One Bite at a Time: Week 3

(I totally staged this picture.  Keeping it real.  Oh, and that’s a mug rug from Knitty Bitties.)

{We are working through Tsh’s new ebook One Bite at a Time together.  If you’d like to join us, you can buy her book here and jump right in!}

It’s no secret that I’m an early bird.

I wake up naturally by 5:30 in the morning because I really need me some quiet time before the crazy that is three kids, a husband, two dogs and all the hither and yonder we have planned for the day.

Last week, I randomly slept in until 6:30 a few times…what?!  I haven’t done that since my girls were squishy newborns and Time was an alternate universe with no beginning or end.

And I’ll tell you: my entire day paid the price.

You would think that I already have Week 3′s project under control, right?

Having a morning routine?

And I do, somewhat.  I get up early.  I listen to the quiet buzzing of a silent house.  I sit in darkness at my computer and sip my old friend Joe.  I go through my favorite blogs, check email and see what’s going on on Twitter.

By 6:30, Henry’s up and apparently starving to death…and my day begins.  And doesn’t stop until I collapse into bed at the Grandma-esque time of 9:30 or 10:00.

Done.  Drooling.  Out.

But this week’s challenge was an eye opener for me.

Sure, I get up early and have a routine, but Tsh’s words touched a nerve:

Pick the things that fuel you the most, and faithfully treat yourself to those things, in the same order, every day.


Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and I love reading blogs, and they certainly inpsire me and depending on the writer, can stir my soul.


I’ve been saying for years that I want quiet Bible Time.

I’d like to be dressed and ready for the day before my family wakes up.

I’d like to just….sit.

While I have an established routine, maybe it’s with the wrong focus?  Maybe what I’m doing is getting up and basically working first thing in the morning.  Work I love.  Work I don’t get paid for.  But still, somehow work.  (Only in BlogLand right?)

Now, I’ll be really honest with you: this week was a hard week.  I’m having a hard time adjusting to all the new scheduling we have in our family.  I feel like I’m back in Survival Mode.  Just one day at a time.  Sometimes hour by hour.  I’m not used to all this chauffering, time keeping, appointment running lateing, and general crazy that sort of descended upon our home at the same time.  I have cried more than once this week.  It’s been a tough week.

Couple of weeks.

So.  I didn’t have it in me to actually, you know, intentionally change up my engrained routine.  Ironic since having time with my Bible and sitting quietly without the glow of a computer monitor would probably have been the best balm for my overwhelmed soul.

Why do we always take care of ourselves last?  Why is that the easiest habit to fall back on?  Yet, the one that is the most damaging?  To everyone.

A couple of things:

1) Project 3 is on high priority for me.  I need it to be.

2) I’ve decided that this series of working through Tsh’s ebook might be better if we checked in monthly rather than weekly.  That way, we can give ourselves some grace for especially harried weeks.  Weeks when trying to get through a Simplify Project is anything but simple.  I still need to be intentional about working through the book, and I like this idea of journaling my progress, but I need some wiggle room.  Don’t you? Maybe you should subscribe just to be sure you don’t miss it? Or like Life Rearranged on Facebook? Just a thought.

Let’s plan on checking in on the first Wednesday of every month.  We’ll still try to have 4 projects under our belt, but maybe you incorporate 2 projects in one week if you need to.  Make sense?

Are you playing along?  Would you like to?  You can buy the ebook ($5) here.

Now, back to this week’s topic:

Do you have a morning routine?  Is it working for you or do you need to tweak it?  Do you faithfully treat yourself to things that nourish you?


{Links to ebookare affiliate links.  FYI.}

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    My morning routine is to open my sliding door and surf around on the computer and just relax and take a deep breath :)

  2. 2

    You know what? I bought the book–downloaded it and then. . .voila–FORGOT!!!!!!! So glad I checked in here and monthly seems doable–I can’t believe I almost missed out…Hope you have better days ahead–I’ve cried a few times myself this week too.

  3. 3

    Side note: I’m so sorry it has been a hard couple of weeks. I will be lifting you up in prayer. Thank you for your always encouragement. I appreciate you.

  4. 4
    Carrie R. says:

    I have no real morning routine. I hate waking up early, I am much more of a night owl. But things have been changing since my 4 yr old started Pre-K. So now I try (and I emphasize on try) to get up at 7, make my boys breakfeast, get us ready, and out the door by 8:10. It’s pheasible, boys are quick and easy to get ready.

