In the Morning

WYWN - Morning

Every time I post about my morning routine, I get two types of follow-up emails. The first kind asks how I do my devotions and how I stay on track with them. The second seems to be more along the lines of, “that sounds great, but I could never do it!” I thought maybe it was time to do a post about my morning time.

If you’re thinking about starting an early morning devotion time, it’s good to remember why you’re doing it. Real talk– I’m not winning any awards by getting out of bed at 5:30am. But I am spending time with my Creator, my Father, my Savior. I have seen with straight up trial and error that when I give the day to the Lord by spending time in the Word and in prayer, I am better equipped for what the day holds. I can feel God near me, bringing me peace and comfort, and I believe that He deserves my time and energy.

But it’s still hard.

+ The first key to making this work is get everything you need in one spot. For me, every night I make a stack of my Bible, a good journal, my favorite pen, and any other spiritual books I’m reading. Even if they get scattered throughout the day, I remake that stack every night before I go to sleep. It’s all about preparation!

+ When it comes to what you should read out of your Bible, it is entirely up to you. I’ve followed Bible in a year reading plans, online plans that covered a topic or a few verses each day, and right now I’m just old fashioned reading one chapter of the New Testament each day (I’m halfway through Acts). The key is to find a plan that fits your time but also gives you enough teaching. It is also nice to have a Bible translation that fits you. For my personal Bible reading time, I read from the NLT. At church I usually read along in the ESV. There are many great options to try out. I always have my journal open while I read and I jot down anything interesting, what I learn about God’s character, questions, quotes… there’s no right or wrong thing to write down during journal time.

+ Once I’m done reading, I start journaling my prayers. Real talk– if I just sit down to pray, it takes about ten seconds before I’m making a mental grocery list or thinking about Instagram or something silly. My prayers actually make sense when I write them down and follow a rhythm. Here’s my pattern:

  • Declare God’s goodness, holiness, righteous. I usually open up the Psalms and write some declarative truths about God. {I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of joy}
  • Confession. God wants us to come to Him to be made whole. I confess all the stuff that keeps my heart from being wholly His.
  • Prayer for others. I pray over Tovi. I pray over my kids. I pray over my friends and the hurting parts of the world.
  • Prayer for myself. I stand on the promise that God hears my prayers. I stand on the promise that what God wills for my life is for my joy and His glory.

+ And then! If I’m lucky and by some crazy miracle the kids are still sleeping, I’ll read a book on Christian spirituality or Christian living (two recs: So Long, Insecurity and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality).

That’s it. My morning routine. If a morning devotional time is something you’re hungry for, I hope this will give you some inspiration or encouragement. Once I learned how to get up early and how to best structure my devotional time, I have found so much joy and freedom in my relationship with the Lord. And that’s my hope for you– not that getting up early would be a drag, but that you would learn to look forward to that sweet, sweet time with your Father.

Have you ever switched up your devotional time? What worked for you?