Guest Post & Giveaway: When Grace Overwhelms Your Not-Good-Enoughs

(Note from Kat: This is a guest post from the amazing Michelle and is part of the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge.)

Not Good Enough

I used to let my Bible fall open and hoped the verses on those pages would speak to me. My quiet times were (mostly) arid, unproductive, and done simply because I should. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hear God, at least, not the way others did. I decided I was just spiritually immature.

When you don't measure up.

  • If I could just learn some Hebrew, or pay better attention in church, or fully understand things like sanctification, then I would have marvelous quiet times.
  • If I could just spend 30 minutes everyday- no, wait- an hour each day, then I would have a thriving relationship with God.
  • If I truly had the Spirit in me, I would know where to read every day and it would be the exact thing I needed.

I held myself to a graceless standard. I wrestled with self-blame until I was 29, the year my world started crumbling.

My Awakening

During an intense time of grief, God showed me I didn’t need to do something to receive from His word. He wasn’t asking me to get to a certain level before He would unlock it for me. If any of those lies I had believed were true, the whole relationship became more about me and my efforts than about what God is able to do. Did I really believe that “the word of God is alive and active[?]” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

I focused on simply coming to Him with an open heart. I needed to find life. I had no other recourse.

For the first time in my life, I discovered the pulse. I wanted to jump back. Did that just happen? I’d read the same words before, but the message was new. God used it to speak to my specific need at that moment. I could almost hear the pages inhaling and exhaling.

A Word Picture

A child went walking through the woods and saw a rock, so he poked it with his walking stick. Every other time he poked a rock, nothing happened. But this time- this time the rock moved! It turns out it isn’t a rock at all; it’s alive!

When you pick up His word, we are not picking up an inanimate book like all the rest. We are holding an organic, living thing, made alive by God’s Spirit! We don’t need to be scholars to decipher it. We must recognize our need, be willing to hear, and trust that He is faithful.

The Takeaway

Let’s approach our time with God focused on our hearts instead of the clock. The more we spend time with Him, the more we will understand His ways. When we recognize His desires for us through this intimate connection, we will be willing, even excited to do what He asks of us. Even if that means getting up while it’s still dark!

His Grace is Enough for You!

If you struggle with having quiet times, let alone early morning ones, you are not alone. Even today, I still struggle, and that is because we are not without resistance in this life. Recognize that it is the Liar who does not want you to know your Father. Let go of the burden of guilt. God is not asking you to carry that. Come to Him with the right attitude- open and willing. If you can’t, ask Him to help you. He is faithful even when we are not!


As a little incentive for you all to press on, we are doing weekly giveaways. Erin from HomeWithTheBoys is organizing all these amazing prizes. Here she is to tell you about this week’s prize:

Ooh! FUN giveaways for you gorgeous ladies today!

First, I know you want some lovely jewelry, so how about a $50 store credit to The Vintage Pearl?!

I LOVE Erin’s work and her heart! You could get one of these beautiful pieces…

And that’s not all, because we have a SECOND part to today’s giveaway!

A beautiful print from Jennifer at Studio JRU – one of my FAVORITE artists around!

Wow – don’t we all need that kind of peace?! Her beautiful art and her heart for Jesus are so inspiring!

How is THAT for some awesome giveaways today?! Each of you deserve it – YOU are changing your life and home for the better!

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment here and tell us how your mornings are going or one way Michelle’s post encouraged you. Get an extra entry for encouraging someone else in the comments!
2. Tweet this week in the main #hellomornings stream on Twitter.
3. Share an encouragement this week on Facebook.
4. MYM Challenge participants can also enter by interacting with your MYM Accountability Group (via Twitter or Facebook.)

Leave a Comment



  • Sami says:

    I was sick for a while, but I’m getting back into it! I need my mornings!

  • Erin says:

    My mornings are not exactly how I would like them to be. I need to do some work in this area…

  • Mornings are not early enough! My daughter is an early bird which means I need to be even earlier!

  • Kayse says:

    My mornings could use a little work. My 7-month old has decided that 5am is now her wake-up time too, so I need to find a new routine! I miss my quiet mornings – they make the rest of the day a hundred times better!

  • Aimee L. says:

    My mornings lately have been a bit ugly. I work from home and my husband is a teacher, so this summer my two kids and my husband have been home…while I’m supposed to be working. This time of year is always rough – in theory, it sounds great….”Yay, summer! Fun with the kids! An extra ‘helper’ (Daddy) around!”. Well it doesn’t usually go that way. As much as I want to do all the fun things with them, at the end of the day I still have clients screaming for their projects. Sooo….a little stressful on the marriage front, and also stressful in the sense that I feel guilty I’m not making the most of the summer with the kids. Grrrr! So each morning I wake up with great intentions…that don’t always materialize. And as for my quiet time – oh boy, summer has NOT done me any favors in that area….that’s probably a big part of the reason why I feel so frazzled. Time to get my priorities in-line! πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me ‘vent’!

    • Erin says:


      The pressures of life can be so intense. My heart went out to you! I said a little prayer for you just now.

  • Melissa says:

    I LOVE how God knows EXACTLY what we need….at PRECISELY the right time! THIS was spot on for me! My mornings are not as early as I’d like them to be….working on my bedtime schedule. It’s so true that getting to bed early is essential to waking up early! LOVE THIS POST.

  • Christa says:

    This blog is so beautifully and articulately written. I too, struggle so much with seeking God, but feeling so inadequate. Thank you for sharing what my heart feels, but I didn’t know how to say!

  • Cari Bailey says:

    Thank you for the article. It was what I needed to hear. I seem to do this out of “duty” and don’t know how to get out of it. Thanks again.

