War and Motherhood: Welcome to the HelloMornings Challenge

By August 20, 2012HelloMornings Challenge

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Going Into Battle

War is hard. Have you ever noticed how in the old civil war movies, the soldiers always yell and scream and run to the battlefield?

Why is that?

It’s because offense is more effective than defense. The attacker has an advantage and they are more likely to succeed if they attack than if they let they enemy just happen upon them, unprepared. So they make a plan, pump themselves up, and charge to victory.

What does this have to do with motherhood?

Have you ever felt “attacked” by your day? Like things just kept coming at you and you couldn’t get on top of it all?

I have too. It’s exhausting, discouraging and overwhelming.

A few years ago I decided I’d had enough. It was time for me to go on the offense.

Time to put on my facepaint, raise my fists, scream and run into my day before it runs over me.

It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been perfect, but it has been worth it. My meager battles have yielded so much victory.

I recently read a book called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life The author, Laura Vanderkam says:

“Getting things down to routines and habits takes willpower at first but in the long run conserves willpower,” says Baumeister.

“Once things become habitual, they operate as automatic processes, which consume less willpower.” Take, for instance, brushing your teeth. Most of us don’t stand there arguing with ourselves every morning about whether we want to brush or not, whether it’s worth the effort of getting to the sink, whether the sensation of toothbrush bristles scrubbing around one’s mouth is particularly pleasant. It’s simply a morning ritual.

Welcome To The HelloMornings Challenge

The HelloMornings Challenge starts today. Thousands of women from all over the world are starting the journey of making morning time with God a regular and unquestioned part of their day.

If you think of it today, will you pray for them? And if you’re one of them, how did it go this morning? Click here to tell us about your morning!

FYI – this morning, my son woke up super early, my blog server was down and there was some spam in the #hellomornings Twitter stream. Friends, don’t be discouraged when you face obstacles. Opposition only hits those making a difference. Be encouraged that what you are doing matters. Press on!

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53 Comments

  • Avatar Amanda Langworthy says:

    I really enjoyed my morning! I needed more time! 🙂 hahaha I set my alarm for 6…hit snooze once and got up at 6:05 🙂 Did my 1 mile walk DVD with Leslie Sansone and then sat down to do the reading. I needed more time though cause by the time I did that and wrote in my prayer journal it was time to get my son up for school. I got everything done, but I was wanting more! I have been going through a dry spell and I am so excited about the HMC! Thank you!

  • Avatar Jen says:

    Whelp-first day of school today. I went to bed 30 minutes earlier last night and woke up 30 minutes earlier this morning. It wasn’t easy but easing into it and hoping to get to bed by 10:00 every night-probably in about 2 weeks to be realistic. I had 10 minutes with the Lord this morning and it really set the tone for all of us…and I got to pray for my kids in the car on the way to school before sending them off! Thankful for the challenge and sincerely trying to take back my mornings!

  • Avatar Lyn says:

    My morning started at 5:51 when I hit the snooze for the 1st time! I got up at 6:09 and fed all the animals and started breakfast for my 7th grader. I am struggling with heartbreak over a family problem, and my college freshman daughter (who started classes this morning) is missing her boyfriend/best friend who is attending college an hour away. My daughter posted an entry on Facebook this morning with pics from their high school graduation – saying “this seemed like only yesterday and now he’s been gone two weeks and I’m starting classes at a new school today. I miss my best friend”. So between the family problem and her post, I cried all the way home from taking my son to school and I’m crying now. THankfully I’ll be going to work at 1pm and will be busy and with some of my favorite people so I’ll be feeling better soon.

    • Avatar lara says:

      Oh sister, praying for you and your sweet daughter right now. God is going before and behind. Praying He faithfully speaks words of encouragement to you both.

    • Avatar Nicole says:

      Praying also. There’s nothing more sweeter than watching our children grow and experience life, but nothing as heartbreaking either. Praying God gives you words of comfort for your daughter and comfort your heart as well.

  • Avatar Christy says:

    Woke up 10 minutes earlier and had time with God. Started breakfast for everyone and then walked on the treadmill for 45 min…. having discipline to wake up before everyone is so energizing !!!!

  • Avatar Mickey says:

    Starting the morning getting right up at 5am because I was already awake. Didn’t sleep well last night. About to head downstairs to begin my challenge and my son’s door cracked open and he comes walking out saying “Mommy, I”m all done sleeping.”. So, the 1st day of my challenge didn’t go so well. I did get a few moments to myself (in the potty..lol) and got to do a little of the 1 Peter bible study. As my group leader said, tomorrow is another day. I won’t give up. I know there is an enemy of my soul out there to try to take this away from me and I won’t let him win in Jesus name.

