How (and Why) I Wake Up Before My Kids … Every Day


December 12, 2018

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When was the last time you had a quiet morning? I have one every single day. (Well, like 98% of the time.)

I am currently writing this, coffee in hand, by myself, and I don’t even have a babysitter.

It’s early in the morning, and I can hear the heater running in the background. I can hear the kids rustling in their beds. (What is it that is so sweet about the sound of a sleeping child?) I’ve already had time for prayer and reading. Time to plan my day and prepare myself for predictable challenges. I feel AWAKE.

With three small kids, homeschooling, and running an in-home business, if I don’t get a significant amount of time to myself each morning before all the activity starts, I will not be as productive, and likely will not be as great a mom and wife as I know I can be.

I am prone to yelling. I’m not proud of it, but it’s just the truth. I yell when I get overwhelmed or feel disrespected. I can solve both issues by some concentrated self-coaching, but who has time for that??

Solution: I’ve discovered you have to fill your own cup EVERY SINGLE DAY… I mean literally—like with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, something!

Interestingly, waking up early is biblical. Just Google it, and you’ll come up with dozens of examples of the importance of early rising. Just to name one or two:

  • “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” Psalm 119:147
  • “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” Psalm 5:3
  • And my personal favorite: “She rises also while it is still night”—you kind of have to when you have unpredictable small children—“And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.” Proverbs 31:15 (the one about the perfect wife)

I started this habit called the Miracle Morning (from a book of the same name by Hal Elrod) when my oldest kids were three and two and I was pregnant and sick with my third. It was during that time that I needed “me” time the most.

I wasn’t sleeping well, I was busy busy busy during the day and stressed out to the max. I knew nothing was going to change until something changed. So I changed that singular habit of waking up, just 15 minutes before the kids each day.

Now, two and a half years later, I wake up hours before the kids and get to spend time in prayer, silence (Google it if it’s been a while…ha!), and physical and mental preparation for my day.

I ask myself questions like: “Where will I find joy in my journey today?” “How can I best love my husband today?” “How can I love my children today?” And more practical questions like: “What are we going to eat today?” “When am I going to do school with the kids today?” And preventative questions like: “How will I manage disruptions today?” “How will I manage my emotions today?” “What virtue am I focusing on today?” I do game-planning for my business: “Who will I connect with today?” “What would a top director do today?”

Questions like these set up my day for success. They give me a template so that I can make the day’s hardest decisions before the kids are even awake. And that has made such a difference.

These quiet mornings are a blessing and a treasure. I am grateful, SO GRATEFUL, for this time the Lord has given me and this season of peace. I know from experience that especially during seasons of peace and joy, it is crucial to fill my own cup consistently. When the tides turn and I am presented with a challenge, I can fall back on that personal training and the hard times become that much easier and more manageable.

If you are on the struggle bus, I give you permission to get off and find another mode of transportation through this life! It exists! For every mom in every walk of life, it is possible to have peace and joy in your day every day—but it takes a daily choice, one that I make over coffee and biscotti every morning.

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