    • Michelle says:

      Do it for love! He loves you, Cari! I think if you can marinate in His love for you, wanting to spend time with Him will flow naturally out of that. Ask Him to show you how much He loves you!

  • Christy says:

    My mornings are going pretty good. All I really need to do is continue going to bed an hour early and it makes getting up so much easier! πŸ™‚ I was encouraged by this article! I know what you’re talking about because I’ve been there before πŸ™‚

  • Jenny says:

    I love this! I love that there is even grace along our path of discovering grace. My #hellomornings started great and then took a turn when our twins switched to toddler beds.

  • Nina Nelson says:

    I’ve been working to build a morning routine lately and, while I took a short break from it while we were on vacation, I’m coming back to it. Here’s how it goes:
    Wake and put water on for tea
    Read daily devotional
    Read Bible chapter (currently in Proverbs) while tea steeps
    Read positive, encouraging book while drinking tea

    As I work on waking up earlier, the times for each of these will expand. Right now I’m trying to do this before the kids wake up.

  • Amy says:

    My mornings are going ok. Having a one-year old and being pregnant again really slows me down. Plus the craziness of life – but I guess that’s why I need to make the effort.

  • Deb says:

    “I focused on simply coming to Him with an open heart. I needed to find life. I had no other recourse.”

    Wow! Perfect! Thank you for this…

    Blessings on the journey~

  • Jamie says:

    I loved this post. I so identify with everything you are saying. God is faithful to bring us out of winter and into spring. And that’s what He’s been doing with me lately. But, my mornings are not great. They started out well, but I have not continued on to complete the task of creating a morning habit. My daughter starts school next week, so I will have to do better the days leading up to it. Thanks for the post.

  • Melissa May says:

    That bold BOLD line about it becoming more about my efforts than about what God is able to do hits home right at my heart. I need that reminder today. Thank you! “It’s not about me” doesn’t just mean the focus isn’t about me… it means it’s not about my efforts, my abilities, my strength… it’s all about God and His power, His desire to move and act and love… it’s all about Him. : )

  • Sharidan Dillon says:

    My mornings have been a struggle still. I am trying to get some sort of normalcy going. Its been hard bc I’ve been sick or not able to sleep, so it means its even harder to get up earlier.

  • Jamie Y. says:

    “… God showed me I didnÒ€ℒt need to do something to receive from His word. He wasnÒ€ℒt asking me to get to a certain level before He would unlock it for me. If any of those lies I had believed were true, the whole relationship became more about me and my efforts than about what God is able to do. Did I really believe that Ò€œthe word of God is alive and active[?]Ò€ (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)”

    This really spoke to me. I always feel like I need to “try harder,” make a better schedule, prepare for quiet time. But THIS is truth! When I approach quiet time this way, I realize I’m missing out on true relationship-building, life-changing time with our Father. Thank you for the challenge!

  • Brenda says:

    I woke several mornings this summer and spent time reading and listening to God. It was beautiful. I plan to start the school year doing the same. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

    • Aimee L. says:

      That’s wonderful, Brenda! I’m really praying that once the routine of school starts up again I can get my act together and start my days right that way, too! πŸ™‚

  • My mornings are going pretty well….but they’d be going even better if I went to bed half an hour earlier!

  • Kelli says:

    Very encouraging! “I didnÒ€ℒt understand why I couldnÒ€ℒt hear God, at least, not the way others did” this is exactly what I have felt more times than not. Latley God has been showing me to look to Him not others.

    • Karen says:

      I can so understand this Kelli. I felt the same way. I finally gave up trying to hear something that wasn’t there. I got quiet instead of whining that I didn’t hear like others. I find that when I just stop and get quiet then I hear more than I ever have before! The more we read each day and then get quiet the more he will talk to us.

  • Ellen says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been having those feelings of not being good enough…why can’t I hear His voice…..I have been selfish and focused on my part of the relationship. I have been doing pretty well with my daily quiet time, but I need to change my focus why me to focusing on Him!

    I really enjoy your insights and that you for giving your time to all of us!


  • lisa s says:

    i have been struggling to get up in the mornings in general. I was trying to have my quiet time in the evenings but lately that hasn’t happened either! I’m going to set my alarm earlier and try to get back to spending time with the Lord before starting my day. I know that always makes me feel better so why is it so hard to do?

    • Danielle Griffin says:

      Because the enemy doesn’t want you to feel better. You can do this, keep your head up and don’t let guilt drag you down! Persevere.

  • Lindsay says:

    My mornings went really well last week, thanks to your site, encouragement, and e-book πŸ™‚ but this week has gone downhill because I’ve been staying up too late again. We started homeschool back up this week and it’s hard when you’re stressed to not stay up late seeking stress relief and downtime. What I have to try harder to remember is that the time alone with God is what truly revives me!

  • Kim Shirk says:

    Love this… hope, faith and mornings!

    “Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
    Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. ”

    Lamentations 3:21-23

  • Kel says:

    Thank you for this post. My mornings aren’t going so well and I needed to hear this.

  • tori says:

    God just gave me this word to share… the awesome thing about mornings is we get a do over each day we are blessed with. I blew it and got up in time to make breakfast for the kids and get ready for work before I ran out the door. All is not lost. I didn’t leave the Lord at home on my nightstand. He is with me always and I brought him to work with me. I have had the blessing of listening to worship music and talking with Him and having fellowship with him even though I didn’t have my official “quiet time”. I love that He gives us grace and mercy and its more about relationship πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to my time in the word hopefully at lunch time!
    That being said – I am so thankful for a plan in the morning to spend time in the word before I leave and to spend time exercising to be my best for Jesus!
    Thank you for taking the time to encourage us all on our journey in the Lord EVERY day! Blessings to you πŸ™‚ sorry this was wordy! Have a wonderful day!!!