  5. 5

    I stink at mornings. I’ve gone into computer coma after everyone left and lost a few hours. I’ve been surprised to find the clock say 20 minutes til I have to leave and I’m in my jammies. Not every day, not even every week–but more often than I’d like to admit. My family all leaves by 7:30. I don’t go to work until 10:30 or 11. That is my time to read, do bible study homework, do housework, work out some days (hardly) and shower and get dressed. It’s a totally awesome schedule. And guess what? I mess it up all the time. I will be glad to hear more about this…and how your readers stick to their plans.

  6. 6

    I’m sorry it’s been a rough few weeks for you my friend. We’ve all been there and try to juggle being a wife, mom, blogger, etc. Sometimes I feel like there are just not enough hours in the day. Then I start to wonder what if it’s not that there are not enough hours so much as maybe I’m not using my hours wisely. I’m totally guilty of that. And now I’m rambling on about myself. Sorry friend! Praying for you. Love you, encouraged by you.

  7. 7

    i am a morning person as well but don’t have a great morning routine. i do but i don’t. i get up to work out but usually get distracted by the computer on my way to workout. i need to get the workout in before i look at the computer. if i don’t get up early it throws my entire day off. so my frog {#1} is to get my workout done before looking at blogs, email, twitter, etc… we have accomplished #2, and my #3 is to get up, do my devotional, workout, and then if there is time i can sit at the computer. i want to start having my shower and work on getting ready when i get my kids up to start school around 7:30. i think our mornings would flow more smoothly if i was almost ready when i got them up. then we can start school earlier and get through our day in a less rushed manner since most days we have to be done with school by a certain time for morgan to get to gymnastics.

    thank you for sharing about this process. you are keeping me accountable for checking in with the book that i would have normally downloaded but then forgot about in the busyness of life.

  8. 8

    I’m sorry this week has been hard. I’m pretty bad at mornings. But I did pick a few things for my morning routine and while I haven’t been good at doing all of them everyday, I have been consistent about remembering my morning prayers.

  9. 9

    Love that you staged that top photo. Is the cup empty, too?

    Sorry you had a rough week. Hope the next one will be better…

    • 10

      Hi. How do you establish a morning routine when little one’s wake up time varies AND is always early (between 5 and 5.45 am most days 5.30!). I can’t see myself willingly waking up at 4.30 to have quiet time…

  10. 11

    I keep thinking about getting involved in your little trek here. Maybe I will now since you changed to meeting a month. :) My routine in the morning is getting up at 6am…read the Bible, and I do about 30 minutes. That’s how I got through the Bible in a Year (and a 1/2). Then I take a shower/get dressed; post my happy birthdays on FB; eat breakfast while watching First Take (yeah, it’s sports talk). Then I go to work. It’s my afternoons that I need to have a little more order or rather I need to figure out how to use my time WISEly. I come home at 1pm, eat lunch, then lounge around unless I have something else to do. I waste a lot of time when I could be doing crafts or reading. TV and FB/blogging are my biggest time wasters. I want to get that under control. I want to do more with my crafts and gifts that have been sitting untouched for so long. Okay. That’s it! Starting today I’ll figure this out and join you.

  11. 12

    Just read this post and I’m in. I follow Simple Mom and was tempted to buy One Bite at at Time, but life is super crazy right now so I thought I would wait. Your post made me realize that the book will actually help me find a path out of the craziness!!! Thanks for the nudge.

  12. 13

    Yes, I created a morning routine. It’s 1) get up, wash face, brush teeth, get dressed 2) drink water, read Bible 3) do a little exercise (like lift weights or stretch a bit) 4) blog if I get time

    I love it, it’s really changed my life.

  13. 14

    I really am trying to have a morning routine. I am an early riser by nature, but so are my kids. My husband starts working his first job around 5:30am, and if I make it downstairs before him, usually the kiddos are right on my tail (3 &1). I really want to have that quiet time with God as well, and have considered waking up at 2am to do so and then go back to bed :-) I know that routine will come once my littles aren’t quite as little, and this is the season I am in, but oh wouldn’t it be nice to have that quiet time and a hot cup of coffee!

