For the first week I’ve set myself the target time of 7am. Now, you may think that I should be disqualified from a club that has 5am in the title, but the idea is just to go for a time that is early for you, and 7am is early for me! I tried 6:45am today and managed it….baby steps!
I’ve gotten into the habit of rolling out of bed with just enough time to shower, dress, grab my belongings and fall out the door. I work at an office 5 minutes walk from my front door so it’s easy for me to sleep in until 8:15am and still make it to work with a little time to spare.
Since Monday I’ve been setting my alarm for 7am. I pray the night before that God would give me the strength to throw off the covers, and I read a chapter of Acts before going to sleep so that my last thoughts are ones of how the early church served God with all they had.
When 7am arrives, my alarm goes off loud and clear. I open my eyes and turn on my bedside lamp, then I snooze my alarm. Don’t panic, it’s part of the plan! I’ve set it to snooze for just one minute and to only snooze once, and that minute gives me time to get used to the light and to being awake. When that minute is over, my alarm sounds again and I get out of bed.
My first act is to wash my face, before heading downstairs to my early morning friend, the kettle. Whilst the kettle is boiling I try to perform some small household duty like putting away dried dishes or hanging out laundry, instead of standing there listening to the kettle bubbling like a zombie. I make a cup of tea, then head back upstairs to my bedroom where I settle myself for some quality Father-Daughter time with the LORD.
I begin with a short prayer that I’ll stay awake, before turning to a Psalm to focus my mind. I’ve been reading a book by Joni Eareckson Tada called ‘31 days towards Passionate Faith’; the chapters are short and to the point, giving one helpful thought for the day. I try to carry that thought through into my prayer time as I write my list of things to bring before God. I know that if I just prayed without a structure to follow my mind would soon wander off and start planning to clean the fridge or to take swing dance lessons! I keep a prayer journal, and split my prayer into four categories; Sorry, Thanks, Others, Please. I also try to jot down the point from Joni’s book and a verse from my Psalm each morning to help me remember. I bring it all before my Heavenly Father and when I’m done, my normal morning routine begins.
This first week has not been without it’s problems; a few late nights and fitful sleeps resulted in a somewhat sleepier Lowri arriving at work each day. On Tuesday I opened my Bible at Nahum and had to spend several minutes trying to engage my brain before working out which way to turn the pages to find Psalms! On Wednesday I spent the whole day trying to stop my left eyelid twitching, and Thursday morning was a battle with the bed-sheets, but other than that it’s been a completely joy.
I’m enjoying it even more now that I have someone to share it with! My friend and colleague Rhian has taken up the challenge too, so hopefully we can check on each other and help one another to stick with it with some encouraging early morning texting.
I hope and pray that the LORD will continue to get me out of my bed each morning so I can spend time with him, it certainly isn’t my doing!