  • Polly says:


    I love your message of just resting in Him with our quiet time. So often it becomes a “should” for me instead of a “get to”. I want to rest in Him and His Word each morning instead of seeing it as another thing to check off my list. Thank you for the grace-filled reminder of the big picture.

  • Sarah Saffran says:

    Sometimes when I’m struggling I still wonder how much needs to be my own effort and how is Christ nudging me.. i don’t want to be doing something out of my performance/ achievement idol..instead I want to be motivated by the Gospel and God’s grace!

  • Betsy says:

    What beautiful giveaway opportunities! My mornings have not been as organized and fruitful as I would like them to be recently. We foster precious newborn infants and I have found it hard to be consistent with a morning routine.

    • JoAnne says:

      When mine were little, I would use the nap time. It’s not early morning, but the Lord knows our hearts.

  • Beth says:

    I came across the Inspired To Action webiste about a week ago through a few friends’ blogs. I was immediately convicted to take this challenge as my morning routine definitely left something to be desired. My morning routine has been on my heart for a long time. We are in the process of adopting, and I am hoping to establish this new routine before we welcome our future children home in order for me to better serve my family with a heart and mind focused on Christ – mercies new every morning! It was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I started out strong and quickly fell off. However, I have since begun working backwards to the time I ultimately want to rise. This has been going much better, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Kat shared in her ebook that even setting the clock back 5 minutes at a time can help you achieve your goal. Sometimes it is easier to ease into something and sometimes it is easier to jump in head first. See what works for you and allow yourself grace!

  • Jaimelee says:

    My mornings are going great not as early this week as I have been but still time to have alone…

  • Erin says:

    I appreciate the message that God is not asking us to carry a burden of guilt!

  • JoAnne says:

    I am good some days and then some days at the end of the day I ask where did the day go. I need to always put God first in everything. The liar wants us to carry guilt because it weighs us down and our focus is taken off the Lord. I have been inspired by this challenge to keep on keepin’ on.

  • Christine Geddis says:

    My mornings are crazy, hubby work is in transition (8-4:30 one week, 7-3:30 one week, and 5 -2:30 when things settle down) working in different locations. Almost two year old switching from 1 to 2 naps, I know it is only a season.

  • Sarah says:

    Not doing so well with the mornings — but God’s grace is big enough to cover my failures!

    • Stacey says:

      You know Sarah – that we all go through seasons of struggle! Michelle is right, just come with an open heart and He will meet you there! Praying for you right now!

  • I love “let our time be focused on our hearts not on the clock” So what I needed to hear today πŸ™‚

  • Nohemi says:

    Kasey, can you have your quiet time with the Lord during his nap time?

  • Nichole says:

    I have been struggling with getting up early. But when I do my day goes so much smoother. I am attempting to get up just 15 min. earlier each week. This week I have hit the snooze button every day but one. πŸ™
    This post has helped me realize that I will not be perfect. I’m not expected to be perfect. God just wants us to rely on Him.
    Keep it up readers making an attempt is better than doing nothing.

  • Stacey says:

    The best part is that it is living and active – and able to meet me right where I am. Oh what rich truth!

  • Nohemi says:

    Lately the Lord has been waking me up EVERY morning to spend time with Him. It is amazing to know that God wants to be with me and takes the time to wake me up and say: “it’s time to spend time together!”.

    • Kat says:

      You’re the winner of the JRU/Vintage Pearl Prize!

      Please send me your mailing address and I’ll have it sent out to you ASAP.



  • Sandy says:

    I’m an “empty nester,” so my mornings are not as crazy as they used to be. Also, I broke my foot earlier this summer, and I cannot walk or drive. Talk about having plenty of time on my hands! So I’m happy to say that my mornings have been going well. This is my summer of abiding. I feel that God is using this summer to help me ABIDE in Him. I have had much more time to read His Word and to pray. I created a new prayer book that is going well, and I’m using a Bible-reading plan that allows for flexibility. I mark off what I read, but I don’t worry if I’m not going to get through in a year. (It’s already been 1 1/2 years, but I’m no where near through yet.) I wouldn’t have chosen a broken foot, but I can honestly say I am thankful for it. God is using it to grow me, strengthen me, and draw me closer to Him.

    As an encouragement, I’d say that the more time I spend in prayer and scripture, the more I hunger for it. It’s not a chore or burden or another thing to do on my spiritual checklist. When tempted to skip the Word because of interruptions, other demands or commitments, I remember “abide,” and I’m drawn back to Him.

  • Jenny says:

    I loved this post. So many of the newsletters I get in my inbox I just glance and delete. But I knew that this one caught my eye for a reason. I do feel dull and lifeless. I have been disconnected from God for such a long time and every part of me has been yearning for Him but my challenges as a human and the liar make it a struggle. Thank you.

  • Sarah says:

    This article hits close to home for me. I’ve been walking through a challenging season these past few months with a move across the country, a new marriage, and then leaving my job in ministry because of the move. It’s so easy to come to my quiet times with either high expectations that I “must” get something out of it or to just keep walking by my Bible thinking that it really doesn’t matter because I haven’t been able to “get anything” out of it lately. Thanks for reminding me that God just wants me to come and rest.
    My morning schedule has been rocked since we got a puppy 2 weeks ago! My husband and I are still figuring out how to care for our new pup but also have productive mornings!

  • Jamie S Walker says:

    I do my best to fit in my quiet time first thing in the mornings, and do most of the time. If I miss the morning, I do it at bedtime.

  • Nohemi says:

    Dear Jenny,
    God loves you, He does!! and wants to be be with you, it doesn’t matter what you do or think, He is there waiting for you and will always be.

