getting up

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It was in every single book and blog post I was reading.  From the the Mahaney ladies’ 5 AM Club in Shopping for Time to Anne Ortlund committing to meet with God in the wee morning hours in Disciplines of the Beautiful WomanI knew I needed to get up earlier—to meet with God, to be ready to face the day.

I’d literally been waking up and seeing the clock every morning between 5 and 6 a.m. for months. But there’s this small thing called a baby boy who doesn’t think nights are for sleeping. And a mamma’s need for rest. So I’d fall back to sleep, thinking of what I could get done if I’d join the 5 a.m. club.

Then came 31 Days of Baby Steps and Maximize Your Mornings: Take Control of Your Day Before it Starts.

I knew I needed to start making some changes. I knew that eventually, when I was homeschooling full-time, my power hour or my writing time was going to have to move to the early-morning hours.

But the sentence that really got me was about “waking up for your children instead of to them.”  I don’t know where I got that exact phrase, but Christin writes something similar in her guest post on Inspired to Action:

It is so important that we prepare ourselves to welcome our children into the day as opposed to making them feel they are intruding on us.

The mornings I did rise early, things went so much more smoothly, and I got so much more done.  But then I’d have to sleep in out of sheer exhaustion from the long nights of teething.

There was a week where I propelled myself out of bed early and went on a walk.  Then hunting season and my husband’s work and Daylight Savings piled one on top of the other, making it impossible to be out walking safely before the rest of the family awakened.

So I’m learning once again that flexibility is a must, in this as in every area of the life of a farmer’s wife, the life of a mother.  And that even if I don’t get in physical exercise in the morning, I still need spiritual exercise to prepare for my day.

But I’m waking earlier.  It’s baby step by baby step, but it’s progress.

I’m trying to give myself grace.  But I’m also trying to gradually practicing getting up before the rest of my family.  All while remembering that still being awake at night to go to bed with my husband is just as important as getting up for my children….

How about you?  Does your alarm go off at a certain time each morning?

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  1. Well, I don’t have kids. But I do have a barn full of cows. (48 of them, to be exact) And I’ve come a new understanding of myself… if I get up early to “go to the barn”, I feel grumpy and irritable and am 100x more likely to push the snooze button.

    If, however, I get up to (a) do devotions BEFORE the barn and (b) even have a few minutes to read the book I’m in the middle of… I jump out of bed no problem.

    It’s been a very interesting discovery and made mornings turn back into the loveliness that I remember from my single years.

  2. I hear you on this post, Gretchen. It’s a constant struggle for me. I want to get up before Timmy to eat (has to be first or I get sick), shower, read my Bible, etc. But then there’s reality–I’m 4 months pregnant and chasing/nursing a 9 month old (who doesn’t sleep through the night).

    If I get up when my alarm goes off, it usually means I fall asleep on the couch by 7:30 p.m., making our evenings useless. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to handle it when baby #2 comes along.

  3. Gretchen — throughout this whole process I have been taking a very long term view. I have also seen a lot of success over the past month or so (time with God, excercise, healthy eating, and of course, waking early!) and a lot of what I used to see as failures (no long concentrated time in the word, only excercise = chasing bubbas and sweeping, pumpkin spice latte = YES please!, and of course, a few extra minutes of sleep in the mornings). Those failures used to defeat me. They far overshadowed the successes. The Lord has recently enabled me to see things in the long term. The “old fashioned” term for it, I suppose, is perseverence. The failures remind me of my need for Christ and His strength or grace in all things.

    I struggle quite a bit with my weight. With a reasonable plan, and a long term view, I am actually losing weight. It is not happening quickly — but it took me awhile to get here! If it takes me 3x as long because for every three I lose I gain back one, then that is ok — as long as I keep that long term view and persevere!

    Once again, I’m catching up on your blog late in the night and have probably made a tremendous amount of errors for you to edit 馃槈 Sorry to frustrate you! 馃檪 I figure it’s better to comment poorly, then not at all. Just blame it on my funny Canadian English! haha.


    1. Oh Vanessa, I love your comments! And usually I can’t tell Canadian English unless I hear you talking with all those “eh’s” or “aye’s” or however you spell it. (And I promise, I only ever edit spelling in comments. ;))

      Such good thoughts on perseverance and the long-term view. Thank you. So much.

  4. This has been my struggle as well. Most days I’m able to get up before my kids just b/c they don’t wake up until 8 & they have to stay in their beds until I come get them in the morning, but my issue is WHEN to get up. I’m like you..I know once we start homeschooling full time I’m going to have to get up earlier, but right now every time I try I’m completely exhausted when nap time arrives I have to sleep too! It’s so frustrating, I often wonder what the authors of those books secret is to having so much energy!! 馃檪

    1. I know! Or if they go to bed really early? That doesn’t really work around here, either. Maybe their children are all just a bit older and one day we, too, will have the energy we once did? 馃槈