Waking up FOR Your Kids and not TO Them

#hellomornings

Every morning I wake up at 6:30. No one else is up. I grab my phone, sometimes my computer and head straight for my closet. It’s not pretty. Seriously. Not. Pretty. But it’s a decent sized space and houses a little canvas box full of books, a Bible, journals and a mechanical pencil or two (and sometimes some marbles and a few stuffed animals, too).

early morning prayer time
Lately, I’ve been opening up my phone to do a reading plan on the YouVersion app. I read the devotional section and the accompanying Scripture. Then I usually write a note about it, or just copy down the verse in my journal. (Once I heard a story about a Chinese family who copied scripture onto the inside of clothing to send to incarcerated Christians. I have never forgotten that and feel like writing Scripture down wherever I can could be a gift to someone one day. Weird thought, I know.)

Then I usually update Instagram or Facebook or Twitter with the verse I’m reading, or even a picture of what I just wrote in my journal. So other people can copy me? To show off how holy I am? Nope. It’s because there are hundreds of other women getting up early in the morning to do the same thing. We’re keeping each other accountable through these social media platforms.

scripture
Having this extra little push to update online might seem shallow or nonspiritual. But it’s the push that’s made me desire spending time with God. It’s the little nudge that has helped me enjoy a full hour of alone time--with my Bible, with my thoughts, with my journal, with the King of Kings.

It’s not always a time of crying and digging up treasure from God’s Word. Sometimes it’s just a simple cup of cold water to start my day. Other times it’s just the act of being awake before my kids.

If I had my way, I’d wake up when I wake up. I’d lay in the bed until I felt ready to roll out of the bed. I’d stumble into the kitchen and slowly make breakfast, sit on the couch with a book and computer until my eyes were awake enough to get into the shower. But I’m pretty sure I won’t get to do that until my kids are teenagers. Or maybe till they move out.

And when I try to do that now, with my 3 and 6 year old, I am the one that ends up having a bad attitude–even before I get out of bed. Because the kids have been up for more than an hour running around my room, making messes in the living room, asking me to get up to make breakfast, whining and complaining while they play unsupervised in the early morning.

When I first started getting up in the morning, I didn’t even spend time with my Bible. I’d head out the door and walk around my neighborhood listening to an audiobook. Then I’d jump in the shower and usually be dressed before my kids woke up. And it felt like a miracle! I was awake enough to speak with love and self-control to them. I sometimes had breakfast cooking before they were all the way awake. I wasn’t aggravated because their noses were pressed to the shower while I was inside. I had an hour of complete silence while I did something I wanted to do!

Waking up early makes me a better mom. I get alone time, I get personal time and I get God-time. It’s one of the best choices I’ve made as an adult. Waking up FOR my kids and not TO them.

If any of this seems like something you need–your household needs, I encourage you to download Inspired to Action’s free ebook, Maximize Your Mornings. It will lead you through a step-by-step plan to waking up–and give you encouragement to WANT to do it. It might change your life, it did for me.

HelloMornings
The fall Maximize Your Mornings Challenge (also called #hellomornings) begins August 20th. This is where that online accountability comes in. You can sign up and join a Hello Mornings group and then check in with them every day–on Facebook or Twitter. You can form a group with girls from your church, people you know online, or do what I do–just jump in a group and make new friends! The registration for the Maximize Your Morning Challenge begins today and I’d love for you to join me!

If you wake up early before your kids (especially if it’s not your natural bent) will you leave a comment below and tell us how it benefits you? If you’re a part of #hellomornings, chime in, too! I’d love to see all your faces bright and early this fall!

bible craft

Linked to The Better Mom and Women Living Well

alarm clock photo source: beth19; all other photos via my instagram

Comments

  1. I love this post! I especially love that you started simply – in a way that made it easy for you to get in the habit. So excited to walk this journey with you!

  2. {sigh} I have been feeling the conviction of the Lord the last week regarding this very issue.

    He has spoken so clearly to me that I need to rise before everyone and seek Him out first–allowing my children to awaken to a mom devoted to time with Jesus, not a cranky, irritated mom reacting to them.

    All that to say, thank you. This was for me, if no one else.