    • Avatar lara says:

      That’s right, friend. One day at a time. His mercies are new every single morning. Praying that you may find a few more moments of quiet with Him today. Blessings to you!

  • Avatar AmyG says:

    My morning started at 5:15 but that isn’t & won’t be the norm for me. I was off from work yesterday, so I went to bed at 11pm. Normally, I work until 1am, so I’ll need all the sleep I can squeeze in. I plan to make 6am my wake up time, so I can spend time with God & my bible. I don’t do my walk until after the girls are dropped off at school.

  • This is my first time doing Hello Morning but today was awesome. I had more time this morning than usual so I had a great QT first — thankful for the Peter study! — and then went on a jog for the first time in about 6 months. I know that it won’t be perfect but I am praying for transformation of my habits and transformation in my heart to truly desire to give God my first-fruits each morning. Thank you so much to the Hello Morning team and leaders all over who make this possible!!

  • Avatar KellyW says:

    My first morning went better than could be expected. The Lord must have known I needed a great Day 1 to be motivated! Woke 10 min. before my 6am alarm, what!?!, had a great time with the Lord in the Peter study. Then I walked outside in the cool air for 10 minutes, just enough to get my blood flowing. Finished it up with planning my day. AND, to top it all off, all three of my little ones slept until 7:15. Amazing! I know everyday will not go so smoothly, but I’m ever so thankful for these precious moments that do. Ready to do it again tomorrow!

  • Avatar Amy says:

    My morning was great! Started off at 6 a.m. and started the bible study on 1 Peter. My kids slept in so I was also able to (re-read) part of Maximize your Mornings as well. As the kids arrived downstairs, 1 by 1, I greeted them happily and was eager to serve them! I started breakfast but had to get the baby so my 8 year old daughter finished making it for me 🙂 Kids are all doing their chores now and I was able to sit down and read devotions with some of my little boys. Hoping to start dinner soon (crock-pot) and squeeze in a walk today, too! Thanks Kat 🙂

  • Avatar Stacy says:

    So happy to start this. I’ve been a morning person all my life but had just gotten out of the habit. Told my husband last night about the challenge. He’s super supportive but I still didn’t want to tell him. (He always gets up early). But this morning that accountability helped me get up! I spent time in the Word, drank a bottle of water, spent 30 minutes on the treadmill listening to my special “hellomornings” playlist, and was ready to start our home school with my 7th, 9th, and 10th graders. I was also really proud when my college football playing son who was headed out for an early team meeting had to come and find me int he garage on the treadmill:)) I checked in on Twitter using #hellomornings. I also received your email yesterday. Is there anything else I’m supposed to do—maybe related to my group—-I’m new to this. Thanks for your encouragement and support!!

    • Avatar lara says:

      Sounds like you rocked. it. out. to me! If your group has a special Twitter hashtag or Facebook page you can also check in specifically with them. Otherwise it sounds like you had a great morning. Praying He continues to fill you throughout the day!

  • Avatar Carol White says:

    Didn’t even realize today was day one. That is how battle ready I am! However, I did manage to do my Bible study (on the Tabernacle) and spend some time with the Lord. Sweet beginnings.

  • Avatar Trisha says:

    #Hellomornings – Wow! I actually couldn’t have thanked God for a better day to start this challenge. I was able to wake up BEFORE my alarm (5:15), out of bed (5:20), made the delicious coffee, awesome personal devos, quick exercise, great in-depth 1 Peter devos, connecting with my Bible Study groups on Facebook and great blog reading posts before 7am. From 7-8am, I did housecleaning and a bit of talking with my hubby. Then, hubby left and kids and I spent a few minutes in prayer for daddy’s meetings. I was able to write a Connect ‘n Pray blog posts (missionaries in Paraguay, so we try to keep people connected and praying), and then dove into homeschooling my 3 children (10, 8, and 6). We hit some bumps along the way, but I will tell you after enjoying time in God’s Word – it helped me get through without blowing it and remaining calm! PRAISE HIM! Favorite part of morning: Starting “The Dig for Kids” with my children!! They loved it! #trainupachild #belikeChristtothem

    Thanks for this challenge and areas to grow! Blessings and greetings from the Southern Cone and the country that is located in the heart of South America – Paraguay!

