Hello Mornings! The Maximize Your Mornings Challenge: Week Two

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Note from Kat: The ever radiant and incandescent (isn’t that a wonderful word?) Michelle is guest posting today as she leads us through the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge. My encouragement for you this week: baby steps.

Week One Recap

Last week, we began rolling out of bed. Our goal was to set an alarm and actually get up. I had quite the unusual past couple of weeks, so I didn’t do a great job of getting back into my routine. My biggest problem has been going to bed!

How did you do?

Step 2: Quiet Time Schedule

“I earnestly recommend that it be in the early morning, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons. The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not the heart. We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.” –John Piper

(Thanks for sending me this quote, Nicole!)

Here’s what we’re doing 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.

What’s your action plan for this week?

What tools (music, studies etc.) will you use to help you? We’d love to read all 50 + of your answers below!

Group Support

It’s been so encouraging to see your beautiful faces on Twitter, bed-head and all! Keep up the great chatter!

There are some great discussions going on in the Blog Frog Community about this challenge. Feel free to jump in and ask question or offer suggestions!

Link Up

Don’t forget, each week you can link a relevant post from your own blog! Simply type your information and link to the specific post in the boxes below.

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

(I seriously could not think of anything different I wanted to end with. I type this with all the gusto of a giant, professional football player. #iheartyoutroypolamalu) πŸ™‚

Now go kick some AM posterior!

Michelle’s a crazy-dancing, Jesus-loving, undomesticated transplant in Amish country. This teacher & eternal student enjoys biting off more than she can chew & sharing the juicy bits at So, I married a MennoniteÒ€¦. When she’s not goofing around on Twitter, you can find her keeping stride with two lively boys & wondering where she put her phone.

Leave a Comment



  • Avatar Michelle says:

    Dearest Kat, you must be thinking of someone else. πŸ˜‰

  • Avatar GinnyLou says:

    Monday through Friday this week, I’ve gotten up before everyone else! I don’t think my husband even knows what I’m doing. He certainly doesn’t know that I’ve been working out every day! I like it being my little secret!

    It’s definitely changed the tenor of my day. I LOVE knowing that I’ve already gotten my thoughts together before everyone else is up and running. And I’m really enjoying my new Bible study on Judges. Thanks for the challenge!

  • Hey Kat! Just found your blog through Gypsy Mama…anyways…I am not a mom {yet!} but I love everything you have on her, it still totally comes in handy!! Excited to read more from you…and your E-book sounds amazing πŸ˜‰ Blessings bloggy friend πŸ™‚

  • For me, that ‘getting to bed’ is the hardest part too! That being said, I have made the effort of setting the alarm rather than being awakened when my toddler comes a calling. πŸ™‚

    I’d say I was up before the rest of the family about half of the days this week. I’m starting small – 15 minutes before the rest of the family in focused prayer and thanksgiving. Eventually I’ll get to 45 minutes where I can fit in some readings and reflection as well as preparing myself for the day ( I generally get a work out in later in the day or evening).

    Go get ’em girls!

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    Oh my goodness it is hard to make myself go to bed! The night, free of kids, with hours of possible productivity, is so seductive! Sometimes it seems like a waste, or even a sinful indulgence to go to bed at a decent hour. I failed to meet my bed time many times this week and it did not make my mornings any easier! ~K

    • Avatar Joyce says:

      I know exactly what you mean. And spending time with the hubby with kids talking over us is nice too. We get it. Babysteps!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      I know EXACTLY how you feel. But for me, I’ve learned that I’m rarely as productive as I envision myself to be during those late night hours. And? I also tend to be grumpier with my kids the next day. I’m great at waking up early, but the past few months, I’ve been working on getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night…and miracle of miracles….I’m a MUCH nicer mom lately.

      Every now and then, though, I treat myself to a late night. They are so nice…

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Babysteps. Good reminder.

