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Category Archives: Create A Morning Routine

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Create A HelloMornings Bible Study Basket For Your Children

By | Create A Morning Routine | 71 Comments

As summer quickly approaches, I thought I’d re-share this popular post about how I help my kids spend time with God in the mornings. I hope you enjoy these ideas and if you create a #hellomornings basket for your children, tag me on instagram (inspiredtoaction) or share the link in the comments so I can “ohh and ahh” along with you.

Breakfast Time In My Home

This is the basket we keep on our breakfast table. It’s filled with Bibles, study books, journals, prayers sticks and conversation cards. Each morning at breakfast time, the kids eagerly sit down with their food, grab a Bible, a prayer stick and peacefully read and pray for 45 minutes.

Or not.

Maybe your kids do that, but in my house our mornings are a little more crazy (although it’s less crazy during the summer). My children are often reading other books as they sit down at the table. Imagine those kids that walk around with a book in their face as they attempt go about their day. That’s what 2/3 my children look like 95% of the time.

My other child is usually climbing on something. Possibly a sibling.

So now that we’ve established that there is nothing magical about my home, let’s move on to the topic of bribery.

How To Bribe Your Children

During the school year when the crazy is kicked up a notch, I often bribe my kids with hot chocolate to get them the table early enough to eat, read and pray.

That may sound awful or brilliant, but either way, it works like a charm.

Being that I’m pretty picky about sweets, my children get really excited about the hot cocoa and hurry through their morning routine to get to the table. They then sit down to have their “God Time” while they eat.

I like to think I’m creating really sweet memories (pun alert) for my children of the preciousness of early morning time with God.

What a better way to wake up than to a steaming cup of cocoa, a cozy mama hug and time with God?

The Nitty Gritty: So What’s In The Basket?

When I posted the picture of our basket on Instagram and Facebook yesterday, there were lots of questions about what is in the basket, so here is the basic run down of what is usually in there:

Jesus Calling – This is my youngest daughter’s favorite devotional.

One Year Devotions for Preschoolers – my kids have all really liked this book. It has a devotion, scripture passage and prayer for each day. When they were little, the loved the cute pictures and the rhyming prayers.

The Adventure Bible – This is a great kids study Bible. The format is incredibly fun for young readers and yet all the content is there – it’s the real Bible and not just a story Bible.

24 Family Ways – this is a wonderful family devotional from Sally and Clay Clarkson.

Sword Fighting – This is a kids devotional book by Karen Henley that was highly recommended to me. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but you can find used copies on Amazon.

Resources from our church – we have an amazing church and they provide great resources for family and kids devotions, so we use those a lot as well. If your church doesn’t already provide that for kids, perhaps that’s something you could spearhead.

Prayer sticks – these are simply large popsicle sticks that the kids wrote on and decorated. They have the names of family and friends, our Compassion kids, leaders and various prayer topics. My children pull one or two out and pray for whatever is on the stick.

Perfection Isn’t The Goal, Faithfulness Is.


There are precious moments when my children share Bible verses that they feel God put on their heart that morning. Or funny times like when my youngest declared, “Mama! I’m gonna write a thank you note to Jesus! ….for pigs!”

Just as often, though, the kids rush through to get back to their American Girl book or to play a game of Angry Birds.

Perfection isn’t the goal. Faithfulness is.

As we make these morning times a routine, I’m praying and trusting that God is sowing truth, love and hope into their hearts.

What ideas, books and resources have you used to help your kids develop a habit of spending time with God? Click here to share your thoughts!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Angela’s Morning Story: The 3 Keys That Got Her Started

By | Create A Morning Routine | 17 Comments

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A quick note: My kids’ FAVORITE storybook Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible) is on sale right now for Kindle for $1.99! I just bought our copy yesterday and saw that it’s still on sale today, so I wanted to make sure and let you all know. Click here to get it on Amazon.

Are you trying to figure out a solid routine for your mornings? Do you want to “maximize your mornings” but it’s just a whole lot harder than you’d thought it would be?

