Waking Up Right
They say its important to have a morning routine. At least, I think that’s what they say. I don’t think I’ve actually heard anyone say it, but I feel like this is a thing. Maybe it’s only just a feeling of some over-arching knowledge that everyone knows you should have a proper morning routine. I know it’s important to eat breakfast. That’s a thing. I never eat breakfast though, because my tummy doesn’t like it much when I eat too soon after waking up. Coffee is sufficient for my morning needs, providing calories and liquid in one convenient package to start my stomach going without making it ill. But enough about my digestive system, back to morning routines.
Since I got married I keep telling myself I need a morning routine. I keep thinking if I can just get into the habit of doing whatever first thing in the morning I’ll be able to do it regularly. Running, yoga, reading, writing, what have you, I have this idea in my head that first thing when I wake up is the proper time to do things. I have yet to figure out why. However, I do love the idea of waking up, sitting down with a cup of coffee, and doing some quiet activity of a daily nature while enjoying the morning air. Maybe that’ll be a thing when we’re in a house that maybe has a porch to sit on. Anyway, one of the big things I’ve been telling myself that I need to do first thing in the mornings is devotions, and I’ve been failing pretty badly.
Devotions are a thing that must either happen right before bed, or right before I get up. Once life is in motion, there is very little chance of them happening at all until I lay down and remember that I hadn’t done them yet. The problem with both of these times is that they tend to be super sleepy times. Once upon a time I had a little tiny devotional that had the smallest blurbs of scriptural wisdom for me to read in one sitting. I would read one before going to bed and one when I got up and I worked through several books that way. Did I get much out of them? No, not really. I was usually reading in a fog of just come from sleep, or half way into it and sometimes I would read the same one twice, just to attempt to get something out of it. They weren’t bad books, just not very rich in content. Once I ran out of them, though, I struggled to find something to replace them in their convenient, unobtrusive quality.
Then I got married and my husband and I agreed devotions needed to be a thing. Again, devotions must be a before bed or before getting up thing or they won’t happen. We chose before bed, which is kind of a hit or miss time, seeing as we often forget about them until the light has already been turned off. Since we chose evenings for our together devotions this leaves mornings for my personal devotions, which is fine with me. My example has always been the morning devotions. My mom will sit out on the porch or at the kitchen table and do her devotions in the mornings. It was just a matter of finding one to do.
Why I didn’t think to ask Michelle sooner, I have no idea. I really should have known better, but a year ago it just didn’t occur to me. I didn’t even really think of it this year, except that I knew if I put the question on Facebook someone would have a good answer. Of course it would be her. But to start, I didn’t ask anyone, I just turned on my new, fancy smart phone and downloaded a devotional app that looked like something I recognized from somewhere. I don’t know that it’s what I thought it was. I liked the app because it informed me when a new devotion was up, which was every morning, so I had this little reminder to read it at the top of my phone. That was handy, but the content and theology was kind of off. I don’t know how much this would have bothered me before I became RP and learned actually theology and doctrine but it feels wrong to read someone pretending to be God. Sure, the “from God” portions were derived from scripture, but they weren’t scripture, they were altered and mashed together and not cited properly and it felt not good. Also the idea that God never wants you to ever be comfortable in your life ever is not a thing I believe to be true. There is something to be said for going outside of your comfort-zone to spread the word of God, sure, but being comfortable in and of itself is not a sin.
So I gave up on the app. And for a long time forgot about the need for morning devotions all together. Life got crazy, I started blogging regularly and suddenly that was my morning routine in a nut shell. Other morning things took over that space that I had thought should be filled with personal devotions and they got pushed to the back of my mind. There was always this thought that I should have my own devotional time, my person time with God, but I was doing devotions with my husband, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing any devotions at all. But I do need my own personal time with God and He reminded me of that this late last week while I was scrolling through Facebook. It’s amazing how that works. It wasn’t anything big or striking that triggered it, just a picture of a coffee cup and an open devotional book, Instagram filter and all, with the caption “Got my morning coffee and a great new devotional book” and there it was. The picture had struck me as one that should have some inspirational or spiritual sounding quote over it, but it wasn’t meant to be such. It was a genuine picture of a friends time with God, which he was so excited about he felt the need to share it. That moment reminded me that I need that too. In that moment I was a little jealous of his coffee and his book and his time with God. I want that for myself.
So I put the question on Facebook, and quickly got the reply that I needed. Several good book suggestions from Michelle has given me a list to keep me going for a few years, I’m sure. Another friend saw the suggestions and passed on Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon to me on Sunday so that I couldn’t lose momentum waiting for a book to come in. Or waiting to find one that may or may not be hiding in boxes from my husband’s old room. So Monday I started my new wake up routine. I got up and moved to my comfy chair and there waited my new devotional. I just had to decide if I was starting at the beginning or starting on the date.
I know this one has gone on far longer than you were probably expecting but I have just one more rant for you to follow, if you so desire. I won’t judge you for skipping it. The dated devotions: I’m not a fan. I understand the appeal, in theory, of having a devotion for every day of the year, but putting the actual date on them I find a little annoying. What if someone is starting in the middle of the year? Or the end of the year? What if I miss a day, do I go back? Do both? Move on? What do you expect me to do? Do I stick to the dates or the progression? If I stick to the dates and I miss a day that day is lost. I’ll never get the gem of wisdom it had to impart. Unfortunately for me, most of the devotions I’ve found are like this. So I am stuck in the system. I’ve decided, for some reason, to go with the dates, to start near the end of the book and work my way through the rest of the year and start back at the beginning again in January. I’m also only doing mornings when I finish with them I can go back and do evenings and thus get two years out of a one year book. Seems like a good plan to me, anyway.
So today is only the second day of this new schedule but thus far I think I’m going to like this book and the insights it has to offer. It’s much more scripturally rich than the devotions I’m used to and I hope that will help me stick with it better. I’m excited about this, guys. I really hope this is the first step to forming a proper morning routine, complete with coffee, and maybe some more yoga. I do miss doing yoga. Anyway, I hope that your morning routine is going just as well. Have a lovely day, my friends.