Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Making over my mornings, day 10 and 11


 I realized today how close I am to being finished with this course and it kind of made me sad! It has became a part of my mornings that I look forward too! However, there's a lot under my belt to pick up when its over. We started a new bible study for our Sunday school class at church that I'm excited about! Also, for our women's bible study on campus we began a new book and both are about how to study your bible. I'm so excited. That's one thing I've prayed hard about since we got here. I have a pretty nice study bible that gives background information, and my husband has plenty of commentaries, but I've never really been shown how to study the scriptures. I can't wait to learn, and I believe these studies will be amazing! Not to mention I still need to finish the Armor of God study by Priscilla Shrier that we started and I never got finished with. I'm amazed at the amount of time that I've been able to have now that I've started with this course. Amazing. Truly!

It's as if Crystal Paine and I are on the same wave length. This morning I was thinking about my morning routine, and how I needed to get it in place. Since I'm used to getting up early, it doesn't seem so hard anymore... but I'm still going through the morning without any set routine. Today that's what she talked about. I've been thinking a lot about routines and how to set them, and I've decided on some things to keep, some things to put away, and what time to do all of those things!
   First, I am keeping my devotion time. That is special to me. Crystal mentioned lighting a candle, and that sounds wonderful! I try to keep candles on the table for the kids to wake up too. But I didn't think about lighting them for me! I love candles. I also want to find something good for me and good to have as a warm drink in the mornings. I don't do coffee, so I want to find something to look forward too that's not so bad for me.
   I also want to keep my exercise time and to do it earlier. I originally wanted to wake up 30 minutes or more earlier to do this, but each morning that I got up earlier, I was tired more and more the night before. I LOVE spending time with my babies at night, and reading book after book.. so in order to do that I'm going to have to settle for waking up around 6, so I will get enough sleep and not be exhausted the next evening. The one thing that I am willing to part with, is blogging in the mornings. I can still blog on Friday and Saturday mornings, because we don't have school so if my workout runs a little past the kids waking up that's okay. But on school mornings I absolutely need my workout to be over by 8, and in the shower around 8am so I can be with my kids during breakfast and get school started around 9. So that is my plan so far! Her goal was all about narrowing down the things that are most important in your morning routines, and setting those up in a way that you look forward to those routines each morning.
So I'm excited and thankful! These nine days have been such a blessing! Glad there's at least a few more!

Day 10
  Today I studied that you should not go with the flow. If you go with the flow of life, you are not in charge.. 'the flow' is in charge. If you don't become intentional about your life, then it will roll over you and you will feel like you are being dragged along. It's important to make decisions and be intentional over your life. And unselfish. If you are intentional about your life, you can better use your time to bless others. I think about how I use my mornings to bless others. I get up early enough to make my husband coffee before school. I take care of what I want to do first so that I can give the rest of me to my children. I take time to learn and grow spiritually so that I can be closer to God, hear his voice better and be a better servant for Him.
Today Crystal also talked about lies that we tell ourselves, and how that can hold us back from who God meant for us to be. She mentioned that a lot of the time, the best things can happen right outside of your comfort zone. I can completely understand this! The best Bible studies have been the ones I've been worried about going too because I was 'not spiritual' enough. The best friends are the ones I was originally nervous about talking too. The best relationships are the ones I was often hesitant about pursuing. Let me tell you, moving me into an apartment between two families, sharing a backyard with two other families and living on a college campus in my early thirties with my four kids was WAY out of my comfort zone.. but I realize in doing so God has taught me hospitality, he has taught me to be kind to others and love on people, and in return he has shown me true love of a neighbor. I don't think we'll ever live secluded like we have before.. neighbors are amazing! Did you know this, or have you been too stuck in your comfort zone to find that out?
I love this quote from Crystal for today, and it really encouraged me so much!
"I encourage you to be mindful of the messages currently percolating in your head. If you feed them, they take up permanent residence. But if you replace them with something new- with truth and hope- new life has space to flourish instead."
Which actually tied in beautifully with the devotion I've been reading, Made to Crave..
In this devotion, she quoted Luke 9:23, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me" She followed by saying that she once turned from television because she found that it was discouraging her. My favorite quote from this book so far is this, "When I'm depleted, I soak up deeply whatever I take in." And that is absolutely true for me! When I'm discouraged, everything seems so magnified, everything that I take in is completely overwhelming. I also believe that they can feed the lies that are circling through my head in the moment. So it is my intention to try and sort out what is depleting to me and what is life-giving. What is truth and what is more lies that make me believe I'm inadequate.. and soak up what is good.

Day 11
Day 11 was all about exercise. This is a big one for me. As I mentioned before, I have struggled with weight issues for ten years now, since my daughter was born. I also have had gestational diabetes in all three of my pregnancies, as well as preeclampsia with my last baby, which turned into hypertension in the aftermath of my pregnancy. So these health issues make it absolutely imperative that I lose weight and cultivate a healthy lifestyle. This course was a beginning for me to step in that direction, by giving me time to exercise.
With all four of my kids at home, three of them homeschooling and one of them preschooling (or running around the house unschooling and distracting his siblings- I love my baby :) ) I have a high-demand job that doesn't give me time to workout unless I do it in the morning. Thankfully this course has carved out some time, and motivated me at the same time.
I mentioned early on in this course that I was also reading a book recommended by Crystal called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. I was super excited this week because she quoted a study that was done at my very own Alma Mater, Appalachian State University! (Go Apps!) So naturally, I have to talk about it! She said that morning exercise has more beneficial effects that other times. A study at Appalachian State University found that people who work out first thing in the morning doze off faster at night and have less disrupted sleep than those who exercise at other times.
The only problem with having time to exercise was that I normally did it when the kids were eating breakfast. I have decided to still do my morning devotion time and bible study, but cut my blogging time until the evening hours or the weekends. That will give me time to workout in the mornings, and be ready to serve my children breakfast.. which is something I really do enjoy doing.
Two suggestions that Crystal gave was one, making exercise a priority. I do intend to do that by making it second to only my prayer and bible study time. Lastly, she suggests using daily trackers for food and exercise. I can't recommend more that you somehow get a Fitbit and some friends who are using it! Some of my accountability partners keep me in weekly challenges that really motivate me to do well! My weight watchers tracker also keeps my food in check. I just have to be intentional on using it, and using it daily!
Did I mention I have loved this course! Three more days, and I have to say, it has truly been a magnificent success!

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