Starting and Ending our Days Well

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Hello Ladies!

Weyall, I had every intention of getting this out last week but – and it’s a BIG but, this is where my computer was situated by Friday mid-day.

If you have no idea what you are looking at, let me tell you – you are looking at my 4 week NEW laptop in a Pyrex dish of rice. (Don’t mind me, I’m just going to rock back and forth in the fetal position a little while longer.)

Here’s the situation:  I was innocently moving my glass of water from the left side of my computer to the right and a small, almost unnoticeable splash of H2O spilled on my keyboard.  I thought – meh, no big deal, until about ten minutes later when my computer started FREAKING out.  Calling Apple not once but twice was incredibly humbling and after a friend prayed over my computer (I’m exaggerating a little), a rice bath, and a weekend of me recuperating from the pain of it all, I’m elated to report that both me AND my laptop are back up and going this morning.

Oh, and the water I keep by my side?  It’s currently about 10 feet from my computer with a spill-proof lid (sippy cup, anyone?!) securing it from going anywhere but inside my mouth.


Now that I’ve shared that, I’m ready to move on.

Girls, I have six weeks under my belt of the littles being back in school (2 in elementary and 1 in preschool and just to be clear, it’s not full-day preschool and just to clear, it just started 4 weeks ago – but I’m not bitter or anything) and I must say – I am realizing that staying on task and having some sort or a routine is key, people.

In addition, I believe the hours just before bed and upon waking up are the MOST critical.  Now, please don’t give me credit for this realization.  I heard about it here and thought, I think they’re on to something!  I’ll link to it if I ever come across it again.

No matter where you are at on this journey, being intentional about self-care is key and the evening and morning hours – they will help us either sink…. or swim.

So let’s talk morning.  I set my alarm using my iPhone and I realized recently I’ve been getting in this terrible horrible habit of turning off the alarm (after hitting snooze for an undisclosed number of times, ahem) and then trying to check my texts and emails.  Girls, I am literally barely able to see – I usually have one eye that won’t even open, and I’m trying my darndest to find out what in the world I might have missed during the night.  News flash – the texts and emails can wait!  So, kinda like when I used to weigh myself first thing in the morning, I had to ask my go-to girls to hold me accountable to NOT look at my phone first thing.  Sheesh.

Instead, I put on some warm clothes (’cause Fall has suddenly arrived) and cuddle on the couch with a blanket to read a bit.  As of last Thursday, I started working my way through this study because as most of you know, I am obsessed with KM.  We would so be besties if I lived in Nashville.  I told her this once when I met her.  She backed away a good 3 feet.

Something about those 5-25 minutes on the couch starts my day off in the very best possible way.  Grounded, Truth-filled, I see the world through a different set of eyes and it’s so so good.

Now let’s talk evening – this one is harder for me.  I could share my best case scenario with you – but as I sit here and think about my evenings, I have to chuckle.  Because best case and reality are so so far from each other.

Best case:  boys are in bed by 7:30, asleep by 7:31, not a peep or a stir.  I whip up a homemade dessert and then sit fireside with Jason as we ponder our day and share our insights.  Time goes so slowly, I wonder if my watch is in need of a battery replacement.  Jason says all the right things and we are nothing but feeling the love.  I take a warm shower and get into bed and read a little.  Jason asks if he can rub my back and I fall asleep to this….


Reality:  boys get into bed, finally, after what seems like an eternity of asking them to take off their clothes, go potty and brush their teeth.  Once they are in bed, they pop out of bed about 73 times to ask if they can go poop, look for a toy, or cuddle.  Jason and I agree that our conversation will have to wait until we are 54 or so, the age when our youngest might go off to college.  I cuddle with each of them and then they continue to pop out of bed until I threaten them with their lives.  It’s pushing 10pm so I take a shower and fall into bed.  Jason is already asleep next to me.

Clearly I have some work to do here.

So what about for you?  Have you found a morning and evening routine that is helping you get through the rest of your day?  I’d love to hear and for you to share with the rest of the readers here – what do you do to start and end your day on the right foot?

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking – if we can sandwich our days with some really wholesome, inspiring, grounded and intentional things – wouldn’t it make a big difference the rest of the time?  Especially for those of you that are either early in the journey or smack dab in the middle of it – sometimes it’s the small tweaks that can make such a big difference.

xo – Shelley




5 thoughts on “Starting and Ending our Days Well

  1. Michelle

    October 5, 2017  |  12:25 pm

    I getup before everyone except the dogs, one always greets me at the bottom of the stairs and if I am lucky, he has not gotten into some food item left out or the trash and if I am super lucky lately, he has not peed on the carpet somewhere at the bottom of the stairs for me to find barefoot.

    I shuffle around, feed the dogs, get my high school senior up, fed, and out the door for school.

    I then bundle up( I too live in Colorado) and go out to my sanctuary of a backyard. My hubby created my sanctuary over the last two summers. I am determined to be out there daily except for snow. I read my One year bible, Bible story, Stormie O devo and pray. All the while shushing the dogs as the family of squirrels taunts them from the fence.

