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

By | Create A Morning Routine | 163 Comments

(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!

Giveaways!

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.)

10 reasons NOT to get up early

By | Create A Morning Routine | 27 Comments

fire starters

(Note: This is a guest post from the amazing Michelle and is part of the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge. Without Michelle, the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge wouldn’t have happened. Give her a shout out, will you?)

From Michelle…

I’m departing from our typical Hello Mornings theme and sharing why getting up early might not be right for you.

10 Reasons Not To Get Up Early

1. Your kids enjoy your morning breath.

2. You love that “15-minutes late” feeling.

3. You like visitors while you shower.

4. You think peace and quiet are overrated.

5. Your kids play quietly with educational toys when unsupervised.

6. You prefer a challenge.

7. Bedhead becomes you.

8. Your ideal alarm is, “Mom, I’m hungry!”

9. You possess ample quantities of every spiritual fruit at all times.

10. You can’t bear a single moment without your cherubs by your side.

Keep The Funny Flowing

What are some more reasons NOT to get up early?

A Big Break Up Story and A Giveaway for You!

By | Create A Morning Routine | 93 Comments

Jillian Michaelsphoto credit

(Note from Kat: This is a guest post from the always wonderful, amazing and faithful Michelle who blogs at So I Married A Mennonite. When you’re done reading this post, check out this post she wrote. So lovely….)

A year ago, I broke up with sleeping in.

I know it’s no good for me.

But like an old flame, I keep getting burned.

And truly, who would ever know?

Except that I have the Jillian Michaels of the inspirational blogging world in my corner.

And much like Jillian’s clients, I don’t always want to hear the truth.

But I need to.

The truth is…

We have the ability to wake wisely.

We have “Jillian.”

We have each other.

We have a Helper.

We have everything we need.

We’re 7 weeks into our Summer Hello Mornings Session! How are you doing with it?

Giveaways! One for You, One for Your Kids!

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:

What’s In The Bible
Do YOU know What’s in the Bible?!

This DVD series from Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer is a fun, entertaining way for the whole family to learn more about the Bible – where it came from, who wrote it, what all those big words mean, and more! Buck Denver and Phil himself host a crazy cast of characters who tell stories and sing songs all about the Bible, book by book!

You can win a set of the first five What’s in the Bible DVDs today, which takes you from the beginning through the days of David!

Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy Organized Home
And you can also win something just for YOU! Tyndale House is also giving away the fabulous book, The Busy’s Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home!

Kathy Peel, America’s Family Manager, offers moms quick solutions and practical advice in The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home, an easy-access reference guide that covers all of the key questions asked by women who want to be the best moms possible.

The ideas for getting organized and managing your family in this book are awesome! It will really make you think through every area of life and be intentional about managing your time and resources as God leads.

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment here and tell us how your mornings are going. 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.)

Tips on Daily Planning from Hello Mornings! {Summer 11 :: Week 4} & a Giveaway!!

By | Create A Morning Routine | 71 Comments

Project 50 - Day #1 (Moleskine)

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

Are you a planner?

Do you do schedules? Routines?

Or are you freeform? Organic? Unscheduled?

This week, we are talking about Part 4 of Maximizing Your Mornings: the Planning.

But I’m Not A Planner!

I used to have an aversion to planning; possibly from the relentless scheduling required of teachers. Somewhere between 1 kid and 1 new baby, I accepted the fact I needed some structure in life again; for my family, if not for myself.

It turns out, planning can be really fun! It provides a lot of freedom and control, because everything is up to you. If you leave things to the last minute, you become a slave to what needs to be done right now.

Even if you’re not a “planner” per se, you can benefit from taking time to decide what’s important each morning.

How To Plan

There are all sorts of ways to plan, and none are more right than the other.

You could plan:

  • on paper
  • electronically
  • using lists
  • using mind maps
  • using brain dumps
  • using planners
  • using post-its
  • using calendars
  • using chalkboards

Simply give your day some forethought.