    • Oh, Nicole! It will make such a big difference–you’ll actually enjoy it later, I promise! ;)

      And since the #hellomornings challenge doesn’t officially start till August, you have almost a month to read the Maximize Your Mornings ebook, make a plan and gear yourself up!

      I’ll be looking for you on twitter! :)

      a

  3. Yay! I am continuing with HM this session as an AC captain! I use the you version bible app too! Love it! Then I usually write in my prayer journal and share a verse if I feel led to. I figure, if I feel led to share it, maybe it’s because God wants someone else to hear it. :)

  4. SleepyKnitter says:

    actually, I’m always the last one to wake up! Horrible but true. So I followed your link and joined a Hello Mornings group. I don’t know if accountability will be enough to help me do this, but I’m willing to try! Thank you for this post.

  5. Wow, what a blessing! My husband is a late-night man, so it’s hard sometimes to get up before the kids, but it’s always been a good thing.

    Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. oops…forgot to put my blog:

    http://www.TheCourageousJourney.com

    Lisa

  7. This is a really great post, thank you! I have a terrible time getting up early, I was used to my daughter who sleeps in very late almost every morning but my son gets up early so I need to get into this habit.

  8. I’m not a mom yet, but I totally agree with this mentality. It has been my lifestyle for the past few years, and being the first one up (whether it’s just me and my husband or me and a room full of teenagers–we are youth leaders) starts my day with so much peace.

    Also, I was wondering if you had any tips for selecting a Kids Christmas Musical for a small church production. We haven’t had one in years, and I’m thinking of taking the bull by the horns. However, I’m having trouble finding curriculum on CBD or Amazon. It seems only a few are available, and even fewer have a listening sample. Any advice?

  9. This tidbit of love/challenge/encouragement has made a world of difference in my family, when I was challenged by Inspired to Action blog posts! Yes, most days, I still want to just lay there in bed (especially since it is winter here and no heat in the homes), but I’ve learned that once I’m up, I can’t wait to dig in – first to my personal devotions (reading through a book of the Bible), prayer time, and then my online Bible studies (Good Morning Girls Prov 31 – 2 study groups and now this one of Hello Mornings next month.

    I personally will have to say, that I wake up at 6 and I almost always get 2 hours in before my children get up, but I know that I’m going to have to “turn my clock” back another 15-30 minutes so I can get what I need to done with my other commitments/challenges!

    For those who like to hit snooze and ignore your alarm >> I have found that if I set 2 (or sometimes 3) alarms on my cell phone for 3-5 min incitements, I can’t just hit snooze and get away with more sleep! :)

    Worth it? Oh YEAH! I challenge you: WAKE UP FOR YOUR KIDS…NOT TOO THEM (as I continue to grow in this, I’ve slept in on a couple of Saturdays, and I have to say..it really is NOT worth it in the end once you have enjoyed peace and quiet! :)

    • Wow, Trisha! Thank you for your encouraging words–I was *just* thinking I might need to move my clock back a little. Asa sometimes “interrupts” me during my quiet time and it makes it a little more stressful, for sure.

      Love the cell phone tip!
      a

  10. Ok, so here’s my thing (and I apologize in advance for being debbie downer) – I do this already. I wake up early – about 30 mins when school’s in session and about an hour (or more) in the summer, but then I actually find myself getting MORE frustrated. B/c I’ll be in the middle of whatever it is I woke up for & someone either wakes up early or my thing takes too long, or whatever. I hear all of you talk about how wonderful it is but I just haven’t seemed to turn the corner yet (and it’s been a year). So I tend to do better in the evening – staying up late for “my time”. So – any tips when the morning isn’t working? Or any #helloevening groups;)

    • Well, I’m with you Mandi. I’ve tried and tried and tried every which way to do this w/little success. I have to wake up at 5 during the school year and I am SHOT the rest of the day. I would have to go to bed at 9 p.m. to get 8 hours of sleep. Ain’t happenin’ when you have a house full of kids. So, I do what you do and have my time at night, getting up w/the kids. I’ve prayed, and begged God to help me be a better morning person, but I’m convinced not all of us are wired that way. I’ve stopped the fight and come to grips with the fact that I’m a night owl. God can move at night too. : )

      • Ha, Sandy! You’re right–God can and does move at any time! And I just mentioned this to Mandi, too–getting up early doesn’t work for me AT ALL if I don’t go to bed early. That’s the first part of getting up early actually. :)

        I’ve done it incrementally to help–just 5 or 10 minutes early so I can get up 5 or 10 minutes early. Baby steps!!