  • Shawn Bensley says:

    It is amazing how the God of the universe meets me in a little extra bedroom in our house. To get up before my guys and talk to God and have Him talk to me thru His Holy Spirit is so comforting.

  • I just did a post called “I’m an imperfect Christian” that is very simialr to this. I love MIchelle’s spin on it. I will have to go check out her blog. I would love to win the jewelry. Wow that necklace is gorgeous!

  • Amy Morgan says:

    Not been feeling well the past few mornings. I can’t get use to getting up at 4:30 to leave at 5:00 to take hubby to work. We are probably going to be moving near the end of the month. It will cut down drive time to work and bring peace of not living with family.

  • Mab says:

    My mornings were going great until I went on vacation and now I am working back to my better schedule and nearly there!

  • Del says:

    I have really struggled with getting up in the mornings, I’ve never been a morning person, but I so desire to cut out that time with the Lord and get to know Him. I was also very discouraged about reading the word of God before because I felt I couldn’t understand it or something. I still struggle with those feelings at time, being a newer Christian. But this post was so encouraging, thank you!

  • Julie W says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad, as you said, that God is faithful even when we are not.

  • Lynn says:

    You spoke to my heart….”if any of those lies I believed were true, the whole relationship became more about me and my efforts than abou what God is able to do.” How often I allow myself to slip into “striving and trying” instead of just coming to him just as I am, with an open heart, trusting His faithfulness.

  • Lori says:

    I appreciated what Michelle said about it being the heart, not the time, that matters. If your heart is involved, then God can work.

    Del, I just wanted to encourage you that although mornings are ideal, in some seasons of life they are just not possible. For example, I have a 15-month old and am 7 months pregnant with my second. I have been extremely tired throughout this pregnancy, and need to sleep when I can. Getting up before my toddler rises (usually around 6:30 a.m.) is just not feasible for me at this stage, so I find that having my quiet time in the afternoons during her nap, or in the evenings after she’s gone to bed, works best. Then I can truly enjoy and “feast”, without worrying “Oh, she’s going to wake up any minute and my time’s going to get cut short!” Hope this helps!

  • Laura says:

    My mornings are going well. The wake up time is not always the same and I don’t always exercise, but I am a work in progress. I love the readings and checking in with my fellow team mates. It is nice to know there is someone else out there trudging through as well. I can always count on Eileen to be the first out there and I have loved her blogs. She sounds like an incredible person I would love to meet. Thank you too Kat for organizing and creating this. I appreciate it.

  • Joanne Johnson says:

    My mornings were going great but I find myself hitting snooze too much lately. This was a very inpiring article that I am sending to a friend. She has made statements similar to this, of not hearing from or feeling God’s spirit like others talk about. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration!

  • Kathy in IN says:

    I’ve been having trouble with my mornings again. I’m hoping that when school starts I will get back to it! Only one more week!

  • Revonda says:

    I loved the encouraging word today! I needed to hear that. I often get down when I’m not “up to par” and the reminder that that is exactly where the Liar wants me makes me want to surrender that much more to the will of the Father. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing

  • LC says:

    Thank you for the awesome post! I struggle with my quiet time, though I’m trying hard to have it every day. I have to focus more on pondering and my heart rather than reading for so long or so many verses- there’s no rush! Thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚

  • Rachel says:

    Loved the guest post today! I felt she was reading my quiet time journal…except for the fact that I am still in the struggling phase. It’s so easy to embrace God’s grace in some areas of my life, but I can’t quite grasp it when it comes to my quiet times. I struggle with knowing that His Spirit will write His truth on my heart and feeling the need to go deeper by acts of my flesh. No part of me wants to get up at 5 to do ANYTHING, so I know I must cause my flesh to submit through discipline…I guess I’m wanting His grace to give me super-hero powers that include being a morning person.

    • Melissa H. says:

      I feel like you have just described my feelings exactly! I too, keep hoping for those super-hero powers! This post was much needed. Good luck this week to you!

  • Kari P. says:

    It’s such a great reminder that the Bible is alive, it’s not just a book with words in it. Thanks for that reminder, I needed it! A friend from church recently told me to picture a strainer with water running through it. It doesn’t “strain” anything but it sure is getting cleaned by the water. Same with the Word, just by reading His words we are getting cleansed, even if it doesn’t feel like we are getting anything out of it. What a great analogy!

  • rechel says:

    Been reading an amazing book called Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by: Horton. Now I simply can’t find enough time in the day to be with God. The laundry is backing up πŸ™‚ I also held a woman’s BS this summer for my neighbors…some of who have never opened let alone own a Bible.

  • amanda says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. As a new mom, I struggle to get just a few minutes a day in. But on the days I make it to my prayer couch, God really blesses me. Even if it’s short. Praise God for His grace!

  • Lisa says:

    This summer I feel like I am getting a fresh breathe of air spiritually. I am not sure what changed but I have more expectation in my quiet time and I feel like so many days the things I am reading are talking about my specific situation. I don’t want to lose this as school starts.

  • Misti says:

    I *think* the my mornings are becoming routine. They are definitely getting easier. It is so much easier to see the lies of the Enemy when I have spent time with God.

  • tereza says:

    I also have finally realized that it’s more ” about what God is able to do” than what I can do. I also finally heard the pulse. I don’t worry about having a morning devotional… I just focus on talking to Him and practicing His presence all time, every day. He is with me all the time. He never leaves or forsakes me. Yes, I need one on one time with Him but even with that I trust that He will order my day so I can be with Him fully. The Lord is so Gracious and I love Him so. I am more and more realizing that His Word is alive and active. Did you know the Bible is a Person and His name is Jesus?? I was talking to someone today about that. πŸ™‚

  • Deb says:

    I was encouraged by this because even though I have been saved a LONG time, I am sooo struggling lately……..