As Kat put it, don’t let your day happen to you. Pick it up, dust off it’s behind and point it in the right direction. (Okay, she didn’t exactly say that.)

Step 4: Create a Planning Routine

Read pages 16-17 of the eBook. The 3 planning areas are:

  • Calendar
  • To-Do List
  • Dinner

Action Steps

Found on page 25 of the eBook.

  1. Create a Master Calendar with all your events and responsibilities.
  2. Make a Master To Do List — get your to do list out of your brain and onto paper (or pixel). Separate your tasks into Active and Someday lists.
  3. Select 3-5 recipes to make each week.
  4. Print out the Daily Overview (or make your own) and fill it out each day.

Giveaway

As a little incentive for you all to press on, we are doing weekly giveaways.

It’s time for Veggie Tales!

Actually, any time is a good time for Veggie Tales, and our good Veggie friends have put together a fun prize pack to give away to one of you! The prize pack includes:

The new Veggie Tales Live DVD just came out June 4th, so you’ll be among the first to experience all the fun! And Veggie Tales is always a great way to entertain those kiddos who get up in the middle of your early morning routine, right?!

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment here and share an planning tip or challenge you face. Extra entry if you give a tip to someone who shared a challenge.
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.

(FYI – Last week’s winner was Sarah S.)

Hello Mornings! {Summer 11 :: Week 3} & Giveaway!!

By | Create A Morning Routine | 77 Comments

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

While Kat has been in the Philippines with Compassion, we’ve been waking up, having quiet time and getting in some morning exercise. Right?

[108/365] Ill-advised

photo credit

I wanted to know how it’s going, so I tweeted a few questions about AM exercise this week.

What Actually Happens

Several of you said your AM workout wasn’t happening- for several reasons:

  • Exercising in the morning wakes sleeping children.
  • Quiet time takes the entire time.
  • Exercise happens later in the day.

I completely understand these reasons. Those quiet moments when everyone’s asleep are really precious. It takes time to craft the morning routine and find out what works.

Ideas That Work

Thank you to everyone who shared your morning workout routine. Here’s what some of you are doing:

  • Workout DVD’s (Slim in 6, Walk at Home — Leslie Sansone, 30 Day Shred, Turbo Jam, P90x, ChaLean Extreme, Body Gospel)
  • Running and other Cardio (Couch to 5k)
  • Weights (A plus because they’re quiet!)
  • Calisthenics (Squats, lunges, etc.)

Make It Work For You

If you exercise later in the day, that’s great. If you can combine your exercises with something you already do, like worship or getting ready for the day, that will also help you maximize your morning time.

No Matter How Slow

I saw this inspiring quote the other day,

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

What are your AM exercise goals?

Step 3: Develop An Exercise Plan

(You know the drill — check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.)

Read pages 10-15 of the eBook. They go something like this:

  • Pick a Workout — What type of exercise would you enjoy? Mix up the cardio and strength training.
  • Make it Fun — In order to develop a fitness habit, choose a workout that’s simple and fun. Once the habit is in place, you can concentrate on getting those abs of steel!
  • Have a “Habit Workout” — What’s something quick you could do when you wake up late? Kat does 10 pushups, 30 bicycle crunches, and 10 squats. Be creative!
  • Keep a Routine — Figure out a way to do something every day!
  • Set a Goal — Post a simple goal that you’ll be proud to accomplish.
  • Choose a Workout Soundtrack — What songs make you want to run outside and start chest-bumping your neighbors?

Action Steps

Pages 23-24 of the eBook will walk you through creating your Exercise Plan:

1. List all the ways you could possibly exercise.
2. Specifically plan your workout — What, Where, When?
3. Create Your Habit — What is 1 thing you’ll do everyday?
4. Set a Goal — Why are you exercising?

Giveaway

As a little incentive for you all to press on, we are doing weekly giveaways. Many thanks to Erin for arranging them all!!

Sandy is the beautiful blogger at Reluctant Entertainer, and author of a book by the same name, which encourages having an beautiful {not perfect!} home so you are not afraid to have people over!

