If your morning is anything like mine, you’ve got quite a bit going on.
I have always been wired for the mornings. Of course there are those days when I don’t get enough sleep (ahem, the past 2 years) or I just want to stay snuggled up in bed, but for the most part, I’m up and raring to go with a laundry list of things to do.
I’ve found that I’m most efficient on the days where I start with a workout and quiet times. We know as “Proverbs 31” women that rising early is a noble thing. We also know that while there’s nowhere in the Bible where it specifically says “Have your quiet times before 8am” we see Christ rising early to meet with His Father. (Mark 1:35).
There’s no doubt that spending time with Him early can make a huge difference in the day.
I also find that getting my workout done in the morning sets the stage for the rest of my day. I make better choices with what I eat. I am ready to attack the day and I have much more energy. (until around 8pm haha!) Studies also show that those who workout early in the morning are more likely to be consistent than those who wait until later in the day.
So what does this mean for a busy (exhausted) mama? How early DO you have to get up to get all this done?
I’d like to propose something that works for me. I’m not saying this is for everyone and this will also be different in different stages of life, but this has been a great combination for me. It also depends on what type of exercise you are doing as you wouldn’t be able to do much of it during a kickboxing class! I don’t do this every day! Just a couple mornings a week.
Note: I drive about 5 minutes to my gym. Some of you have more time. Some of you exercise in your basement. Make the appropriate adjustments!
♦ Feet Hit the Floor/Getting Ready
Praise and Thanks. I use this time, while I’m waking, to kind of give God thanks for waking me up. For another day of living and for the blessings He’s giving me. Yes–all this is done while I’m brushing teeth, dressing and tying up shoes.
♦ Cardio Machine
Depending on what I’m doing for that day, will depend on how the rest rolls. If it’s just a cardio (elliptical) day, then I bring my Bible and my ipod shuffle. I read my passage for the day (and usually a Psalm or Proverb) and think over it while I’m getting the heart rate going. I play one worship song that helps me ponder it a little bit. Once the song is over, I hit the meat of my workout/switch machines etc.
If it’s a weights day, then I move over there to do that. However, because working out is a time when I feel closest to God many times my mind is clear and I’m left to ponder some things which end up in me praying sentence prayers through bicep curls. 🙂
I spend about 5 minutes on the floor stretching. I use this time to put on another worship song and say anything else to God I need, knowing that as soon as my front door opens to my house, the day is going to fly by.
♦ Later in the Day
I usually have another 15 minute period in the day, when my daughter is napping and my son is watching tv etc where I can get online and email my Good Morning Girls. I can also journal or process anything else that I might need to.
♦ All Day Long
I try to keep in a constant state of prayer. Yes. I have about 10 minutes in the morning when I make sure I hit everything I want, but I’ve found that keeping on top of my requests as God brings them to me in the day is more effective than me sitting and waiting for the “revelation” for God to bring me something.
This may see really scarce and non effective to you, but it works well for me. We are all different and there is no right answer that goes across the board! It’s how I start my day off right–in 2 ways. I’m a better mom, wife and friend when I have the triple threat of exercise, quiet times and prayer!
How do your mornings work? Do you exercise and have quiet times in the morning? I’d love to hear what you do!
This issue is a struggle for me. I am a mommy of 4 little ones. Ages 4, 3, 2, and t months. The baby isn’t on a great schedule yet but working towards that is our goal. I am aiming to get up before the kids. Which is becoming a challenge. Each time I find a time that seems to work for me the kids start waking up earlier. Example last week the kids and I were all getting up between 7:30-8:00. So I tried getting up at 6:30. Well, this morning DS woke up at 6:15. All the kids have been getting up before 7 am all week. :/
If I can get up before wee ones then I do my devotional time then. My workouts come during the kids nap time. All three of the older ones go down about 1:30 pm and then when baby goes down I hit my workout for as long as I can. Sometimes as long as an hour. It usually means house work gets put off, and some weeks I just have to skip workouts so household chores can get caught up.
I am constantly exhausted, each day is a push yo get through. I desperately need and want to lose weight, yet I struggle with emotional eating. Sparkpeople.com has been a huge help for me in the area of calories counts etc. The amount of weight I need to lose and the daily struggles are discouraging.
But each day keep trying, and each day trusting the Lord.
Girl. I know what you mean because I’ve totally been there!! I remember the frustration of not having any quiet time early morning because the kids would wake early. I remember trying to choose between sleeping, cleaning or exercising during naptimes (Heck, I still have to make that choice!) I understand not being happy with my body but not having the time to really put into it to make it what I wanted.
All I can encourage you with is that you aren’t alone. All those factors will even out as they age. The important thing is that you do the best you can with the best you can. My advice would be to aim for the small goal. Start with getting a 30 min workout in 3 times a week. Stay with that and eating well until you move to the next phase of life.
I hope this helps! (It felt like I was rambling!) You are doing great just in case you were wondering!! Proud of you!
Absolutely agree that how I start the day affects the rest of it!!!
I do much better if I get up at least 30-60 minutes before our crew gets up-and-going….a quiet house, coffee, Bible reading, prayer and internet time.
