Every morning at 6 a.m. my alarm goes off. It doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend, a holiday, or my birthday. At six, my alarm buzzes, my eyes open, and my feet hit the ground.
As a Mom of two little ones, ages four and seven, I don’t get much time for myself. Between making meals, cleaning up those meals, cleaning the house, play dates, and errands, it’s hard to find even a few minutes in the midst of my day to just sit down and breathe.
So I get up at 6 a.m.
Of course I wish I could have this time later in the day—I’m not inherently a morning person--but there’s no guarantee it would happen. If I wake up at six, I know I’ll get some quiet time alone.
It’s the same routine every morning. First, I make my battle plan for the day. I write my to do list of chores to be done, places to go, and what my little ones will eat so I’m not caught off guard when my daughter pulls on my shirt saying she’s hungry. Second, I check Facebook and my email to keep tabs on friends and family. Third, and most importantly, I read. More specifically, I read the Word.
It’s where stories of those who have gone before me give encouragement. It’s where I find motivation to endure my trials—both old and new. It’s where I am offered forgiveness for yesterday’s sin and hope for today. It’s my time with the Lord and it is so sweet and powerful and necessary for who I am and who I am becoming.
Every now and then, in casual conversation, I have mentioned my morning routine. Hardly ever do I bring it up without cause; I fear coming off as one of the religious folks with whom Jesus took issue. No, I talk about it when the Spirit prompts me, say what needs to be said, and move on.
Over the years, many have told me my routine has challenged them to have their own and what a difference it has made in their lives. I am humbled when I hear these stories and thank the Lord every time it happens for He is the only one deserving of glory.
Recently, someone very close to me learned of my routine. In contrast to her usual nature, my seven year old found herself awake at 6:30 one morning. She stumbled out of her room to find me at the kitchen table with my Bible open.
“Good morning, precious. You’re up early.”
“I don’t know why. I just woke up,” she said yawning. “What are you doing?”
“What are you reading?”
“I’m reading the Bible.”
“Like we do in church?”
“Yes, child, exactly like that.”
“But it’s not Sunday.” Her still tired eyes narrowed in sincere confusion.
I laughed quietly and beckoned her to come closer for a hug. “It’s important to read it every day, or as often as you can. This book is full of love, adventure, and truth. You know how we talk to God by praying?” She nodded. “Well, this is how God talks to us.”
“God can talk to us?”
“Yes, precious. He can, and He does, and this is how He talks to me.”
“Mommy, I want God to talk to me! Can I read with you?”
Tears blurred my vision and my throat closed so tight with joy I could only nod. She scampered off to her bookshelf, grabbed her Bible, and climbed into a chair at the table. “What book are you reading, Mommy?”
I took a deep breath to regain my voice and said softly, “I’m reading Matthew, honey.”
“Okay. I’ll read that too. And I’ll listen for God to talk to me. I hope He talks to me today!”