Sometimes it’s helpful to hear stories from other people in the midst of the journey. Angela emailed me recently with the things that have worked for her and there are 3 things I want you to notice in her story that I hope will help you too:

1. She kept tweaking – she had actually been trying to find a morning routine for a couple of years, but just hadn’t figured out something that worked for her. I think the key to her eventual success was that she just kept tweaking. She kept trying things until she found something that worked for her.

2. She found her jumpstart – It’s so helpful to have a “jumpstart” – that treat to look forward to when the alarm goes off. For me, it’s my cozy chair. For Angela, it was listening to worship music. For you, it might be a nice cup of coffee.

3. She looked for a solution, not a formula – I love that Angela knew that planning wasn’t something she needed to do in the mornings. It works for her to do that at night. She didn’t try to change what works just to fit into the routine I outline in the book. She wanted a solid morning routine and she pulled from my ideas and created her own solution that fits her life perfectly.

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Angela’s Story

I found your ‘Maximize your Mornings’ book at that point and it has literally changed my life.

The night I read your book I decided to give it a shot. And, finally, something clicked! I think one thing that did was to listen to music to start. I am a huge music lover (and thanks for introducing me to Brooke Fraser!) and I love starting my mornings with praise music.

Anyway, here’s part of a blog post I wrote a couple of weeks later:

As I mentioned before, I made my way to this blog for a meal planning boot camp last week. While on her site, I saw that she had free downloadable ebooks. One is called ‘Maximize your Mornings.’ While I’ve bemoaned early rising in the past , it’s still something I have in my heart that I want to do. So I chose it as my first project for the year … and failed miserably. I tried to just set my alarm 5 minutes earlier each day. I see two problems with that:

1) When I get up 5 minutes earlier, so do my kids.
2) Getting up 5 minutes earlier doesn’t allow me to see any benefit from the earlier rising, since I only get an extra 5 minutes.

Now, I am an introvert by nature and I’ve always said I’m not a morning person. I think one of the reasons I don’t like mornings is I don’t like interacting with other people – especially demanding little people who all want something from me at the same time – first thing in the morning.

A day or so after I read the ‘Maximize your Mornings’ ebook, I decided to give it a shot. But, this time, I skipped the small changes bit. I set my alarm for 5:30, a good 2 hours earlier than I usually get up. Of course, I had to adjust my bedtime accordingly, so I set out what I would need for the next day and headed to bed by 10:30. I am fairly confident I need around 7 hours of sleep (that’s what I was getting before – I just went to bed after midnight).

Based on the book, with a few modifications, here is what I aim to do each morning before the kids get up around 7:30:

– breakfast
– time with God
– exercise
– shower / dressed

The book also suggests planning your day, but I do that before I go to bed the night before. That first morning I got out of bed without too much difficulty and went through my routine. And … I loved it!! It took a few days for my body to get used to the different schedule, but the rewards far outweigh any drawbacks I’ve found so far. It takes care of the two problems I mentioned above with the incremental changes (I have enough time to accomplish major parts of my day, and the kids are still fast asleep when I get up and seem to sleep through my morning times).

I can’t overstate what a difference this has made to the way I greet my children when they get up, which sets the tone for the day. I love getting up early (even this hardcore night owl!) and think it’s one of those ‘big’ changes that’s going to stick.

It’s now been almost 6 weeks since I started rising early, and those last two sentences still describe what a difference it’s made in my life.

I just love that! I hope Angela’s story inspires you as you journey towards a great morning routine. Remember: Keep tweaking, find your jumpstart, and focus on a solution instead of a formula.

What are your mornings like right now? Are they a struggle? If so, what is your biggest challenge? A success? If so, what keys have helped you? Click here to join the discussion!

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Creating Cozy Spaces for Kids (and Moms)

By | Create A Morning Routine | 15 Comments

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It’s Spring Break ’round these parts (that’s Texan for “here”) and I’ve been busy creating fun little spaces for the kids (okay…and me).

I’m NOT a home decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love creating cozy spots where my children can read and play. I’m less like Martha Stewart and more like a 7 year old kid who loves to build forts.

Game Corner
The first project was creating a fun little spot in the living room where they can play games and do puzzles (pictured above and below). All I did was move a few pieces of furniture and buy a couple cute stools for a table we already had. Voila. My kids played chess all day yesterday.