  • Reba says:

    This post was just what I needed to hear, thank you! My mornings are just…well…just happening without me? I show up, I do the things I’m supposed to do, but I’m just so tired and in need of a real wake up call that I kind of float right through them. Eek!
    Grace, Grace, Grace….(saying to myself over and over)

  • Cindy H says:

    I have to admit, I have always loved the mornings! It is truly my special time with the Lord. When my children were little, I would get up early to have some time just for myself. Now that I’m retired, I still get up early. It’s just like God wakes me up and says, “Come on, I can’t wait to talk to you today!”

  • crystal says:

    I just read the ebook yesterday, and I am excited to get back into a good morning routine. I really do get the day started off on the right track when I keep the commitment to get up earlier.

    And for those of you with really small children, just remember that this is a season. I truly think there are times when we will have to adjust our expectations for ourselves and our schedules. And they will be past this stage all too soon!

  • Meredith says:

    My mornings are going so well….
    I am a teacher, and the summers were always the time that my devotional life slipped. It was next to impossibly to wake up earlier than my children when I didn’t HAVE to be for school.

    This summer, since I read the bible in 90 days in January, and then blogged through the Gospels with Mom’s Toolbox, I was FIERCE about keeping up my routine even through the summer.

    My husband’s hours shift in the summer time, so I began getting up at 4AM with him, just to get my alone time with the WORD, and prayer. It has been awesome.

    I have wanted to use the #hellomornings hashtag, but since I wasn’t part of the official #mym challenge, I didn’t know if I could!

    And just for the record, I adore Vintage Pearl!!

  • Kari says:

    I just finished an online Beth Moore study with friends and I am searching for something else. I like the accountability of a daily study….otherwise, it’s a little hairy around here.

  • Jennifer says:

    The other day I was at the hospital with my father, who was in for a pacemaker. After waiting several hours he was finally taken in to get ready for the procedure. While I was waiting for the initial part of the procedure to decide what needed to be done, I had gotten several “what’s going on” calls. As well, my kids were being crazy. I was not feeling good about what possibly might be happening to my ailing, aging father & I started to cry. So as not to do this in front of my kids or other people & to calm down I went to the bathroom. My distress only got worse. There was a woman in the bathroom who asked if I was okay. She then asked if she could pray for me. I said yes & she proceeded to ask for God’s grace for me. She left then I did a few moments later. Shortly after I was called into the hospital room to speak with the surgeon. He told me that my father’s heart had stopped for a few moments, but that he was now stable and ready to proceed with the rest of the surgery. I can’t say for sure if that lady’s prayer helped, but I think it did. I think that God was holding my father’s hand through the worst of it. That has never happened to me before.

  • Dena says:

    This is an area where I’m struggling. Actually I feel like I’m struggling with my whole life right now and this is just one of the many parts that needs help. I really want to just start my life over and be a good wife and mother and Christian and….but I can’t seem to get into the spirit of it. This is very freeing for me to write where others can see because I’m one of those people that has to look like I have it together all the time because of my position in our group of Christian friends. I would like to hear more about this so I can fully grasp the meaning. I feel so dead right now.

    • michelle says:

      Dena, I’m glad you shared what you are honestly feeling. When we’re honest, God can meet us right where we’re at. You are precious and you are valuable in the Lord’s sight. The enemy would like nothing better than for you to give up. His daily mission is to convince you it’s too difficult, that you’re a lost cause, that you’ll never measure up, and that you’ve already messed up too many times. He is out to win your surrender. But God has a purpose for your life. Think about it, who did Jesus call as disciples? The ones who had it all together. No, wait- He chose the ones with messed up lives, because those were the ones He could use! He didn’t choose the pretenders, because they would’ve kept the glory for themselves. He chose the ones who knew they could never do it on their own. Combat the lies with truth. You feel dead, but you have been made alive in Christ. Repeat truth you find in the Scriptures until they are what you remember and not the lies. There is something amazing to me about a Christian woman, especially on who’s been a Christian for a long time, who is completely honest about her struggles. I heard a quote from a speaker, Jonas Beiler, that I want to share with you. He said, “Satan builds the strongholds in the secrets of our lives and reinforces them with silence. When we break the silence, we break the stronghold.” And he quoted Isaiah 43:25, in which God basically says He is not keeping a list of your sins. No, that’s coming from somewhere else. I hope you can find courage to talk to your friends. I bet every one of them is struggling with something they may be embarrassed to share. God can take what you perceive as the broken pieces of your life and use them for His glory. And you’re right – you can’t do it. Thank goodness He isn’t asking you to. He’s just looking for a willing follower- a heart that says “yes.” I hope this is encouraging to you, Dena. I went through a dark time when I wished that God would take me home. There’s hope. Praying for you tonight, dear Sister. ~m

  • Cindy says:

    Can’t tell you how many times I don’t feel I measure up! “If only I…” is such an illness that God is seeking to heal me from. To see things from His perspective rather than my own, or what I think others see. I tell my son (with autism) how much I wish he could see himself through my eyes, eyes of love and acceptance, eyes that see what others miss. And then my Heavenly Father whispers to me, “And I wish you could see yourself through Mine!”
    Thank You Lord, for Your untiring grace!!

