Living On Purpose

How to Start Your Day

I’m a morning person. My favorite part of the day is being up before everyone else and enjoying a cup of coffee as the sun rises. It’s quiet except for the occasional bird chirping or footsteps on the pavement as someone goes by on a morning jog. And I let the stillness seep into my soul and remind me that I’m the best version of myself in this place. The place where worries fade away, pride is laid low,¬†and my heart is opened wide so that I can worship and learn and grow.

I ran track in high school. When we weren’t trying to kill ourselves running, we spent our time learning how to come out of the blocks at the start of the race. There was a whole science to getting the most momentum as soon as possible. Hours and hours were given to rehearsing and refining what to do the very second the gun fired.

Track taught me that a race can be won or lost in the first few steps. It’s easier to start right then to compensate for a lack of momentum later on.

That same principle applies to how we start our day. The right routine can set you up to conquer the day instead of just rolling out of bed and hoping for the best.

Starting a new routine isn’t easy. If you’re not a morning person, just getting up earlier than normal can be daunting. Almost as overwhelming as knowing what to do once you’ve managed to shake yourself awake.

I get it.

While I’m naturally a morning person, there was a long season when my kids were young where I struggled to find out a good routine. There was a lot of reading and re-reading words through bleary eyes, trying to make sense of what was going on in my Bible.

My sister tells me that she actually prefers to have a routine of spending time with God right before she goes to bed. It’s still fresh on her mind when she wakes up and she feels like she started her day out of a place of strength.

Whether you get up early or dedicate the time right before you go to sleep, I think the best thing you could do for your day is to create a routine that sets you up to dominate.

Here’s a little window into my routine:

I make a cup of coffee and sit down with my journal. Before starting my Bible reading plan, I answer three questions. It doesn’t take more than a max of 10 minutes.

  1. What do you want to remember from yesterday?

It’s so easy to get focused on stressful or painful things in our life instead of all the beautiful moments. When I force myself to stop and pick out one thing that I want to remember, it helps adjust my perspective and trains myself to continue looking for those moments that I might otherwise rush by

Annie called me into her room to look at the sunset from her window. She laid her head on her arms and sighed deeply, “Mom, I could stare at this all night long.” We sat there quietly for a little while, drinking in the awe.

2. What am I thankful for?

Every season has something to be thankful for. Learning to recognize the avenues that God is using to bring grace into your life will help you resource them better and with greater expectation.

Danny and I sat out by the fire last night and talked until our eyes wouldn’t stay open anymore. Dreaming, strategizing, making goals together…it’s like oxygen in my lungs and I feel re-energized, ready to take on whatever challenges are in front of us.

3. What’s God working on in me?

You know how after you’ve had a conversation about something you start to notice it everywhere? Someone mentions those tiny electric cars that look like clown cars and suddenly it seems like they’re everywhere you go.

I feel like it works that same way when I write down what God is currently doing in my life. Identifying it helps me notice things in my Bible that relate to the area I’m wanting to grow in.

After I answer those questions, I use a Bible reading plan from youversion.com and journal my thoughts about what I read. I have some more questions I answer in my prayer time but I’ll save those for a different post.

So that’s a window into my morning. What’s something you love about your routine of spending time with God? Or if you haven’t started something like that yet, what’s the biggest challenge you face with it?

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