  • Avatar maddalena70 says:

    Hello… you are right… sometimes you need to be ready to engaged battla…. and be really ready….. moreover when you are un a phase like the one in which I live at the moment… with a lot of discussions with my daughters….. I do not anymore who I am… and try to find my peace in my soul with the help of God and His word…..

    And it is already a great challenge….

    Thank you to all of you for the help…

    Cheers

    Maddalena

  • Avatar Megan says:

    First day! I went to bed WAY too late last night and managed to hit the snooze button only once! That is a huge success for me as I am a huge fan of the snooze button. Got up, did some devotionals, some other reading, prayer and planning. Hit my first stumbling block when my 4 month old woke up during my quiet time but at least I got in about 30 minutes! Still managed to shower and be ready for my 2 other girls BEFORE they got up. To me, that’s a successful morning! Already looking forward to my quiet time tomorrow.

  • Avatar Amber says:

    Morning went very well. Got up with my alarm. Sat down to do 1 Peter bible study which is when my 4 1/2 yr old came downstairs (of course). Strangely enough, didn’t bother me. Did my study and them was able to get everyone up, breakfast, and out the door without any chaos or yelling or fighting. Praying everyday goes this well.

  • Avatar Pam McCullough says:

    Ok, I must admit I totally forgot about my time with the Lord. But I was reading all this weekend, but when my daughter came home from summer vaca I went into mom mode that was all she wrote. But I printed out my e-book, got my bible on the dining room table and I’m ready to go. Continue to pray for me my sisters, as I u.

  • Avatar ChrisY says:

    It’s my first time doing the challenge, my goal is to get up at 5:30am, but starting this week at 6:30am. I had a whole hour to myself; awesome quiet time and very short exercise time, lol. Now doing laundry & digging into our new homeschool curriculum. School starts next week for us and I haven’t got a thing planned yet.

  • Avatar CJ says:

    Love the image! Maybe tomorrow I’ll slap on some war paint, run into the kids rooms screaming “let’s do this thing!!!” Since we homeschool, I really would like the kids to catch the morning love bug as much as me. I’m praying my good morning habits will become contagious.

  • Avatar Tameka says:

    My morning started well. My goal was 5:30 and I was actually up at 5:30 without the alarm clock. I did wake up to my 2 year old who was awake watching TV quietly. Thankfully after a cup of milk he went back to sleep. I had my quiet time. No exercise (work in progress). My 11 month old was up by the time I was showered and dressed. I’m another one who feels like I need more time.

  • Today was my first day getting up early to pray since the last challenge. I’m ashamed of that but look at it as a new beginning. I woke up at 6am and had difficulty focusing (2 cats running around the house).. I have GOT to find a quiet place which is challenging in an apartment.

    Nevertheless I did get my reading and “some” prayer in.

  • Avatar Heather says:

    The alarm went off at 5:45 and I went to the restroom and then briefly thought in my head how nice it would be to crawl back in bed. But wisdom won out (that and the smell of coffee) and I got dressed, got my coffee and went to my little space for time with God. I listened to music, read the LIVING Word and prayed. It was wonderful. My husband then came in and we prayed together for our daughter’s new year at school, as well as for our entire family. I then grabbed my sneakers and went for a 1 mile walk. Not a huge workout, but all I had time for this morning before I had to get our daughter ready for school. I had already spent time planning the night before, so everything was ready to finish her lunch and her clothes were all set out. It was a great first start for me! I’m praying that I will be disciplined enough to do this every day! It is definitely the way to go!

  • Avatar Tanya bell says:

    Talk about opposition! My 2 yr old woke up super early wanting food and the cold I thought was on its way out came back with a vengeance this morning! I still managed to do day 1 of 1 Peter, jot down lunch and dinner plans, do family devotions! Not bad for day 1!

  • Avatar Rugayya says:

    Great morning! My alarm went off this morning and I got up…and best part is I stayed up. Got dressed in my workout clothes, grabbed my spiritual basket and headed downstairs to meet my husband and have my quiet time with God. Awesome prayer, study and then more prayer. My 3 year old daughter woke up and got her bible to have her quiet time with God. Then we started our workout. I was very excited about the workout because I have been trying for two weeks to get back into the habit of working out with poor results. But I actually put on my video and my daughter and I had fun doing the cardio and yoga workout. It felt great! Although the day is going by quick…many things have been accomplished…laundry, dishes, calls, grooming both kids and we are even done with school. Looking forward to the rest of the day AND tomorrow morning! May God continue to move mountains!