  • Michelle says:

    That post was SO encouraging! Especially for a recovering legalist, like me! I, too, felt “not good enough” for so long (and it actually hindered my time with the Lord). But now I understand it’s about maintaining a relationship. It’s as simple as picking up the phone to call my mom who lives 500 miles away. If I want to keep in touch with her, know her thoughts, frustrations, and joys, and learn more about her life, I have to make an effort! Same goes for my relationship with Christ. I can’t get to know Him if I don’t spend any time communicating with Him (via prayer and Bible reading)!!! Some days I can’t force myself to get up…but I refuse to beat myself over the head about it. His mercies are NEW every morning!!! And I just try again the next day. But overall, I’ve been doing pretty well, and I give the glory to God for that!

  • Donna Brown says:

    God does not be want us to carry grief. Thanks for this insight. So true.

  • Melissa H. says:

    My goal was to get up this week, and I didn’t do it once. Partly because I couldn’t sleep, which is a rare problem for me. I also am not sure what to do with my quiet time. I talk to God a lot, but I want to really dig into His Word. I have no clue where to start. I yearn for the “pulse.” I am determined to begin my morning routine this week. I am excited to start my mornings before my children and to further my relationship with God. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Catherine says:

    My mornings need to start earlier. It is so hard to want to get up early enough to not rush when the bed is so comfortable. I know it’s worth it though.

  • Karen says:

    Michelle’s posts always encourage me. We all think what she says but are afraid to ask others because of the risk of sounding stupid. We all have issues when we first start our hello mornings but the more we do it the more it becomes a habit and we feel lost without that time. When I finally treated God as my real Father and Jesus as a brother then I really loved spending time with my family in the morning. You are right….until they were real to me and not something I couldn’t attempt to reach then nothing happened in my morning time and I heard nothing. Now it is part of me…they are part of me and I thank you for all of your encouragement.

  • rae says:

    Thanks for the reminder that beginning with an open heart and just a few minutes will begin a long lasting relationship with God

  • Karla says:

    Evenings are usually the time I dive into the Word. My mornings are so hectic with trying to get ready for work. I drive 30-45 min to work one way so I also use that time sometimes just to talk to God. This last month has been very trying with my husband off of work due to injury and me trying to pay all the bills on my check alone but Praise God we have made it and my husbands worker comp money did come in and he is scheduled for surgery this month!

  • Andie says:

    Morning have been…interesting. I am grateful for this post in my inbox because it reminded me that I don’t have to try so hard to make God fit. I just need to let go of me.

  • yayebangz says:

    I can relate to you, but now the kids are gone, They are all grown up, I can now have my morning reflection everytime I wake up. A bible on the table with a hot coffee on the side.

  • Danielle Griffin says:

    Well I have to say this spoke STRAIGHT to me this morning. I was feeling guilty because I left my Bible and notebook in the room with my husband this morning and felt as though I still wanted to get in Gods word , so I decided to check out this site to see what was going on. And can I just say this was exactly what I needed to hear this morning, THANK-YOU for the testimony.

  • Martha says:

    My mornings are going so much better and my favorite time of the day. I love getting up early before going to work and spending that time with God and then being encouraged by blogs like yours. Thank you.

  • Cheryl P says:

    My mornings are going really well, it’s taken me 3 years to get here and don’t feel guilty anymore if I don’t make it a morning, I know I have a wonderful relationship with the Lord and his grace is enough. I’ve even inspired my husband to get up in the mornings to spend time with the Lord, now I’m working on some friends.

  • crystal says:

    I’m a natural morning person but I still stuggle with making the Lord my first priority…my list is always calling me. I have to make a decision that since it is the Lord I live for that He must top the list of priorities.

  • This post was just what I needed! I love how God uses this community to encourage us in our walk with Him. Thank you for the reminder that His word is ALIVE!

    Melissa H. – I completely understand your struggle. I’m praying for you today that you will be able to sleep well and wake rested and ready to dive into all that His word has to offer! πŸ™‚

  • MIchelle Elaine says:

    Mornings. Each night I go to bed with great intentions about how I will get up early, read my Bible and pray. I get hung up on where I should read, on how I’ve been a Christian for over 10 years and I still haven’t read through the whole Bible, on how I should be more mature by now. I struggle with the little things like should I use a spiral notebook or loose leaf paper. All these little distractions are keeping me from just doing it and figuring it out on the way. Why do I want to have everything just right before I start.

    Thanks for this post. It is soooo freeing to know I am not the only one who struggles in this area. πŸ™‚

  • Michelle says:

    I have really been fighting this feeling lately! Thanks for the encouragment! I am working on going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier. It is a real struggle. I think the devil is trying to defeat me. With God’s strength I will succeed!

  • Faith says:

    I get up consistently – but a lot of mornings are like that rock – kind of dead. I will get up tomorrow looking for the living Word.

  • Laura says:

    Thanks for this post. I have almost the same exact thoughts you described and tend to fall into legalism. It was a good reminder that God just wants to spend time with us.

  • Kim says:

    God’s word is alive and active. Love it!

  • Chelsea says:

    I have been making excuses for my mornings as we finish out the summer, but now that school is upon us I am being more disciplined again!

  • Tweeted about this wonderful giveaway.

  • Posted this much needed post on Facebook. πŸ™‚

  • sharon says:

    I love my quiet time with God. Its the quality of time with Him that is my treasured gift.If I have 1/2 hour in the morning or make dates with Him through out the day, I relish His companionship and presence. It’s addicting really. I love to start my morning anticipating what adventures we will have together that day. Thanks for gifting us with your insights. All is Grace!

  • katie says:

    My mornings were going so well when the MYM summer challenge began but I lost steam somewhere along the way. My biggest struggle is just getting to bed at a decent time so that I can get up early to pray. I think I need to work on just starting out with 5-10 minutes in the morning and slowly working my way up from that rather than going full steam ahead and getting up an hour earlier. All I know is that when I was getting to bed early and getting up early I had more energy, more joy and I felt better about seeing my little girls first thing in the morning. Be encouraged ladies!!!!!! we can do this one morning at a time!!!

