Good morning, friends!
Today I am super excited to share with you my mindful, morning routine. This is something I've worked hard to develop, and even though it's not perfect, it's become truly one of my favorite things about my day.
Every morning, I try and wake up at least an hour to an hour and a half early to do my quiet time. To be honest, this doesn't always happen, but it's something that I do my bet to prioritize, and boy does it make a difference when I do! I've found that in order for me to get up early, I have to go to bed early. Everybody is different, so figure out what works for you! My ideal schedule is in bed by 10-10:30 pm, and awake by 5-5:30 am.
So on any given day, my alarm goes off at about 5:30 am, and I get up and thank God for waking me up to another beautiful day. I'll take about 2 minutes to say a prayer of thanksgiving (any longer, while I'm still in bed, and I'm tempted to fall asleep). I've been trying to teach myself to practice gratitude as my very first thought waking up. My hope is that eventually I'll do this innately, but either way, this is a choice and practice I want to keep doing.
I'll usually give Daniel a gentle (don't wake him up yet) kiss, and then I'll quietly get up and go straight to the coffee pot... where I make fresh espresso + an almond milk cortado (like a latte, but less milk). Then I go sit in my favorite corner of the couch (it's literally a corner seat) by the window that's surrounded by green plants (my fave), grab my large stack of quiet time books (see photo below) and get to it!
Usually by the time I sit down with my coffee and books in hand, it's about 5:45-5:50. Before I sit down, I'll set an alarm for 7, which is when I know that I'll need to stop to start getting ready for my day (if I work at CFA that day). I then put my phone far away from me (on the other side of the room, where I can't see or hear it because it's still on "night-time" mode) and start digging in to my quiet time.
Honestly, I've learned for me, that my quiet time looks different every single day.
Over the last year-and-a-half or so of really trying to intentionally figure out what works best for me in these moments.
What I've learned is that I have to be prepared for different mental shifts. Sometimes I really struggle with understanding what I'm reading in the Bible, and other mornings I read it like it's an amazing novel that I just can't get enough of, and God is speaking to me left and right in a depth that's hard to explain.
The other mornings, I'll spend nearly the whole time praying, and other mornings I'll journal and let my heart speak what it needs to (it almost always surprises me) and just read through the Jesus Calling devotional (below). If I'm not feeling one particular, spirit-lead thing, I'll kind of go in a rotation (in no particular order) and dwell on each thing for as long as I need to.
So here's what I have in my quiet time rotation/stash:
- My Bible. The one that Daniel gifted me at our rehearsal dinner 6 years ago (it's literally falling a part, but I can't part with it. I've bought a new Bible from our church and it's just not the same). It's my favorite - it's full of written notes, reminders, highlights, word definitions. It's definitely one of my most treasured items I own.
- My Journal. My love language is words, and I've found it's one of the easiest ways for me to get out frustrations, write out long prayers, write out scripture (try to do this daily), share hopes and dreams, etc.
- Prayer Requests notebook. I have another small notebook where I write down prayer requests; anything and everything from people I love to topics I want to pray over daily. I've found in the morning as I wake up, it's easy for me to get distracted when praying (I'll start thinking about my to-do list or something), so this helps me stay focused. Plus when I say I'm going to pray for someone, I write it down and then I feel good about meaning what I said and actually, consistently praying for them.
- Gratitude Notebook. If you can't tell, I'm a bit of a notebook junkie... But I think it's important to thank and praise God for all he is doing in our life! I don't think it's fair to just lift of prayer requests, without lifting up praises! I'm trying to get to 1,000 things I'm thankful for, which sadly, is more challenging then you would think (at least for me).
- Jesus Calling Devotion. This was gifted to me by a mentor back in high school, and it still remains to be one of my favorite morning devotions. Every day there is a paragraph of encouragement, written out from the perspective of God speaking to you. Nine times out of ten, these words are exactly what I needed to hear that morning. There's the paragraph of encouragement/truth spoken from God's perspective, and then 2-3 scriptures that back it up (something that I think is important in a devotion - I want God's word, not just opinion).