  • Avatar Jessica says:

    Up every hour with a teething four month old, followed by a new grandson, and instantly after getting the first baby picture, my best friend gets in a terrible car accident. Taking a time out to do what I missed this morning!

  • Avatar velia says:

    I start work at 8h00 (south africa) so I get up at 5:15. It is currently winter here so it is pretty hard getting up early, and I did not get much sleep last night, had to get up at 11:00 last night to open the door for my youngest (20) after visiting with his girlfriend and then again at 12:00 for my other boy (23) who went away for the weekend, and on top of that I have the flu. So it was quiet as challenge to get up at 5:15 but I did it. Spent an hour in the word of God. Did not do my 10min workout – (want to start walking) but being winter it is still dark at that time of the morning. Wanted to go for a 10 min walk this afternoon but the weather is miserable. Will walk for 10min in my passage tomorrow morning. I enjoyed spending time with our Lord this morning.

  • Avatar Angelue' says:

    Well, today was the first day and I made it up before everyone else! Yay! I was concerned when I went to bed if I would actually make it up, because it was a little late. Amazing…God will use anything to encourage us along our path; such as, a three year old who made her way to our bed around 3 a.m. With her constant prodding in my back, I’ve never been so happy to get out of bed! I went to a place I was sure to not disturb anyone (the desk in the laundry room) and delighted in my first day of study. I must say that this was the first time in a while that I picked up my actual Bible. I’ve fallen into relying on technology when I read and today I discovered there is nothing like turn those thin, crinkly pages of my Bible. I had a sweet time with my Savior this morning and I am looking forward to many more ahead! Thanks for the challenge!

  • Avatar Jasmine says:

    Well I got up at 7 which is good for me, but it wasn’t by choice. It was because I felt sick…. So I guess I have a stomach bug. I did get to read my devotional Jesus calling, and as always it spoke to me. I’m really hoping I can feel better tomorrow and have a fresh start.

  • Avatar Molly says:

    Today was an encouraging start! I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm and bargained with God that if I woke up early one more time, I’d get out of bed (why do I do this? It’s not as if He needs to bargain with me:). 5 minutes later, I was awake again. Still not getting the memo, I made the same deal in my mind. Another 5 minutes later, I was wide awake and thinking, “I’m going to miss what God has for me this morning if I don’t get my bum out of bed!” I grabbed my bible, journal, devo and pen, and snuggled up in our guest room to pray. Nearly an hour went by without interruption, and what a beautiful time I had with the Lord! It’s been so easy for me to allow myself to shrink back from things as of late, and that’s not my personality at all! I completely felt God releasing me of this, and reminding me that I’m never alone in anything I face–even the very small things. I’m so thankful for this challenge, and for its timing in my life. I needed a little jolt to get me going…somehow the accountability of strangers and the camaraderie of motherhood this morning was the perfect catalyst. Thank you for the encouragement and community in which to do this–to celebrate the goodnesses that God has to offer us as mamas, every morning 🙂

  • Avatar Alana says:

    Well, morning one was a total flop here…To bed at midnight (up too late painting in new house), then 1 yr old daughter up at 1 and 5. So woke up with both kids at 6:45, and only because I had to! Will give it another try tonight!

  • Avatar Donna says:

    Alarm went off at 6:00. Spent about 3 minutes convincing myself that I should get up – if my husband can get out of bed at 3:30 A.M. to go on a 5k walk, then I can certainly do it at 6:00. got back and had breakfast ready with the children got up. Need to add in time with God!

  • Avatar Donna says:

    Alarm went off at 6:00. Spent about 3 minutes convincing myself that I should get up – if my husband can get out of bed at 3:30 A.M. to go on a 5k walk, then I can certainly do it at 6:00. got back and had breakfast ready when the children got up. Need to add in time with God!

  • Avatar Melinda T says:

    This morning I woke up without hitting the snooze button (which will come in handy once my dd starts school again next Tuesday!) and spent time with my devotions…until my 2yr old woke up, then had to turn my attention to her.

  • Avatar Jasmine says:

    Had a very productive morning, though I did not get up earlier.
    However, how do I connect with my FB group?

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    I woke up 45 minutes before my usual time, and 30 minutes before my alarm. I did go to bed about a half hour early, and also not early enough to wake up in the middle of the night with insomnia like usual. The girls woke earlier than usual (always happens at the beginning of the challenge!), but I got to share with them from Day 1 of our 1 Peter study. I told them about Peter denying Jesus, and they both said, “I know Jesus! I believe in Jesus!” It was so wonderful to look at #hellomornings on Instagram and see how God is at work around the world.

