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The Life-Changing Magic of Early Mornings

The Life-Changing Magic of Early Mornings

The Life-Changing Magic of Early Mornings 

My eyes focus on the purple petunias before me, their color illuminated against the blue sky. I watch the leaves dance to the wind’s movement and with each bird song emanating from the trees, I feel my spirit linger in rest. To my right, a small table holds a book of morning prayer, my Bible, a journal and pen, and my current devotional book. A few walkers pass and their conversation floats in the air, cars make their way down the street. Inside my house, the kids eat their breakfast (and on lucky days are still sleeping). I sip hot, freshly brewed coffee. I take a deep breath.

I’ve long had the desire to be an early morning riser to read and write. Yet since having children the mornings come quickly and so do the requests for breakfast. Over the last few years I have gotten up early for quiet time, but never for a sustained period. Friends have shared over and over about the life changing magic of morning time, and I always had a hunch that I would come to love the practice. If only I could commit.

A few days before July, I stopped mid-scroll when I read about Hannah Brencher’s #15minutesadaychallenge. The premise is simple: 15 minutes a day can bring about dramatic change. With little thought, and only a desire to be the type of person who wakes early, I quickly filled in my email to commit to the month. That one act provided me with the built in accountability to get up early.

Prior to July 1st, I took stock of other small things that could add up to a smoother morning: setting the coffee to brew the night before (thanks to my husband!) and leaving my pile of books by the front door. By the time my alarm went off the first morning, I eagerly poured the coffee and sat on the front porch.

Some mornings I’m able to eke out more than 15 minutes before the kids’ opening and closing of the front door becomes too distracting. Every morning, though, I keep going to the porch to read and write. I highlight and underline words that jump out at me. Questions and prayers that arise find their way in my journal. I breathe deeply.

As it’s only mid-July, I can’t fully know what the effects of these early mornings will be. I also don’t know if the practice will continue as the seasons change. Yet, as the hummingbirds come closer to me each morning, I wonder if they are getting braver, or am I getting more still?

These moments of quiet contemplation, these moments of sitting and being, these moments of consuming before creating, can they be bold? Is it a bold thing to claim the morning hours for oneself before all others? Is it bold to greet the morning with hope and intention, settling into the day receiving it as a gift. Is it bold to declare that I am worthy of rest and solitude and quiet mornings dripping with grace?

I hope so. I believe so.

For in this boldness I’m feeling a renewed energy to greet the day. I’m modeling a bold faith found in quiet moments pondering God’s word, finding refreshment in the silence, and trusting the unseen work that’s refining my soul. I also believe that setting a part this time and inviting my children to see these small, meaningful acts, allows them to know the power of rest. With a Bible, pen and paper, they see me boldly living into the mother I’m called to be – rooted in love and poised to share that love with others.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.

 

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