When I Feel Too Busy for Morning Devotions

A couple of years ago, before Everett entered our family, before pregnancy and morning sickness, I would get up an hour before my family to do devotions and exercise. Those were really amazing mornings. I loved the quiet, I loved getting myself in the right place to start the day well.

And then I suddenly found myself back in the chaos of nausea, sleep deprivation, and then the busyness of having a newborn baby. Morning devotions quickly ended, and it’s only recently that I’ve started waking up before Everett to have a few minutes by myself in the morning once more.

Through all of the busy months, I’ve kept hanging on to is this: God can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

I loved the days of leisurely reading my Bible, and at first, I felt really guilty when that wasn’t happening anymore. But I also knew I desperately needed sleep. (My family desperately needed me to sleep!) When I didn’t have the energy to wake up early, and Everett was waking up at 6:30 every morning, there was no way I was setting my alarm for 6am.

So I did what I could – I’d snatch a few minutes to read a verse or two, or I’d lock myself in the bathroom to spend a few moments praying and focusing on Jesus to get my mind in the right place to start the day. I did my devotions every evening before I went to bed, but with time, I noticed how important it was to get even a little bit of time in the morning.

I’ve listened to other busy, tired moms talk about how impossible it feels to get up early for devotions, and I feel their pain. For those who are able to, that’s awesome, but for those who feel they just can’t during this phase of life, and to anyone else who feels as though they just can’t fit in one more thing to their busy mornings, I want to say: Do what you can.

I try to keep reminding myself, if I can squeeze in a few minutes here or there for Facebook or Pinterest, or any other distraction, I can just as easily read over a couple of verses. Just a little bit in the morning or throughout the day can change the direction of my thoughts.

This morning, I had a few minutes to myself before Everett woke up, so I grabbed my Bible and started reading Ephesians. I only read the first two verses before I got hit right where it was needed:

I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace poured into our lives…We’ve been lacking some peace around here, and I have not been responding with a lot of grace. I got on my knees, cleaned out a bunch of junk in my heart, and asked God to keep pouring that grace and peace into me until it overflowed. For the rest of the day, I kept returning to those simple words, trying to keep them in my mind and heart in the midst of the busyness.

gracesource

I still look forward to the days when I will once again have an hour of time to myself each morning, but in the meantime, I want to become more intentional about giving Jesus the time I do have, and trusting Him to multiply it.

Good Morning = Good Day

A friend recently told me about the idea that giving God the  first-fruits of our day is as important as giving Him the first-fruits of our money.

This idea stuck with me, because I struggle with mornings.

Actually, I struggle with evenings, which results in a struggle with mornings. I have a hard time being disciplined about going to bed early.

But here’s what I know to be true:

1) Enough sleep = A happier Kendra

2) An early bedtime = A better morning

3) A better morning = A better day

Giving God the first-fruits of my morning actually starts the night before. I think I have much nicer fruit to offer Him if I’ve had a good sleep.

morning

You know what bugs me, though? Someone out there has sold us all on the idea that we are all either a “morning person” or an “evening person”, and if we just so happen to be a natural night owl, we are no longer responsible for giving God the first-fruits of our day, because we don’t “do” mornings.

I am on a journey here, and most definitely don’t know everything I need to know yet, but I would like to add one more awesome truth to add to my list:

4) The first-fruits of your morning don’t have to be long, and don’t have to be at a certain time. They just need to be first…ish.

I find it difficult to get up early enough for full-on devotions at six in the morning. I like to do that in the evening, before I go to sleep. I used to feel guilty about this – like it wasn’t as godly to have devotions at night, as it is in the morning.

Then one day, I thought, “What about doing devos at night, which I love, and just spending a few minutes praying in the morning, giving my day to God?”

And it worked out beautifully. And I felt quite pleased with myself for figuring this out, but really, I don’t know why it took so long, or why I had such a hang-up about what exactly “devotions” had to look like. They can look however I want. At whatever time I want.

But first-fruits still need to be first. Because when I remember God first thing in the morning, and I give Him my day, and my plans, and myself, my mind is in a much better place to get through whatever the day holds. And it doesn’t need to take hours. Sometimes I do it when I wake up, and I’m still lying in bed. Sometimes I do it as I stand in my kitchen, drinking a glass of water and admiring the pink sky. It could be done in the shower. It could be done while blow-drying your hair. Anything that you do every single morning could become the reminder to spend a few minutes giving the day to God.

And then some days are just plain crazy, and all good plans and habits totally fall apart, and the only goal is to survive and get out the door on time.

But hopefully, those days don’t happen every day. And when they do, we just try again the next day.

Thank goodness for a fresh start each day!:)