for me this has been 14-15 months straight). I have my “quiet time” during an afternoon nursing session. I remove myself to my bedroom so I am only with the nursing child and I sing, pray, mediate on a scripture during that time (20 minutes).

    When with children under 3 in my life I also make sure to have a devotional book that is scriptures (without commentaries/stories from the author). That way I can get the Word in snippets to think about and pray off of.

    I also practically use laundry sort/fold/machine loading time to turn my thoughts and heart to the Lord.

    Unless I am woken up by a crying baby, I intentionally purpose myself upon waking to take 5-10 minutes to focus on the Lord and setting my heart for the day before I allow my body to leave the bed.

    The next key is practical: I then purpose to not leave a room with the intention of “coming back”. I do not leave the bedroom without making the bed and putting on clothes. I do not take the baby from his bed without diaper change and putting on clothes. I put nightclothes away or in hampers (which I have in each bedroom.)

    One of the greatest things I think we can do for our children is instill in them a love of reading. To give myself a tactical advantage on the day I begin the homeschool day with time for them to read (my reading children) and an activity to occupy the other while I clean up the kitchen from breakfast and do my hair/face/teeth in the bathroom.

    Also, when I have no babies/young toddlers with regular nightwakings, I find I still have my eyes open after 8:00 p.m. (yippee) I then can have “quiet times” in the evening in some form.

    • Lacey Wilcox January 6, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      LOVED the suggestion to leave a room and not come back (I hope it’s ok that I paraphrased you). I have found myself being awful at not making the bed because I’ve been getting up before my husband, only to feel frazzled later on by the fact that it still looks like a mess! Thanks for the suggestion!

  52. Carrie @ 20-Something Homemaker January 6, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I’m having my first baby in a matter of weeks and this is something I really want to be sure to do from the start. I’m looking into taking different steps and changing my normal routine so I can cut down on how much time I normally spend getting ready, i.e. cutting my hair into a pixie again (my husband’s favorite anyway!), and looking into YouTube tutorials of quick and simply makeup routines. I, too, really want my number 1 priority in the morning to be spending time in the Word with the Lord, then dressing myself for the day. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Michelle January 6, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      The haircut is a great idea!!!! I did that in one of my pregnancies and another time with an infant. Huge help. Also, when I had two kids 15 months apart, I asked my husband about make-up….did it bother him if I didn’t have it on? To my total surprise he said, “I don’t care if you ever where it again!” I stopped wearing it on “home days” !!!! Nice time saver :)

      Because of numerous night feedings and early day beginnings with newborns/infants I want to encourage you to be flexible on your expectation of when you have time in the Word. Early mornings can become downright impossible. I found the need to use the baby’s nap time (morning or afternoon) or early evening.

      The first year of a babys life is a wild ride with multiple night wakings, teething, illness etc. Their needs are HUGE and demands are high. My expectations needed constant adjustment or I would be constantly frustrated (as my plans didn’t work out). I learned flexibility as well as God’s creativity in helping me get it together!

      Motherhood is such a joy and it is incredible to love in this way. Congrats!

    • Lacey Wilcox January 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

      I’m going to second Michelle on granting yourself grace when it comes to your time in the Word. You might find that it’s different every day. I don’t know if you have an iPod or iPhone, but the ESV app became my best friend. My daughter was a slooooooow nurser, and so I would end up reading a bunch while she nursed. It ended up being a gift in disguise!! (Of course, after a few months, you’ll find yourself vacuuming, doing dishes, and putting on that make-up one handed, too :) .

  53. Alison January 6, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I loved reading this post! I would love some practical examples of how to do this with all little ones (which you have, too!). My kids are usually all up by 6 AM, so I don’t (can’t!) get up earlier than them, because I am still up 4-6 times at night nursing my youngest (yes, I have babies that love to night nurse – all of them were like that). So, I physically need that tiny bit of extra sleep. I get my children dressed each morning, but I don’t know how to have the time to get up earlier to get myself dressed. Also, when everyone is awake, I really can’t leave my 18 month old alone while I get dressed, since he is wild and crazy and into everything, so it is hard to do since my husband is working all day. Any practical advice would be great! I have recently started showering at night when my husband is here to keep an eye on the kids, so I really just need the time to wash my face and put a little makeup and clothing on. I have long, straight hair, so I don’t have to style it at all. Love your encouraging and timely posts! Thank you!

