How I Jumpstart the Morning

Every morning, people wake up and embrace a morning routine to get their jumpstart on their vision of a good day. For some, this means putting on their running shoes and hitting the ground with the wind striking their face. For others, it means hearing the sound of a Keurig before anyone else in the house wakes up. And for others still, it might be a protein shake or a balanced breakfast that welcomes them each morning. But for me, I find my source of energy and inspiration in God’s Word.

Before my kids wake up, I lock myself in the master bathroom with my Bible and journaling notebook and begin by thanking God for something wonderful He’s done for me or given to me recently. Next, I praise Him for who He is. Then, I read one chapter of the Bible. I have a reading schedule that I follow, but I always get something out of it. It’s God guiding me through a life which always has detours and minor setbacks lurking in the corners. I do this, because I want to be prepared. God knows what lies ahead but I don’t. And if I pray to him and listen to His Word, I know I’ll be better prepared to handle it.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11

After reading a chapter, I write down a short version of what I feel God is trying to communicate to me, then I memorize a passage. Next, I pray for others: friends, family, bosses, acquaintances, neighbors, pastors, leaders. Anyone on my heart, really. Praying for others is so important.

And when I’m done with this routine, I feel refreshed and brand new. There are still days when I’m sad or troubled, and I get frustrated but I’m finding happiness everywhere because my perspective has changed. And I don’t dwell on problems like I used to, because I know it’s senseless. With God by my side, I have nothing to fear.

Mike Rother said “Humans have a tendency to want certainty, and even to artificially create it, based on beliefs, when there is none.  This is a point where we often get into trouble.  If we believe the way ahead is set and clear, then we tend to blindly carry out a preconceived implementation plan rather than being sensitive to, learning from, and dealing adequately with what arises along the way.  As a result, we do not reach the desired destination at all, despite our best intentions.”*

What he says rings so true about our society. When bills are paid, when the kids are fed, when the fear of illness or danger is not imminent, it’s easy to coast through life and be okay. Things seem stable, but the fact of the matter is that life is a very unsteady little thing indeed.

Even when you’re not dealing with a death in the family, the loss of a job, the heartbreak of a broken relationship, or anything equally important to families and individuals, you still have to deal with daily stresses such as how to deal with your boss or how to reply to a text or how to manage a schedule. We can’t always be in control, but if we could, that added security, would make us try even less to achieve something different than the status quo.

And that’s where we get in trouble. We stop trying. We see everything is fine and don’t want to “rock the boat” or “ruffle feathers”, but amazing things don’t happen to those that sit waiting for them, and transformation requires self-discipline and diligence.

I set out to become a different version of my life after my separation with my husband, because I finally realized that self-improvement is a never-ending process, and once you stop caring, you stop growing. I want to keep learning how to be the best version of myself so I can enjoy the best version of my life.

God wants us to live a full and happy life, and some people say they don’t believe in God because a kind God wouldn’t allow evil in this world. But evil exists because choices exist. God doesn’t force you to love Him just as He doesn’t force evil to haunt us. Satan works on his own, and often makes us his accomplice by preying on our weaknesses (sometimes things we didn’t even realize were weaknesses).

I seek a full life. I want to make sure that I’m maximizing my potential, and I can’t do that without tapping into my abilities and the things which have been barriers, and then finding the self-discipline to make the necessary changes in my life.

I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest. -John 10:10

And this is why I find that God is the best way to start all of the rest of the days of my life. I have been having quiet time with the Lord since January 26th of this year, and I haven’t missed a day since, nor do I plan to. Because my life has changed drastically, and I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this for so many years.

I encourage others to try it. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate routine with all the steps I take. Maybe even just saying a quick prayer or a quick thank you for something rather than checking Facebook or the weather or your bank account or your texts right when you wake up will amaze you.

*Mike Rother, 2009, Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness, and Superior Results, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill), p. 9.

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