One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that I do not have to get up at the break of dawn to get my children ready for the school bus or to send them off to school myself.
[The school system in Singapore requires the children to report to school before 7:30am. The exact time depends on the school.]
But I do it anyway.
Why so early???
Disclaimer – I did NOT do this when I had small children with inbuilt sensors that wake them up when I am up early in the morning.
So, I am usually up at 5am or thereabouts.
Yes, since 2016, after reading The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders, my Morning Routine starts at 5 am or thereabouts by choice and I usually love it.
My Morning Routine Then
Back when I had lots and lots of littles, I spent many years with interrupted sleep. I was either up to nurse the baby or to tend to someone. Or worse, to strip and change out urine soaked bedlinen! On top of that, I would usually stay up until 1 to 2 am to plan and prepare for our homeschool. So an early morning was impractical no matter how much caffeine I pumped into my body. So I didn’t have an early start.
My Morning Routine back then was short and uncomplicated. All I focused on was rolling out of bed about 15 minutes before the baby wakes, having a quick shower to wake myself up, getting breakfast ready, giving the baby a quick bath, nursing her, eating breakfast, and then starting school. Sometimes, breakfast gets pushed to after the baby is nursed. But mostly, that was my Morning Routine.
My Morning Routine Now
Fast forward to 2017 and my youngest is now 8. I am in a different season of motherhood now. Yes! There is light at the end of the-interrupted-sleep-tunnel! 🙂 Hang in there mommies in the trenches.
My Morning Routine now starts at 5am and takes longer to complete. But I like it much better because I get my Quiet Time done more consistently than it has ever gotten done. The few times I chose to sleep in always sees me missing my morning devotions. I don’t know why but once I miss it, it just doesn’t get done.
Besides, with my oldest in the Army now, I have to wake up early anyway. While privileged to return home each evening to sleep in his own bed, he has to get up early to catch the MRT and then the shuttle bus into camp. And, having to travel on the breakdown prone MRT system also means he must leave earlier to ensure that he won’t miss the shuttle.
So, the first thing I do when I wake up is to shower to wake myself up. Then I would drink 2 big cups of warm water before I start getting breakfast prepped and cooked/heated up. This requires standing and walking which both help to wake me up further!
Using S.O.A.P for my Quiet Time
Only then do I proceed to do my Quiet Time. If I do it immediately upon waking, I will just doze off! As mentioned in Struggling to Spend Quiet Times with the Lord, I currently use the S.O.A.P method for my Quiet Time. Reading scripture and then journalling my observations and prayer all work together to keep me awake! Occasionally a cup of coffee is necessary although I try not to drink any before food.
Before switching to SOAP, I was using and loving Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest devotional journal.
What is S.O.A.P.?
S.O.A.P. is a simple bible study method that gets you reading a passage or a chapter of Scripture (S) a day. You can use this method on any book of the Bible you choose or just start at Genesis and work your way through the entire Bible which is what I am doing. I started with Genesis in January and am now in Joshua.
Then, you make an Observation (O) of the passage/chapter you just read. Next, you ask yourself how you would Apply (A) what you have read into your daily life. And to finish, you would Pray (P) through what you have observed and ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply it.
S.O.A.P. is a very simple method which requires just your Bible, a notebook and a pen.
Take a Nap or Work on Blog
After finishing my Quiet Time, I wake my oldest and I move on to prepping that day’s Bible lesson for our homeschool.
After David eats his breakfast and leaves for the Army Camp, depending on how many hours I slept the night before, I either start working on my blog or take a nap.
And that’s my Morning Routine.
Starting My Mornings on the Right Foot
Starting my mornings this way for the past year and a half has become a routine and a habit now. The latest I veer off my 5am waking time is by an hour, 6am. I really feel like I am behind when I wake up at 7 am or later. Even if I stayed up late the night before, I still prefer to wake by 6am and then take a nap in the late morning/early afternoon rather than wake up later in the morning. It makes me feel like I am in control of my day rather than reacting to it, which puts me in a better mood.
What I really need to work on is sleeping earlier. Tough when you have teenagers in the house.
Need Help Keeping Your Morning Routine Consistent?
If you are struggling to get your mornings going and being consistent in your Quiet Time with the Lord, may I recommend the Start Simple Journal?
The Simple Start Journal
Lovingly created by Kayse, the Simple Start Journal is a printable 7-week journal that incorporates bible reading and journalling, your daily top 3 priorities and even a short workout to get your Morning Routine up and running! In this inaugural journal, she starts with the Books of Galatians and Ephesians.
Every day, you’ll find a section for:
- Getting in the Word: You’re given a specific passage of Scripture to read (with room for notes), a few key verses from that passage to write out right there in the journal, and a space to jot down your prayers.
- Getting focused on your priorities: You’re given a question to answer & space to note your three most important tasks of the day.
- Getting a short workout in: You’re given a short, simple workout to complete each day. These workouts can be completed with no extra supplies – just your own body and a small space. There’s a different workout for each weekday!
So, grab your journal today!
Need Help to Create Your Own Morning Routine?
Now if you need help in actually setting up your Morning Routine, read Setting up Routines to Beat the Overwhelm
Just remember that your mornings need not start at 5am or even 7am to be successful. But, starting your day with God, focused on the day’s priorities and getting your body moving helps set the tone for the rest of the day. And since our children take their cues from us, this is important.
Share with me your morning routine. How short or long is it? Is it one that has changed throughout the years?