      I love how you’re chiming in and encouraging others. Have I told you you’re awesome today? πŸ™‚

  • Avatar LaDonna says:

    My first week went okay. Not ideal, but it’s about the babysteps, right? I would say I was up before everyone (or almost everyone) all but two or three days (today being one of those days). I’ll write more on my blog as some point soon. πŸ™‚

  • […] weeks Maximize your Mornings challenge was to pick a bible study to work through.  Up to this point, I’ve just been doing it kind […]

  • Avatar Kate says:

    With the exception of Wednesday, I did pretty well on getting up when the alarm went off this week. Getting up has never been the hard part – it’s getting to sleep that can get difficult! This week I’m going to try to get up fifteen minutes earlier (at 0615), so I can get in my daily devotion. I finally found the Bible I was using before we moved (my husband’s), so I can get back on track with this.

    I have to say, doing this with a group is a lot easier on me than doing it alone. Before, I made it about two weeks with MYM before giving up, because I wanted to do it all NOW. Get up, exercise, have time with Him… do it all cold turkey. And this is reminding me that sometimes slow is better. Thanks for the support!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Ah, Kat with an “e”, we are so much alike. (Bonus points if you can name that movie reference.) Getting to bed on time is the hard part for me too! I love that you’re taking it 15 minutes at a time. I know it’s hard when you want to do it all NOW – I’m so the same way! Glad you’re here and doing so well!

  • Avatar Deedee says:

    I made it through the week getting up earlier than everyone else – I’m a working mama, so early enough for quiet time/pumping milk (I’m a nursing mama too!) and *maybe* a shower if I’m lucky and The Littles sleep long enough – means getting up around 5am. It’s been hard – but I made it a whole week!

    I’ve been doing my quiet time kind of on my own, no study guide, but I’m taking the challenge this week, and Monday I’ll be starting a new study book – one that’s been gather dust on the shelf for a while! I’m excited!

    Maybe by the time we get there, I’ll be ready to get up a bit earlier and have time for exercise, too. Baby steps! Having this support group helps so much!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    I started last Saturday and I’ve done 5 days of getting up out of 7. I’ve decided to take Sunday off, so I guess technically I’ve kept to my plan for 6 out of 7 days. It’s amazing already seeing the difference it’s making. The one day I didn’t wake up it was BAAAD. It helps that my son nurses around 6:15 each morning so I’m already kind of awake and then can put him back to bed and get going. I’m going to take some time today and look for some devotional material that I can incorporate into my regular Bible reading plan. Keep going everybody!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Oh, that’s so nice that you have your own little cuddly alarm clock! Sounds like you’re totally conquering the challenge. Way to go!

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    I was good on getting to bed and waking up on time about half of the week. I think we got home late from a party one night, chatted with hubby another night (and he’s my accountability partner!), and had a sick kid another night. = But those mornings when I could just enjoy the quiet was fantastic!!!! I can’t wait to move up my wake up time a little bit at a time. There were a few mornings when the kiddos woke up right after I got up.

    I am definitely looking forward to the next part of MYM. I asked my hubby for some recommendations for morning worship music (since he’s our church’s music director) and he said any of Audrey Assad’s songs. And most of the ones that Kat suggested are fantastic too! I love Casting Crowns as well.

    I just received Andy Stanley’s The Grace of God, so I’m going to be reading that. He writes about how God demonstrates His grace throughout the Bible. I plan to use Kat’s prayer calendar and another prayer calendar that I found online about praying for your husband.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      There are always things that are going to throw us off track (sick kids, late parties, chatty hubbies πŸ™‚ Major props to you for not letting it derail you, but jumping right back on the horse.

      I think the analogy police might arrest me for overuse. πŸ™‚

      Great job Joyce!

    • Avatar Analogy Police says:

      Excuse me, Ma’am. Would you please step out of the vehicle?

  • Avatar Remi says:

    I started the MYM challenge on Friday and I’m really looking forward to seeing it through. The past 2 days have been hard (late night feeds) but good (great accountability partner, great quiet time). I do have this fear of failing though. It makes me not want to talk about my participation in the MYM challenge just so I don’t look/feel like a loser if I don’t complete it…you know what I mean? Anyway I’m trying not to allow fear to paralyze me and prevent me from participating…hence this comment. I keep reminding myself “babysteps”!

    • Avatar m :) says:

      Remi, I applaud you for doing this with a baby!

      Micro-babysteps are fine, too! I have failed more than I have succeeded, so far. I’m leaning on grace and everyone else just has to be fine with that!


