This post is by Dana Sitton.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
As a child, after I would wake up, I would walk into the kitchen to start the day. Sometimes I would catch a peek of my mother reading her Bible and devotional or see the remnants of her quiet time carefully adorning the table. That image created an example for my daily rhythms and routines that I still try to emulate today.
I have always been an early riser, and as a mother of three, I covet the quiet of the house in early morning. The world is loud and noisy, and life seems to tick along at a rapid pace. We are in an age where our minds and our hearts are daily influenced by what we consume, through news and social media, as the world swirls around us. The quiet of the morning allows me to center my thoughts on God and creates peace within my heart before the schedule of the day ensues.
The emergence of the pandemic has caused us to reevaluate several things as a society and within our own homes. It has specifically created a space for our family to reevaluate how we spend our time and develop family routines. For our family, it has been imperative to maintain practices that encourage peace, empower prayer, and diminish fear.
Our kitchen table was once simply a place to gather and eat together and has now become an instrument for discussion and routine. When we schooled at home, we would all sit around the table, eat breakfast, and begin our academic schedule. We decided to evaluate our family mission and values and began to ask ourselves what we wanted to incorporate, to guard our hearts and minds as a family. We decided to begin the day with a time that I affectionately refer to as “community table” where we reviewed a memory verse, shared a devotional, and incorporated art and music to start the day. That rhythm set a tone for our day and created a space for us to help family start our day with God, much like the quiet time that I personally aspire to every day.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
As the world began to reopen and children in our region began to return to school in person, I was bombarded by a sadness at the idea that our morning time together would resume to a chaotic rush. I soon realized that we don’t have to submit to the hustle. We, as parents, have a responsibility to impress on our children the values that we deem important, whether that takes place at mealtime, bedtime, or anywhere in between.
Instead of adjusting our “community table” to fit the needs of our day, we have adjusted our day to be guided by our “community table” time. I still wake up and do my quiet time as my mama modeled so many years ago. Then, I wake up the children, help them dress and we walk downstairs together. They complete a few chores, and we sit together at the table that I have covered in brown paper. They draw or write and listen to music together. As they eat their breakfast, I read a devotional and we review our bible memory verse. They love to pick the devotion and talk about the pictures together. Before we head off to start the day, we all recite our family creed:
I Am a Child of God
I am Kind,
I am Smart,
I am Brave,
I am Loved,
I Can Do Hard Things,
God has Great Plans for Me.
I encourage you to establish a routine and find what works best for your family with the time you have been given. Remember to guard your hearts and your minds with the things that bring your family peace.
Dana Sitton is a wife to her best friend and favorite dancing partner, James, and mama to their fun-loving tribe of three children ages 8, 6, and 2. She is a former educator, who now enjoys spending her time seeing the world through the eyes of her own children, cooking, decorating, and writing. Dana enjoys fostering relationships and encouraging women to join in community with one another. She faithfully facilitates women’s ministry opportunities within her home church and seeks to support and inspire women with her writing via her blog and social media presence.
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