    • Michelle January 6, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Alison, I used two options with my toddler at that age when I used the bathroom to get ready etc. 1. A gated area with toys for him in the living room. 2. I put a few playtoys in my bedroom and the bathroom and he came with me.

    • Joy January 6, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Alison,
      Try finding a way to sleep while you night nurse – recliner, extra bed, your bed, whatever. It seems like a good plan to nurse once at night, put the baby back in their bed, and go back to your own bed, and when baby wakes once or twice and nurses vigorously, that is possible. But, you can’t be up several hours and still function.

    • Lindsay January 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      I can certainly relate to this. My babies sleep pretty well at night, but I still experience insomnia that keeps me up for a few hours every night. So I don’t get as much sleep as I desire (on average 4-6 hours), but find that even with less sleep, getting up and seeking God gives such grace to face the day. If I lay around I find myself feeling sorry for myself and frustrated at my lack of sleep. Instead God is granting me grace to accept the challenges and pruning that He desires to do through my sleep struggles and do the next thing. For the other children, we have found it very helpful to use a night light that lights up when they can get out of bed (such as the Good Nite light). This has worked great in helping train them to sleep longer. You may want to adjust their bedtime as needed so they sleep in longer for you. I pray the Lord would give you grace to find the joy of the Lord as your strength during this busy season with little ones!

      • Krissy January 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

        Lindsay,
        I know you have written for years your struggle with insomnia. I thought of a blog post that I had read, I think you would be interested. It’s written by Ann Marie of Cheeseslave.com, the post is: Can Walking Barefoot Lower Cortisol and Balance Hormones? This talks about the only thing that has stopped her 2am insomnia that she has dealt with for years. Pretty interesting, I hope it may somehow help.

      • Michelle January 7, 2012 at 5:30 am #

        Lindsay, hormone imbalances can cause this type of insomnia. (neurostranmitters and adrenal etc.) I’ve been there and through total natural supplements came into balance and sleep again!!! Supplements for adrenal gland really help. Also eating to raise serotonin levels important for sleep. Depression also happens as a result of low levels. Ground flax seed and Cod liver oil make a HUGE impact on this.

        Want to encourge you that your insomnia is a result (secondary issue). Need to find the root cause (ie hormone/chemical imbalance). It is not normal sleep 4-6 hours.

        Pregnancy totally alters hormones and they don’t always get back into normal balance. Simple diet adjustments and sometimes supplements can bring it all back!

    • Laura--The Sushi Snob January 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      For the middle of the night feedings, my mom just brought us into bed with her, and then when we were done for the night, she would take us back to our own bed. It was a win-win for everyone–my mom got sleep during the hardest part of the night and we got nourishment and mommy snuggles.

    • Grace January 8, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      My children, now 11 and 7, always woke early. They often co-slept with me and would wake up within 5 minutes of my leaving the bed no matter what I did. I, too, brought my babies and toddlers into the bathroom with me while I got ready in the morning. I would even take them in the shower with me. We have one of those bath/tub combos. Once they were old enough to sit up, what I’d do is keep the stopper in the tub while I took a quick shower. Then, my kiddos would play happily in the bath while I put on clothes, brushed my teeth, and did my hair. The key to all this was having everything ready in the bathroom before I started my shower so I didn’t have to leave them unattended in the bath. I hope this helps.

  54. Cassandra January 6, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I fully agree with your post! I find it immensely helpful to first spend time with God by reading from the Bible. Then I get dressed. It helps me be so much more productive when I’m dressed.

  55. Maryea (Happy Healthy Mama) January 6, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Just getting up before my little ones is a huge help to me. I really appreciate having a little quiet time by myself before I have to put on my mom face!

  56. amanda January 6, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    I needed this today! Thank you. Being a brand new mom to a 2 month old I find I am still in pjs when my husband comes home! I feel terrible about it everyday and sometimes I try to quickly get dressed before he comes home! This is a frog I need to eat and help me to get a routine going.

  57. Salinda January 6, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I started the school year with this goal and it has become a habit. Being dressed keeps me from settling back into the coach with a cup of coffee. It also allows me to say yes, when a friend calls and says y’all need to come over and play (which we all know is code for “I need time with another adult human being”). My husband has also noticed and he lets me know how much he appreciates coming home to a wife not in her PJs!

