Finale & Big Giveaway: Summer ’11 MYM Challenge

Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall!

Congratulations! We’ve reached the end of our Summer Maximize Your Mornings Challenge!

I don’t know about you, but for me this Summer Session was definitely a “challenge”. I’ve traveled more this summer than any other season in my life. Between our family travels and my husband’s business trips, life has been less than routine and quite chaotic.

But last night, the kids and I finally got home from our last trip and I am SO looking forward to being home for several weeks and the routine of the school year. I’m also incredibly excited about the Fall Challenge!

Fall MYM Challenge

The Fall Challenge will begin September 15.

AC (group leader) Sign-ups for the Fall Challenge will begin this week! (Stay tuned.)

Participant sign-ups for the Fall Challenge will begin August 22. If you’re not already subscribed to the blog (you can subscribe over there on the sidebar) go ahead and do that so you won’t miss the sign up day.

A Big Thank You!

I want to give a big thank you to Michelle ( Blog | Twitter ) for helping organize the challenge and getting the weekly posts ready. Erin ( Blog | Twitter ) organized ALL the giveaways and Katie ( Blog | Twitter ) and Lara ( Blog | Twitter ) put together the Bible study. Please take a second to visit their blogs, follow them on Twitter or just say thanks!

Relevant Meet-Up

For all of you attending The Relevant Blog Conference this Fall, we are planning a Hello Mornings! meet-up: Saturday, October 29 at 7:15 am in the (in)Courage lounge. We can’t wait to see you there!

Thanks for joining us this Summer! See you back for the Fall Challenge in a few weeks!


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:

To celebrate a BIG accomplishment, we need a BIG giveaway and today is that day!

One of you wonderful women who stuck with the Maximize Your Mornings challenge all the way through will win…

A $40 store credit from Gussy Sews!

$40 Credit to Gussy Sews

AND a $50 store credit from Lisa Leonard!

$50 Credit to Lisa Leonard

These are some of the loveliest and most talented ladies you will ever have the pleasure to know AND they love Jesus! We are so blessed by their donation! Just as we have been blessed by YOUR dedication to getting up early for the good of yourself and your family! You ladies rock! Congrats on making it all the way through!

How To Enter

Just tell us one thing your learned from the Summer MYM Challenge.

It can be just about anything: a tip that helped you get up each morning, a Bible verse that impacted you, a workout that changed you, a planning tool that keeps you organized. So, what did you learn?

Leave a Comment



  • Chrissie says:

    I have always thought I didn’t have the ability to get up early and be in a good mood in the mornings, which is why I joined in on the MYM challenge. God changed my heart and my habits this summer, and I am now getting up before 6 to get showered and start my day before my kids join me! Trust me, this is a big deal for me!

  • Heather says:

    First of all thank you ladies for all your hard work in organizing this challenge and all the details! {and LOVE the giveaways btw}. I would say that I love meeting new women who also strive to start the day off right. Also appreciate the grace and encouragement given when a target wake up time was not met. I’ve learned that I need to check in with twitter first then set my phone to the side or in another room so I can fully focus on what God has for me to hear and not get distracted with other voices. Excited for fall!! (prob won’t stop getting up this next month. Too hard to start over!!)

  • dovev says:

    you make me want to jump out from my chair for a change and meat the challenge

  • Darlene T says:

    I learned that this won’t just become habit like I expected it to be. It’s not like making the bed when you get out of it in the morning. Did I miss it if I didn’t do MYM? Yep, sure did. Did things feel off? Yep. Did it get easier to miss as each day passed. Yep. When I hopped back on the band wagon today I realized WHY it didn’t become a habit. It’s a battle. A big fat spiritual battle where the enemy stalks us and knows our weaknesses. We begin to rationalize, “Well, I need to be well rested in order to be effective and it’s not my fault that I didn’t sleep well or that I had a bad day.” Making our bed or brushing our teeth doesn’t have such a big impact on the Kingdom, but committing a portion of our day to Him with no distractions certainly does. I am overwhelmed when I think of how earth changing this can be. It’s not about going green and simplifying, though both of those things are good. It’s about turning hearts toward Jesus.

