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

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.

Leave a Comment



  • Yay Ashley! This is so good. It’s encouraging to read how hard you have worked and see the awesome changes in your life.

  • Alexis R says:

    Thanks Ashley for your story! It very encouraging and I just downloaded the youversion app.

    Kay, will you be having another challenege soon?

  • michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing your #hellomornings story, Ashley!

  • Reba says:

    Your story is encouraging Ashley! Maximize your mornings sounds like it’s so great! But I have to say, as a woman who doesn’t want to join facebook or twitter, I miss Motivation Mondays. It was accountability for me to check in with you all once a week and it was encouraging to me! I just can’t be so “plugged in” at this season of my life, and I wish there was something like maximize your mornings that didn’t require so much computer time!
    That’s not a complaint just a thought. I love this community and am thankful for what I learn from you all!

    • Joyce says:

      I know what you mean about being plugged in all the time.

      I am wondering if there are some women in your own life/community that may be up for or in need of such a challenge. Perhaps you can form an accountability group in that way instead of online. That would be neat to actually see MYM at work among your friends.

      • Reba says:

        Oh Joyce,
        That is a fine idea! I really need the accountability and have been wrestling with God about this, because *I* don’t want to be the one to start it! It does seem like I have to always be the one to lead things in my group of people here. Isn’t that a poor attitude!?! I should be grateful that I *can* do it and have the opportunity! But sometimes I just want to be the one getting encouragement and accountability without having to be the motivator. Oh dear, I know that sounds whiny! Sorry!

  • Joyce says:

    Okay, this sounds exactly like my story! Except I’m on FB, no twitter acct.


  • This was so inspiring. I tend to read on my iphone in the mornings when I first get up. It helps me wake up too; I check email, facebook, twitter. I have felt bad sometimes for doing this. But, now I think I am just going to consider it part of my morning routine. I am going to have to add reading my bible to that list, but I really enjoy your post.

  • Christin says:

    Thank you Ashley for sharing your mornings with us!! Gosh, I am so behind on technology. (I can’t afford to keep up, LOL). I don’t even have a smart phone so I don’t have internet on my phone.

    When I did HelloMornings in the summer time (before I gave birth to my 5th child), it was so awesome and I was able to get up much more easily then I am now. My 7-month old just doesn’t sleep well through the night very often. It comes and goes. But I’m getting to the point where getting up early, even on little sleep, [for me], is still more beneficial. Even if it’s just 1/2 hour before my kids, so I can just be READY for them.

    Anyways, I am jumping back on and just going to keep pushing through, and trying everyday! Thank you for the motivation! 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    So glad I dropped by to see Ashley’s story. I saw Ashley tweeting one am about #hellomornings….and I started asking her questions and was hooked! It is so wonderful waking up to her sweet smile and reading her quotes. I am not as fast as she is…and with reading through the Bible in 90 days…..I’m almost worn out from trying to quote scripture. Thank you for this GREAT way of having accountability in such a positive way!

  • Jacqueline B says:

    Last week, I was given a hand-me-down original iPhone from the best cousin in the world! I had no idea one could do so much with it. It’s providential that I read your post above recently. This morning was my first to go through a routine like you outline above. I read more of my Bible plan at one sitting than ever before. I don’t know why that is, but doing it first and having everything at hand (while still in bed even) simply works better. You didn’t mention Kat’s suggestion for worship music. I don’t have itunes yet, but I did get a few songs on youtube. What a way to start my day! Worshipping God, getting to know Him through His word and prayer is priceless! Technology ain’t all bad when used for God’s glory…