  58. Kim January 6, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    This hits so close to home for me. I laughed when I read the title in my feed-reader…because I thought I was the only one in the world who struggles with this :) I have 4 kids and the oldest is 5 (almost 6). I’m homeschooling, and suffice it to say that life is busy and messy right now. Along with trying to get myself dressed for the day, I am also on a mission to get my kids dressed on a daily basis, and not just when we leave the house! Honestly, any time I tell them to get dressed they ask, “Why? Where are we going?”

    Clothing myself in God’s word is also a goal for me this year. My husband and I are working on memorizing the book of Ephesians…we’re on verse one! I haven’t memorized scripture faithfully since I was a kid and am feeling the lack in my heart.

    • Debra January 6, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      So funny! My 5 & 3 year old ask the same thing about where are we going if I tell them to get dressed!

    • Joy January 6, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      In the past, I have not bought pajamas. The boys sleep in track pants and t shirts and my daughter sleeps in leggings and a tunic shirt. That way, I can dress them in fresh clothes or not.

  59. Marilyn January 6, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Recently, I’ve also been leaning heavily on Scripture that calls on the Lord’s strength. I pray that you will be blessed with the Lord’s strength today. I’m glad to be able to share the gift of prayer that others have been showering on me.

  60. Kristal January 6, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    I need to discipline myself in this. Just right now I am still in my PJ’s and finishing up my breakfast contemplating which task to start on. It’s been hard this last week. Both kiddos are sick as well as myself. Which means lack of sleep all around. So getting up at 6am with my husband sounds like torture when the kids don’t wake till 7:30. But like you mentioned, you always feel better when you take care of yourself first (both physical and spiritual) in the morning. If I had done that, chances are most of the morning cleaning would be done and we would be moving on to some fun learning activities once breakfast was over. Thanks for the great constant encouragement.

  61. Lisa January 6, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    This is a good idea, in theory, but what if your children get up at 0 dark 30? Seriously, they were up at 4:45 this morning. Yes, I’m training them to stay in bed quietly, but my husband or I still have to get up to deal with them, and I just can’t get dressed or do anything productive that early in the morning. 5:30 or 6? Sure, but anything earlier than 5, I just can’t handle (currently pregnant with baby #4 in 4 years, so extra tired). I would have to meet myself going to bed if I got up before my kids. I trust this is just a season and that in a couple years, I will be able to get up and have some quiet time with a cup of coffee and my Bible before everyone is up. I am much more productive if I get showered and dressed, but right now, I’m pretty pleased with myself if that happens by noon. I’m ashamed to admit that since we’re home most days except Sunday, my children are often in pajamas all day. My husband is gone 14 hours a day, so I’m single parenting most days. When he’s here, it is easier to get everyone, including myself, dressed. Some days I really feel like I’m hanging on by my fingernails, and getting dressed is just low priority when food prep for three special diets, correcting nasty attitudes and cleaning up messes takes nearly all my time. I do hope this gets better at some point!

    • Melissa January 6, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      I am in a similar boat: our fifth baby is 8 weeks old, and our oldest is almost 7. As you said, my new day seems to start before the last one has ended! I have (finally, today) reached the point of being completely overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that come with homeschooling, preschoolers, toddlers, breastfeeding, and wifehood. So let me encourage you with the words my mom gave me this morning: Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of HIS might. I’m holding out hope that someday all this craziness will be over. But in the meantime, let’s run to the Lord to give us what we lack. Even when we’re delirious with exhaustion. Even when our two year old is a monster. Even when we feel like our families are leeches draining the life-blood out of us. His strength is greater than our obstacles, and it is made perfect in our weakness.

    • Alison January 6, 2012 at 10:55 am #

      I also have young children (my oldest is 3), and there is no way I can be up before them each morning! They are early risers, and I am up at least 4 times a night nursing the baby. I read once that when you have all “littles,” that it is definitely a different kind of season. I do always get my children dressed after breakfast every single day, even though most days we stay at home. I, on the other hand, do need to work on getting dressed every day!