This is a great resource for planning ahead, but also for emphasizes the relationship part of entertaining! It is visually stunning and inspiring as well!

Sandy has graciously donated her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, as this week’s giveaway!

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment here and share an exercise tip or challenge you face. Extra entry if you give a tip to someone who shared a challenge.
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.

(FYI – Last week’s winner was Cheryl P.)

A Giveaway for You – Hello Mornings! {Summer 11 :: Week 2}

By | Create A Morning Routine | 85 Comments

Summer Susansphoto credit

(Note from Kat: This is a guest post from my wonderful friend Michelle.)

Hello, friends! I hope you are enjoying your morning retreats so far. Or, at least, the effect they have on your day.

If you’re still working on waking up, don’t worry. Keep going while you begin focusing on the next step.

Step 2: Quiet Time Schedule

As women, we are often the nurturers of our family. Our way of showing love is sacrificial, usually putting our own needs last. We spend ourselves caring for the ones we love, and we don’t mind. (Not even when we’ve changed 847 diapers in one day, right?)

We go to bed tired. But even after waking up, we need to be filled up. Imagine yourself as a vase. You’re much more effective when filled with life-giving water.

Since a vase can’t fill itself, it’s crucial that we spend time with God each morning. He knows just what we need for the day ahead. Out of the fullness we get from Him, we can give to others without being spent.

As a mom, I would love to be the mom who greets my kids with a cheerful smile and shares what I prayed for them each morning, rather than grouching at them as they climb into my bed.

What is your hope for your morning quiet times?

This Week

  • Read pages 6-10 of the eBook.
  • Read Step 2 on page 20.
  • Pages 21-22 are there for you to put your Worship Plan in writing.

Action Steps

1. Select morning worship music.

2. Create or select a Bible study plan.

3. Create or print a prayer calendar.

4. Be quiet and listen.

Online Community

You can connect virtually with over 800 other women waking up early!

Facebook: Stop by the Inspired to Action page for encouragement!

Twitter: Use hashtag #hellomornings to jump in and say “Good Morning!”

Email: Form your own group of encouragers!

This Week’s Giveaways!!

We wear so many hats as moms, so here’s a giveaway that has a little bit of everything to help you out!

Darlene from The Time-Warp Wife has donated an awesome giveaway today! She is the co-author of an inspiring book with Candace Cameron Bure called Reshaping It All

In Reshaping It All, Candace, with the help of Darlene, tells her story, inspiring women to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront, making wise choices, and finding their worth in the eyes of God. Candace shares a candid account of her struggle with food and ultimately her healthy outlook on weight despite the toothpick-thin expectations of Hollywood.

This book is not a diet manual, but a motivation for all-around better health, physically and spiritually. There are great Scriptures to memorize for your journey to a healthier lifestyle, and even some yummy, healthy recipes!

Which brings us to the next part of the giveaway! As part of this prize pack, the winner will also get to pick their choice of apron {up to $35 value) from Flirty Aprons! Those are some CUTE aprons!

Thanks so much to Darlene at The Time-Warp Wife for this lovely book and apron giveaway!

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment here and tell us what you’re hoping to gain by “Maximizing Your Mornings.”
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.

We will pick one winner this week to be announced next Friday.

Last weeks winner: Rambling Heather

We want you to stay connected, because we know that community is a huge key to your success!

Hello Mornings! {Summer 11::Week 1} & A Giveaway!!

By | Create A Morning Routine | 71 Comments

Photo Credit

(Note from Kat: This is a guest post from the always wonderful Michelle.)

After weeks of prepping, sorting and emailing, the newest session of the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge is off and running like a Kentucky racehorse!

Twitter and Facebook are abuzz with a steady mix of encouraging words and desperate pleas for more coffee.

If you’re new to the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge, you may be wondering how to begin.

Step 1: Get Out Of Bed!

Our first goal is simply to get out of bed! Everyday, when the alarm goes off, resist the urge to hit snooze and roll over.

