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The Right Start

The morning rush exhausts me at times.  My to do list is great as I prepare for my long commute to school.  I need a proper breakfast to nourish me through the morning.  Lunch needs to be prepared and my tea mug filled.  I have papers to gather and school bags to fill and so on.

It is very easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity and feel rushed and overwhelmed with all that needs doing before I head out the door.  I cannot easily come home for things forgotten and so the pressure is on to be totally ready for my day.

In times past, I let all this activity take precedence.  I reasoned that, I had to get to school – it’s not a job where I can be late.  I had lots to do to get ready and I would do that all first.  Then, maybe if I had time, I would have some personal time for things that mattered to me, including devotional time.

Well you can imagine how that went.  Most days there was just too much to do to get ready to go and my quiet time with God got pushed aside with thoughts that somehow, I would squeeze it in later.  

I take a different tactic these days.  I know I need clear focus for my day that only God can provide.  I take to heart the words of the Psalmist:

“In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3 NIV)

In writing this passage, David not only says he gives his requests to God, but that he waits, knowing God will answer.  David anticipates that God will provide him with direction for his day.  

Currently, it is my morning habit to check my phone for the weather and any new text messages.  An easy thing to add my routine is having devotions come to my email.  I read through these devotions on my phone, as I eat my breakfast.  I also have a copy of the Bible on my phone for easy access to the Scriptures.  My spirit is nourished as I nourish my body.

I typically also pray before I get out of bed – not any long prayers mind you, but I do put my day in God’s hands before I even start getting ready.

Dr. Axe, a well-known natural health and wellness practitioner, states the health benefits of a good morning routine on his blog:

“Rushing out of bed is one of the worst ways to start the day. Instead, focus on waking up closer to sunrise, reserving several minutes to say a prayer or feel gratitude before letting your feet hit the floor.

Prayer and meditation have been shown to:  increase longevity, balance inflammation, boost immunity, support positivity, and help reinforce good habits.”

The fact of the matter is that we don’t usually do well when we rush through our mornings.  We arrive at work frazzled and unfocused.  We don’t feel well physically.  We rely on stimulants to help us get going.  Unpleasant emotions like anger, worry, and frustration arise much easier when our day starts out poorly.

There is no one perfect morning routine.  I know mine has changed from the days when I had young children in the house to now, being an empty nester.  

What matters is to get the right start to your day, no matter what your circumstances.  Begin by putting your hands in our loving Heavenly Father who wants to guide your experiences and circumstances.  Lay the cares of the day on Him and let Him support you throughout whatever challenges you may face.

Recently, I knew I was going to have a tough meeting in my schedule.  It was one of those events that caused me to lose some sleep and the worry monster was actively wrecking my thought patterns.  Even my devotional time had been affected and I couldn’t focus.

As I stopped at my gate to unlock it before driving down the road, I paused.  I simply said, “Lord, I cannot handle this day on my own.  You know my challenges and how much I want the best for my students.  Only You can make this day work and I leave it in Your capable hands.”

I drove to work in peace.  My meeting went remarkably well because I wasn’t trusting in myself to make it work.  I faced my day with the same expectation that David speaks about in the Psalms.  It changed everything.

No matter what your day brings, leave it in the hands of God.  He promises to listen and to guide.  He can and will change your life.

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