Is anyone else feeling rushed in the morning? Like there’s not enough time to get it all done before the day even really starts? No matter how early that alarm clock goes off it should have been earlier? Does chaos reign supreme as you hustle to start your day? Do you get out the door feeling off balance, already behind schedule and discouraged?
People who know me won’t be surprised that my morning routine was disciplined: workout; shower; pets tended; kids fed, situated and out the door; and last but not least, getting out the door myself. Hectic? Yes. Effective? Maybe. I began to find that more often than not, when others were falling behind, my motivational tone of encouragement was yelling. I was anxious worrying about what was being missed or forgotten. I began to dread mornings. No matter how quickly I tried to accomplish my list, or how many corners I cut, it seemed like there were roadblocks turning up at every opportunity. Something seemed determined to derail my success and steal my joy. I LOVE being a mom but I discovered that I didn’t like the mom I’d become. My behavior didn’t reflect my values and beliefs of what love truly is….selfless, sacrificial, gracious, forgiving. This well crafted disciplined plan of mine, good though it was, needed to be re-evaluated.
While surveying my friends for better options, one shared that she started her days with 30 minutes of seclusion, unplugged from everyone and everything. My first impression? “She’s crazy! I can’t do that. It would never work!” Then I remembered that a change needed to be made for myself and those around me. What did I have to lose?
So, I set that alarm clock 15 minutes earlier to give myself that uninterrupted time. Baby steps. I started reading a brief devotional followed by a quiet time in prayer. I admit, at first it was difficult. It was hard to keep focused without the challenges of the upcoming day creeping in. It was awkward. I felt like I was doing it wrong. I guiltily felt like 15 minutes wasn’t long enough. I remained committed and continued to fight for that precious time. As this practice became more consistent, God honored that time I set aside to fellowship with Him. I saw a shift (for the better) in my reaction to people and situations. Unconsciously, I was applying what I was learning. I was starting my day reinforcing what was important to me. What once seemed impossible is something I now eagerly look forward to each morning. Now it would be difficult for me to imagine starting my day any other way.
Is every morning now perfect? Nope. But I’m making progress. Is your morning routine working for you? If so, carry on and disregard. Do you feel like it’s lacking? Missing something? Consider a change. Why not try a quiet time of…….yoga, journaling, exercise, meditation? Take the challenge. You will be better for it. Your day will be better for it and the people you encounter will be appreciative.
For you night owls reading this, a quiet time before bed will help you de stress and rest better. The time of day isn’t as important as the practice itself. It will end the day on a good note and give you a jumpstart on the next.
– Coach Esther Stein