Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Starting Morning Time in the Early Years

Day 17~ 

I am writing this post because this last week I got to spend time with 5 of my grandchildren. Let's just say with Shakespeare "Old men forget..." and old women too but grandchildren can give us something to help us "be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd."

First let me address the mom with only little ones at home, whose oldest is maybe 4 or 5. When you read about our Morning Time you must remember that it grew organically from my reading and priorities.  It did not start out full-blown. Sure as my younger children were born they joined MT midstream but that was not how it began.

Young moms can begin their morning liturgies with just a Bible verse, song and prayer and then build from there. Young moms can have pieces of MT throughout the morning in 10 minute spurts. Maybe you have a Bible time and then go outside for awhile or take a nature walk. We did that a lot when my oldest was 4 and 5. Later you could say a nursery rhyme or even have nursery rhyme reading before other reading. Think of each of these things as only taking 10 minutes. I think it would be good to read one nursery rhyme everyday while randomly reading others.

In other words, this sort of liturgy will work best if you grow your own organically within your family. I think the beauty of thinking of it as liturgy rather than scheduling is that liturgy contains a feeling of freedom.  Structure is good which is why MT works over many years but too much structure is bad.  You will get more benefit, as a young mom, from the boundaries you set if you don't set too many.

I learned this from watching my daughters-in-law. They are each remarkable mothers.

Watching toddlers reminds me that children are always learning whether we structure their time or not. The liturgy of MT is a way to gather up moments of time for posterity but if you try to carry too many moments at a time in the beginning you may spill the whole thing. Don't panic. The point of it being for the long haul is that you can build it slowly.

Ideas have consequences. If you believe this idea is good for your family, you can easily afford the time it will take to build it slowly and organically.
 I often became overly ambitious and overdid MT over the years. I would add things that just didn't work.  Since there are plenty of things that do work, don't be afraid to tweak until you find what works for your family.

That is not to say there is not a time to push-through something difficult. I had to push to keep us singing but it paid off eventually. Not all rewards will be immediate.

It takes wisdom to build this sort of structure over time. If you find something is not working pray about it. God is good. I hastily quit singing hymns because it was not working in our MT but the Lord gently led  me to reinstate them through the encouragement of friends even though our singing had not improved.

I hope this is helpful for those of you with only little children. Later as your MT grows slowly your other children will be a part of something that uniquely fits your own family.

Suggestion of the Day for Morning Time Memory:
(Doesn't get any better than this for boys)

 St. Crispin's Day Speech from Shakespeare's Henry V

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!
KING. What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

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