In the morning?!?! When I rise give me Jesus, the actual morning?! Like the AM?
Once upon a time I was a sleeper-inner. I loved snuggling in my bed, especially when it was chilly in the house. I would hear the alarm go off and instantly reach over to slap it quiet. I’d turn over, pull the covers up to my earlobes and close my eyes again. Only to do it all again 7 minutes later. I’d even build in time in my wake up routine to do that over and over until I HAD to get up. Before I had children, this was my pre-work routine. I was the girl who had 12 alarms before I actually HAD to get up. I would FINALLY get out of bed, already thinking of the 15 things I had to do before I even got to work, anxious before I even left the house. I would pray on my way to work & listen to some jams on Christian radio, and think I did something good for myself.
As a mom, that changed dramatically. I quit my “day job” and became the highly revered “STAY AT HOME MOM.” I spent the first 3.5 years of my #momlife career being woken up by the whine of the little wildlings, or the crawl into bed to watch Elmo… again. I would pull the covers up to my earlobes and try to sneak in a few more minutes of sleep just to be sat on 15 minutes later… groggily roll out of bed and shuffle down stairs to make a pot of coffee. I would sneak my “quiet time” into their nap times, and most of the time I would say little prayers through the day. To be perfectly honest, most of them sounded a lot like this, “Jesus, just let me make it ‘til their bedtime” haha. Only to do it again the next day.
As I became a parent, my relationship with Christ changed. I found myself further, yet closer, if that makes any sense. Closer in the regard that I now understood the concept of “God the Father” that I never could understand before. But further in my daily walk. I was grasping for intimacy with Jesus. But what I didn’t understand was that it was the enemy keeping me from that, because he knew if I could tap into that, I’d be unstoppable with Christ. A dear friend of mine introduced me to the concept of sacrifice. That to sacrifice doesn’t mean fitting it into the crevices; it means to give something up in exchange for a future reward. As Christ followers we are called to sacrifice, Mark 8:34, that we may deny ourselves. That’s not a “fit it in the crevices” kinda command. 2 Corinthians 8:5, as well. These aren’t “nap time devotional” kinda things. Now please friends, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you’re not doing the best you can in the season of life you’ve found yourself. What I am saying is that in order to fill that intimate void that you feel, you’ve got to give more of yourself than you’re giving. I found that in waking up an hour before my family (and all the Mama’s said OHHH HECK NOOO). I know all the “old ladies” tell you that, but my friends, they speak the truth. We aren’t getting any more intimate without a sacrifice. And we certainly aren’t getting anywhere by allowing others (our dear sweet angel children, our devoted husband, a boss or even our to-do lists) to have first dibs on our day. Doesn’t the Lord deserve your first fruits? Doesn’t He, the God that saved us from an eternity in hell, deserve to call first dibs on our day? We are called to emulate Jesus, right? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but Mark 1:35 tells us that, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” And again, in Mark 6:31-32, it says, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” If HE, the SON OF GOD, didn’t even have a moment to eat (familiar story right?!), woke up before dawn to give God his first dibs, why can’t we? So, begrudgingly I became a “first fruits” girl. Mel Robbins helped a lot. Her 5 second rule is MONEY! I hit the snooze 5 less times and got up 30 mins before, then the next month I hit the snooze 10 less times and I was at an hour early. It took a bit, but I arrived…. Now what? LOL So, I shuffled downstairs, poured a cup of coffee and sat in the chair in my office, to do what? Reading made me fall back asleep, praying was one step closer to sleep with my eyes closed. That’s when I was introduced to the SAVERS concept by Hal Elrod. I run an accountability group with some of the most #girlboss babes I’ve ever known where we keep each other accountable to our goal of being up at minimum an hour before our families. Before anyone has any kind of demand on our time, I give that to God.
I won’t go into what all lays beneath the surface of SAVERS, you can just read the book (or better yet listen to the Audible version). But SAVERS is an acronym for Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. It gave me something to DO with my time other than fall back asleep in my chair.
So, I was silent (prayed & listened to the Holy Spirit), I steeped myself in affirmation (of who I was in Christ, the promises of God), I visualized how I would greet my children, how I would treat my clients, how I would respond to the Spirit, I exercised (if you’ve followed me for any length of time you know what I do), I read (all kinds of things, not all are found at Lifeway haha) and I scribe (sometimes that’s an encouraging note, sometimes it’s gratitude in my journal) ---- not in that order most days. I can’t get myself to the point of silence first thing, and I like to end my morning process with exercise. I filled that time with God and guess what… ta-da! There was the intimacy I was longing for. It was there in obedience. It was there in sacrifice. I wanted to share this in encouragement. That even if your morning looks more like mine used to, there is HOPE. Even David had to pray for consistency, Psalm 119: 33. I’m here to help you, too. I’d love to hold you accountable, cuz you know… it’s kinda my thing!