    • JCF January 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      You have to give yourself the grace to do what works best for you. If my kids woke up pre-5am (which they’ve done for seasons in the past, though thankfully not at the moment), I would absolutely not be waking before them. Now, my kids usually wake around 6:30-7, but I find that if I set my alarm for earlier, they somehow sense that I’m awake and join me. Generally, I do wake earlier on my own, and I grab my phone and read a bit from the Bible while still in bed. When the kids start waking, I get up and throw some clothes on immediately. It isn’t anything fancy. Today, it is yoga pants, a tank top, and a hoodie. Sometimes it is jeans and a t-shirt. It only takes a few seconds, but it helps me. If it doesn’t help you, don’t feel like you have to live up to someone else’s standard! Bless you–I have three little ones four and under. If I were pregnant with #4, I’d certainly need that extra sleep more than I would need to get dressed any given day!

    • Beth January 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      Don’t be down on yourself. You have so much going on, manage what you can. Try to spend time asking God for help, strength, etc., throughout the day…thanking Him that you have the strength to do dishes, cook meals, etc. Prayer and seeking God isn’t something that has to be compartmentalized. Yes, we need to pray and read His Word, but we can also see our vocation of motherhood and every little thing we do with thanksgiving as a pleasing sacrifice to God. You’re at a really difficult point in your life right now being a single parent (almost), etc. If you can’t get dressed, God really isn’t going to care. It is a season. It will pass. Don’t let guilt about getting dressed or not bug you. Do your best, praise God for his blessings, and this, too, shall pass!

  62. Laura--The Sushi Snob January 6, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Your posts have been very timely–I have been experiencing these same feelings too. Thank you!!!!

  63. Jade January 6, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    I am so relieved to find out that I am not the only momma who struggles with this. In the past few weeks I have been dealing with a lot and just getting out of bed at all in the morning is a struggle. Having three little ones I can’t just lie in bed, even though I really want to. Please pray for me, that the Lord would give me strength in this difficult time! Thanks

  64. Jaimie January 6, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    I agree with everything you said. In addition, having a minute to think through the day helps me, particularly knowing what to make ahead of times for meals.

    I am curious about more discussion on helping the children through heart attitudes with each other. I have two girls (and I’m 3 months pregnant) and my oldest is starting to get so grouchy and annoyed with her little sister. It breaks my heart. But after the zillionth time of saying “speak kindly” I’m the one that sounds grouchy and annoyed!

    • amy January 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      That grouchiness (along with a whole slew of other nasty behaviors) is rooted in selfishness. I got a great newletter from the Doorposts blog (update) today on a similar subject. I love that their material really gets to the HEART of the matter. As parents we need to see our childrens issues as heart issues. We are sinful creatures that constantly need to deal with those tendencies, thus why finding that time with the Lord in his Word is so important. It helps us to keep our eye on the ball. You can sign up for their newletters and I’m certain they will be as encouraging as this blog. http://www.doorposts.com/blog/

  65. Angel January 6, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    This is my problem as well! It has been for the almost 11 years I have been a mom! I am not a morning person and I really enjoy relaxing a little before I actually start anything productive. I also homeschool and this makes it difficult for us to start on a happy foot. I signed up with Kat @ Inspired to Action in the attempt to be accountable to get up before my kids. Praying this is the kick I need!

  66. [email protected]~MySteps January 6, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    You hit it on the head! My days start so much better when I start in the Word then get dressed. I don’t put shoes on unless I’m leaving though, I’m a southern girl, we go bare footed when we can. :) I tend to be big grump when I wake up with my kids. They have almost immediately and a grump momma isn’t ready to meet them. Blessings to you Lindsay. You’re such an encouragement to me!

  67. Courtney January 6, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Hmm. I’ve been in the same spot this week … coming off vacation I think just throws me off. This is a great reminder of how to get myself back on track and start my day with God as my rock. Thanks, Lindsay.

  68. Holly January 6, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    My days always go smoother when I’m up and dressed before my kids. I feel more productive if I am in ‘real’ clothes too. God bless – Holly

  69. McKella January 6, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    I also read my scriptures first thing in the morning, but I also try to fit in a few minutes of quite journaling as well. It helps me center myself, zero in on my concerns and release any tensions I might be holding onto.
    I should also consider getting dressed before 11…

  70. Melissa January 6, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    I am going to start doing this tomorrow. I find myself sitting on the couch with my laptop and not getting up until it’s time to take my little guy to preK. My house is messy and there are so many progects that I need to start.