Sometimes they used rules, sometimes they made up their own.

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Mom’s Office/Kids’ Cave

The second project was re-doing my closet/office. You may have read my previous posts about how I transformed my closet into a little office space “mom cave” (read about that here).

It has worked REALLY well for me, but it was still a little cramped and there wasn’t really room for all three of my kids to come in and hang out, which they do…often. I’d made little spots for them…aka “kid caves” but I wanted to make it more fun and cozy than just a cleared out space in the corner.

My closet is about 5×5. It’s small, but I was able to simplify my clothes onto one rack and rearrange things so that I have space for a desk, a little reading nook, and a small cushy bench.

My kids LOVE it.

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My Office
On the right is my “office” where I do all my blogging, podcasting and destroying great songs with my lame guitar skills.

Kids Areas
On the right there is a little, cushiony bench (really two cushions wrapped in a blanket) with overhead lights (the stick-on kind). Two of my kids can sit here and read. Or one little, early rising, boy can stretch out and own the place until his sisters wake up.

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In the far corner, there is a cozy little spot where my son usually reads. It has a fun cushion and a little light. He loves his little spot away from the girls.

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The Best Part
On the back wall, I have a fun basket with coffees, teas, snacks and hot cocoa. The kids love to be the first one to get up in the morning and join me for a cup of cocoa. I admit, I kind of love it too.

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Learning to Love Mornings

My favorite thing about the whole set up is that my kids have learned to love the mornings. They associate early mornings with quiet, connecting time with God and Mommy.

They keep their Bibles and journals in their little spots. (My son “reads” his Bible using the audio Bible on the YouVersion IOS app.)

P.S. Keeping It Real
Lest you think that my home is filled with chess playing, Bible reading children and I’m constantly keeping my home in a state of perfection, here is what my kitchen looked like the past couple of days while I was redecorating other spaces in my home.

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And I’m sure the cocoa and the Mommy time are a bigger early morning draw than the reading of Nehemiah, but I figure…whatever it takes to build the habit.

Honestly, there are some mornings when the lure of a warm cup of tea and my cozy office chair are the only things that get me out of bed before the kids. When developing life changing habits, we need to pull out all the punches and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Do you have any cozy spots in your home? Have you ever thought of creating one? Click here to share in the comments!

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If you still need a reason to jump into the early-morning craziness…

By | Be Productive, Create A Morning Routine, General, Get Inspired, HelloMornings Challenge | 12 Comments

Katie Orr

If you’ve been around Inspired to Action for any length of time, you’ve heard about HelloMornings and the benefits of the early-morning habit. You’ve read of the challenge to wake up for your kids, instead of to your kids. And you’ve listened to the calls to start the day putting first things first, through spending time with Jesus.

You may find yourself on the sidelines — still not convinced that an earlier morning is for you. If you have any inkling of “jumping into the game” will you take a moment to read through the comments of yesterday’s post over at the HelloMornings blog? We’ve been celebrating our 8th HelloMornings challenge, by declaring what the Lord has done in our lives through the HelloMornings challenge.

The comments are just breathtaking.

I discovered a need and a solution I had never considered…

…I would have wasted these opportunities sleeping.

…I give Him the firstfruits of my day and I am a much happier Mama…

God is doing a great work in the lives of these mamas. He is transforming their souls, their families, and even some physiques. These women are not more discipled, more athletic, or more spiritual than you and I. They are simply women who have taken Him at His Word — that He has come that we might have life, and that we would have it abundantly!

He bestows abundant blessings when we choose to follow Him in obedience.

So, friend, if you think He might just be whispering your name—calling you up to sit at His feet and listen to Him in the early morning hours—will you listen? Will you obey?

I hope you will.

HelloMornings Winter Session

Registration for the Winter HelloMornings challenge is open now through Wednesday, January 23rd!

  • Session runs January 28th – April 26th (13 weeks)
  • Anyone (female!) is welcome to join a group, though space is limited.
  • Participants will receive the latest Quench Bible study, Abounding Hope. (Releases Thursday, January 17th.)