  • Erin h says:

    This was an amazing summer. I learned that you can really care about people you have never met (and probably never will). My group was amazing and I looked forward each day to gathering with a group of God-fearing ladies.

  • Bobbey @ Coffee and Caramel says:

    I learned that I really need the quiet time of the morning before the husband and teens get up-even before the animals-in order to start my day on a positive note. I was shocked at how out of sorts I got when I had a lazy day and slept in, and what a negative impact my attitude then had on my relationship with my guys.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I learned this summer that God’s love for me does not depend upon me getting up at a certain time each morning, exercising, and spending time with Him. It is my love for Him that depends on those things – the more I read about His love for me, the more I love Him. I enjoyed this summer journey and was so thankful for my facebook ladies that helped me focus and picked me up when I failed! Love this blog and this challenge – recommend it to everyone I know! Thanks for all you do!!

  • Christine Brosius says:

    I set my alarm to the local Christian station and it always had an inspirational song to get me up and lift my spirits.

  • Laura says:

    I learned that I enjoy getting up early to get more organized. I learned about some fantastic blogs. I enjoyed my quiet time with the Lord. I also became a sponsor with a beautiful girl and it is such a rewarding experience. I can’t believe it is already over. I am ready to start it up again! Thank you very much for your dedication!

  • Although I “did” more last summer with the inagural HelloMornings Challenge, this summer’s challenge has longing lasting effects. I learned about gradually turning my internal clock back in order to wake up earlier, and I grew to miss the quiet mornings when I didn’t get up as I should have!

  • It’s been a great summer! I’ve really loved the Facebook group accountability! I’ve learned several things – first, in order to get up early and make it through the day, I MUST go to bed on time. I can make due on 5-6 hours of sleep for a day or two, but after that, I slowly disintegrate into a big mess! Second… since getting up early to have time to exercise and be in the Word is my goal – my attitude needs to be “just do it” rather than “well, I’ll try…” More often than not, “trying” left me hitting snooze and not accomplishing my goals! Just doing it gets it done!

  • Crystal Ashworth says:

    This summer I learned that I really could find the time to spend in God’s word. For some reason I always gave myself the excuse that with 5 children, and a husband, and a job, that I just didn’t have TIME. But I do have time for the things that are a priority for me. And I really made God and his Word a priority this summer. I didn’t exercise as often as I wanted to, but I definitely spent time in his word. I also found that when I used my time wisely, even if I wanted to just watch TV, I was so much better prepared for the day and had more peace. Just making the kids lunches the night before, instead of in the morning, made a HUGE difference. I spent a lot of quality time with my kids this summer, my marriage has strengthened, and I just experienced a lot of Growth. That was my “One Word” for this year – “Growth” and God is really helping me to achieve that.

  • Melissa says:

    I learned how to be creative when my Hello Mornings were interrupted by an injury in January, and a rough first trimester of pregnancy starting in May. I figured out how to have time for Scripture and prayer after my 3- and 2-year olds woke up, when my husband was home, or when I wasn’t feeling well. This was my second Hello Mornings challenge, and I’m addicted! 🙂

  • Kelley says:

    I learned how to be a better daughter of our Father. Having the daily challenge of checking in and then reading verses that the Lord has taught my fellow hellomorning ladies challenged me to praise Our Lord in a renewed way. It helped me be a more organized mom as I had to get up and get my day going with the Lord making Him first helped the rest of the day flow better.

  • yolande says:

    I loved camping on one book of the bible for an extended time, and I learned the pleasure of doing my bible reading in the morning!

  • Natasha d says:

    I LOVE my time in the morning reading my Bible. It makes my day sooo much better! Thank you for the encouragement of getting up before my kiddos to start off my day with Jesus, so that I can grow to be more like Him through the day when I am refreshed by Him, through Him and for Him!!!

  • Danielle says:

    I learned that purposeful prayer time first thing in the morning sets the stage for my whole day. By focusing on God, even it was throwing my fears on Him, it helped me to maintain my composure that day.

  • Melanie says:

    I learned that even though I don’t like getting up, I dislike who I am when I don’t get up early more. When my mind and outlook are ready for the day it transfers down into my family and their mornings go better also. Thanks for doing this! I look forward to the fall and making my routines even better and more faithfilled as time goes on!