    After work and waiting up for the afore mentioned high school senior boy to get home from work, band practice or girlfriends’ house, I try to get to bed at the same time as my hubby.

    At night we try to go to bed together, hold hands and pray. We recently bought a couples devo bible and we try to do that as much as possible but are successful about 3 days a week. It is about the 5th type of devo we have tried. I think this one is easier and shorter for the late night devo.

    I really do prefer to start my day after I pray through my devo. I like Stormie’s books because she helps me hone in on a specific topic to pray over, my hubby, marriage, grandkids, adult kids, pretty much whatever is on your heart. I start my day energized really feeling like I left it all at the cross.

    For two years I would feel triggers as I drove out of my neighborhood, looking for certain cars. When I pray in the morning, I am noticing those triggers are held off now. I feel more powerful.

    At night, it helps us to get on the same page with ending our day to pray together holding hands. If he is out of town, we do it over the phone. Holding hands even when one of us has been grumpy makes us get back in sync with our restoration.

    Our son also prays with his girlfriend nightly and if they are not together, they do it over the phone. They have even done it over Xbox while playing late night video games. It warms my heart when I stumble upon him talking to God with his eyes closed and phone to his ear. Hopefully we are breaking the cycle of addiction.

    Did anyone else see “The Heart of Man” movie? We all four went. It was really powerful.

  2. Catherine Hanslik

    October 23, 2017  |  01:27 pm

    I’m glad to hear I’m not alone especially with the evening routine. Us too, having 2 daughters, one in High School and the other 5th grade, our evening usually doesn’t quiet down until past 10 pm. We are both exhausted from the day, so I look forward to hearing any new ideas or strategies. We are trying to have some time together, maybe outside on the patio or something while the girls do their homework. Just starting this…will let you know.

  3. Shirley Rossetti

    November 10, 2017  |  03:47 pm

    AMEN, Sister!! AMEN.

    Fellow mom here…..Ages 17, 15, 13 and 9. I hear ya loud and clear.

    NUMBER ONE: Set the automatic coffee pot so that the coffee is HOT and ready to pour down my throat before I even open my eyes!! I like hot breakfast for the kids so I prep whatever I am going to make the next morning (get out the griddle, make the orange juice, etc) I prep lunches (make baggies of pretzels, make sure there is lunch meat and bread out of the freezer)

    NUMBER TWO: Busy Moms pray WHILE doing housework. Our local Catholic Radio station plays the rosary at 6:00am so I follow along as I make sandwhiches for lunches and breakfast, praying that the food I am making nourishes my kids while they are gone from the home.

    NUBMER THREE: I prep and make dinner by NOON!! (I have a 2 week menu that I follow) I have it in the oven with the timer set to go on automatically , or a crockpot dinner, or have the veggies cut up for stir fry, or whatever I can prep before crazy hits at 3:00pm

    NUMBER FOUR: Protect Family dinner with you LIFE as long as you can. While they were small like yours, of course dinner around the family dinner sharing the day’s events was pretty much a given. Easy Peasy. Now enter the world of 4 kids in sports, youth group, jobs, hanging out with friends, etc and family dinner only happens about 3 nights / week IF I’m lucky. However, I have Insisted that Sunday be Sacred for family dinner. My teenagers KNOW not to make plans for Sunday evenings, no sleep overs, no movies, nothing. Family Dinner. And I always make sure we have a yummy dessert with Sunday dinner!! (Not nec homemade, it could just be apackage of oreos, but dessert none the less) It will keep them coming back!!

    Carry on, Momma!! You’re ROCKIN it!!

    NUMBER FIVE: Turn in Electronics at 9pm. Yep, I confiscate all ipods, laptops, phones, ipads, etc. Unless they are at the dinner table actually DOING homework, everything gets turned in!! and shut off. If not, I just walk over to the router, and OFF it goes!! Ta da….No wifi!! LOL

    • Shelley Martinkus

      November 14, 2017  |  11:50 am

      okay, shutting off the router – that is so great! i guess that assumes that they don’t have data on their phones, yes?! Brilliant, just brilliant! Thank you Shirley for adding your thoughts to this post! I can just FEEL your energy and pizzazz! Hope you come back soon! xo – Shelley

  4. Linda

    November 16, 2017  |  08:17 am

    Hi Shelly,
    You made me smile. My kids are grown now, but your post transported me back to the crazy train of raising four boys.

    My husband and I started reading Jesus Calling and praying together every morning, shortly after discovery. It has been a solid routine, unless I haven’t been sleeping well, in which case I sleep in.
    Me + not enough sleep = triggers, flooding, meltdowns.

    After he leaves for work, I have about an hour before my granddaughter comes over to catch the bus. This hour is priceless. I read, pray and sit quietly with God. It takes a lot of discipline not to pick up the phone or iPad and I’m not always successful.

    Our nighttime routine has not wavered in over two years. We connect to amazon music and listen to worship as we fall asleep. We created personalized playlists of our favorite relaxing, spirit filled songs. Recently, I discovered an Amazon playlist called Christian Acoustic, which I’m loving!
    Drifting off to sleep with words of worship has helped me so much.
    Some days it is the only peace I have.

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