And honestly–I DO NOT LIKE EXERCISE…so I work hard to make it seem “fun” which means having set walking days with close friends. On the days when I’m supposed to do it on my own, I’m watching my way through Season 3 of 24 because we never watched it when it was on t.v. I will literally count with the clock if I’m not distracted during a workout 🙂
My days can’t be the same because on M/W/F our older kids are in school and on T/TH we homeschool, so the “plan” has to shift accordingly with the times we need to be out the door or have freedom to be a bit more relaxed.
Love your comment about finding what works in each person’s different scenario…what you will actually do and realistically keep up with.
@Amy Talbott–your post brought back a lot of memories 🙂 That stage when you’re just thankful if you get a shower and aren’t wearing yesterday’s clothes. One thing that helped me (not on the exercise front 🙂 was to leave my Bible on the kitchen counter in a cookbook stand. At least kept me coming back to it throughout the day…
Mornings are hard for me as well. Our children have a clock that turns green at 7 in the morning, and they know that they can’t get out of bed until then (took some work, but it’s so worth it!), but I have a hard time making myself get out of bed before then. You are right, though, when I can get in my quiet time (Ha! As quiet as possible with a 2, 4, and 6 year old at home) and exercise in early, the rest of the day goes much more smoothly!
Great post Clare! Lately, I’ve realized that I must be disciplined in my physical exercise as well as my spiritual exercise. I’ve been lazy in my Quiet Times but AM going to exercise those muscles. 🙂
I am not a morning person which really stinks because 3 out 4 are( my mom was a morning person and hated that I wasn’t, she cursed me with morning children). So I’m trying to be. I would love to be able to get up before my kids. The few times I have the days are so much better. I have the bible on my kindle on my phone. So the first thing I so is my quiet time and then check email and fb. I exercise at night which I hate. I’m trying to get that in the morning also, if I can get up. I also love to send up my prayers when they come otherwise I would never remember them when its prayer time. I like to do a lot of thinking over cleaning. That’s when I do my best pray and thought about what I have read in quiet time.
Love this. Thanks for the ideas. I am a working mom of 2 teenagers one of which has autism. So my day has not included exercise at all and am struggling to have my ‘alone with God’ time too. I needed to figure out how to get creative with it and will start with this idea. I am a morning person so early works for me. Only I have to be at work at 7:30 so hope I don’t have to do too early. LOL
My struggle is getting up so early! During the school year, it is impossible but during the summer, I like to walk for an hour, get through the shower and get myself ready for the day…hair, clothes, makeup, make the bed, start a load of laundry…before the little people get up (I am very lucky if they sleep past 7:30, but I always hope for 8). Otherwise, it is 10 AM before I am fully dressed and ready for the day (and the 30-45 minutes I spend in the bathroom becomes a free-for-all and I spend the next hour picking up toys!), and it is 9 at night before I exercise. Getting any early morning quiet time or Bible time just doesn’t fit in. I am up by 6 AM now and would have to get up at least 30 minutes earlier. With summer here, the kiddos aren’t getting to bed until 9:30 or later (that is Dad’s choice, not mine!)and they are all home from school so I seldom get the opportunity to have any “me” time (TV, computer, paperwork, sort mail, email, facebook) until after they are in bed, and I really need my “me” time…sometimes to decompress and sometimes because I truly have work to do. If I have to get up by 5:30, I will need to be headed for bed by 10:15 at the latest to get 7 good hours and that would mean giving up most, or some nights, all of my “me” time! So, quiet time and Bible time always seem to get left out of my day. Any helpful suggestions????
– Do quiet time with your kids. Read the Bible together, or have them sit with you and do their own reading, while you read yours. Turn on the calm music, give them coloring pages even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Then you can have a group prayer time and then you can pray for other things as you see fit the rest of the day.
– During your one hour walk, listen to podcasts or Bible readings. There are so many good books on itunes now etc.
– Cut your walk down to 30 minutes and either sleep more, or use that time to catch up on stuff. Make that 30 minutes more intense by adding some short bursts of running (say, from a stop sign to a lightpole). You’ll burn more calories that way anyway and you will have more space open up in the day.
– Consider waking just 15 min earlier. You can get your quiet times done in that small period of time!
None of this is easy. It requires self-discipline and dying to our fleshly desires, but that is something that Jesus tells us is good and that we need to do! So it’s not a waste and in fact, it’s a great example for your kids! Good luck!
I just wanted to tell you how much I love your website. My daughter is 11 yrs old. She is at that age where she is becoming aware of her body and comparing herself to others. She likes working out and loves watching videos. I shared your website with her and it has been great for her. I love what she is learning here. I love that she is learning about working out in a modest way and honoring God by taking care of her body. We even do some of your workouts together. Thanks so much for your positive influence!
Thank you so much for this comment! That really made my day! Thanks for sharing my website with her. I’m so happy to hear that you are all enjoying it!
Thank you for sharing! I have always struggled to find a way to find a work out it after quiet time! I have an idea now! God bless!