Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hello Again Mornings



I have a confession. Maybe more than that, we'll see what comes out of me this morning. But I wanted to share with you my "journey" as I strive to become more intentional in my days...my home, my family...my role as wife and mom. 

Brandon and I are on day 3 of a 21 Daniel Fast that we are doing cooperately with our church. We do this each year and I can look back on years past and see the times where I was intentional to make it about prayer and spiritual growth, rather than making it a "diet"  were, in the long run much more beneficial to our lives. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to droppin some pounds. I ain't gonna lie. But trust me, it is easy to get so consumed and focused on what we can and can't eat when we're fasting that we lose what the fast is truly all about. At the end of 21 days I want to feel spiritually FULL, not hungry. 

So back to being more intentional in my days. Last night Brandon and I talked for a while, about what our goals are for this fast. What we are praying for and what we want to change about our day to day lives, to make room and time for our pursuit of Him, as a couple and as individuals. 

Here's where my confession comes in. For a while I was in a routine of getting up early. Specifically before the kids. To pray and study. I really began to look forward to that time to myself. That quiet time with the Lord. I would keep a notebook and pen close by and write down whatever was on my heart, whatever God wanted to speak to me. 

I'm not talking simply about prayer.  I pray throughout the day. Conversation with the Lord can happen anytime. For me it's either while driving, cleaning, or rocking Mia, cooking dinner, or at night before falling asleep....

I'm talking about that time where I completely shut out everything else, and seek the Lord.
Quieting my spirit. Listening.
It's different.
It's my time and my attention.

But then one morning I started to ignore that prompt to get up.  Asher started school, and Bella would climb into bed with me and we would fall back to sleep. Mia has always slept in so I just got into a habit of sleeping in with the girls. Which meant my time to spend alone with the Lord in the mornings was virtually gone. 
One morning turned into weeks. Then months.

I told myself I'd do it the evenings but then that didn't happen either. Instead, it was time spent with Brandon, watching movies or computer time....reading other blogs, and mentally racking up more projects on pinterest than I could truthfully every accomplish as a human being. I mean really.  

At the start of the year, even before we began the fast, I knew this was something I wanted to be more intentional about.  My time. It actually isn't really a matter of want, it's more a matter of NEED. 

Making my time with Him first
makes me a better mom
A better wife. 
A better person.

"We are more likely to impact our families with a morning on our knees than a late night on the ‘net."

Oh how true is that. And convicting. I subscribe to "Inspired to Action" and got this email in my inbox this morning with 5 quotes to inspire your mornings as part of her "Hello Mornings" series.  Basically its inspiration each day to get up FOR your children, instead of TO. 

I want to get up FOR both my husband and children. As much as I desire to be the mom called me to be, I want to be the wife He called me to be also. As mom to young kids, it's easy to get lost in them. But I am just as, if not more, pursuant to nurture my relationship with Brandon, as I am my children.

So this morning I got up and had my time with the Lord. As I prayed about the things on my heart, He led me to the Proverbs 31 woman. I've read it many times before, but this morning I wrote down each point I want to strengthen. Each value I want to focus on in my pursuit to be more intentional in my home. As wife and mom. 

What ministry there is here. In our homes.

I've always been aware of this, but I want to continue fine tuning my ear to hear what the Lord has for me. Decluttering the inner parts of my heart. The things that take away, rather than fill. I want to get rid of those things. I looked up the definition of clutter, because I'm a sucker for a definition---it literally means to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.

Lord have mercy, I do not want to impede movement. I want to keep moving forward. Fullfilling. Accomplishing. And I pray, I am effective in doing so. 

A few months ago, we began this pursuit of decluttering. We don't have cable anymore. It was costing 90$ a month to have shows at our convenience {DVR}, and time wasted in front of a television.  What I knew then was that we needed to be more purposeful to not to fill that empty time with something else just as time consuming....like say, I don't know...facebook, twitter, pinterest...ahem.

I can't say that was accomplished fully. Maybe partially, and maybe in some of the areas {I also got rid of my personal facebook page back then too}. As time has passed those things have barely been missed, we acclimated to our environment of not having them. 
But that's the thing we merely acclimated. I'm not sure it was the change God was looking for.

So He is bringing me back to that place again. Of decluttering. Reminding me why we got rid of those things and how He wants to fill them up.

Here is a couple of the points of the Proverbs 31 woman that I want to be intentional in:

Her husband has confidence in her; She brings him good, not harm.
She works with eager hands
She gets up while it is still dark and provides food for her family. 
She sets about her work vigorously
She opens her arms to the poor, and extends her hand to the needy
Her husband is respected at the gates, and sits among elders
She is clothed in strength and dignity
She can laugh at days to come without fear. 
She speaks with wisdom
She watches over the affairs of her household
She does not eat the bread of idleness {this is a good one!}
Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also. 

I clearly know that this Proverbs 31 woman is merely a model to look to. A woman to be inspired by.
No one is perfect. 
So this is where I am starting. In this passage.

I know God has a lot for me. A lot to speak to me, and show me, dreams to be realized, hopes to be ignited. But in order to pursue them, I must pursue Him first. Fully. No distractions. Which for me is in the mornings. 
It might be different for you. Maybe it's at night, or even mid-day. Whenever it may be, I want to encourage you to find it again if you've lost it like me. 

 Jeremiah 29:13
"You will seek me and find me whenever you seek me with your whole heart"


P.S. Thought I'd share a Daniel Fast recipe I'm trying tonight for dinner:
 Easy and Fast Black Bean soup: 
3 cans organic black beans 
1 chopped onion, 
chopped cilantro,  
 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, 
3 minced garlic cloves, 
small amount of chopped jalapeno, 
enough vegetable stock to make it the consistency you desire.  
 Heat a small amount of olive oil in the pot, cook onion and garlic until tender.
Add rest of ingredients, heat until warm.

*Update- We tried this tonight and it was so, SO good!

7 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post. One of my things was to get up before my daughter. But I love this "each day to get up FOR your children, instead of TO." On a post-it and now by my bed. Thank you.

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  2. i love the way you write and describe your faith. simply amazing. i need to make more time for him early in my day.

    thank you for writing this post!

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  3. I can relate so much to this. I love my mornings so much! Those are precious moments with the Lord, but with small children and being pregnant it's easy to stay in bed instead of disciplining myself to get up early. I just started getting back into the habit of rising early and loving it. There's a blog called gril talk that I love and learn so much from. They have a 5 o'clock club for women to rise early. You should check it out. Very encouraging.

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  4. So awesome. It's been on my heart a lot lately of how much time is wasted online. That late night net quote hits home. Thanks for the encouragement to get my days back in the correct order.
    XO

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  5. your writing style amazes me!

    I def. needed this reminder for myself.

    I fall asleep scrolling through my phone, then do the same thing when I wake up.

    I need to make time. I WILL make time.

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  6. Thanks for the recipe, the inspiration and for being an example of a Godly Mom and Wife. May the Lord richly bless you.

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  7. wow... thats all i can say. you wrote things that God has been dealing with me about. we gave up cable about two years ago but had to be honest with ourselves about some of the other things we do instead.... mostly internet related stuff. ever since december i've just been feeling kinda "blah" towards all the internet/social communication/blogging stuff and I think it's my spirit longing to encounter God even more. so i've been definitely more intentional about seeking it. ahhh so lovely to know i'm not alone in that season. you're amazing my far away sister. lol. love ya

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