- 5 Year Journal by Rifle Paper Co. Long story short, I felt a strong conviction (personally, not spiritually) about not writing down memories. When I would go to journal memories, I would spend literally hours going into nuclear details.... It would take so much time that often I wouldn't do it. With this journal, I can celebrate the exciting moments that happen everyday. It's made me more thankful and helped me focus on the beautiful little things that happen every day. It's not really a quiet time thing, but I do this in the mornings because it takes 2 minutes and it's the time I've found I'll keep up with it every (so far on day 192 without a day missed). Anyways, I love it and would highly recommend if you want a simple way to record your memories. (spoken like a true notebook junkie).
I do have other items in my possession (Study Bibles, concordances, etc.) which I do use on occasion (usually when I can carve out more, dedicated time), but in this season, this is the daily routine that works for me.
I think what matters most is just carving out time to let God speak to you. I use different tools so that I can better focus and see (because I'm visual, so I like to read things) how God is speaking to me in a particular season or moment.
I can tell the difference in the days that I do my quiet time vs. the days that I don't do them.
In the mornings where I'm on the struggle bus, and sleep until the last 20 minutes before we need to leave - I don't beat myself up. I believe in listening to your body, and knowing what it needs. I'd just be careful flirting with this, because I know for me, it would be easy to use "tired" as an excuse. So listen to your body, but also understand your mind and what you tell it (there's power in what you tell yourself, even simple phrases like, "I will get up tomorrow and do my quiet time whether I feel like it or not").
So don't underestimate the power of making it happen, and how good you'll feel afterwards! I'm not kidding - there have been moments where I wake up and Daniel's being super cuddly, and the blankets seem extra cozy, and the temptation to stay in bed is STRONG. For good reasons! But I know that I need and want (deep down) to get up and prioritize this. I know I'll never regret making time with God. So I'll literally say (in my head, so I don't wake up Daniel) "Okay, Rosalynne, time to get up." And it's like my brain tells my body to move, I get up, and then I'm good!
Anyways, I'm sort of ranting now... Let's wrap this beautiful morning routine up!
Usually my quiet time ends with Daniel getting up (usually about 6:45), making some coffee for himself, and joining me for about 15-20 minutes. I love this time for us to catch up, drink our coffees (I'm a really slow coffee drinking, so this is usually when I'll go to finish mine) and just touch base before we start out day.
Then we'll go spend the next 45 minutes getting ready, pulling ourselves and our stuff together, then we hop in the car and head into work together! Sometimes I'll try and Instagram these moments (because it's such a gift getting to carpool with Daniel in this season) but usually, we enjoy the 25 minute commute together, continuing to talk and converse with one another.
So that's what my mindful, morning routine looks like!
By the way - I realized I forgot to talk about breakfast! *face palm*
I do eat breakfast every morning but this looks different everyday. In general, I'll usually have a piece of almond butter toast with strawberries, or some apples and almond butter. Sometimes, if I have time, I'll make organic oatmeal with delicious toppings like a smoothie bowl. Almost every morning on the way to work, I'll drink a green protein smoothie (because I like to get in my healthy greens and protein in as a mid-morning snack, because I eat mostly vegetarian and want to make sure I'm getting enough protein for the day). On weekends Daniel and I will do fancier breakfasts, like a quiche or an egg + potatoes + fresh veggies bowl (our fave). Just noting that food is totally important, but I am terrible at taking food pictures... so they don't ever show up in my photos. haha.
SO - I'd love to know, do you have a morning routine or a quiet time routine that you love? Or are there any books or devotions that you would recommend? I would love to hear all about it!
Also, I really am contemplating (and trying to think through how) to do an online women's bible study or devotion time. Would you be interested? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, friends. Appreciate your following along and hope you have a wonderful day! In between blog posts, I'm usually on the 'gram (after my quiet time, of course) and I'd love to hang out. Come follow along @rosalynnelove