Mornings mark the dawn of a new day, a day with a fresh chance full of possibilities. Much of the time, we strive to make it through the morning as quickly as possible, but in doing so, we miss the opportunity to stretch into the new day to the utmost of our ability. Take a nod to some of these ideas to start your morning off right.
Jams and Jellies
Music is one of the greatest gifts God gave us, and it is amazing how music has the power to change our mood, perspective, or outlook on things in just a few minutes. As you are getting ready for the day or making breakfast, consider making a playlist of songs to help you ease into the day. One of my favorite ways to do this is to put on movie scores in the background while I scurry around my place as the day begins. I love listening to the Pride and Prejudice score from 2005 or Howard Shore’s scores for The Lord of the Rings soundtracks as I do my makeup or prepare coffee. Music in the background also helps keep me on task and focused as morning work begins. The best part is you can be the DJ for whatever mood you are in that day.
There is truly something holy about coffee time in the morning. Holy in the sense that it is truly set apart from the rest of the day. It is also a time where rest, contemplation, and reflection can have the space it needs. We wait as the coffee perks, and as we do, the aroma of the beans fills the air. Instead of stepping aside to do other tasks, what if we just slowed down and held the space? We immersed ourselves richly in the moment and connected to the present and with God? I often find that the time I spend waiting for the pot to brew and those first handful of sips are where my mind can clear, and I can get some deep moments to savor time with my Savior. Take the same approach to coffee dates with friends into your morning coffee routine with God; you never know what He might drop to you.
Exercise is excellent for your body, mind, and soul, and earlier in the day can be the best time to take a stroll. Whether going solo or taking the kids or a dog out, it can be a great way to get some light cardio in and set your body off right for the new day. Studies have shown that walks in the morning can also help with blood flow, endorphins, and other factors that lead to overall better health.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular in the past few years, and with the ability to pause and start on command, they beat out the radio in many ways. Just about any niche topic you can think of or imagine has a podcast, so spend some time perusing various ones and make it part of your routine in the morning to tune in to learn something new. Perhaps podcasts that go into more profound study of Scripture or educational topics to help you learn something new every day. You will not only expand your scope for the day, but you will enrich your life to grow and learn more that makes you feel intrigued and interested in this world we live in.
If a morning walk is not your style, consider a light workout or stretching exercises to get your day flowing. Even just taking ten minutes to stretch and get the blood flowing in your body can help improve how you feel for the rest of the day. YouTube and Amazon have an abundance of online videos that can be as quick as five to ten minutes to help supplement this need in your day, or Pinterest is also a great way to gather some easy workouts.
Time in the Word
Perhaps the best way to start your morning is time in the Word. If you are married, invite your spouse to join during this time, it will only add to your relationship’s foundation and strength as you both come before the Lord to read His Word in the Holy Bible. If you are not married, take it as time for personal study to soak in the truth God has for us in His Word in intimacy with the Father. God so often will speak to us through His Word; you may find the very tools you need for the rest of your day in Scripture read first thing in the morning. Above all else, take it as a time that you are coming to learn more about the heart of the Father in His Words of Truth and how He has worked in the lives of those who have gone before us.
The other best way to start your morning off right is prayer. Prayer is the connection and communication we have with the Lord Himself. It does not require being overly ornate with fanciful words, instead just coming humbly before Him. Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” In application, this looks like praying throughout our day to make the dialogue with the Lord something that we are constantly doing. In my own morning time, I typically like to spend the first ten to fifteen minutes just laying in my bed talking with the Lord. Sometimes the prayers are things heavy on my heart, and other times they are gratitude for the subtle little blessings of the day, like a sparrow at the window at my bird feeder. Invite the Lord into your day from the start and see how your thoughts will not linger into worry as much because they instead find freedom in prayer with God Himself.
The morning is a glorious thing, and it is a gift from God. It can be easy to highlight the parts of the start of the day we do not like, how we’d like more time to snooze, but starting your morning off on a positive note will greatly impact how the rest of your day goes. Make a choice and decision to start your day off in such a way that honors your heart and the Lord above all else. Stand and see how your days will shift and change, and how you will no longer dread that alarm clock dinging but wake up with a smile that you have the opportunity to experience life and life abundantly on this brand-new day.