        Thanks for your thoughts, Sandy!

        a

    • Ha! A #helloevenings group!

      Maybe getting up early isn’t for everyone–but as a night owl myself, I’m surprised and excited about how much I enjoy being up before the kids.

      Two things for me that help it work: 1)Going to bed early. If I go to bed at 11, I’m a zombie in the morning. I have to be in bed at a decent hour. 2)I don’t expect much in the morning–if I get just ONE thing done for myself, I feel good. I got to read my Bible for 12 minutes? Got a shower? Put a load of laundry in? Even ONE thing done puts me in a good mood. Ha!

      Also, have you read Kat’s ebook? It really encouraged me and inspired me to “maximize my morning”. I highly recommend it.

      Let me know if you sign up, we can say good morning online! :)

      a

  11. Marlleen says:

    It’s amazing that your wrote this because for the past few weeks I’ve been waking up at 6am, about an hour before my son is up and I was so annoyed! I stayed in bed trying to go back to sleep, sometimes successful, mostly not but then getting out of bed cranky and frustrated. Just the past couple of days I started to wonder, is God trying to tell me something? Should I be getting up and taking action? Now I know what that something is, thanks to this post and to Power of a Praying Parent, which I started reading today. So thank you, thank you so much! You are truly a blessing :)

    • Yay, Marlleen! Check out Kat’s ebook and sign up for the challenge! I think you’ll really enjoy getting up–especially since you already up! (That exact same thing has happened to me–in fact, this morning I was up at 6 and I thought, I should just get up…and I should have b/c I’m typing this in my closet and Asa is over my shoulder asking for milk!)

      (Don’t you love Power of a Praying Parent?!!!)

      a

  12. These thoughts come at a good time. Last week we were on vacation and I was so bummed that I didn’t get much “me” time like I had hoped. I got up early the last morning and went to the beach to look for sea glass and shells like I had wanted to do all week. I found some awesome things and the Lord spoke to my heart as if to say, “It pays off to get up early. Look at the treasures you found.” I need the same in my spiritual life. I just need to get up early or I miss the treasure he has waiting for me. I appreciate your post and some ideas to make it more do-able in the coming days. Thanks!

    • Becky: what a GORGEOUS picture! It’s a true parallel (metaphor? simile?), too. I’m going to remember that on those days I’d rather stay in my warm bed.

      THANK YOU!
      a

  13. I have grand thoughts about getting up before the girls & I never do. :( The girls always get up before me, then I lay around, wake up, read my bible, then get downstairs, after they’ve had their cereal or whatever. I think I’m going to look at the links you’ve posted & see what happens. :)

    • Well, at least you have some alone time! :)

      It’s just helped me so much! And I think there’s something to letting my kids see and know that I have my quiet time w/God—something for them to copy and also to respect.

      Love you, Amy!
      a

  14. Ugh… Oh how I needed that as I’m trying to gather everything together to get back on schedule by next Monday. Thank you for the links, checking out now…

  15. I have started doing this to be more effective & when I get to read my bible and pray that morning it makes a huge difference in my day. The snafu is that lately my son has stated waking up shortly after I do. I try to be really quiet. It seems like he can sense when I awake. Then the demands start, i want breakfast, play with me. At this rate, I will have to wake up a 3 a.m. to get a jump on him. But then i won’t get enough sleep.
    Trying to find balance on this one. That hour of solitude is so important.

  16. OH, Hello Mornings has truly helped me get up,get in the word and be ready…..I’m so thankful for your leadership in a previous group….and the many women who are stepping up to encourage!