Tip: Establishing a consistent wake-up time will make your mornings happen more easily.

Night Owls

Is your challenge actually getting to bed? Then your assignment is to choose a bedtime and stick to it!

Give yourself permission to go to sleep. You deserve it. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!

When Should I Wake Up?

Whenever works for you and your family.

There is no magic, one-size-fits-all number!

What time would give you enough time for quiet time, exercise, and planning each day before your house gets busy?

If that time is close to your current waking time, great! If the two are miles apart, you may want to adjust your alarm and internal clock gradually.

It will be much better for long-term success to do it this way. There are no bonus points for waking up cold turkey!

When Should I Go to Bed?

You probably need around 7.5 hours of sleep. If you have children and you’re lucky, they sleep 10-11 hours a night. (That was the average of a recent Twitter poll.)

Try fitting your 7.5 hours within their 10-11, leaving enough time in the morning to accomplish what you want.

This is the most important part of making a morning routine work!

You may be able to keep late hours and still wake up early for a few weeks, maybe longer. But it will catch up to you, leaving you burnt out.

If you want to see long-term results, get enough sleep!

Action Steps

1. Print the eBook.

2. Read pages 1-6 & page 20 of the eBook.

3. Set your alarm.

4. Go to bed on time.

5. Get out of Bed!

Online Community

You can connect virtually with over 800 other women waking up early!

Facebook: Stop by the Inspired to Action page for encouragement!

Twitter: Use hashtag #hellomornings to jump in and say “Good Morning!”

Email: Form your own group of encouragers!

Weekly Giveaways!!!

We know that getting up early isn’t easy, so we thought we’d make it a little more fun by throwing in some giveaways!! Our wonderful friend Erin from HomeWithTheBoys, is lining up some really fun prizes.

So to kick off our weekly giveaways, we have something to help you with that morning quiet time!

Tyndale House is giving away a copy of the One Year Bible for Women! This special edition of the best-selling One Year Bible includes encouraging inspirational thoughts to boost your faith and brighten your day! This New Living Translation Bible provides 15-minute daily reading portions – just perfect to maximize your mornings! Plus, I think it’s pretty – doesn’t that make it even better?!

How To Enter

There are four ways to enter the giveaway.

1. Leave a comment and tell us how your mornings are going or share an encouragement.
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.

We will pick one winner this week to be announced next Friday.

We want you to stay connected, because we know that community is a huge key to your success!

Hello Mornings {Winter-Spring ’11} Katie’s Story

By | Create A Morning Routine | 21 Comments

This following is a post from Katie Orr, one of the #hellomornings accountability gals.

Katie’s Story

After a good solid stretch of smooth sailing in my attempts to rise early to prepare for the day (and even moving my rising time up by a full hour!) a change has come that has knocked the wind out of my sails.

Daylight. Savings.

Maybe you are here with me? If not, you probably have your own wind-sucking event around the corner. A family stomach-bug. A new pregnancy. A road trip. Exhaustion. It is easy to be shipwrecked by the unexpected.  There is a crucial battle in my heart and mind I must not forget about as I strive to become more like Jesus.

Managing My Expectations

This has been a long journey for me. Learning that there will be ups and there will be downs. I will fail. I cannot do it right all the time.

If I am not careful, I assume that my sanctification (the process of becoming more and more like Jesus) “should” look like this:

No snags, no bumps in the road, no failures. Just success.

When the wind is taken out of my sails there are two dangerous waves I must be on the look out for.

The Waves of Denial and Discouragement

When I succumb to the Wave of Denial I believe the lie that it is not ok to struggle. I deny that I have a need. Put on my “everything is great” smile. Have my “God is good” locked and loaded. Pretend that I have it all together. This is a dangerous place. When I deny to others that I have failures, I deny my need for grace.

If I am not careful I find myself swaying the other way and get stuck wallowing in my failures. “I should be better than this.” “Why can’t I be more like so-and-so?” I let the Wave of Discouragement overtake me.

