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{Week 4} WIWW Link-Up Party… Beginning Well to Finish Well


It’s officially summer break around here.

How do I know?  Because the fourth grade class science experiment (also known as Maisy, the friendliest albino rat you’ll ever wanna meet) has now taken up permanent residence in our home.  Tyler may or may not have reassured me just a couple of nights ago that really, there was no one breaking into our house at 2am.  Apparently when you’re half asleep, an excitable rat (who, in my groggy half-slumber, I had forgotten really does now live in our upstairs… and on purpose, no less) sounds an awful lot like a burglar when she creatively redecorates her cage in the middle of the night.

And here I thought we had agreed to stick to raising children.  Ha.

I also know it’s summertime because after spending much of the day on Monday clearing fallen sticks from our back yard, I peered out my kitchen window on Tuesday morning to find three imaginative boys dragging every last stick back into our yard so they could build their first fort of the season.

Of course they did.  And it’s a great one, at that.  (For the record, I have an engineer, a laborer, a narrator and a clear {Miss} bossy pants on my hands.  A well rounded crew, I tell ya.)



By Wednesday morning, the four had barely swallowed the last bites of their breakfasts before collaborating in the kitchen for a family science experiment.  While I really don’t wish for their little minds to shut off completely during summer break, I would settle for a couple of hours each morning so I can catch up with their growing intellects.  Call me crazy, but I can’t seem to effectively answer physics questions about momentum, vortexes and inertia before 7:00am.  Go brush your teeth, please, and let me Google it think about it for a second.

One boy needs me upstairs while another pair needs an intervention downstairs, and the girl needs me in the same room as her always, don’t you know.  The phone rings, ironically always at the exact same moment that someone needs me in the potty.  And while it would be a whole lot faster to sort the laundry myself, teaching is absolutely more necessary than efficiency.  The gaps are filled in with everything from neighbor kids to baby dolls, important Lego repairs to grocery store runs, baseball games galore and questions of all kinds, with barely a down moment from the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning until I sink into bed each night.

In my own strength, I’m always a step behind.  It’s four to one after all, and clearly they won’t be sleeping in anytime soon.  While the surface things may (or may not) get accomplished, if I’m not careful, their impressionable hearts might not be any more nourished by the end of the day than when we started.

So even on these summer days, I will rise early.  Oh, this heart needs preparation for the day ahead!  I will humbly fall on my knees before the One who knows what my day will hold, and I will give it to Him.  I will ask today, just like every day before, for help in surrendering my own agenda so that He might accomplish His in me.  I will feast on the promises of the One who gives me my Daily Bread, and Who gently leads those with young.  I will beg for patience and mercy, so that I can give the same to these four whom God has entrusted to my care, who are watching every move I make.   

And by God’s grace, I’ll turn busy moments into God-moments:

A ten year old boy can feel loved and heard (after a long season of hearing us say “no” to the things of this world), all because his parents listened to his heart, and very intentionally said “yes” to a pet rat.  I can slow down long enough to tell him that if we as his parents love him and long to give him good things, just think how much more his Father in heaven loves him and promises much greater blessings to those who walk in obedience with Him.

I can spend time sitting with my children in a fort made of sticks, marveling at the beauty around us and God’s goodness to us through His creation.  I can purposefully teach them that only a powerful, very real God could do something this magnificent, just by speaking a word.

Science lessons can bring on conversations with my kids about how small we are in such a complex universe, and how when we don’t always know the answers, God does.  Science books answer some questions.  God’s Word is applicable for all of life, and we should depend on it daily.

Daily tasks can teach little ones how to humbly serve.  Gentle answers can show grace.  Small helps can be the hands and feet of Christ to children whose hearts are looking for Someone to trust in.  And when they ask why we help and love and forgive, we can remember together the work that Jesus did on the cross for us.


To finish well, I must begin well.  The earlier the better.  With the renewing of my mind.   


I know this:  I can’t afford not to.


“She rises while it is yet night…” ~Proverbs 31:15


“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my requests before you

and wait in expectation.” ~Psalm 5:3

At His feet,


Women around the world are IN THE WORD!

Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org



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  1. What a powerful message today! My son was up and ready to go at 6:30 this morning and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t sleep longer since today is our first day of summer vacation. Now think of all the teachable moments I would miss if we went back to bed and slept until noon (which does sound so nice right now!)!!! ~Kristen @ Trial & Error Homemaking

  2. Ohhh Whitney!!! I always love hearing your heart for your children! YOU are such an amazing mom…..your sweet kiddos are blessed! And yes, “To finish well, I must begin well. The earlier the better. With the renewing of my mind.”…..LOVED THAT!!!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration to all of us!!

    Love God Greatly!!

  3. This is the second post I’ve read on a blog today (and I’ve only read two blogs today) that made reference to the renewing of our minds. I probably should ponder that. :)

  4. I can certainly relate to this post! And I totally messed it up this morning! I, too, have a new mouse in my house, courtesy of my teenage son’s freshman biology class. Unfortunately, I also have SIX rescue fur babies and every one of them thinks Larry the mouse (I did NOT name HER)is a snack…especially the Jack Russell Terrier….

    So I was working through the lessons yesterday and talked with the Lord about helping me want to want to get up early. I had decided I would, but by bedtime when I was talking to Him, I already had the lazies….I have the lazies BAD lately! So this morning I got up and decided I would do my quiet time after my husband went to work but the teenager was still asleep and the dogs were quiet. God taught me a lesson. The teenager got up EARLY and the dogs were spazzes this morning! Now I know I have to rise early…thank you guys so much for the encouragement! I LOVE THIS LESSON SERIES!!

  5. I admit that I don’t take as many God moments as I should. You are such an inspiration to me, Whitney!

  6. What an encouraging post! Do you have a blog? Enjoy the rest of your summer:)))

  7. I LOVE this! Very well written. Thanks for the reminder =)

  8. OH Whitney,
    This is RIGHT where I am! This ministered to my heart this morning, THANK YOU! We are at the beginning of summer vacation and I am so eager to pour into my kids, but I will have to re-visit this in a few weeks when I am already worn out (only because I know myself too well!)

    To finish well, I must begin well. The earlier the better. With the renewing of my mind. (Amen! I copied it into my journal!)

    Blessings to you today,
    Kim A.

  9. Amy Talbott says:

    This week has been a struggle for me to keep up. I have not managed to rise early till this morning. Late nights tending to husband and kids. I am thankful for the late nights though. They have given me time to focus on the needs of people in my family. I am really thankful to be a mom of my 4 little ones. And I have a dear husband who has been working really hard to care for me and to love me.
    I have been feeling disorganized, messy, and a bit frazzaled lately. I believe some of that comes from having a 5.5 month old who doesn’t yet sleep through the night. And from simply learning to live in a house with 6 people. Even if 4 of them are little. I am learning. This study continues to encourage me to be diligent – careful and persistent in my daily chores. To fight the laziness that so easily creeps into my heart.
    Thank you ladies for what you are doing. It is a nice thing to find another blog, a video of your beautiful faces leading us, encouraging us, and even being vulnerable with us as you walk this journey with us. Thank you.

  10. Thank you. I am seeing now that in my season where my kids are in their 20s, married & almost married, instead of grieving the times of years when I was in your shoes, I need to embrace this new season…walk it out with God so that I can be productive for His glory. Enjoy your babies…


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