How to Register

Here is a quick bird’s-eye-view of the what you need to do. Click the grey button below when you are ready to sign up!

  • Step 1: Get the HelloMornings blog email, to receive challenge announcements and tips for the journey.
  • Step 2: Get a group. If you are a part of an existing group, and pre-registered in December, you can skip step 2.
  • Step 3: Get ready. You don’t have to wait to get a jump start on your mornings!

Or, if you would like to learn more about the HelloMornings challenge, jump on over to our FAQ page.

About Katie
Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Auburn fan. Loves to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime. Co-author of Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time and author of Focused15 Bible studies. Creator of Do Not Depart where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word.

Kris’ Story: Why It’s Worth It to Lose A Little Sleep

By | Create A Morning Routine, HelloMornings Challenge | 27 Comments

A few friends I met during the Hello Mornings Challenge: Aubrey, Kristi, me, Christine and Michelle.

(Note from Kat: Today’s post is from HelloMornings Team member Kris, who blogs at Always Alleluia.)

The alarm goes off at 0’dark thirty A.M. Before you start rolling your eyes, let me just say that I rarely make it out of bed at right then. But that’s the goal. Why would a tired mother of four sacrifice at least two potentially amazing hours of sleep, by her own choice?

I’ll tell you.

Because it makes a difference.

Before this season of life, I’d cling to my pillow, I’d roll out of bed when the baby beckoned or the toddlers moaned for breakfast.

I had no time to fully wake-up before I’d be forced to fully engage.

I resented the immediate demands put on me before I had the opportunity to make it to the bathroom, or grab a turbo shower.

When my oldest was two, if I didn’t shower before he got up, I’d be waiting until nap time or later that evening after my husband came home. And as for managing a decent devotional time?

Yeah, that wasn’t happening much either.

Spiritually, I was starving. Resentment swelled. A hole opened up in my spirit because there was no order to my mornings, no structure in place for my day.

I gained weight.

I lived in my stretched out yoga pants and ratty t-shirts.

I was irritable–restless.

It sounds bleak because it was.

Time passed, more babies, more weight, more demands on my time–

I realized something needed to change. Enter Hello Mornings.

Kat describes Hello Mornings like this:

The Hello Mornings Challenge was birthed to encourage Christian women toward the life-giving habit of waking up early.”

How is getting up early “life-giving”?

Simply put, when you, as a Mom, are rooted in scripture and prayed up for the day, you have the ability to pour out more of yourself for your children, and family.

For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

I know this from experience. I am about to begin my third Hello Mornings challenge and I have tasted the fruit that results from rising to the challenge (pun intended!)

Hello Mornings is a community of women who encourage and build each other up in Truth. <–Tweet This

It’s a network of faithful souls who lift each other in prayer, and hold accountable their fellow group members.

It’s hard to get up before the sun. It’s hard to exercise and plan and spend time in prayer when you’d rather be sleeping. I know.

But sometimes, God calls us to do the hard things. When we step out of our comfort zone and are forced to rely more fully on Him, He grows us in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

The women who participate in Hello Mornings don’t have a super power. They have friends and sisters in Christ holding them up in prayer. They have God in their hearts and on their lips as they encourage through scripture and kind words.

My life has been changed for the better by the Hello Mornings challenge.

There are over 3000 women registered for the fall Hello Mornings challenge from countries all over the world. That’s amazing. That’s God’s hand right there.

Registration for the next session will start in December, but you can join us now by following and using the twitter hash tag #hellomornings. Even if you aren’t officially part of the challenge, consider following the tweets, you’ll be blessed by what you read. That’s how I first discovered Hello Mornings. I’ve been impacted for the better as a result.

For more encouragement and “method behind the madness” of all this early rising, download Kat’s FREE ebook, Maximize Your Mornings.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

HelloMornings

Are you a morning person? What is your biggest challenge in the mornings? Click here to join the discussion!

About Kris
Kris is a Jesus loving wife and momma to four kids. She serves as an Advocate for Compassion International and as the MOPS coordinator for her church. Besides homeschooling her kids, in her free time, Kris writes, runs, and pretends she’s a photographer and famous chef. You can follow her musings on faith, life and motherhood at her personal blog, Always Alleluia and on Facebook and twitter.

