Thursday, February 21, 2008

...but JOY comes in the morning!

"She rises while it is still dark; she provides food for her family..."
~ Proverbs 31:15

Those of you that know me well know that up until recently I have not been a "morning person". I was the kind of girl that read Proverbs 31, and thought, "Yeah, all that stuff is great, except for verse 15." However, a few weeks ago I was challenged by a blog I read that encouraged women to take a week and make yourself get up 30 minutes earlier. I was not prepared for what was going to happen.
Like the blog suggested I made myself turn off the TV an hour earlier the evening before the much-anticipated event. I found that once I did that, I suddenly felt so ready to head off to sleepy land. When the alarm clock went off, I pushed myself out into the darkness and made sure that once I got the bedroom door closed (I didn't want to wake up dear hubby at that odd hour!) I turned on the brightest light in my living room. Well, that was the day that history was made in my household. I can't tell you how hard it was to actually do, but let me tell you, the rewards are way worth it! It is seriously odd how an extra 30 minutes can add a seemingly large amount of time to your day. I get so so much more done now, and I am starting to think about getting up another 30 minutes earlier than before!
If you are crazy enough to try this, here are my suggestions. Of course, do what works for you and your family (I'm not a mom yet, so I know that moms may need to tweak my suggestions to fit their situation).
1. Start your bedtime routine an hour earlier. I used to start winding down around 10 pm, which would put me going to sleep around 10:30 or 11 pm. Now, I make sure that TV (or music or computer) is in the OFF position by 9 pm, which forces me to actually get off to sleep by 9:30 or 10 pm.
2. When alarm clock sounds, DO NOT push snooze. This will not help you get up earlier, but when you actuallly do get up you are certain to be in a bad mood. Take this one SERIOUSLY.
3. First things first. Take time to read your Bible and pray first. The amount of time you spend on this is up to you, but you won't believe how clear your mind is in the early morning. I get so much more out of my quiet time when I have it early in the morning rather than at lunchtime or at night. I like to snuggle up on my couch with a mug of hot tea (or coffee if you prefer) and have intimate time with my Heavenly Abba. Also, added bonus for you that are married or have children, this really gives you great time to feel like you are really "alone" with Him. If you are not a believer, and you still would like to get the most benefit from your early morning, I suggest taking time to journal your thoughts and just sit. I think there is definitely not enough time that we actually spend with our media off in this day and age. You won't believe how intelligent you actually can be when you've had a good night's sleep.
4. Exercise. I personally like to walk/jog around my neighborhood, even if it is only once around the block. Do whatever you like to do! This also can be a continuation of number 3, as I like to pray for my community as I walk around.
5. Plan your day. If you work outside the home like me, this is fairly simple, but also consider mealtimes. What are you going to do for lunch? Maybe you should pack something (and save about $10). What about dinner? I like to prepare (or at least plan the meal) one thing that I otherwise would have had to make when I get home from work.
There are many more things that you can do with your time in the morning. I'm still a rookie at this, but I absolutely love it. If you are daring and you want to try this, let me know how it goes! Or if you already do this, let me know if you have any advice about time management and rising early.

Here is an old poem that I heard almost every week as a little girl. I found it again on the Internet, and I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me.

"I met God in the morning"
I met God in the morning when the day was at its best,
And His Presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O'er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them,
Brought to me a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With the presence left behind.
So, I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day!
~ Ralph Cushman


Aharon said...

May HaShem grant you the g-dly desires of your heart as you grow in understanding of His will.

G-d formed Man, but He built Woman.
She is the framework of the home in which he lives, the ground on which he builds, his walls and windows upon the world and the roof that stands over his head.
She is the crown that sets him to rule over his world. Without woman, there is no man. Tzvi Freeman

Your husband is a very blessed man and the couple from whom you descended must truly be empowered with Chochmah, Binah and Da'at.

OYYYYYYYYY.....not those world changing, frog-multiplying, style challenged CHABADNIKS!!!!

crissie said...

I love you and I'm excited about your blog. From experience, this morning thing is so true! I'll have to try to work on it a little more, though! Can't wait to read the rest of your blogs!

crissie said...

O and about any good hints? I have none! I'm a novice blogger and I'm really just doing it for fun and to get some things off my chest... and I'm so excited that I get to keep in touch with you a little more through this, also!