It's the start of a New Year, and many of us have goals and resolutions on our minds, and those are good things. One that has been on my list is to re-evaluate my morning routine.
You can read the post below (7 minutes) or listen in to the podcast (30 minutes) where I share a bit more information.
The Benefits of Habits in Our Homemaking
We know routines and habits are super helpful when we stick with them. Our days run smoother, and we go about them pretty effortlessly in time. They just happen, and our brains don't have to think so hard about them anymore. Brushing our teeth is a good example. You don't think about it—you just do it.
You already have a morning routine. You have premade choices you do every morning without thinking.
When we start our mornings with purpose, it seems to help in the productivity of our day. I always say if I get nothing else done the rest of the day because it didn't go as I planned, but I got to my morning routine, I already accomplished quite a bit.
I want to walk us through possible parts of a morning routine. We may already have one, but it needs a bit of tweaking. Or maybe, we've not been consistent with it and would like to get back on track.
I'm in the process of revamping my morning routine. It needs some help, so let's work through this together.
This is not a one size fits all, but it is to work through and determine how you would like your mornings to look. Again, as we work through this, I'm just giving suggestions. Each of us will decide how we want our start of the day to be structured.
I'm naturally an early riser – please don't hate me. I wasn't always. Actually, when my kiddos were young, my husband traveled for work frequently, and I would stay up super late after the kids went to bed. First off, because I couldn't sleep when he wasn't home (that's when you hear all the creepy noises at night), but second, it's when I did most of my cleaning. This went on for a few years, but after my littles started school and we were having to get up super early, I knew I had to change things, and I did. I started going to bed at a reasonable time, cleaning during the day, and waking up early before the kids to get my day started.
This was a great habit for me to develop, especially once I came to faith in Christ. I was already in the habit of waking up early and making time to read my Bible first thing was something I really looked forward to.
When to Start Your Morning:
We need to determine when we're going to wake up. Before we do this, we need to sit down and sketch on a piece of paper what we would like to accomplish in our morning routine and how long we have to do it in.
If you have to leave the house at 7 am and your morning routine takes 1.5 hours, you need to get up at 5:30 am. You can work this for whatever your situation. If you homeschool, when would you like the kids to start school? I work at home, so I need to determine when I want my official day to start.
Begin with small steps and make it realistic for you. Don't plan to wake up at 4 am and read the Word for an hour and exercise for 30 minutes if you haven't been doing anything. You are setting yourself up for failure. Start with one small step. Maybe you just set the alarm and determine you are not going to hit the snooze button but get out of bed when it goes off. One way to help make that possible is to make sure you're getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
If you want to get 8 hours of sleep but you desire to wake up at 5:30 am you need to get to bed 9:30 pm at night.
Time In The Word:
So what does your time in the Word look like? How much time can you spend sitting with Jesus? I do want to encourage you to at least give the Lord the first best minutes of your day.
God doesn't make it a law that we need to read out bibles first thing in the morning, so I'm not doing or saying that, but I'm strongly suggesting as an older woman it is a great way to start your day.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ~ Psalm 143:8
One other thought here because it's one I struggle with is to not look at my phone first thing in the morning. I turn my notifications off until 8 am and work hard to not look at email or social media until I've had time with the Lord first. I desire to set my mind first on things above.
Taking the Word With You:
After your time in the Word, is there a truth or passage you can meditate on throughout your day? Can you write it on an index card and keep it with you? How can you take with you what you learned from sitting at the feet of Jesus?
Some other possibilities you may work into these first moments after you've spent time with the Lord are:
Reading several pages from a book on Christian living or theology.
Getting to the Practical:
The next part of our morning routine is where we need to get ready for the day. So showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and exercise.
After getting dressed and eating breakfast, I'll sit with my planner and look over and review my tasks for the day. After breakfast, I'll clean up dishes, tidy a few other areas, and get a load of laundry going. I'll check to see if I need to get anything ready in the morning for dinner.
Meal planning ahead is a huge help in my morning routine. I plan our meals for the week on Sunday night, so I know each day what we're eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Goal of Our Planning:
So the last part of my routine is just to get to my day. My Elisabeth Elliot reminder comes into play, “do the next thing.” I take a few moments to sit with my planner and review my day.
From here, I just need to go about serving the Lord and others. I'm reminded the days are His. My plans may not go the way I determined them to go, but I know as the end of the day, my day will go just as the Lord planned it to go. I need to be flexible. I need to remember to have the heart of a servant to my family and others. I pray my responses would be Christlike.
Our goal isn't a perfectly planned out day, but it is to bring glory to our perfect God.
Our goal isn't a perfectly planned out day, but it is to bring glory to our perfect God. So commit your day to Him and walk in obedience to whatever He calls you to do.
Ponder what you would like your morning to look like and what you'd like to accomplish. Write it down on a piece of paper.
Determine how much time you need and when you need to wake up. This will determine when you need to get to bed.
Set out your materials you'll be using to meet with the Lord in the morning. Have your Bible, journal, pen, and whatever else you need handy. Don't pick up that phone until you've met with the Lord! If you use your phone for your devotional time – first off, I'm going to encourage you to try not to. But, if you need to, make sure you do not check email or social media apps. Just a strong suggestion I'm giving you there.
Don't be afraid to start small—baby steps are okay. They are progress, and if you start small and keep building on it, you are much more likely to succeed instead of starting too big and feeling overwhelmed.
If it's only 10 minutes in the Word to start—ten minutes are better than no minutes.
If you take nothing else from our time today, remember this for me. Don't compare your morning routine with anyone else's. First, we're all wired differently. We are all in different seasons and have different family situations and so many other variable factors. Make it realistic for you and your family. This is your morning routine, not someone else's.
When I get those mornings to sit with the Lord and not be hurried because I woke up late, my day just seems to go better.
As I'm saying that I want you to remember an important reality, God's blessing for us as Christians is not based on our performance. Having a good morning doesn't change my standing before the Lord over having a bad morning.
Let me share a favorite quote of mine from Jerry Bridges:
“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.”
“Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone. We are not only saved by grace, but we also live by grace every day.”
Rest in the truth of the Gospel all your days. When your mind and heart are saturated in the gospel, our hearts will be filled with thankfulness for what God has done for us through Jesus.
This is the best way to start and end every day. If you are in Christ, Jesus is holding you fast, and every moment of your life has been ordained by Him to grow you more and more into His likeness.
So remind yourself that God's mercies are new every morning, and each day is a gift to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning until you have looked into the face of God.”