3 Incredibly Simple Ways To Maximize Your Mornings (Link Up and Giveaway!)

By | Create A Morning Routine, HelloMornings Challenge | 16 Comments

Being a Morning Ninja is Easier Than You Think…

The idea of waking up early enough to have a Bible study time, plan the day AND exercise can be overwhelming. You might think that you need to suddenly start setting your alarm for an hour earlier to get all done. Here’s some good news: You don’t.

The goal is simply to wake up early enough to have a “warm up” for the day. Just as all the Olympic athletes arrive at their event early so that they can talk with their coach, stretch, and get in the zone, we need to do the same for our families.

Maximizing your mornings with Bible study time, daily planning and exercise, is not as hard as you might think. It can actually be done in about 5-10 minutes a day and with minimal effort.

(Not that speed or minimal effort are a goal, of course. But if perfection is keeping you from getting started, know that starting simply is better than not starting at all.)

The key is to use simple starts in each area to get your momentum going. Once you have developed the habits of daily Bible study, planning and exercise, you’ll find it easy to go deeper in each area.

3 Incredibly Simple Ways To Get Started

1. Listen to an audio Bible.
YouVersion is a great mobile phone app that has audio recording of several different versions of the Bible. This is often how I “read” my Bible in the morning. Later in the morning or day I’ll do my actual Bible Study, but I use the audio Bible to fill my heart and mind with truth, first thing.

2. Pick 3 Daily Tasks
You don’t need an elaborate to-do system. Often, your brain will remember the most important things you need to get done. The simple act of writing down what you intend to do each day is a great way to stay on track.

Another option is to just write down each night what you did that day. Once you see where your time went, you’ll want to determine where it goes.

3. Wear a pedometer.
Awareness is powerful. We can change our lives so much by the simple act of tracking what we are already doing. If you want to live healthier, wearing a pedometer is a great way to start. You’ll begin to be competitive with yourself and find ways to log more and more steps each day.

Another simple way to get healthier is to track what you eat, but if you’ve ever tried counting calories, you know it’s a huge hassle. Instead, just use your phone camera to take pictures of each meal and snack. If you review the photos each day, you’ll soon begin to think twice about that 2nd bowl of ice cream.

Get Simple and Get Started

Each morning, if you faithfully use an audio Bible to listen to the passage of scriptrue you’re currently studying, write down 3 daily goals and put on a pedometer, you’ll soon develop life changing habits.

If you haven’t already done so, click here to download our free ebook, “Maximize Your Mornings” and then click here to join us for the HelloMornings Challenge, which starts on August 20th.

Share Your Tips and Stories…and Win

We want to hear your morning suggestions and stories!

1. Write a blog post about your morning ideas or story.
2. Link up below

and you’ll be entered to win a bag of HelloMornings Coffee!

Link Up

Check back later today to read through all the ideas and be sure to comment on and encourage some of the other participants!


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Group Registration for the Fall HelloMornings Challenge Is Now Open!

By | Create A Morning Routine, HelloMornings Challenge | 12 Comments


Today is the big day! Registration for the Fall Session of the HelloMornings Challenge is now open.

I have to give a HUGE shoutout to Katie, Joyce and Larri and the rest of the incredible HelloMornings Team for all the detail work they put into getting registration ready. Katie did an AMAZING job setting up the new HelloMornings site and organizing everything. Joyce was an absolute machine creating pages and organizing information. Larri somehow kept the dizzying array of names and timezones in order.

I ate bon bons and napped. Ok, not really, but compared to previous Challenge registration preparation done mostly solo, this was wonderful. Having a team where everyone is able to focus on and use their gifts is powerful.

Speaking of teams…do you have one? (See what I did there? Nice…) If you need a team, a group of women to cheer you on as you develop the most important, transformational habit of spending daily time with God, then click here to register.

Spread The Word

Will you consider spreading the word about HelloMornings? I’ve found there are so many women who long for community — let’s invite them in to ours! Here is a button you can add to your blog:

HelloMornings

We also have a twibbon for those of you on Twitter and Facebook and some other fun badges and flair. Check it out here.