  • Ginette Crager says:

    Mornings are good, but not very early yet. Its a work in progress.

  • Winona says:

    I’m still struggling with mornings! But with routines and
    God’s help, I’m hoping to do better and better!

  • Ryshel says:

    My morning quiet times are non-existent at this point! Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Miranda says:

    My mornings involve sleeping in and waking up cheerful. I kiss my daughter and have breakfast and relax for a while, then I start my day.

  • Heidi says:

    Mornings have been rough lately…I’m not sleeping well due to pregnancy and by the time I’m up the kiddos are too, so there goes quiet! But I truly appreciate the reminder and encouragement that His grace is enough. Thank you.

  • Ann says:

    I could definitely use some work in this area! I have a hard time getting up before my kids wake up.

  • Amanda says:

    I started off strong and then the kids were done with school and my husband had summer break as well and it got much harder to go to bed early and get up earlier. My kids are early birds, so if I’m not up before 5:30, I may not get quiet for my quiet time. I have been letting my perfectionist tendencies defeat me by telling myself that if I can’t have a lengthy amount of time to read and pray than it is not worth the effort to squeeze in a quick verse or two to ponder.
    Thanks for this great post, reminding me that my time in the Word is an active, participation driven time. God can use a tiny verse or a long passage to speak to me if I open myself to His will.

  • Love the word picture! I have been asking for God to awaken me early and he has! Really enjoying the quiet 30 minutes before my world awakes.

  • anna says:

    Thanks for this post…it came at a perfect time when I need the encouragement that God is there waiting for me to come to Him with an open heart. When life gets discouraging it’s vital to know that He is there, He cares and He will walk through this time with me. Thank you Lord!

  • Heather says:

    Sometimes, I’m too absorbed with myself to hear God. It’s my own virtual wall. I too do things out of habit or obligation. I think it’s time to say I GET to have quiet time, I GET to wake early, and I GET to listen to God whispering my name. How blessed are we that we GET to do these things, rather than we HAVE to do these things? πŸ™‚

  • Mornings are going better for me now that I am being more gentle with myself. I started with the habit of going to bed early enough to get up at 5:30 am. Then, I started getting up a 6 am. I am now to where I can manage to get out of bed at 5:30 am. Which has only been a few mornings…like I said …gentle expectations:) We are starting school next week and I would like to be up at 5:30, exercised, showered and dressed before 7 am. My chores done by 8:30 and ready to focus all of my attention on my kiddos by 9 am. It’s a tall order, but I know I can do it with God’s help. I am not sure where my quiet time with the Lord needs to go right now. I really relate to the post that talks about feeling rushed bc of the to do list running through my head first thing. But, then I have school all day and I am zapped by 3 pm. Wondering if I can try at night before bed.
    Thanks Michelle and Kat for the constant motivation!

  • Tweeted…but still don’t know how to do the hash tag thing. So…may not be in the right place;(

  • Sophia says:

    When I came here and read your post, It gives me good feeling in reading more and more of your blogs. Thanks for helping and refreshing my mind today. πŸ™‚

  • Jacqueline B says:

    I finally found the secret to getting up early….
    Get a puppy!!! We’re housebreaking her using the crate training method and Sge wakes me early every morning. I get out in the cool fresh morning air, grabbing my Bible as I head out. Brilliant!

    • Katrina says:

      That’s actually a good idea, LOL!
      NOT that I need one more living creature to be responsible for, but I’m glad it works for you πŸ™‚

  • Andrea says:

    Though my morning are not going well, I am taking baby steps starting by securing time with the Lord. I have met this goal almost every day for nearly a month! Very happy.

  • Andrea says:

    I tweeted πŸ™‚

  • mrshobbes says:

    After a very long time, I went back and re-read Maximize Your Mornings, and this morning (Monday) is my “first day.” I had quiet time, exercise, and time to plan. I spent a goodly amount of time wishing God would say something, show something, ANYTHING to put words or a face to the turbulent thoughts in my life. Then I remember spacing out a bit (it was 6AM) and suddenly He revealed a Great Big Lie I’d been believing for the longest time. Out of the blue, and I couldn’t believe it. In that one moment I realized He was just letting me rant and then went and did HIS OWN thing. I was so humbled, so grateful, and the tears flowed.

    Thank you so much for this post. Sometimes the greatest struggles of my life come because I feel like I am alone in it. It is SO encouraging to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. It is SO empowering and exhilarating to realize that He has NEVER left me alone, even if I believed the opposite. πŸ™‚


  • K.O. says:

    I read this post and was glad to hear that I’m not the only one that struggles with mornings and not knowing where I should begin in the Word. I, too, play the “if” game with myself. You’re so right! If we just come to Him with an open heart, he’ll show us what we need to know.

  • Rosemarry says:

    when i read this post i though it’s not that interesting but i still read till i finish and it’s made up my mind this is true.thanks you so much for sharing this with us it’s a big help.

  • Brookiej says:

    GREAT post! πŸ™‚ I really needed to hear it…my mornings are going pretty well. I need to refocus on what I do in morning, but I am up!

  • Rachael says:

    Struggling still…. Early mornings are hard with a toddler AND teens who keep you up late working on projects etc. Yes, we are back to school. Suggestions?

  • Katrina says:

    Mornings are going ok….
    It helps that a long-distance friend and I are reading through the Bible together, so we keep each other accountable!

  • Christy says:

    I was doing great until this last week…I am 39 weeks’ pregnant and my 2 year old and 3 1/2 year old came down with pink eye, then double ear infections, and now we all have strep throat!!! So I have been choosing sleep over getting up early. Still praying, though mostly just that we will all be healthy before this baby arrives. Not sure when my time in the word will happen once I have 3 under the age of 4 and will be getting up in the night again. Any advice????