When I was in college minister I often knew without asking when my girls were struggling. They stopped coming to Bible Study. They didn’t answer or return my phone calls. One excuse after another as why they were suddenly too busy to meet. I knew that it wasn’t that History exam that was suddenly so important; they felt like they had failed in one way or another and they didn’t want to face it. Instead of running to grace they stayed in the storm; stuck tossing back and forth between denial and discouragement. Shipwrecked.

A Realistic Picture

Consider with me a different course. The first cross in this picture represents our first life-changing encounter with Christ, the last representing when we see Jesus face to face in perfect glory:

There will be winter and there will be spring. There may be active rebellion, or long periods of stagnancy. If I am truly in a relationship with God, though the path may be rocky, over the course of a lifetime I will look more like Christ. My ups and downs are going to look different from yours but both our journeys will have these hills and valleys. God has a plan for both.

I am encouraged when I remember that “it is God who works in [me], both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) He is still working, even on the mornings that I don’t get up in time to study my Bible, or weeks of distraction and busyness go by and I have not chosen the necessary thing (to sit at Jesus’ feet). “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in [me], will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

God started the work. God continues the work. God will complete the work.

Whether you are on a mountaintop or in the valley, in a great time of growth or an enduring season of winter, be encouraged. Take a look behind you at the journey God has had you on and remember the places in your life that God has already transformed. Expect Him to continue to work in you; put up those sails and wait for the winds to change.

If you are His, He is working. And that means everything (even if you did hit snooze this morning).

Where Are You?

Do you feel like you’re climbing a mountain, walking in a valley or somewhere in between?

Hello Mornings {Winter-Spring ’11} Ashley’s Story

By | Create A Morning Routine | 12 Comments

The following is a guest post from Ashley Pichea.

Ashley’s Story

The Maximize Your Mornings Challenge (aka Hellomornings) has changed my life.. Seriously!

In the month of August, I jumped in head first into the inaugural Maximize Your Mornings challenge.

And because I jumped and didn’t take baby steps, I crashed and burned hard. By the end of the month, life had gotten REALLY busy (read: vacations, school, moving, etc.), and I had fallen off the Maximize Your Mornings bandwagon.

I floundered around through most of the fall, keeping on track somewhat with my Bible reading, but failing to get up and get out of bed at a decent time.

When Kat and Michelle announced the Winter 2011 Maximize Your Mornings Challenge, I decided it was time to start being proactive about my mornings again.

Combined with the #3in30 Challenge this winter, I have managed to escape the winter blues and have been a better wife/mom/person because of the accountability and encouragement that the two challenges have brought to my life.

How do I do #HelloMornings?

In the darkness of my room (with my husband still asleep), I grab my phone and work my way through multiple apps:

  • First, my phone is my alarm (when the puppy doesn’t wake me up first). The vibration and harp-like alarm tone wake me up so much more peacefully than a standard alarm.
  • I start on Twitter, using the HootSuite app on my phone. Waking up each morning to friends on Twitter that are looking forward to interacting with me as much as I am looking forward to interacting with them (I seriously miss you all on the days I don’t get online!!) helps me to actually WAKE UP at a decent hour and start my day. My typing skills at that time of the morning tend to be interesting at best, but forcing my mind and body to wake up enough to type legibly usually works to wake me up enough that I won’t be as tempted to go back to sleep.
  • From my check-in on Twitter, I move to my YouVersion app. I use YouVersion to do my Bible reading, tweeting out verses of encouragement and challenge as I read. When I read on my phone, I tend to read more and reflect more. I love sharing verses on Twitter and Facebook as I read and getting feedback from my friends who share how the verses spoke to them that day!
  • After a time of reading, I pop back on Twitter and/or browse Facebook and start to pray for requests I see. Many of the #hellomornings gals will share requests in the Twitter stream, and I count it a privilege to lift them up to the One who knows all our needs. What a blessing to be able to intercede for these friends, many of whom I’ve never met in person!

The Struggle

Now, before you start to think, “Wow! She seems to have it all together!” let me tell you… I don’t!

