“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields… Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness. “
– Mary Oliver
How do you do mornings?
I always have the best of intentions.
But, falling asleep later than usual combined with middle of the night wake- ups, early risers, and pregnancies, leaves me seeking the comfort of my bed until the last possible second.
That has been my trend. And by last possible second, I mean 6:45am on a good day.
However, something has got to give. My oldest two don’t nap and my days are filled up with raising children, cooking, cleaning, etc. until 7:30pm and then it is tidying up from the day and work and hopefully spending some time with the husband until we fall exhausted into bed.
So, where is there room for meeting with the Lord? For filling up on Him?
Although I attempt to sneak in a few pages from some sort of Bible study book during my kids quiet times, or listen to a podcast while washing dishes, this is not the same as reading God’s own words or meeting with Him in prayer.
I’ve known for some time that the mornings are key and that this is where I can find time. Oh, but I’ve had all the excuses and they are legitimate excuses. But, I don’t like starting my day rushed, overwhelmed, or frustrated with my kids the second they arise. Add to that, working at 8:30 am two days a week and I have felt a constant urging to make my mornings better.
So, I started. I have done nothing drastic. I don’t set an alarm. But, here is what I do: When I wake up, whether by one child who has to use the bathroom early, my I’m-pregnant-and-need-to-pee wake up call, or my husband’s alarm . . . . THEN I GET UP. I don’t roll back over. I don’t attempt to sleep more. Let’s be real, you don’t get any good sleep at that point any way.
Instead, I hop (ok, maybe roll) out of bed, throw on sock and a sweater and shuffle to turn on the heater and the stove top. While the hot water heats, I make my husband’s lunch (one less distraction once the kids are awake). Then, I stir a warm beverage, light a candle and snuggle under a blanket in the cozy chair by the window. I may only get 15 minutes, maybe less, but it is something. I read a psalm, I copy down a verse that really convicts or encourages me, and I take a few moments to pray over something specific. There may even be another child rising at this point or a baby that I grab out of her crib to get a diaper change by daddy, but I am doing something. Something is always better than nothing. I downloaded Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening onto my Kindle and I may add that into my morning time as well. I don’t know. The mornings are still unpredictable with kids.
It hasn’t happened every day and it isn’t always perfect, but it is still so good. Those few moments to prepare my heart and to recognize that the day WILL have challenges and to ask the Lord to be my strength in them, those moments are so good. Having time to drink a little something warm and to get a few tasks out of the way allows me to be more present in the morning for my family. As much as it seems unfair, we moms set the tone in our homes. If we are rushed or cranky in the morning, then things can quickly get out of control. If instead, I am calm and prepared to serve breakfast as soon as they wake, then the morning goes much smoother!
So, I plan to keep on making the most of my mornings even if I am only starting simple. Sometimes, simple is best.
Do you have a morning routine? Are you longing for one? How to you steal away moments of silence? I’d love to hear your tips, tricks, and suggestions!