    • 15

      I agreed with you…but, how can you function with so little sleep? I would love to be able to wake-up at 2 am and do my bible study….but honestly I think it would be impossible to function in the morning….

      • 16

        Hello Jeanett, yes, I was refering to waking up at 2 am…..I think I will be able to function with 7.5 hours of sleep…I have my morning routine written down and laminated….
        1. Bible study
        2. upload dishwasher
        3. and start laundry…
        But I think the first is the only one that count right? anyway, I will keep working on it, we have until Nov 2nd to master it right?

  14. 17

    I have had the same great thought to blog my progress through One Bite At A Time, but I’m planning on starting in January. I’ll keep tabs on your progress to hopefully inform my own. I definitely agree with a daily Bible time making life so much easier. I used to do it in the mornings, but now afternoon nap time is my dedicated time as my boys are up at 6am. Hope you can create a habit!

  15. 18

    I am completely new at this blogging thing, and to be honest, don’t know for how long I can do it, but I bought the book, first time I ever read Tch, but it has been great, I did not start at the first project I did the one I needed the most…”Clean as you go” and for the first couple of weeks was great, my house was supper, but somehow I am turning back to was used to be….(I have though tried to keep the kitchen clean no matter what, and it is paying off, I think I am becoming a clean kitchen addict….anyway, I will join in…and will try to do the projects

  16. 19

    I’ve been working on this habit since Tsh’s book came out. And it’s still hit or miss, why? Because of jury duty, sickness, school starting… you know, life. Seems like as soon as I get some momentum with a new habit a wrench gets thrown. That’s why I like that you switched it up to a month rather than weekly. There are some habits that won’t take me a month. But this one does. I’m not naturally raring to go in the AM. I started doing a devotional and journaling as my morning routine and it’s been AMAZING. Intermittent… but I feel like I’m gaining traction in this area.

  17. 20

    Hi! Thanks for your encouragement to do this project together! That makes a difference. I will try to get it ordered now and jump right in! Just curious…in the “staged photo” ( : what is your mug sitting on?! I thought it was cute and wondered if it was just a long coaster!! Thanks again!

  18. 21

    I think treating ourselves is soooo overlooked, and so valuable. And a great model for our kids, especially female ones. And I am horrible about it!
    My mornings vary….my work schedule varies. Most involve taking my baby to childcare at 7 and then either working from home or from work. I am up between 5-530 and have no desire to make it earlier!
    I would LOVE to incorporate having some tea and reading the paper into my mornings. This gives me some calm and peace in my heart. At home I’m pretty good about it, but need to lose the guilty feelings. At work, I could arrive early enough to still manage it.
    Any ideas on getting rid of the “could bes should bes need tos” and just relax? :)

  19. 22
    Deanne Robertson says:

    Hi ladies, I’m new to this undertaking. I just downloaded Tsh’s book today, and plan to give it a read later tonight after school is done.

    I just wanted to chime in on this topic. I’ve been using Kat’s Inspired to Action plan and joined a FB group. It’s been a great encouragement for me and has given me the accountability I’ve needed to get up, get dressed and be productive in the morning. Check her out, if you like. (no, I’m not related, or being paid for this commercial, lol). I’m just happy to have found a tool to help me.

    I also love the idea of checking in once a month. Once a week seems overwhelming and it kept me from joining before this. Once a month is much more manageable. Now I just have to remember to check in …… :)

  20. 23
    erica rawson says:

    I am in! Excited to work through this book with others. I think my morning routine is my frog… Does that make sense? So I am going to get the list (a long time ago I typed up, printed and laminated a morning routine) out and start doing it – even if it’s in pieces @ first.

  21. 24

    I’m in…bought the book weeks ago. Haven’t moved on it once. need to work it. Thanks for a motivational tool!! My husband and 11 children thank you!!

  22. 25

    Your making me feel so much better! We all have tough days, weeks and months.. it’s so important to try to focus and move forward anyway. I hope to follow along with you, and gain energy and insight.

  23. 26

    I’m in! I’ve had my eye on that ebook for a while, so you just pushed me over the edge. Looking forward to it!

  24. 27

    Hi Jeannett!! I’m here from SimpleMom and very excited to join in. Thank you for the encouragement!!
    My morning routine doesn’t always happen, and when it doesn’t, my whole day goes badly. Maybe I should start there?

    Here’s for a better next week!