  • Shawn Bensley says:

    I learned I want to be like Paul in that he was so concerned over the welfare of others. He was compassionate and thoughtful to others needs, even above his. The last 2 weeks when we could read a passage on our own, I choose Philemon. That small book showed me that Paul could also be tactful in dealing with others, I want that to.

  • Kim says:

    While I did not get a waking up routine down as I slept in far too late, I did find success in planning. I found an app on my iPhone called awesome note. I put all my tasks in there (along with many other tools) and can schedule them to do so many things per day. It has been a huge help and can’t wait to use it this fall along with my master calendar on the kitchen wall.
    Another thing I learned is if I miss my morning quiet time I find another time in the day and do not beat myself up. I am ready for before school morning routines now though!
    Would love to win this giveaway! Thank you everyone who helped in this ministry this summer!

  • Tori says:

    The challenge was a wonderful recommitment for me in my walk with God. I learned how important and helpful an accountability group can be. Thanks MYM Group 11!

  • Kris says:

    I learned about really praying for others and how important it is to truly set that time aside to get with God and read the word.

  • Chelsea says:

    I appreciate the emails. Sometimes they are just the kick in the pants I need to remind me and hold me accountable, plus sometimes they talk about exactly what I have been struggling with!

  • Revonda says:

    I learned, I can’t do this on my own. I had the desire, I had the want but I just couldn’t stay consistent. With the encouragement of my group I made most mornings and enjoyed hearing how their mornings went as well. I learned a consistent prayer routine (thx btw for those verses you posted they were a great addition to my prayer time) I loved this experience and can’t wait for fall!

  • Hillary says:

    I learned that once I made a habit of getting up early to spend time with the Lord, I missed it terribly whenever I chose to sleep in instead. Even though some mornings it was still hard to get out of bed, it truly became a joy to me. And God is faithful to give me that discipline when I ask him for it!

  • Karen says:

    I learned that I can make a new habit of reading my Bible and praying every morning before every one else rises. I was doing hellomornings and then started another bible in 90 days so I really wanted to be accountable with my morning habit. Thank you for helping me!

  • Lauren says:

    I was so blessed by the Bible study, and that the method used to study Philippians can be used for other books of the Bible.
    Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” That verse hit me fresh during this summer study with you. I now stop myself when I feel overwhelmed or stressed or confused and pray and continually give my feelings and situation to God. Thank you for your guidance this summer! Looking forward to the fall.

  • Melodye says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I repeated to myself, “Wake up FOR your child…not TO your child.” This has stuck with me, and it’s motivated me to get up and at ’em before my son does. Thanks so much!

  • Maria says:

    I echo what Melodye said above. That mantra kept going through my head this summer “Wake up for your child, not to your child.” What has motivated me to stick to MYM?
    1. Getting to enjoy my daily cup of tea, not throwing it down amongst the morning rush
    2. Hearing God speak to me through this summer’s bible study
    3. Following the amazing bible study summaries provided through You guys ROCK!

    Most mornings I’ve been waking up at 6:00am and get in my bible study, daily planning and email check before my son wakes up at 7:00am. I’m about to give birth in 4-5 weeks so will plan on adding exercise to the morning mix once we get through the first few months with little miss. 🙂

  • Jen McAllister says:

    I am weak but He IS strong! Most of our group fizzled by week 3, but 2 of us have been through many challenges in the last few months (fires, near drownings, family break ups, broken pelvis, adoption and a surprise pregnancy) but daily encouragement has helped SO much to find joy and peace in Christ with our commitment to waking up to Scripture and seeking Him First. Will continue on and hopefully not be bedridden for 6 weeks!

  • Karin Wizer says:

    I became greatly aware during this challenge that God longs for us to want to spend time with him. Most mornings I would wake up before my alarm and feel very much the presence of God saying, “My precious, I am waiting for you, get up.” This challenge has been life changing for me. Thank you Inspired2Action.

  • Tia says:

    The reminder to just go to bed a little earlier was so helpful! I’ve now begun running in the mornings before my kids get up! Thanks!

  • Sami says:

    I learned that even when I was “off” for a while, the next day I could get right back on again!

