The Heartbeat Of Your Morning Routine Should Be To Seek God

The Heartbeat Of Your Morning Routine Should Be To Seek God

Stop making your morning routine all about you!

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There is something very calming and relaxing about waking up early, starting your day as everyone else is asleep.

This past week, I've been waking up every weekday at around 6 a.m. (for some, that's not early, but for the rest of us who are actually OK with having an inkling of humility, 6 a.m. is pretty early). Let me tell ya something:

Waking up early has been changing my life.

Here's my typical, morning routine: Wake up at 6 a.m., get to the gym by 6:30, work out, get back to the house and in the shower by 7:45, breakfast until 8:30, keep a last thirty minutes or so to get dressed, check emails, go over my daily schedule.

Then comes the fork in the road. My earliest day, I have meetings at 10 a.m. or work shifts at 10:30. If my day begins early, I bolt out the door. If my day begins later, I may relax for a bit before leaving. But that's not the ultimate "fork in the road," aka the choice I make each morning that truly solidifies my routine.

The ultimate heartbeat of my morning routine is spending time alone, praying to God and reading/reflecting on Scripture.

For me, this component serves to be the most crucial of all the elements that go into my morning routine, and I think it should be just as crucial for you, too!

First of all, most of these other elements can really be pushed around throughout the day. Working out in the morning feels good, but I can just as much go to the gym the night before. Same with taking a shower (I never understood people who take showers in the morning instead of at night. Like what are you doing? You get dirty during the day. Clean ya dang body after a long day, not right when you get up. Good grief. Then again, I have turned into a morning shower person, but I chalk that up to my fallen, sin nature).

Breakfast? You can make and have that on the go. Why are you wasting your time cooking a gourmet meal every morning? You ain't that special. You don't deserve that, cut it out.

Plan your day in the morning? Maybe go searching for a little thing called forethought and organize that, you know, the day before! I can't imagine planning my day the day of. Sure, I review it, but ain't no way I'm going to bed tonight being all like "Eh, let's see what happens tomorrow, can't imagine it'll be anything I need to prepare for in advance!"

All of these things stack up as making a productive morning for sure, but there is a reason why prayer and reading Scripture matter the most to me when going through my daily routine.

When we spend time alone with God, there are no expectations. I'm not doing it for societal pressure. I'm not doing it so others can see my being holy (I'm doing it alone, after all). Every other aspect of my morning routine is produced from these expectations, these pressures.

Now, none of these pressures are evil in and of themselves. Exercise, hygiene, nutrition, preparation: these are all good, but they are not God. They all shape us, but they do not save us.

It is from hearing God's voice each day and reading about Him, I am reminded why any of this matters. I am reminded that this life I have is not my own, that I can't just have my selfish morning routine just for my own sake. This spiritual heartbeat of my morning reminds me that everything I am doing in the morning is preparing me to serve and love others better: I'm in good shape to be at the ready, I have appropriate hygiene to be welcoming to others, I am well fed so as not be hangry or driven by emotion, and I have reviewed my day, full of appointments and meetings to encourage and serve others.

There is a story in one of the biographical accounts of Jesus. He "[leaves] the house and [goes] off to a solitary place, where He [prays]" (Mark 1:35, NIV). Once His followers find Him, Jesus responds by immediately leading them where God has told Him to go: to the nearby villages, to preach of God's Love and call to follow Him.

Ultimately, if meeting with God was the heartbeat of Jesus' day, the single component that mattered the most in guiding Him in using His time and helping Him pursue God, it should be the exact same way for you and me. For us to assume otherwise is simply a sign of God not truly being God to us, just as another "good" we stack into our day.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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It's Okay To Be A Shattered Temple, God Doesn't Need You To Be A Perfect House

God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed.

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So right now it's 6:09 a.m., the house is so quiet I can hear it breathing. The wind slightly knocking against the walls like an unwelcome guest. The heat running through the pipes bringing warmth to each section of the house. The rain from the skies kissing the roofs and windows. I just thought how intricate and specific each role plays. How on its own it must feel inconsequential, but together completes its purpose.

In the Bible, a house/temple is referred to as a body often. We sing songs, "Lord, make me a house of prayer." But in some seasons, we doubt the very thing we asked God for as if it wasn't already designed for us.

Sometimes in our walks, we question our purpose. We don't see the grand scheme. On why we went through what we did, or why we currently are. We want explanations for everything because if our human minds can't comprehend it that means it was in vain. I have wrestled with this concept, the "Why me?" the "I didn't/don't deserve this" and lastly, "I just want the pain to end."

See, what they don't tell you when you sign up for this is that salvation is free but sanctification costs your life. They don't tell you that you have to change your words from "Why me?" to "Count it all joy." They don't put a disclaimer saying that the walk is free but the path is narrow. They don't tell you that you are a house.

A house can have broken parts but still be used. You can be broken and still be used by God. Because God isn't looking for perfect he's looking for posture. He's looking for an open house not foreclosed one. When something is broken within your house, you call someone with that specific training in that area. The very thing that you think qualifies you as broken can be the same that qualifies you as a healer! You looked at your situation as a test but God is trying to use you as a tool.

You don't call a plumber to fix a light. You don't call a perfect person to help an addict. You want someone who doesn't look down on you but says, "I can help, I know because I've been there and I know the pain, I know how you feel. Let's tackle this together." It's okay to be a broken house, a shattered temple — I have some creaks and leaks, too. God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed. Why? Because then you'll start setting others free. People don't care what you say, they care about what you do.

What you thought counted you out, God is counting on to help someone for their breakthrough.

They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Let your house be open for not only God, but others. You may see yourself as a broken mirror, but others see a reflection. Your life is a testimony of not shame or embarrassment but of strength and grace. Your house may be missing things — a father, joy gone, love absent, peace may be missing — but God doesn't intend to keep you in lack, he is all-sufficient.

But he needed to withhold things from your house because one, you needed to know who really supplied it, and two, so you can show others how you overcame. But he is faithful He will fill those broken places and mend the broken hearts. He will be the light in your house. So that you may project your light to the world.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Neither a man lights a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on the stand — and it shines unto all that are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; they may see your good works and Glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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