    • Rachael says:

      Yes! I have been there. My oldest was not yet 3 when my 3rd child was born. Remember, sleep is good. God made us to sleep at night. When babies come we sacrifice some sleep. But God has not called us to walk around feeling guilty on top of sleep-deprived. I had a lot of love and support from family and church family during that time but what I needed was a reminder from Romans 12. Offer your body as a living sacrifice… THIS is your spiritual act of worship. Worship as you change diapers, read to your children, and (my favorite) as you sing and rock them! How do we worship doing these “mundane” tasks? It is WHERE my heart is as I do them that makes all the difference. I use to grumble every time I had to get up in the night with a baby. Since I am so hard-headed it was not until I had baby #6 that I finally grasped the beauty of worshiping God as I held my baby. What a gift: that He would give us these physical reminders of our spiritual situation. We are these weak little creatures helpless without Him and … profoundly loved by Him. I recommend a favorite worship CD to listen to as you feed and care for your little ones. Sing it loud or softly and lift up that prayer to Him. He will draw you close to Him. Praying for you…

      • Mishka B says:

        This is exactly how I have come to spend time with Him. His burden is light, He does not expect anything more of us than a heart that seeks after Him, after all it is Grace that makes any of it possible. The absolute beauty of spending time in worship is that it is effortless and yet so powerful. My attitude towards the less glamorous part of motherhood changed immediately when God showed me how to use this time to Glorify Him instead of feeling sorry for myself <#

      • Christy says:

        Thank you thank you thank you for these encouraging words. You brought me to tears! I’ve pulled up the email with your comment in it more than once to re-read it and speak this truth to myself. We had our baby back in August, and things are going well with my 3 little ones. Especially when I keep my attitude in check and remember that my sacrificial love is an act of worship! I’ve been trying to use all my middle of the night nursing sessions as times to pray, and it’s given me lots of time to pray! πŸ™‚ And helped keep my focus right. Anyway, just wanted to say thank-you!

  • Joyce says:

    I think the first half of the challenge was a lot easier for me, and then all the unplanned summer activities began. We did have VBS at our church this week, and because I was helping out this year, we had to be there at early. It got me re-motivated to get up early. And I was way more productive than the previous weeks.

  • April Emery says:

    God has been using my mornings to teach me more about Grace and my desperate need for Him as I love my husband and children – so thankful for His love and Grace

  • April Emery says:

    i tweeted at #hellomornings!

  • April Emery says:

    i shared encouragement on facebook this week

  • Lindsy says:

    Thank you for this post! I have lately been at the point you were before you found life in the word. I go back to the sinful thinking that “I’m not good enough”… knowing that God doesn’t ask me to be good enough… just to come. πŸ™‚ Thank you for this reminder. It is time to transform my mornings.

  • Kristie says:

    I hit a really rocky spot with my mornings this summer. I am just now trying to get back with the program, so this message came at just the right time. Thank you!

  • Karen says:

    I struggle with my mornings (actually, all day), but it has been in my heart lately to dive deeper into God’s word.

  • Nancy says:

    Thanks for the encouragement…my mornings haven’t been going too well – but I am inspired after reading this post. His mercies are new every morning!!

  • Susan says:

    My mornings aren’t really my mornings yet. My baby is only 3 months old, so we’re still trying to figure out mornings. She’s sleeping from 7 pm – about 3:30am and after feeding her she goes back to sleep till 7:30. Occasionally she sleeps 7 – 7, but not often yet. I miss waking up early, going for a run, and then spending time with my coffee and bible. Now that my 4 year old isn’t napping I don’t have that hour and a half to catch up on missed sleep. I know that God will get me through this phase and soon I’ll be back to waking up early before the kids.

  • Laura says:

    I am at that “need to find life” stage. I just need to hear God’s voice and feel His Spirit like I have before.

  • Tammy says:

    The last 3 years have been a series of trials and I have struggled to hear God. I try to read my Bible, but always feel distracted or like I’m just “not getting it.” Thank you for the encouragement to continue spend time with Him and listen for His voice.

  • Tammy says:

    craftytam Tammy Espino
    RT @inspired2action Guest Post & Giveaway: When Grace Overwhelms Your Not-Good-Enoughs Ò€” Inspired ..
    24 seconds ago

  • melissa says:

    My mornings are still really tough, but i still have faith that i will get where i want. Also your blog reminded me of how i feel so much, I try to do everything right when it comes to being a christian and for some reason i just don’t feel like i have a strong relationship with God, and I dont feel like i can feel him guiding me in my life. I have slacked off on reading my bible, but even before when i was reading my bible, praying, and having my quiet time I just didnt feel close to Him. Your blogs really hit home. Thank you

  • Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this post! My mornings go pretty smoothly – but that’s only after many, many years of stopping and starting and attempting to get into the habit of morning prayer. This post spoke to me in other ways, though – I tend to miss God’s grace and focus on what I can accomplish in other areas of my life. So thanks for the reminder that His grace is sufficient!

  • Mishka B says:

    this is a beautiful message. i pray that it encourages everyone who reads it. my mornings are not structured, but i take every opportunity during the day to walk and talk with the Lord. i love the time i have with Him while i’m washing the dishes after breakfast!

  • angi says:

    I’ve always been a morning person, so it was difficult when one of my three decided he would be a morning person, too. That is MY time! However, with God’s grace, I realized this could/has become the most precious time with my very active 7 year old boy – who doesn’t stop the rest of the day!

  • Hannah says:

    My mornings are under reconstruction as I have a newborn and am working on getting a routine down.