  25. 28

    Sounds like you are seriously under attack. It doesn’t seem likely that it’s a coincidence that the week you commit yourself to being in the Word daily, Life throws everything it’s got at you all at once. Praying that you have strength to persevere through the struggle! Ephesians 6:10-12

  26. 29

    My morning routine usually looks something like this –
    Up at 5:00 am… and we’re off!
    1. Feed pets
    2. Coffee
    3. Empty dishwasher
    4. Reboot laundry
    Sometimes I can sneak in an email check before my 6 month old wakes up (added bonus!) – otherwise I get him fed and dressed, and he supervises my routine in the Baby Bjorn.

    Does emptying the dishwasher and rebooting the laundry nourish my soul? Not really… but these simple tasks, completed in the silence of my dimly-lit house somehow make me feel peaceful.

    For the record, my husband (who would be content to hang out at a pub 7 nights a week until 2 am) makes fun of me endlessly for waking up at 5am, and friends and relatives have openly questioned my attempts at “simplifying.” But there’s something about following these steps that just feels “right.”
    Has anyone else had this experience?

    Love your book, Tsh. We think very much alike.

    I love Tsh’s book so far and am psyched that I found this discussion.

  27. 30

    I’m in! I’m starting with the menu planning, but I need a morning routine too. I want to have quiet time with the Bible, but it never works out. After I get this menu planning under control, I’m hitting the morning routine. By the way, crying seemed to be part of my routine. Just wanted to let you know we’re all there at one point or another…or all the time. :)

  28. 31

    Got the book a week ago (actually downloaded it to my Kindle). I’ve started to work on my morning routine. I LOVE this idea!! Part of my morning includes sitting on the floor with my Golden Retriever, just “being”.

  29. 32

    Great idea! I have looked at the book on my shelf and keep “planning” to start it. HA! I’ve come from Tsh’s site and I’m joining you.
    My morning has to start early b/c of my early risers. My dream is to wake up to a pot of coffee already made, read my Bible and then go exercise before most of the family wakes up.
    To do this, though, I need to:
    1. set the coffee pot the night before so it starts on it’s own in the morning.
    2. Wake up when the alarm goes off.
    3. Not turn on the computer.

    Thanks for starting this. I really think it will help motivate me to do the things I want to do.

  30. 33

    Funny how the universe sometimes sends us messages until we “get” them…I have been following a new-to-me morning routine through the Inspired by Action blog ( where I’m trying to get up earlier than my family (which is hard for me!) to exercise and pray. I can’t claim that it’s a new routine yet but I do love it the mornings that I make it happen.
    Good luck regaining equilibrium!

  31. 34

    Alas and thank goodness! I bought the book, read the injunction to eat my frog — which though it was one I’d heard years ago, is always a great reminder. Especially since I don’t generally manage to do that. So: I’m in. First Wednesday of the month is great, because it gives me tim e to catch up… ;) My frog right now is getting bills paid, as I am trying to streamline/simplify our home and life a bit. The challenge is getting enough sleep to wake before my two-year-old, or paying bills while I’m with her.

  32. 35

    I finally have a morning routine that I like. My toddler is sleeping until about 7am most mornings – hallelujah! I get up around 5:30 – 6am. I have always been a morning person. I read “Jesus Calling” each morning and read the corresponding scriptures. Then I get online and update my blog, read other blogs, check email etc. If I have time before my daughter wakes up, I read a book while eating breakfast. Otherwise, I eat with my daughter. I was doing an online Bible Study that just ended last week. So, I would read a chapter in my Bible every Sunday during naptime and then get my blog post ready for the week. I still wonder if I should be spending more time in the Word than I am. That’s the only part of my morning I’m thinking of changing up. Oh, and getting dressed and ready for the day at a reasonable hour. Say by 8:30am which is when my husband leaves for work.

  33. 36

    I bought Organized Simplicity when it came out, and I read it until it got to the break down of each section of the house. Talk about overwhelming :0) I also bought One Bite at a Time the day it came out…and have only scrolled through it :0) I’m going to try and and do this, but I think I am going to push for one thing a week.

    For the routine thing, I have been struggling for months. I joined the Maximize your mornings challenge, and have been able to get the bible reading down, just not at the same time every day. If I don’t get up before the kids, any semblence of a routine goes out the window.