Friday, November 19, 2010

Rising Early

I set about to write this post at eight o’clock in the morning. A time when, about two months ago, I would have most certainly still been in bed. For another two hours, I’m afraid.

You see, I’m not a morning person. At all. I hate mornings with a passion. I am and always have been a night owl. I wish I could just stay up all night, and sleep half the day away. But God didn’t create the world like that. He created Night and Day, and our bodies naturally fall into a rhythm where we sleep when it’s dark, and we are awake when it’s light. Which is why, even when I used to stay up all night, and sleep half the day away  and still get the same amount of sleep that I would have had I gone to bed earlier,  I was dead tired. When we fight the natural order of things, and try to change our internal clocks, it doesn’t really work out so smoothly.

Not only was I dead tired, but I felt like I was getting nothing done in my home. By the time I woke up, I only had two hours until Mike would be home for lunch. Two hours isn’t very long. It was just long enough for me to really get going for the day, and when my husband would walk in the door on his lunch break, I had gotten absolutely nothing accomplished. I was starting to feel really guilty, and it was all starting to take a huge toll on me. I was getting really stressed out, and feeling very overwhelmed. I don’t have a lot of things that I have to do. In reality, my life isn’t that busy. But I felt like I was drowning. I could not keep up.

So, I started to try to wake up earlier. Yeah, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t make myself get out of bed. It was ridiculous, and I was getting more frustrated by the day. Frustrated with myself, my laziness, my procrastinator tendencies. Things that I hate about myself, but that are so deeply rooted within me (because I have let them become so) that it’s a slow and painful process to change.

I was at a loss as to what to do, how to make myself get up in the mornings when I came across this post. I had recently started reading this blog, Passionate Homemaking and was loving it. The ladies who write it truly have a heart to serve God and to be the best wives and mothers that they can possibly be. They truly are Passionate about what they do, and it’s inspiring. 

So this post, it wasn’t anything spectacular in itself about getting up early. In fact it was about something entirely different. Except one little link, where the author referenced “re-committing to rising early”. I thought, “What is she talking about?". So I clicked over, and it lead me to this post. And this post is the one that began shaping my new attitude about getting up early in the mornings. It wasn’t any type of earth-shattering news that I had never heard before. It wasn’t some magic key that suddenly turned me into an Early Bird. No, it was simply the hand of the Lord, placing in my path a little bit of inspiration. Something that made sense, that convicted me, and gave me the motivation to start trying harder.

Not very far into this second post, there was a link to yet another post, on a different blog. It was for a free, short e-book called, Maximize Your Mornings. So of course I signed up to receive the book in my email, and began reading it as well. It was a good read that again, gave the the inspiration and motivation that I had been looking for to change the way I spent my mornings.

Now, of course all of this wonderful information had to come along just a few days before we left for Texas. But I had a ton of things that I needed to get done that week, so I decided to go ahead and start implementing the principles I had learned. I began waking up 10-15 minutes earlier each day. By the time we left, I was getting up at 8:00, which was a huge improvement from my recent 10:00 wake-up time (I know, I know. that was SO bad!!!). And you know what? They’re right. The mornings really are our most productive time of the day. I get SO much more accomplished in a day when I wake up early.

The early rising actually continued on when we got to Texas. We stayed with Chris and Lauren, and their kids automatically get up a little bit before 8:00 every day. So, even though it was only 5:00 am in my brain, Logan and I were usually up by 8:00 every morning. We were in Texas for 4 weeks, and my Commitment to Rising Early got pushed to the back of my mind.

We’ve been home for two weeks now, and… I’m working on it. I had a few days this week where I didn’t get up until 8:30, and I was annoyed and discouraged with myself. Yesterday I got up at 7:35 though, and today I was up by 7:40. Even though that wasn’t entirely my choice. I was dead tired from not being able to fall asleep at a decent hour last night, and I did not want to wake up this morning. But as I lay awake last night, trying to will my mind to be quiet so my body could drift off into sleep, I prayed. I asked the Lord to please help me continue to rise early. I asked him to help me wake up this morning and get my day going. Well, he answered my prayer in the form of a sweet little 9 month old baby boy who did not want to go back to sleep after I fed him at 7:15. I put him back in bed (where he made me think he was going back to sleep), shut the door, and crawled back under my covers, with the intention of sleeping later than I had planned. No sooner had I gotten all warm and snuggly did I hear his sweet little voice on the monitor. Just talking away. I dozed in and out for the next 25 minutes, but I knew he would grow tired of talking to himself and start fussing. So when he did, I grudgingly drug myself out of bed to go get him. You see, this was entirely the Lord answering my prayer from last night, because Logan does not normally wake up this early. If he does, I feed him and he goes back to sleep until 8:30. He’s been pretty consistent about that lately. I had to smile as I walked to his room though, as I knew my prayers were being answered. Haha, be careful what you pray for, right? It was good though. I needed it. And He knew that.

My goal for right now is to get to where I’m consistently waking up at 7:00. I’d like to be waking up early enough to make my husband breakfast every morning, instead of us eating cereal all the time. We need to start having healthier breakfasts.

Right now my mornings look like this:

  • Wake up
  • Go downstairs and exercise for at least 30 minutes on the Wii Fit (hehe, today I’m blogging instead of exercising!)
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Read one chapter in the New Testament, and spend time in prayer
  • Shower
  • Get started on Daily Chores

As I mentioned above, I would like to start adding a real breakfast to that list. And I’ve been thinking about renewing my gym membership lately. But that means that I’ll have to wake up even earlier, so I can go before Mike goes to work, and while Logan is still sleeping. I’m still contemplating that one.

I’m proud of myself for this slow, and gradual change I’m making in my life. But I can only attribute it to the Lord. He’s the One who is helping me do this. Making me into a better wife, a better mother, a better servant for him. And I’m thankful.