  • Rachel says:

    I learned the value of asking for help, from God and from other people. I’m not usually good at that at all! About halfway through I felt the need to say, “I’m starting to give up, HELP me please.” I know God had a hand in that, because I’ve gained the most patient, encouraging, supportive prayer partner I’ve ever had. I have done far from perfectly in this challenge, but I’ve definitely learned that my days are way better when I start them with prayer and Scripture… and found much support and grace to bear me up in my imperfection.

    Bless all you ladies who shared this experience. I’ve prayed for the MYM community every day with much thanksgiving.

  • Christy says:

    My biggest lesson was “if you can’t beat them, join them.” For the longest time my biggest excuse was that I have no idea when my 3 1/2 year old will wake up, so I just “couldn’t” plan to get up before her. I finally had to just pick a time, 6:00 a.m., to get up…knowing that I might get an hour by myself, or she might still wake me up at 5:45 a.m. Either way, I had a plan. We have created a new routine now. I invested in a kids’ clock that turns green at a certain time (I set it for 6:30 a.m.) so she’s not supposed to get out of bed until that time. If she wakes up before 7:00, she finds me in the living room, grabs her children’s Bible, and we have “Bible time” together. Even if I get interrupted, I still get some time in the Word in the morning, and I figure it’s good for her to see me doing that, too! We end our time together by me reading her a Bible story that she chooses and singing a worship song together. It has been an amazing improvement to how we used to start our days together…crabby with one another for being woken up too early/not welcomed to start the day with kindness!

  • jen says:

    i learned that even a night-owl like me can change and actually learn to love getting up early (not to mention that my body clock adjusted so that it was much eaiser to do so after about 2 weeks)! i now love getting up early and look forward to time with my King! 🙂

  • Joyce says:

    While I wasn’t on top of it every single with the challenge, I really enjoyed it, especially being an AC because it made me even more accountable to my actions. Summer was so busy this year for us, and things kept popping up on our calendar left and right. It was super fun but it also took some time to recover afterwards. I really liked the Philippians bible study, and I just took up Katie’s challenge to memorize Psalm 143. I wasn’t so great with the exercise, but I found some real-life buddies for next session. Any tips? Tell as many people as possible. It is great to get encouragement, but they will also give you a swift kick in the behind if you’re not on track. I also found that especially when little ones are in the picture, each season of life, and even each season of the year!, will look a little different, so our mornings will change accordingly. Don’t kick yourself if you aren’t “getting it”, tomorrow is a new day to start over. Okay, I learned a lot, so this is going to end up as a blog post if I don’t stop here. =p Looking forward to the Fall Challenge!

  • LisaE says:

    I learned how vital it is for me to be in God’s Word EVERY DAY!!! I ready Philippians with a commentary and WOW have I learned SO much! Can’t wait for the fall session as it’s getting SUPER dark… I learned I’m more likely to do my bible study when I have friends looking for me online!

  • Evonne says:

    so I’m one of those gals whose grand acheivement getting up earlier wise is only about 5 minutes…BUT I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the challenge all the same. It has taught me to go about my day with a little more purpose and although I’m really not a morning person I have learned to have a better attitude when I do get up so that my family is greeted with a loving ‘good morning’. Looking forward to the ‘autumn’ challenge as it will be spring where I am and hopefully that will help a bit too ;o) Thank you to everyone involved in all the organising…very much appreciated.

  • Lisa says:

    Because of the MYM Challenge, I got started on the Couch to 5k program and I’m not getting out there are training myself to be a runner! I’ve loved it!

  • Winona says:

    I learned that if I fail that I have to pick myself up and try again, because there’s another day coming (I hope) and God can help me get and stay on track!

  • Christie says:

    What I gleaned from my first MYM challenge is that I am not alone. There are other moms, in other time zones/challenges/seasons of their lives that are striving to know the Lord more and more. Just when I think I am the only one dealing with tantrums, diaper rash, and the 3am wake up call from a newborn, I could count on my MYM group to comment on a similar setback and refresh me with a verse from the Word of God. Looking forward to the fall groups!

