“The first hour is the rudder of the day — The Golden Hour”
Henry Ward Beecher
How do you begin your mornings?
When I worked full-time as a teacher, my weekday mornings began very early. Usually around 5:30 am. I was never one to be able to roll out of bed, jump right into the shower, throw on clothes and make-up, and then head out the door in under 30 minutes. For me, I've always needed for my mornings to be quiet and slowly paced.
Since having children, I've found myself allowing them to be my alarm clock every day. Even though there's nothing inherently wrong with that, over the past few weeks I've decided to make an adjustment in my morning routine. Instead of trying to catch every single minute of sleep that I can before the children wake up, I've discovered that it's much more beneficial for me to have a set time to get up every day. By getting up intentionally at 6:30 am for the past two weeks, here's what I've realized:
* It allows me to wake up slowly, not abruptly. Awaking to a child crying or yelling "ma-ma" over the monitor is not very peaceful. And I have to admit, when I'm very tired, it certainly doesn't put an instant smile on my face. I currently have a soft, pleasant alarm tone that sounds on my phone. Yes, I give myself permission to press snooze a few times, too.
* I get alone time, which may or may not happen later in the day. If I wait until naps or another opportunity later in the day to have "me" time, more times than not, something else comes up and it doesn't happen. Getting up before everyone else guarantees time for me to be alone. Sometimes it does get cut a bit short if one of the children wakes earlier than expected. But even 15 minutes alone can be golden to a worn out mother like myself.
* That alone time provides me the opportunity to fill my mind with truth. I believe it's so important to fill our minds with positive things throughout every day. But especially so in the mornings. Some things I've chosen to do to clean and re-frame my thinking first thing are: pray, read God's Word, read other encouraging books/blogs, and listen to uplifting music. I really like how Dan Miller put it in a recent blog post titled, "I've Got a Dirty Mind:"
"I’m very protective of how I start each morning. I know I’m planting the seeds for what the day will hold..."Knowing that my entire day is affected by how I began it sure does change my perspective on early mornings. It has already made a huge difference and I look forward to continuing and protecting this new routine.