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I started noticing my own prayers recently and considering my time with the Lord. I definitely need the times of confession, thanksgiving, and praise and to come to my Lord with my supplications.

I’ve  been missing a key part to intimacy with Him. I noticed I was not spending some of my time with Him in silence. There is so much depth and intimacy to be experienced by learning to just BE STILL in His presence.

I am trying to make it a practice to spend, even if 5 minutes a day, LEARNING to quiet my thoughts. This has always been difficult for me. My mind is always running!

Learning to truly listen to His Voice or just enjoy silence in His presence is a delight. It has affected so many areas of my life. In moments of crisis or insecurity, I find it so much easier now to stay in control. Instead of worrying about the “what ifs” of an uncertain future I am learning to stay present, be still, and hear His direction. 

The moments I spend in silence are some of the most powerful of my days.

Pray with me,

Father,

I thank You for the privilege I have of approaching You any time I need, in prayer. To be able to commune with You and have such intimate access is a miracle in itself. Help me see the simplicity and profoundness of this time I have the honor to enjoy. I get to pour out my heart to You and be transparent. I can rest in the knowledge that You can know me and love me perfectly.

Lord, life can get busy and noisy. Help me be intentional and proactive in making time to slow down and seek Your face. Teach me Lord, how to quiet my spirit, daily, even if for a few minutes. Remind me to slow down and be present. There’s so much power in the moments I choose to be still, quiet my mind, and listen. It is in these moments that I can hear what You want to say to me and what you want to do through me. Learning to listen will maximize my effectiveness for Your Kingdom.

As I am learning to do this, help me not make a burden out of it. Learning to really be silent is a lifelong practice and a sweet journey that leads me to closer to You.

In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen

 

imag5923One of the best things I can give my husband and children is a relaxed, vibrant, healthy, centered, energetic wife and mother. The time and energy spent on taking care of me is an investment into my family and not a selfish pursuit.

Starting my day as early as possible is one of my greatest assets as manager of my home, wife, and mother. There are 4 things that are essential for me to do during the day so that I wake up with energy and enthusiasm:

Water

Before transforming my morning ritual I acted as if drinking sufficient water throughout the day was an option and even a luxury. One manifestation of dehydration is fatigue. I not only want to start my day early but I also want to have the drive to conquer the tasks and priorities of my day. Being intentional on helping my body perform at its peak is paramount. This moves drinking water up the list of priorities.

Doctors say we should drink half of our body weight in ounces of water per day. To help me do this several things have helped:

  • One of the first things scheduled in my morning routine is to drink one full glass (10oz) of water, with lemon. This is also when I take my vitamins.
  • Throughout my routine I work on drinking a total of 20oz, so that before noon I have consumed half of the days required amount.
  • The quality of water we drink makes a difference. Recently I am getting natural spring water from an artesian well. Water at its most natural! I used this site to find a natural spring water well near me.  IMAG5908

Whole Foods

Every time I feed myself is my opportunity to nourish my body. I am trying to be more mindful of this as I CHOOSE the foods that I purchase and bring into my home (still working on it). My goal is to consume foods that are as close to its natural source as possible. I love purchasing my fresh eggs at a local farm. The kids love seeing the chickens that we get our eggs from. I also love making yogurt as a “comfort food”. I’ve shared the recipe on how to make yogurt here. I make it from scratch using organic milk. Homemade yogurt has so many health benefits. Making it at home also helps me control the ingredients (i.e. sugar). There are many other ways to improve my diet. My goal is to transform my diet one change at a time.

Exercise

Working out is a scheduled time in my morning ritual, BEFORE the kids wake up. One of the benefits of exercise is that it boosts your energy. I LOVE using Fitness Blender for my workouts. Their workouts are FREE on their site or on YouTube. I purchased the workout plans ($5-$10). This helps me know what the routine of the day is. Every day is something different and the cover everything from yoga, pilates, HIITS, and weight training.

I love working out at home because I don’t have to deal with childcare, getting all the kids out of the house, weather, etc. 30 min, and workout is DONE! Regardless what you use to exercise the goal it to move every day. Raise your heart rate! On days when I don’t have time for my workouts I jog with my kids while they bike ride.

Naps

I’ve always been adamant on my kids taking their scheduled nap time. Recently I have learned that they are not the only ones that can benefit from it! Michael Hyatt has a great post on “5 Reasons Why You Should Take A Nap Everyday”

Most days, around 2pm, I take a power nap (20-30min). I am amazed at how a short nap can power the rest of my days! Yes, I have 6 kids, so I know you are wondering what I do with the kids to make this nap possible LOL My 2 year old always takes a 2 hour nap at 2p. The older ones are required to have at least 1 hour of quiet time. They can use it to play a quiet game (alone) or read a book. Quiet time is something we all need!