  • Avatar Kenia says:

    Hello and good morning everyone!!!
    I started a bit late with the challenge. I started on Thursday morning and I have been getting up about 45 min earlier every morning since, EVEN TODAY, Saturday! That’s a big inprovement for me since I’m a single mom and my son is with his father this weekend. These are the weekends inlove to stay in bed longer. But like Kat recommended, I woke up at the same time even on a Saturday.
    I have been able to walk with the dog every morning and I am truly enjoying looking at the sky and appreciating my day. Plus my dog seems happier too. On the weekday, I noticed I was much nicer waking my son up too since I wasn’t in a rush and hurrying him up. I feel that we have all had better mornings due to this challenge.
    I would like to push up the time I wake up but as everyone has been saying, it is baby steps. πŸ™‚
    Thank you every one and especially Kat!

  • Avatar Kenia says:

    Remi- I have felt the same way, my boyfriend has noticed me waking up and going for a walk but has no idea why. I haven’t told anyone about the challenge bc I’m afraid too. I think it will be better for us to prove it to ourselves first and then be able to say, “we did it!”. Keep going girl!

    • Avatar m :) says:

      Kenia, I have always felt like I lose steam when I let people in on my “projects.” I know how you feel.

      This is about you! Who cares what anyone else thinks or says? I believe you can do it! πŸ™‚

  • Avatar Amber says:

    Oh, I wish I could say the week went great with going to bed on time and getting up early, but……………well, it didn’t go as I had hoped. Getting to bed at a decent hour is so hard for me! And then it makes getting up early soooo hard! I did still manage to get up before the kids 5 days out of the week and even got up once as soon as my alarm went off. (I’ve been using the snooze button more again.) The past two days unfortunately I’ve slept till my girls wake me up, but I’ve been feeling under the weather so I told myself I needed the sleep. Ugh! Baby steps! Hopefully this coming week I can stop using the snooze button and get to bed earlier! Thanks for doing this challenge and for all the support you offer. Love you guys!!!

    • Avatar m :) says:

      Amber, I’m so glad you’ve joined in the challenge again over here! I feel your pain. I think I need to give myself an incentive for going to bed at a good time. I love giving myself incentives. πŸ™‚

  • Avatar daniella says:

    I’m an overachiever and did this step last week (on the days I woke up early..er), and let me tell you, IT MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE! I was NICE to my kids. Nice. I loved on them and didn’t threaten my 12 month old to ground him for life starting on the day he understands what that means. Also, spending time with the Lord in th emorning gave me courage (and, frankly put, some serious huevos) to put my foot down and train him to sleep through the night. The Lord was on my side on this one. After a few nights, we’ve ALL been sleeping through the night, Hallelu’er!

  • Avatar Jaime says:

    I got up before the kids everyday last week. It wasn’t always much earlier, but at least it’s a start. This week, I’m shooting for 6:30, and am using a 52 week Bible reading plan. I’m also doing gentle yoga after my quiet time, if I’m up early enough. This challenge is making a huge difference in my attitude. Having time to wake up, get my thoughts together and focus on the upcoming day has been so helpful.

    • Avatar m :) says:

      Jaime, that’s wonderful to hear! How old are your kids? Do you use a dvd for your yoga?

      Isn’t it amazing how this small change can make such a big impact? Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar Christa says:

    Well… the fact that I am posting on this on Tuesday night pretty much sums up how I’ve been doing. It’s been thing after thing keeping me up way later than I intend and I’m so desperate for sleep with nursing, getting sick, and all that MYM is the last thing on my mind in the mornings. BUT, I did get up an hour before the littles one day last week and it was fantastic. Fantastic enough to silence the “failure” siren telling me to give up. Thanks for all your posts ladies. It is so encouraging to read your comments. I’m going to stick with the week 1 goal for the next few days, but I am hoping to play catch up and make a play list and dust off some Bible studies of my own by Friday.

  • […] Update: Here are the links for the challenge. Follow along: Week 1 Week 2 MichelleÒ€ℒs a crazy-dancing, Jesus-loving, undomesticated transplant in Amish country. This […]

  • […] What tools (music, studies etc.) will you use to help you? WeÒ€ℒd love to read all of your answers below! […]

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