When I had to get up early each day for a commute into the office my perspective on the day and work ahead often began on the wrong foot. I only extended "Good morning" (isn't that an oxymoron?) to my coworkers if spoken to first. Usually I would barricade myself in my office (it was in everyone's best interest) until I was forced to interact with others at 9:45 for staff prayer time. After which I was able to make conversation and interact with other human beings like a normal person.
At the end of August I left my job of several years to begin pursuing the life of my dreams. As I started out my new routine went pretty well but then a personal health issue wreaked havoc on my life and left much of the rest of 2013 a crap shoot. Some days were good. Most days were excruciating either physically or emotionally.
I came into the new year with hope and a real desire to get back on track toward pursuing my dreams. At the time I had a loose schedule-like thing that quickly proved to not be ineffective. So for the past several weeks I've been doing lots of researching and tweaking and have finally found a morning routine that helps me to be maximize my time and steward it in a way that honors God.
A Morning Routine for the Non-Morning Person:
- Wake with your body clock. One of the luxuries of this season of life is being able to wake up when my body is ready. What I have known for a long time is that my body will usually wake up between 9:00 and 9:30 regardless of whether I go to bed at 10:00 PM (the norm) or 2:00 AM (some Saturdays). I do set an alarm for 9:30 just in case. Because I get up later than most this also means I work later (sometimes 7:00 PM) and at other times including nights and weekends.
- Internet free time. After I start coffee (which is a breeze if you've prepped the night before) I set a timer for 25 minutes of internet free time. Why? Two reasons: one is that because I'm not a morning person I'm slow to wake up. The second is because I know if not kept in check I have a propensity toward internet/social media addiction. Those first 25 minutes allow me to wake up slowly and get any need for mindless entertainment or other necessary tasks out of my system. I usually read my favorite blogs, check social media for notifications (not scrolling), and check my email. In all honesty 25 minutes is more than enough time to do all of that and sometimes I have time left over.
- Prepare breakfast. usually this is some type of oatmeal or egg based dish. Sometimes if I've made a healthy muffin or breakfast cookie recipe I pair that with fruit and am in my own weird version of breakfast heaven (muffins & coffee are my favorite.)
- Have time with God while you eat. This is the most important part for me. I'm feeding both my body and my soul. I usually write three gifts in my gratitude journal (if practicing gratitude is new to you check out 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp). Then I read my Bible along with selections from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants. This book was one of the best gifts I've ever received. Having not grown up in a liturgical setting, following the church calendar adds an undercurrent of depth to my relationship with God and the various experiential ways of interacting with the Scripture help me be more aware of God's presence in my daily life.
- Light a candle. Not necessarily the type that fills your home with fragrance but the type that focuses on filling your home with light. I'm trying to make all of my life an altar. Having the lit candle is a visual reminder to me that my time is not my own and that all of my life is worship.
(If you are a morning person and are still trying to figure out the best way to maximize your mornings my friend Renia has a great schedule for the morning person.)
I'd love to hear how you honor God with your time in the mornings. What are your struggles and what is working for you? Let me know in the comments below.