He Is What You Need

There is nothing special about the Challenge, we are just a community of women pursuing God each morning. But there is nothing in this world that has the power to transform your life like consistent time with God. He made you, He knows you, He has better plans for you than you can imagine. He wants you to know He loves you and that His Grace is sufficient for everything you face.

Is there a better way to start your day? Head on over to the HelloMornings section and register today!

How To Keep Your iPhone From Ruining Your Quiet Time

By | Create A Morning Routine, HelloMornings Challenge | 28 Comments

Note from Kat: Today’s post is from my friend Heather MacFadyen. She blogs at GodCenteredMom.com. She is an amazing part of the Hello Mornings Team and I’m so thankful for her ideas, energy and encouragement.

I care what you think…

Every day I fight a battle. Will I strive for your approval or God’s?
How I spend my time, energy, thoughts & resources depends on this battle. Buying a new dress to impress at a baby shower. Obsessing over a previous conversation and if I hurt a friend’s feelings. Repeatedly checking email, Facebook, Twitter, to see if you commented, “liked”, or re-tweeted me.

I want you to tell me how wonderful I am. Having an iPhone in my hand from the moment I wake until my eyes drift off to sleep keeps the battle right in front of me. Constantly.

Tweeting more than Praying

When I started getting up “for” my kids, instead of “to” my kids I wasn’t addicted to my iPhone. It was before I entered the “blogging” world. I didn’t know a single person on twitter. None of my friends were updating their statuses at crazy early ‘o clock.

I would wake up have my quiet time with God, some quick exercise and plan my day all in the 40 minutes allotted.

Slowly I met more #hellomornings moms online. Instead of tweets being ignored, when I wrote something meaningful others liked it and would comment or re-tweet. It fed my addiction for approval.

A year later I spent more of my hellomornings time on my iPhone than in my Bible. This was not Kat’s intent. The online community she plugged me into was for accountability and encouragement, not a distraction from God.

My iPhone Boundaries during #hellomornings:

For me getting rid of my iPhone was unrealistic. Being a part of the #hellomornings team, leading a Twitter accountability group, and contributing to “Do Not Depart”, I need to be checking in on my phone in the morning. In order to put my “iPhone idol” in its proper place, I had to establish some boundaries:

1) Write a quick tweet to “check in”
2) Glance through the feed for my accountability group for any prayer requests/struggles/etc.
3) Respond to those requests
4) PUT the iPhone in the NEXT ROOM!
5) After spending time in prayer, the Word, journaling then tweet what God’s taught me.
6) Check the Bible study stream (#lovelikehim) for any other wisdom
7) Once a week take a 24-hr social media Sabbath

This may not be your struggle. You may not even have an iPhone. There is most likely something consuming your thoughts, time, and energy other than God. Whatever you think about most often takes the place of God in your mind (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your MIND”).

What is distracting you from keeping your eyes fixed on God? What boundaries can you put in place today? Click here to join the discussion!

Your 15 Minute Transformation

By | Create A Morning Routine, General, Get Inspired | 18 Comments


What if you spent 15 minutes with Ann Voskamp every day for one whole month? Just a quick coffee and chat about your favorite things?

What if you followed that with a 15 minute chat with Jillian Michaels? Every day for one month.

How do you think those simple conversations would affect you?

I guarantee you’d have a keener eye for the gifts in your life and you’d put up a stronger fight against that last piece of cheesecake.

Why? Because passion and focus are contagious. Ann is passionate about gratitude. Jillian is passionate about fitness. And when you spend one on one time with someone, when you listen to them and share with them you can’t help but be transformed.

The Lowest Point In My Life

My very first real job crushed me. It required me to work one on one with my boss and I knew from the first week that I did not measure up to expectations. I was constantly corrected. Every meeting involved a little notebook where every wrong thing I did or said was written down. I didn’t have any other peers at that job, so the only input I had was that of my boss.

By the end of that job, my self esteem was lower than it had ever been in my entire life. I was convinced I couldn’t do anything right. The daily negative input from one person crushed me.

