Friday, October 8, 2010

When Purple Morning Breaks...

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Lately I have been loving my early mornings. Around 6 am, I crawl out of bed and make my way to the living room, where I open the windows (amazing crisp, Fall air lately!), light my Cranberry Chutney Yankee Candle, put the kettle on for tea, and sit down with my Bible. 

Of course every early morning doesn't turn out that way. There's always the "I-need-props-to-keep-my-eyelids-open" mornings or the mornings where the baby starts to cry the minute I get settled down with my Bible. 

Regardless, my morning routine (or lack thereof) can make or break the day. Particularly taking the time to have my perspective adjusted by God's word and laying the day out before Him in prayer. Once the baby's up and it's light outside, one after the other tasks begin lining themselves up and clamoring for my attention, making it that much harder to spend time with Jesus.

Waking up early is hard. But the reward is substantial, and it gets easier the longer you do it. 

Here's what my morning routine currently looks like: 
6 am: Wake up, brush teeth, wash face, sit down with tea and Bible
6:50: Take a few minutes to write out some of the things that need to be accomplished that day. This takes the form of either a rough schedule or a to-do list. 
7: Help hubby out the door, feed baby, breakfast all around
8 or 8:30: Workout, then shower

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Helps For Waking Up Early:
1. Go to bed early. This is probably the single more difficult part for me. To be awake during my morning time (or to even get out of bed), I really need to get to bed on time. I'm working on this!
2. Start gradually. Kat from Inspired To Action has an awesome post on that topic. An example of how this works for me sometimes: Last week I was sick and slept in until the baby woke every day. So this week I've moved my wake-up time down to around 6:30, to gradually help reset my internal clock. 
3. Incorporate enjoyable things. Getting out of my cozy bed to spend time with the holy (fearfully so) God of the universe is not something I naturally want to do. When I'm thinking clearly, I know that it's what I really do want to do, but reality check: I'm not thinking clearly when I first wake up! So the hot cup of tea and the candle help me "set the stage." Do what works for you (music, your favorite chair....just make sure you don't get so comfortable that you're falling asleep!). 
4. Get someone to keep you accountable! This brings me to something really fun. If you want some online accountability, join Kat, Michelle, and a host of others in the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge

Inspired To Action ButtonIn general, Kat's blog is a wealth of resources and encouragement when it comes to waking up early. She has a Maximize Your Mornings Ebook which gives you some practical steps for making it happen (click on the image for more info).

I did want to add this: There are seasons to life. I know that for me, the first few months after my son was born I was up several times during the night and this made rising early very difficult/somewhat impractical. Getting up early in the morning is not some sort of "law" that we have to keep! I just believe that, in general, that morning time can be a huge asset to the day. 

Is waking up early something you struggle with or aspire to do? What do your mornings look like?

I'll leave you with the words of a hymn written by Harriet Beacher Stowe, which I love:

"Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee."

Linked to Company Girl Coffee and Finer Things Friday.


  1. My mornings are something like drive home, take off dirty-contaminated-scary scrubs, check e-mail, read blogs (Alicia's Homemaking!), go to bed. Hehe

    I'm actually up at 6 this AM though. Slept until 4 yesterday and amazingly enough went to bed last night with hubby. I knew I would wake up early and I did, probably about the same time as you. It's so weird to be on this side of 8 am NOT about to go to sleep!

    I'll take a look at those ideas about mornings though and see how much I can use for my afternoons. Still have not perfected this lifestyle...

  2. Kelley, I feel ya! I worked nightshifts when I first became a nurse and yeah, it throws you all off! 4-5 in the afternoon was my "morning." So weird!

  3. Such an amazin post, lovey. I JUST jotted down some ideas for a post I wanted to do about routines and waking early. I'll link back to this when I do, it's so good!

  4. Alicia - I've just recently rediscovered how much more smoothly my mornings run when I do my quiet time first thing after I wake up, and I love it! I feel more at peace all day, and I can definitely tell when I haven't done it. Since my Handsome and I don't have children yet, my wakeup time is a little more flexible, but regardless, I experience a special peace and blessing throughout my day when I am able to make time with Jesus the first and best part of it. Thanks for posting!!!! :-)

  5. It's not coincidence that you wrote this post this week. I NEEDED to read this. I have wanted to be a "morning person" for as long as I can remember, and sometimes I feel like it's the hardest thing about myself that I want to change.

    Tuesday was the one day this week that I was actually able to wake up and read and pray before my boys woke up. Later, I was able to teach piano lessons all evening, and even spent 45 minutes of precious naptime with Hulu, and I still accomplished more of my to-do list on that one day than I've been able to manage any other day this week.

    Sometimes it seems like magic, but it really is a miracle. When I put God first, literally, in my day, he blesses me and strengthens me. I can do better. I will do better!

  6. I did this over the summer and then the first week of school for my oldest. Then, work exploded and it was so hard to get out of bed. You have re-inspired me to get back into it. Thank you for this!

  7. I get up with my hubby about 5:30 every morning and go down while the house is quiet and do my quiet time. Then on M,W, F I go and run...which at first I had to force myself to I am so dadgum proud of myself every time I do it that I actually look forward to that time! On T, Th, I have to go on up after my quiet time an shower, etc. to get ready for tutorial. On all days I let my little ones sleep until I am out of the shower. My oldest sets his alarm and gets up on his own. My days go so much better when I can stick to this schedule. On mornings when I miss my quiet time or don't get my shower in in time...I am not nearly as together or easy to get along with! I am NOT a morning person, but I adore the time alone with my savior and myself!

  8. I am so not a morning girl. I do aspire to be more like that though. For me it boils down to a choice and creating a habit. Since I've not been sleeping very well during this pregnancy, I've given myself a bit of a break on the a.m. routine. I get up about 15 to 20 min. before the children (that doesn't include my son who is an early riser...I can't beat him) and start my day.
    Love your post. It is encouraging to me!
    Have a blessed weekend!!

  9. Isn't Kat awesome?!! It definitely is tough on days when the little ones wake up when we get settled in though.

  10. I usually get up around 6 or 7 a.m. and I usually check the computer and then when I am done, my coffee is done and I read my Bible and pray and then go on with my day. Once the sun comes beaming through my window, I am awake but I haven't always been like that :)

  11. Oh, Alicia, you are a girl after my heart! After I had our son (34 years ago) I knew that if I was going to ever have a regular quiet time that it was going to have to be in the early morning. Thus I made that commitment at that time and began rising early and still do to this day. I get up at 5:30 and it's become such a habit that it is no longer a struggle at all. But, it certainly was many times "back in the day." Of course, now the nest is empty but I'm convinced that too many things could get in the way of my time with Him if I did not have it first thing. Blessings to you in this endeavor!

  12. Wonderful reminder. It's SO important. I NEED this.
    Honestly, it is like a night and day difference between days I have a quiet time and days I do not. I'm not the same person.
    It is a struggle to make it happen with a baby around, but no less worth it. In fact, all the more worth it.

  13. Georgeous picture! I love my mornings with Him! I made it a habit several years ago as I was NOT a morning person. It was a struggle at first, but now it is a habit. Love the precious time! :)

  14. Up early in the morning is so very hard to do. I am a night owl by nature, and seem to get a ton of things done at night. But mornings - boy howdy! Not easy. But like you, when I do get up early, before all the kids, my day seems to go much better. Thanks for the inspiration - I am going to work harder on getting up early again! Nice having coffee with you!


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