I know last week I was all "Oh, I'm going to do Gentle Mondays" blah blah blah. Well, Gentle Mondays are out and Motivate Me Mondays are totally in. I'll still be gentle, but I'll also be motivating, AND I'll be doing it with a jack ton of other people over at Sarah Mae's blog! I know!
So, just to let you all know what Motivate Me Mondays are all about, here's the scoop. I'm in a super exclusive (except totally not, because they let me in and we all know I am way too goobish to be exclusive) club called The 5AM Girls. Each morning we wake up at 5AM (or in my case 6AM) and we meet with God. We have our time with Him before the rest of the house wakes up and we give the first fruits of our time to Him. We have an email exchange going each morning when we are finished and we tell each other what we read, if we slept in, what we prayed about, and how God is using this freakishly early time to bless us. I LOVE these girls! I'd been waking up on my own for a week or two, and then I heard Sarah Mae was starting this group and I knew it was a perfect way to keep me going.
Do any of you remember some time ago I was planning on waking up at 6AM for a whole month and I pretty much never did it because I was a weenie? Not anymore, friends. God has given me accountability and joy in the waking hours. And it's been AWESOME. I've been writing out my prayers (because it helps me stay focused) and reading my Bible, and reading short bits from other devotional books and sweet fancy it's made a difference in how my day goes.
And so, for my first Motivate Me Monday, I will be sharing with you what I've learned this week and some helpful hints should you want to join us (for the record - you don't have to join us, nor do you have to wake up at 5AM - it's the spirit of rising before your family to meet with our God, not the literal hour you do it).
1. What God Has Taught My Stubborn Self (this will be a weekly feature :) ) This week it seems like no matter what I read about God impressed upon me how important starting my day with Him was. If I got up right away, I wasn't rushed and I really got to pray my heart out over my family and friends, and then I had time to be quiet and listen. I was able to work through my prayers and not toss up a popcorn prayer. But when I pushed the snooze button, even once, I moved slower, the kids woke up earlier and wanted to be with me (which, while it was heartbreakingly cute when Little David sat beside me to read "my Jesus Bible", it was also distracting), and I had to cut my time much shorter.
And the rest of my day followed suit. When I got up and had my full time, I spent the rest of the day in prayer and worship. I still struggled with the usual things, but I was much more inclined to pray first and act second. When I cheated my time, I was more rushed and impatient and the day just seemed to drag. I know! It's like taking a power vitamin.
Anyways, it's been huge for me. I feel like I am personally maturing with God and it is nice to know that I am giving Him my time and attention before I give it to anyone else.
2. Tips, Tricks, and Doozer Sticks (random Fraggle Rock quote, also a regular feature): You all know that I like my sleep. So I won't say that this wasn't difficult at first. However, I will say that Sweet Mother it is worth every drop of lost sleep, and that is coming from a girl who's 4 year old and 2 1/2 year old still don't sleep through the night regularly.
In case you aren't sure where to begin, here's how I've been rolling:
Each night I set out my phone alarm for 6AM, sharp. It's very annoying. I put it right beside my head, so I can't sleep through it. As soon as it goes off, I get out of bed and I put on my cozy slippers and my cozy robe and I make my way to the kitchen. If I've been a total rock star (which I wasn't last night) then I have my coffee already brewing. If not, then I start the coffee and I pour myself a giant mug with some holiday Coffee Mate (currently brewing Peppermint Mocha - TASTY!). As I slowly wake up and enjoy the warmth, I light a tiny Yankee Candle and I take my candle and my mug into the living room. I sit down on the couch (with the candle on the coffee table and the mug on the end table) and I turn on our low lamp. Right under the end table is my Bible, my notebook and pen, and my computer. I settle down to praying and reading for as long as my kids will let me - usually 30 minutes to 45 minutes. I'm trying to train them to get up at 7AM, but I may just have to get up earlier. When I'm done, I check my 5AM Girl emails (from those that actually do wake up at 5AM) and I see what they read and then I reply with what I did.
And then, I either keep on checking blogs or I get up and do something for the kids, whatever need be.
See? It is a very gentle way to start the day (I knew I'd tie gentle in somehow). The tip is, I make it as enjoyable as possible. I have a yummy drink, I have a nice smelling and pretty looking candle. I've got my coziest clothes on and a warm blanket. I have a note book that is pretty and a spot on the couch that has everything within reach. It's not a hardship to wake up with God, it is a privilege! When else could I have all this time alone with just Him? When could I have such a wonderful time with just me and God?
Certainly not during the day - you know Tot, right? :)
Anyways, I hope I have in some way swayed you to spend the mornings with us as we spend them with God. Each week I'll be letting you know how God has used this time with me to get my selfish butt in spiritual shape, I know, you can hardly stand the wait, right?
Author's Note: Maybe I should have taken my own advice, because this morning I totally snoozed until 7AM and I just got done doing my quiet time with the kids swarming around :) Still glad to do it, but again, it's always better to do it early. But the kids slept late this morning and Dave asked me to stay in bed and snuggle. And the bible does say to obey our husbands! :)
For more Motivate Me Mondays, visit Sarah Mae at Like A Warm Cup Of Coffee