  17. Maraline says:

    Waking up before my kids has always put me in such a better mood and definitely gives me that time for me. Most often it is the only “me” time I find during the day. I found this “happy time” years ago when we moved to a foreign country and where staying in a B&B while waiting on military quarters. Hubby had to leave for work before breakfast was served; our two sons (at the time) were very young and still sleeping and dealing with jetlag. I would have the small dining room to myself and sat in the baywindow that looked out to the Firth of Clyde and also had a view of the mountains. Sitting there with a cup of tea and seeing the beauty and the serene feeling of all the glorious gifts God has given to us in the world always put me in such a wonderful mood. Many years later, I still enjoy that feeling with early morning tea and finding a view that is inspiring to me. The best time of day in my opinion :)

    • How awesome! I love this story. And what a great reminder for the days you want to stay curled in the bed–remembering how beneficial it actually is. Thank you for commenting! :)

      a

  18. Elizabeth says:

    This is what I needed to “hear”! And the only reason I’m reading this at 7:15 in the morning is because THIS morning I chose to stop my laziness cycle and got up at 6:30 to spend time in God’s Word, and to stay awake before my 2-year old son wakes up!
    Before having a child, I would have sworn to you that I would be the mother who wakes up an hour or two before her child to start my morning before him…..and then somehow it didn’t work out that way. Each morning that my son has come into my room to pat me while telling me to wake up has been a morning in which I wake up telling myself that I failed again, and still hadn’t begun to reach the standards of my own Mother. I don’t EVER remember my Mom in bed in the morning. I usually woke up to the flip flop sound of her fuzzy slippers slapping down the hallway towards our bedrooms. She would pull open our window blinds and start singing a wake-up song! And all while I was sleeping peacefully in my bed as a child, my Mother would be up every morning making coffee for my father and herself, making his lunch each weekday morning, reading her bible, etc. I loved listening to my Mom singing worship songs as she worked around the house in the mornings before any of us were up. It was the way I want my son’s childhood to be, and I’ve been so sick of this laziness rut that I’ve been stuck in.
    After reading this blog, I have newfound hope and inspiration that my mornings will soon be more productive, and better spent in doing the things my Lord has called me to do as a wife and mother.
    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth! I love this story of your mom! I know exactly how you feel about being stuck in laziness, too. But don’t be discouraged or feel like a failure. Just take some baby steps and see what happens. You’ll enjoy it (after awhile), I think! ;)

      a

  19. Thank you for this encouragement this morning. I require minimal sleep compared to what everyone thinks one needs (5/6 hours is great)and love my mornings. That being said, we should just simply expect interruptions along the way (especially with our children), yet what better way to show grace in action than embracing the child who wakes during our “me” time, which isn’t exactly suppose to be about ‘me’ at all, but Christ alone. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Sheri

  20. Lindsay R says:

    This is exactly what I needed! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Nancy M says:

    I wish I had known to do this when my own four daughters were young, but I CAN do this for my grandchildren when I am at their home taking care of them in their mom’s absence–and I LOVE it! They DO seem happier, more ready for the day and whatever it brings! NO hurrying or yelling or grumpiness as I drop them at school, but happy faces and cheerfulness to one another!

    • That’s it–when I get up early, it makes me NOT hurry. And hurrying always messes stuff up in our house. Thank you for your comment!

      a

  22. Amanda Groves :) says:

    Thanks for this post!! I love this idea! I am a recovering college night owl, slowly on a 6 year journey of turning myself, with God’s amazing help!, into a cheerful morning person!! I am totally going to join or start a group! Mommys awake in the morning UNITE!!
    I can smell the coffee brewing….!! My kids are going to think I am a rock star!!

  23. Your morning sounds like mine! Use the same app, Tweet and Facebook my verse. Sometimes I email it to myself at work so everytime I get in my emsil I see it. I love my morning time. No husbsnd, kids, or TV. Just me, the cat, and a bible!

  24. It really is so important, especially when you’re a mom of tots. My boys are all either teens or budding adults, so I can have my devotional time when I want. But I still get up early and do it before I start my day. It really sets the tone and helps to focus my heart on Christ. Thanks for sharing about the free e-book, Amanda. I’ll have to check it out!

  25. I love this post! It is exactly what I need to start doing so I can be a better mom to my three kids and a better wife to my husband! Thank you! I just need to get to bed earlier :)

  26. Oh! This has come at the perfect time for me! I signed up! :)

  27. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have felt the need to get up before my family for quite some time but every time I do I feel defeated, like something goes awry. I love the idea of having accountability and really sticking to this. Thanks so much!

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