I am just like any other stay-at-home mom of littles:

  • I’m tired.
  • I’m selfish.
  • I struggle to get out of bed and face another day at times.
  • I miss days (usually 1-2 a week).

That’s what is so great about the Maximize Your Mornings challenge.

  • It isn’t about perfection.
  • It isn’t about a special formula (we each do it our own unique way).
  • It’s about encouragement and accountability!

We all struggle. We all need help. We have all come looking for encouragement and accountability. It’s a community of friends who are there to pick you up when you fall down.

If you haven’t joined us yet, won’t you?!?

You can join the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge by following the #hellomornings hashtag on Twitter or checking in each morning on the Facebook page.


Ashley Pichea is a wife and mom (2 year old boy and a 4 year old girl), as well as being a blogger, an online student (pursuing an MA in Ministry), and actively involved in her local church’s various ministries. She home schools her daughter and chronicles the journey at Teaching Jenny. Her blog, L.I.F.E. by Ashley Pichea {living intentionally by faith everyday}, has become a place of ministry to women with a purpose of encouraging women with the Word of God. Ashley strives daily to find her identity in Christ, and she encourages you to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Hello Mornings! {Winter ’11} Week 6

By | Create A Morning Routine | 15 Comments

The following is a guest post from the lovely Stacy of Delighting in the Days.

How to say Hello Mornings with a Night Owl Husband

photo credit

It’s 9:30pm. I sink into the couch cushions.

Eyes are heavy.  Breath is deep.

I’m tired.

It’s been a long day.

“Want to watch a movie?” My husband asks energetically.

Say what? Don’t you know I’m maximizing my mornings?

His reply: “But it’s only 9:30.”

If you’re striving to say hello mornings with a night owl husband, this picture is probably familiar to you. It may be a slightly different set of circumstances, but it all comes down to the fact that you are ready for bed, and he is not.

So what’s a girl to do?

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your mornings when you’re married to a night owl (we have not perfected this by any means, but we are working on it):

Talk about it

This is obvious, I know, but its’ worth remembering that men are not mind readers. Let him know what you are trying to do and WHY. Once he understands you are not simply trying to get out of movie night, he may be more willing to go with it.

One of my reasons for getting up early is to help me be a better wife and mother. I feel much more in control of myself (and I’m nicer to be around) when I’ve had a few minutes to spend with God and focus on His will for the day ahead. Plus, it’s much more peaceful than waking up to “I’m hungry Mom!”

I’m guessing most husbands want a nice, happy wife too.

Make sure you are getting quality time together

We can’t blame our husbands for a little protesting if we are suddenly cutting out all of our time with them. A home busy with children often leaves us with few precious moments to share. Carve out some time to spend together on a regular basis. Be it a date night or dinner for two while the kids watch a movie, it’s important to keep each other a priority.

Compromise

I dream of rising at 5am. In this season of life, it isn’t really feasible for me (baby is still waking at night). It would also require an earlier bedtime, which means less time with hubby.  Instead I’m shooting for 6am. He is also aiming to go to bed sooner.

Even though I’m getting up later than I’d really like to, and he is going to bed earlier than he would like to, we are finding a happy medium for the both of us.

The goal is to have a peaceful, godly home. That can still be achieved even when I’m not getting up as early as I want to.

Give him a reason to go to bed early

I’m not going to expound on this one. I think you know what I mean.

Be an example

It’s important to respect our husbands even when they are night owls (wink). If you have ever been a night owl, you know how hard it is to change (even when you want to).

After observing our faithfulness to rise early and experiencing the benefits that come with that, our husbands may decide to join the Hello Mornings bandwagon! Or not.

It’s important to work on our morning routine within the reality we face right now. Work with what you’ve got. The only person we can change is ourselves.

Do you have a night owl husband? Have any tips for keeping a peaceful marriage and rising early in the morning?



Link-Up

This week we’re linking up pictures of our Hello Mornings! Be it your quiet time spot, your favorite morning beverage, or most challenging yoga pose, we want to see it!