Thursday, August 02, 2007


I don't know exactly when it happened, but I've fallen into some bad habits. Don't they always creep up on you that way?

For one, I'm finding myself drinking way too much coffee in the morning, and nixing breakfast altogether. Did you know that's the perfect recipe for creating a crabby mother?

We don't really keep a schedule for the summer, and while that's ok to some extent with me (detailed schedules overwhelm me), it's cause for some less-than-wanted behaviors. Time to re-assess.

Now, this is not a new thing, for as mothers, we are constantly changing habits in our household. God's in that business, too, but we (and He) just calls it refining.

I suppose it's the combination of a lax summer schedule, and the realization that school will be officially starting around here in about a month. I'm looking ahead.

New thoughts and new actions are not done out of habit. They are in formation. We must give them lots of attention and care if we wish them to become habits. ~Karen Andreola "A Charlotte Mason Companion"

If I want my children to have particular habits, then I must be disciplined in my own habits. I believe there is a direct correlation.

Ideas cause good habits. Cindy often speaks on her blog that "Ideas have consequences". Good or bad, they have consequences. Ideas do influence my habits. Charlotte Mason insists on giving your children "ideas" and "inspiration" in living books to give them fodder for new habits.

For example, I have decided that I need to be healthier. While I take great pains in feeding my family healthily, and making sure they are leading a healthy life, I tend to neglect myself. I aim to take on the goal of eating better, exercising more, and getting stronger. The ideas of Elise and Holly have been very helpful to me.

It is because we recognize the spiritual potency of the idea that we are able to bow reverently before the fact that God the Holy Spirit, is Himself the Supreme Educator, dealing with each of us in the things we call sacred and those secular. We lay ourselves open to the spiritual ideas, whether these be conveyed by the printed page, the human voice, or whether they reach us without visible sign.

The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures herself smooth and easy days; on the other hand she who lets habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction...
...if we fail to ease life by laying down habits of right thinking and right doing, habits of wrong thinking and wrong doing fix themselves of their own accord.
~Charlotte Mason

Again, as I've said before, I am thankful His mercies are new every morning.


tonia said...

hey, we're doing that "great minds" thing again. :) i've been thinking on habits all summer...written about 14 posts in my head and haven't posted them yet, but i'm really working and thinking. :)

those CM passages have been so instrumental in my understanding and changing patterns at home.

Andrea said...

That's funny.
Maybe it's a combination of it being summer, and the fact we read the same blogs (ideas) that we think alike.

...or maybe we just are those kind of people who think great thoughts.

Elise said...

Sheesh, are we ever gonna be old enough that the habits we try to instill in our children will be exemplified completely in us? ;)

I found this today, and it made me think of you -

Proverbs 31:17
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

I never noticed that before! But how much more can we do if we are strong, filled with energy! I

I pray that God equips you - all of us - to accomplish these good things, friend.

Kendra said...

"If I want my children to have particular habits, then I must be disciplined in my own habits."

That's the key, isn't it. Sure, I can make up a chart of items for my girls to accomplish before leaving their room in the morning, but does that mean that I have to get dressed and make my bed too?!!

Thanks, Andrea.

Amy Jane said...

Who was it that said, "The virtues of the mother will be visited on the children"?

Kinda makes you think...

Anyway, about habits:
This excerpt is the best I've read about changing habits. The idea of your established, sneaky nature working subversively... well, I guess it just resonates with me...

And it makes me want to consciously stick it out longer, too.

Joel and Jaime said...

It's always interesting to me when I see a habit of mine that I don't like, and intend to fix it.....and then it never gets done! It really is, at least in part, simply a matter of seeing a problem and being determined enough to fix it, right? Like when I say, "Oh Lord, if only You would help me to be more patient..." Like it's His fault or something! That's when He says..."Okay, well, there's the opportunity, let's get it done!"
Interesting thoughts you had in this post, thanks!

Miriam said...

Yes, I'm in this place, as well... trying so hard to set out new patterns of thought and action in my life. I'm so thankful for the Lord's constant mercies too. And, thankful that He is the one who accomplishes this work in us as we keep trying our best. :) I love Sara Grove's song "Kingdom Comes": little by little, brick by brick He brings forth the goodness of His kingdom in our lives.

AIMEE said...

i am very neglectful of my own needs and have finally awakened to the importance of taking care of myself. No more mommy martyr for me!