How My Dream Job Changed Me

Not long after that, I started working at KSBJ Radio in Houston, Texas. (The best job I could have ever even dreamed of…I love that place!) I was given more and more responsibility until my boss, Tim McDermott, decided that I should start a new offspring company for the station. I had no experience starting a new business, but he gave me the keys and let me drive.

After spending a few years at KSBJ, surrounded by people who believed in me, my perception of my working abilities was absolutely transformed.

What’s Your Soundtrack?

Friends, who do you listen to? Who do you spend time with? What is the soundtrack that plays in your life? There may be seasons in your life when you’re surrounded by wonderful people who lift you up or there may be seasons when you are surrounded by hurting people who bring you down.

I’m A Matchmaker

I spend hours and hours of time on this blog. I don’t to it to make money. I don’t do it to build a “brand.”

I do it because I’m a matchmaker. I know Someone who is perfect for you. He adores you. He knows all about you and is the fulfillment of every need of your heart.

And He wants to spend some time with you.

Can I encourage you…no…can I BEG you to know and be known by the One who wants you to succeed more than anyone else? The One who has plans for you and a hope and a future for you? The One who wants to tell you the EXACT things you need to hear?

If a 15 minute daily conversation with Ann would leave you more grateful, if 15 minutes a day with Jillian would leave you more fit, how truly and deeply will you be transformed by 15 minutes with the God who pieced you together perfectly with a specific plan and purpose for this very day in your life?

Put it on the calendar. A 15 minute coffee date with God.

Listen to what He has to say and let the transformation begin.

Share your story

When have you been encouraged by the words of others? Click here to share your story!

For When You Feel Discouraged…

By | Create A Morning Routine, Get Inspired | 46 Comments


Maybe you made big plans to get up early and read your Bible, pray, exercise and plan. Maybe you hit the snooze button this morning. Maybe you’ve hit it every morning for the past month.

Maybe you’re feeling discouraged right now. Or maybe you’ve been discouraged for awhile.

Maybe your past echoes of brokenness, fatigue and failed dreams.

Have I got a story for you.

This isn’t a story of triumph. It’s a story of pain, falling short and unfulfilled dreams. But it’s also a story of furious love. And a reminder that faithfulness in the face of our failures can bring the greatest reward of all.

Last Place Never Looked So Good

Barcelona. 1992. Derek Redmon was Britain’s greatest quarter miler.

BANG!! Off to a good start, his prospects for the race looked good. Until…

Until his hamstring snapped. Yes, snapped. He stumbled and fell to the ground. With cameramen snapping pictures and the world watching, he was consumed with the pain of his broken body and broken dream.

And then? He made a decision. To finish. He knew he wouldn’t come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd. He knew he wouldn’t cross the finish line in victory. But he decided he would cross that line. So, up he struggled and he hobbled down the track, grimacing in pain.

Then, in the background, something happened in the stands. A man, older, gray-er than Derek pushed past people, waved off guards and ran down the track. His face was filled with the furious love of a father.

He pushed away officials. He pushed away security personnel. He pushed away anyone who dared interfere. He wrapped his arms around his weeping son and together they finished the race.

Few could name the winner of the 400 meter gold that year. But millions of people remember Derek’s faithfulness and his father’s furious love.

You Do Not Struggle Alone

If you are struggling, whether it’s with getting up in the morning or life in general, never believe that your Father’s love is any less furious.

He DOES NOT stand at the finish line awaiting your triumphant victory. He runs alongside you, cheering you as you go. And when you struggle, when you fall, He wraps His all powerful, healing hands around you and and holds you as you press on. Together.

He will let nothing get in His way.

Enough of my insufficient words. Read what David said in the Psalms and then watch the video below.

Psalm 18

4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.

7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.

9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him
the dark rain clouds of the sky.

12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.

15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Grab Your Tissues Now…

(RSS and email readers, please click here to watch the video.)

Press on, my friends. For perfection is not our reward. He is.

::

(Originally posted on 2.14.10. I’m working on a group solution for everyone who had Hello Mornings Challenge registration issues. I’ll post it tomorrow or later today. Thanks for your patience.)

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