  • Avatar Tara says:

    I started this morning. I overslept but I did have time to read the verses. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  • Avatar Danielle says:

    I started this morning, the day has been great so far! 🙂

  • Avatar Jana says:

    Well, today was our first day of school, and I went to bed WAY too late (or early actually, hehe) preparing. This night owl is ready to start the early bird habit, but I didn’t even hear my alarm this morning. The whole house woke up 3 hours late! At least I have everyone in bed right now and we are ready to start fresh (and early) tomorrow…with double alarms. hehe Babysteps….

  • Avatar Jen says:

    The beginning of this challenge went well for me. I was hoping to sneak in my Bible study before the kids were awake but NOPE they ended up being up and wide awake. So I got to ask them for some private time and explained that it’s important to spend time in the Word and learning about God and having quiet time to pray. You know what? They stayed in the living room and I sat at the table where they could see me studying, praying and journaling. I felt blessed.
    I’m substituting house cleaning as my “movement” part of the routine because, frankly, I hate it and I need God’s motivation to make me want to do it. (Small apartment, too much “stuff”) That went well too and I had a great start to the day.

  • Avatar Debbie. says:

    You know, the first day of the challenge I do not have any set goals. My first day is always spent on the battle frontlines – and today was no different. My wrinkle cream used as paint in my daughters’ bedroom. My hairspray can – empty. My new shampoo to fight my thinning hair, dumped down the drain. And that’s pretty well how my day went. So I’m setting my alarm for 5:00 a.m. tomorrow and starting fresh!!! And as I go to bed tonight, I’m praying “Lord, please fill in all the gaps where I may have missed!”

  • Avatar Sam says:

    This morning was a great start for me, but I know it’s just the beginning. I felt so energized having time to myself and it absolutely impacted my day in positive ways. There is so much encouragement in this community, it’s wonderful!

  • Avatar Angela says:

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who had a rough day! I went to bed late & then was awakened about 6 times in the night–sooo very weird for me! But I got up early & had a really great (albeit exhausting) 1st day of the challenge! And this blog post was just what I needed today! I am learning that my job is basically missionary in purpose b/c I get to encourage & inspire moms of kids w/special healthcare needs while I am being their dietitian!! They might not know about ITA or even be a Christian, but every mom needs someone who cheers her on to greatness & faithfulness & not giving up, right? Soooooo honored to be a part of God’s cheering section w/ ITA & HMC as my Pom-poms!!!!

  • Avatar TASHA says:

    I woke up around 6a CST & got up to pray at 630a. Followed prayer with a morning devotional study, turned on some gospel music for morning worship and took the time to hold my 7-yr-old before her first full day of second grade. We managed to eat breakfast & make it to school and work on time (well I was 2 minutes late). After work, we volunteered at a local food bank, & managed to get homework done as well. Overall, I am in great spirits and feel I am being prepared for my godly purpose.

  • I survived it!
    I did a lot better today, mind you. Yesterday I just did my reading and praying and checking in. Today I threw some stretches in for good measure too. I’m not into exercising… at all… ever… but I’ll stretch with the best of them if I can.
    I’m loving the early time with my God. I love the refreshing. What a way to start your day?!

  • Avatar JacquelineB says:

    Help, please – there is a 1 Peter study we are supposed to be doing with our group, but I cannot locate it.

  • Avatar JacquelineB says:

    Oh, nevermind! I figured it out. Will purchase when I get a chance. 🙂

  • Avatar Holly says:

    WoW! I didn’t get to post yesterday but I did get up. Woke the baby so I layed really still so she would go back to sleep. Fell asleep. oops. But I woke back up and started up my day.
    I got everything done and had time to spear. It felt so good to not be dragging when my boys got up. Easier to face them then chase them.

  • Avatar Jackie says:

    Got up at 3 a.m. Vienna, Austria time in order to get on a flight that would get me started for home. Arrived back inthe States at 2 p.m. our time. So I am starting the challenge on Wed (gave myself one day for jet lag, needed it). This morning got up before my grandaughter and hubbie. Spent time in prayer and in I Peter. Now she is up and will start breakfast and my day. Looking forward to connecting with my fb group.

  • […] am not so afraid of falling anymore. I started a HelloMornings Challenge: to wake up early, start my day with you, in the word, to exercise (!), to plan/pray (review plans) […]