I came across a great post recently with tips on how to start your morning like a Proverbs 31 woman. ‘Teach me your ways, oh blogger,’ I thought to myself as I clicked on the link. In true millennial form, I skimmed through the bullet points first to determine if it was worth reading through- ‘I have a busy day, after all. Projects to sew, baby to chase.’ You get it.
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As I skimmed I realized a couple of things. First, I caught myself wanting more. More information, more reading on this topic, more Proverbs 31 traits applied to my life. Oh to be this super hero woman the Bible talks about!
But the second thing I noticed surprised me. ‘Wait a minute,’ I thought. ‘I already do some of these.’ With each tip I reflected on my own habits, which to my surprise were aligning nicely with the advice in the post (though there is surely much room for improvement.) Let me just say that I can’t take credit for this though, as my morning routine has most definitely been shaped and helped along by the Lord who knows I need Him before I tackle my day. As the months have gone on I find myself getting up earlier and earlier, eager to sit with Him each morning. The increasing contentment I find in this has not been lost on me, and is undoubtedly God’s way of shaping my morning habits and my heart.
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One of the biggest things that struck me about this post (linked below) was a simple truth the writer shared:
“Work with willing hands. We have been created to work. Even in the Garden of Eden, Mankind was given the task of caring for the land and animals. Stop treating your work as the enemy and start working with willing hands.”
Oh! Would you like a slice of humble pie with that big dish of tough love? Am I the only one who honestly appreciates being served hard truths like these?
“We have been created to work.”
“Stop treating your work as the enemy.”
Sometimes you don’t even realize the state of your heart on a matter until someone comes along and reveals it for you, which is what I felt these statements did for me. It’s not difficult to make your work out to be an enemy, especially when it’s tiresome, you feel unappreciated or unseen, or you lack a sense of purpose in it. My attitude toward my workload has definitely changed for the better over the past year and a half since I’ve been home, but still, I know my heart needs work.
Nevertheless, I’ve slowly developed my own helpful morning habits and thought I’d share with you all today. Below are a few things I do that help to keep my path straight throughout the day and plant in me a positive attitude toward my work.
1. Be the first one up
Yes, this one took a while for me. I’d tried to sneak in my Bible time in other ways, but found that it wasn’t as productive as it could be. And what’s more, being flexible about that time turned into skipping it entirely when other needs came up. By starting my day early I ensure that my quiet time with God is not compromised, and is a non-negotiable part of my day. What I’ve found is that I’ve been waking up earlier and earlier over the last months and am even happy to get out of bed in the mornings. The Lord leans in to help (and boot us out of bed) when we take these steps of faith!
2. Practice Gratitude
Before any other words come between me and God, I thank Him for what I already have. Giving praise has a way of resetting your heart and setting the course for your attitude.
(Photo credit: Gabrielle Cole)
3. Be intentional- set a plan for your day
As the stay-at-home mom of a toddler, I make sure to allow as much flexibility as possible in our schedule. I do however like to make a ‘To Do’ list that I can work through during the day. Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean that every moment is mapped out, but more so that there is a clear intention for my time. If I am intentional I can fill my time in a meaningful way, rather than let the enemy fill my schedule with meaningless distractions.
4. Pray for strength in your weaknesses
We all know our weak spots, and so does God. But do we bring these to Him? I know that as I sit and plan my day, the enemy plans right alongside me and tries to trip me up. My weaknesses make an easy target for him to get me off track. But if I’m diligently praying for the Lord’s help and provision in these areas, I am doing more to set myself up for success than any list ever can.
5. Make your beauty routine minimal
I don’t know about other women, but I’ve definitely gone through phases with this. In my teens and early twenties it was more unusual for me to put on makeup than it was for me to go without. Somewhere along the way however I got caught up in watching the social media circle of beauty influencers and became very interested in makeup. This not only became an expensive habit, but a very time consuming one. On top of that, it was also costing me self-esteem in a big way. The more I altered my appearance with makeup, the more I felt I had to. This has been a hard habit to let go of, but wise words from 1 Peter have made this transition much easier for me:
“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. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands.”
1 Peter 3:3-5 NLT
Knowing your identity in Christ and letting Him make you beautiful from the inside out is key!
(Photo credit: Raphael Lovaski)
When you are firm in your understanding of your true identity, you will find that your beauty routine begins to lose its purpose. Steps and products begin to disappear from your regimen, and become replaced by confidence as a woman of Christ. This allows more time in your day to spend with Him, and more space in your heart and mind to be filled by Him.
I definitely find that anytime I start making changes and forming habits that strengthen my faith, the Lord meets me where I am. It’s said in Philippians 2:13 that God works in us, giving us not only the power, but also the desire to do what pleases Him. This is definitely true, especially when we start taking the baby steps.
I hope this little post will help you to consider your own morning routine and what you can do in those early hours to set you on the right path for the day.
I would love to know some of the things you do in the morning to worship, study, schedule, or get closer to God. Let me know in the comments below!
(To see the post which inspired this one, visit The Thin Place.)