  • Tracy says:

    I am pretty good about getting up and working out and being in the Word, but I learned that I need to be more intentional about the worship and planning aspect of my day. Those are areas that I still really need to work on. One thing Kat said that really helped me, was to come up with three things that I wanted to accomplish that day. That has really helped me be more productive and accomplish things.

  • Lisa Legaspi says:

    to be joyful….ALWAYS! (even though I do think Paul’s prison cell was less challenging than teenage/young adult children!) Praise God!

  • Alle says:

    First of all, as others have said, thank you so much for all the hours of energy and love you poured into this session! The lessons I have taken away from this challenge have forever changed my life and I can’t wait for Fall! I’ve grown from the girls in my group, the Philippians study, the accountability, and am so grateful. My family has been blessed, too! Blessed that I would prioritize my relationship with God and use that as a jumping off point for how I structure my day. Blessings to you as you plan another session!

  • Jenny says:

    Because of this wonderful MYM challenge, I’ve learned that it’s way much better to spend time with God in the mornings instead of at night when I’m so tired. We were on vacation for a month and now this week is our 2nd week back to routine, I’m starting MYM again. I love it! I can’t wait for Sept. 15 to come! I’ve enjoyed my group, wish I could have spent more time getting to know them better. Thank you so much!

  • Jennifer Burney says:

    It’s not about striving for perfection, as every baby step and Christ honoring decision gets me one step closer to forming a consistent habit of early bedtimes and early morning quiet time and exercise.

  • Kris M says:

    I learned to pray again!!!! Waking early is now a habit for me and I have a morning routine! Do I occasionally change the routine to allow for a sleep-in everyone once in a while? Yep! Do I notice how I’m extra hurried and just a tad bit stressed when I do that? Sure do! But I’m up early again the next morning and forgive myself for the previous day. Can’t wait to meet everyone who signs up for fall!

  • Katie Orr says:

    To God be the glory! I love reading through these comments, to see how He is being enjoyed in the early morning hours. This challenge is a blessing, and God is using it mightily!

  • kristena thompson says:

    I learned that I am a better mom on days when I put God first.

  • Carrie K says:

    I learned that getting “moving” early with exercise (even a little) helps my energy level for the rest of the day. Thanks to all the women who coordinated!

  • Jacquie says:

    You can read a little bit more about my experience with MYM by reading my latest blog entry, and there are several lessons I think I learned, but the one that I’m really left with is that Jesus is truly worth getting up early for! Getting those kisses on my heart from Him is the best reward for giving up a few extra minutes of sleep. 🙂

  • Judy says:

    The comraderie and support from the group members appears to add not only accountability but an added level of commitment! Can’t wait to join the fall groups.

  • Christy says:

    I slid back this summer, which taught me not to get complacent. When you are doing something that is good for you, even though it does not come naturally to you, you must constantly renew your commitment to it.

  • Melissa says:

    I learned…
    you WILL miss a day here and there
    you WILL be able to pick it up again
    you WILL be changed
    you WILL never want to sleep in again
    you WILL want to take the challenge!

    Thanks for the Philippians study ladies…it was so great to read others takes on the same scripture!

  • That there really is a magic bullet for me, and it’s going to bed early!

  • I learned that baby steps are the key to making lasting change. I also learned (this was the BIG one) that I wake up early *because* God loves me not *so* He will love me. There is a huge difference that I didn’t get until recently. Thanks for all you guys do!

  • Sarah Saffran says:

    I learned that God is gracious and his mercies are new every morning and every season. This summer was a practice run for me in a sense that this fall I will be truly committed to this change. My baby is also growing so it will be a little easier…and if it isn’t easier, again, God is gracious! win-win..

  • Ellen says:

    I learned that you only have to take baby steps to make big changes. And, that a good, tight hug heals most things!

  • Janet says:

    I learned that I actually ENJOY being up early now! Who would have ever thought?

  • Erin says:

    I learned that getting up before my kids, getting ready and dressed, eating breakfast and (most importantly), TIME IN THE WORD really changes my day. I am a different mom and wife when I make that time a priority.
    Thanks for the challenge, Kat – I may try to do the next one too!

  • Melissa says:

    I learned it’s HARD to be disciplined. It’s consistently HARD. Discipline is HARD. But wow, what a difference it makes in my day when I get and start my day with a “wake up walk” and some time with the Lord. I’ll likely sign up for the next go-around of the challenge… I never did manage to get in time to actually plan my day before some little person woke up.