Finally, a powerful, vibrant morning starts with a good night time routine. I will be sharing shortly what my night time routine looks like…so far!

What’s your favorite energy boosting activity?

Thinking on Paper

In my efforts of increasing my efficiency and improving my performance I have been journaling and keeping my calendar on paper instead of online. What a difference!

How I “think on paper”

  • EVERYTHING goes in my calendar and my journal. My schedule, thoughts, brainstorming feel much more contained. Life as a mother can already be chaotic more times than not. It is nice to have a feeling of screenshot_20160524-104822_11stability and control when it comes to my thoughts and planning method. To have everything in one place, vs different apps helps me keep more order. Writing on paper is also much less distracting than sitting at the computer or the phone. Less temptation to be pulled into the less productive activities like FB and texting:)
  • I use my journal for everything! In my morning routine I use it to write my prayers. I also spend 7-10 minutes in the morning and at night writing down things I’m thankful for. Writing these help me be more present and really dwell on them and reduce distraction.  I also love using my different colored pens, and color-code my prayers and thoughts LOL.  Using my paper journal at night also makes it easier to develop the routine I am working toward, which includes shutting down screens 2 hours before bed (still working on it).
  • I use my journal to “think on paper” throughout the day. When I need to process a problem/concern or record an idea, I write it in the book. I want to try “mind mapping” as another way to help declutter my brain. I need lots of that! LOL
  • I do keeping an online version of my more personal journal writing which provide more privacy. I like Penzu (app & website), but know there are other online journals out there that work great. 

I have heard of the benefits of writing things down. I’ve been doing it for a more than a month and am sold on the idea!

Have you noticed a difference when you write things down on paper?

 

There are very few things that have made me feel more empowered as a mother and a wife than my new morning ritual. I have never been a morning person. Now that I get up with a very specific routine, with the intention of “sharpening my ax”, I wake up more energetic and excited. I now wake up with purpose! My morning plan also gives me a great reason to go to bed early, and the TIME to accomplish the most important things: taking care of my spirit, mind, and body, EVERYDAY!

My new morning routine is mostly inspired by Hal Elrod’s book Miracle Morning. The Screenshot_20160522-190321_1concepts in the book have TRANSFORMED my life more than any other book (besides the Bible). Implementing the ideas in this book have released additional hours in my day. I have also so much more energy and drive during the day to do the things I’ve always wanted to. The excuses have been removed!

 

My Morning Routine

I now wake up at 5:30am. This gives me HOURS before the kids get up to take care of me

My routine includes:

Reading my Bible – My older boys (12 and 13), who do the routine with me, are studying the OT. We are using God’s Grand Story. (click here to hear their perspective on their morning ritual)

Meditation (about 10 minutes) – I especially love meditating. The moments that I spend in silence are some of the most powerful of my day. I am taking the time, everyday, to train my spirit to be still, and LISTEN to my Lord. It is a great time to take deep breaths, and be present. Once the kids get up, there’s not much time to do that:)

Prayer Journal – I love writing down my prayers, my confessions, my supplications. This is oquotescover-JPG-73ne of those things that I have always wanted to do but never had time to. Now that I am doing it during my morning routine, it gets done daily! I spend extra time while I journal GIVING THANKS! What a powerful way to start my day and direct my thoughts. Focusing on all the things the Lord has blessed me with and expressing my gratitude sets the mood for the day. 

Read/Write – Depending on my schedule for the day, this is time I spend reading an inspirational book, listening to a podcast, or writing for my blog. This is definitely time that I thought was a luxury I had no time for as a mom. With my new routine it is something that I get to do consistently!

Top 3 Things – This is where I plan my day. I consider the things that need to get done during the day, look over my calendar, and determine the 3 most important things to get done that day. These are the things that I tackle in the morning and try to get done by noon.

Exercise – Finally, I workout for 30 minutes. This is another thing that I struggled finding the time to do consistently. Doing it before the kids get up removes the excuse. Exercises also gives me the energy to tackle my day. 

My morning routine is the most powerful change I have made as a mom, EVER! As a person who has ALWAYS considered herself a night time person, there is ONE THING that made the difference. Waking up with a plan! 

I will be writing MUCH MORE about the different elements of my routine and sharing LOTS of resources for YOU to transform your days as a woman, wife, and mom!

Click here for more on morning rituals.

NEXT POST will be about my night routine, which makes the morning one possible:)

It’s been 30 days since my sons have started their new morning ritual. They’ve already seen amazing results and benefits to conquering their dragons early in the morning!
They are so excited to encourage and inspire other teens to learn to use the first hours of the day to prepare them for excellence!
Stay tuned for more from them soon!

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