Before I get to the interesting part, to magic secret of how I FINALLY got myself up in the mornings for a quiet time, we need to get two things out of the way.
- First, there are seasons for everything. There are times - seasons, even - that I was up all night with a fussy baby, and I believe that an extra hour of sleep is exactly where I was "supposed" to be from 7-8am.
- Getting up early does not guarantee any of the following:
- You are holier than you would have been otherwise.
- You are more loved by God.
Our holiness, our acceptance, our worthiness comes directly from what Jesus did on the cross. There is nothing we can do to earn it more.
Though I know this in my head, I have spent many a moment lugging around guilt over this issue. Why am I not a morning person? Why can't I get my sorry self out of bed? I'm just a bad, bad, bad Christian. and so on.
I have finally come to terms with the fact. I am not a morning person. This is like how I have brown hair, or love parties. It's not wrong or right - it's just me.
At the same time, I do see a tremendous benefit in starting my day with a few moments to pray, to read a brief Scripture, and to quiet my thoughts before the chaos. I don't really need to elaborate on this, because if you have ever been awakened by a screaming child demanding breakfast, well, you know exactly what I mean about starting the day right.
I struggled with this for so, so long. I'd try online groups, special new books, bribing myself with rewards, watching seminars, on and on. It would work for a little and then not.
Two things finally worked. Of course I have sleep-in days here or there, but I have definitely made a change in my life for the good - for the first time since becoming a mom. Here are the two things that helped.
- One real-life accountability partner. We text each other at 6:30. Oh, it's not a long devotional thought. It's usually a few choice emoticons. :) Knowing Carey is waiting for my text gets me out of bed for sure! This was something that she had been wanting to work on, too, so it just worked out.
- The second thing that helped me was a comment from a friend. She met a guy who got up - wait for it - at 4:30am every day, to pray, study the Bible, and work out. He was a young dad our age! WOW. She asked him, How do you do it? And this is what he said.
Well, I ask God for strength.
The end. I was show ashamed to admit that in all of my striving and guilt-wearing, how many times had I actually said, "God, I know you want me to spend some time with you in the morning. Will you be my strength today? Will you give me energy to do my work?"
What a powerful reminder to me to rely on His mighty strength. And to ask for it!
If you've struggled with waking early to have a quiet time, share what has and hasn't worked!