    Now, I MUST get off to bed or it will be extra HARD to be disciplined in the morning!

  • Katie says:

    I learned that the most important thing is that I spend time with Jesus and that that fuels my day. Sometimes it looks different, sometimes it’s 3 minutes long because the baby starts crying, and it’s okay. It’s not about rigid ritual or checking off a list. It’s about being with Him and knowing Him better through His word.

  • Jasmine says:

    Keep trying! Never give up, God is right beside you

  • I learned *I* need to pray for other people. When I neglect praying for my husband, I am the one that is a terrible wife. When I don’t pray for my kids, I’m a terrible mother. I can feel my heart and emotions slipping when I don’t spend time praying for them.

    Maximizing my morning is about maximizing my heart and the roles God has given me.

    Thank you, Kat! (And Lara, Erin, Katie & Michelle!)

  • Penny says:

    It’s hard to get up when you don’t Have to.
    And it seems like it doesn’t hurt anything if you don’t have to be anywhere but it really does waste the day. Woohoo for the fall round of MYM!

  • Lara says:

    I learned it’s encouraging to have a friend text me at my “wake-up time.” — someone else is rising at dark o’clock.

  • Sarah Saffran says:

    I learned that I need more accountability than I had.. I need to step up to the plate and embrace this change. I think I’d like to lead a group during this fall challenge..

  • Danielle says:

    I am hoping to be able to be an AC this fall.

  • Lisa H says:

    I learned this summer that it’s okay to get off routine/schedule, but that I need to really work to get back on track. It’s so easy to let new (bad) habits creep back in and take ove! 🙂

  • Rebekah Giannatala says:

    I have learned how very weak my flesh is and am so grateful for group bible studies that keep me accountable for my studies (I’m doing CBS, community bible study)

  • Aimee L. says:

    I learned that even though I feel like I have too much on my plate, making it a priority to get up and have my quiet time is essential to being the mom and wife God has called me to be!

  • Kimmomof4boys says:

    I have tried to be consistent, by joining the MYM group for the wake up time. It was great to have accountability. “Yes” to me it was accountability because I had agreed to do it. I couldn’t wait to read what the other members were learning, needed and to personally share what I was hearing from the Lord. This has been a real hard year, summer, last few weeks even. I am so grateful to be reminded, through all the vulnerability at the group, “I am not alone” I am not the only one who has set backs, challenges and, in fact, those very challenges are where “I can sing in the fire.” I joined another group for house keeping like Martha with a Mary heart. the 2 seem to go hand in hand. I will say, I feel young and beyond the season of most the people who post, but it is so encouraging to know the young moms are desiring to honor God, their husbands and children with their lives. Thank you so much for taking a leap of faith and sharing what God has given you. A parched world needs refreshment, God’s word is so much richer when shared. Blessings, Kim

  • Stacy says:

    I learned to just keep going! Don’t give up. Expect interruptions from time to time and just do your best.

  • jaime says:

    I learned that planning my day first thing in the morning helps everything go much more smoothly. I also learned that starting the day with some movement really helps my mood.

  • becky gittings says:

    I learned that its sooo nice to start my day with God and then with my daughter. and yet… it was rare when that happened. Thank you for the encouragement, devotionals and the inspiration tobe a better Godly mom.

  • I learned that during a move across country, coast to coast, then up and down the west coast for a family reunion, and then to the last point of the Western U.S. (Hawaii) and finally a move to Japan…you will lose your Hello Mornings stuff. BUT…I can always google a Proverb based on the date from my phone and have a Hello Morning anywhere, anytime in the world. And sometimes…you can just tweet about your lost wallet (on multiple occasions that I lost it) and people really, really care to pray and lift you up so that is can be found!!! They will rejoice when it is found with you…they will check on you when it is not. xoxoxo

  • Ivy says:

    I learned that waking up early is possible. I learned to not get comfy, that was a big one! I can get a lot done in the morning and on many days it’s the only time I get to myself all day! I also learned how important that time alone to think and pray really is.

    Thanks for the challenge and all of the support!