Seven years ago, I began waking up at wee hours to care for my firstborn nursing child, who quickly grew into a toddling child. Soon enough, I woke early to care for another nursing child. And over time, though rather quickly, I birthed and nursed two more little ones.
Suddenly my mornings were quite noisy, and so was my mind. I hadn’t established a rhythm for meeting with the Lord, and evidence was everywhere.
Morning after morning, I realized these four little ones needing my care gave me four very strong reasons to change our rhythm. And so, I began to wake up early and care for my mind. It took a little bit of time, but like a garden planted, steady growth was noticeable.
There isn’t much we can control in our lives, however there is much we can control over how we respond to things! God has given us agency over our lives, and so this deeply encourages me to keep seeking the Lord in all that I do. Because HE IS, I AM. Being made in His image, I have agency to live out the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control).
Joshua 1:9 tells us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I mean, what results could possibly occur from waking up early to care for my mind?! An abundance of goodness, that is for certain.
For me to gracefully make it through my calling to mother, care for our household, and pray for / with my sisters in Christ, I must keep my Bible nearby and study it often.
And so, I rise early. During the cool and dark of the early morning, I side-step across our hardwood floors. I move from our bedroom, down the hallway, past bedrooms with sleeping children, in search of my Bible. Steady movements.
And like the steady movements I take across the floor, steady growth happens. Roots form. Knowledge grows. Grace sprouts.
As the light of the sun breaks through the horizon, my temptation to give birth to unhealthy thoughts (worry, comparison, defeat, anger) fades more and more, and the day literally transforms before my eyes.
This early morning sanctification has been a process, that is for sure. I did not grow into “a woman of the Word” by chance. Instead, I slowly began to notice the behaviors of the women mentors in my life. Through the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit I knew I wanted to model my life after theirs. So I started to ask them questions. And while these women are all quite different from each other, what they have in common is a desire to live a life that honors the Lord.
I’m reminded of Genesis 50:21b where Joseph comforted his fearful eleven brothers and spoke kindly to them. That’s the posture I want to present to my children. “A quiet and gentle spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” as mentioned in 1 Peter 3:4. This is why I wake early, hours before the sun rises. It’s a cycle of grace; a steady rhythm of grace.
When my children emerge from their cozy bedrooms, when they bring their warm bodies to my side and flash me their smiles, I respond this way: “Oh, I am SO happy to see you! Good morning, good morning!”
What a powerful way for my children to start their day; what a powerful way for me to start my day!
May the grace and peace of Christ flood not only your heart, but also your home. Amen.
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
- the (in)courage devotional Bible features two of my devotionals
- On care-taking
- Give me comfort
Great job Maggie. Very inspirational
Hello, Jeanne! What a happy surprise to see you here! Thank you :)
Keep rocking sister! Any insight on raising kids is WELCOME!
Awww! You and Katie are in such a tender new season. There’s so much newness, but also a lot of instinct. Touch and quality time is one of the greatest “things” you can give to your children. Pull her close and speak affirmations and Truth into her. Read to her. Even as a newborn! And seriously, nap a lot. I think I napped for six years straight?! Haha. Naps are so helpful!!!! Praying for your family :)
Me, too. 4 AM, most mornings. It’s then or never!
Ok! And give me an idea of what you do @4am… because I’m bright eyed now and drinking coffee and reading & writing! And how long have you woken this early? Thanks for your comment, Rachel :)
I found myself letting out a big sigh reading this!!! Your writing has a sense of peace and calm to it. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Anna. I’m happy you’re here. xx
Yes, yes, yes to establishing the rhythm of quiet time in the Word in the early morning before the kids are awake. It’s a critical foundation for the day, whether a parent or not.
Thanks for sharing, Beth. What are you reading / studying right now? xx
She rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household and portion for her maidens.
And a godly challenge to her husband to always grow in wisdom and discipline.
He is doing great things in you through this time. Love you, nerd.
Thank you, champ.
So dear to me that you are a mom who chooses this.
And the word precious in “A quiet and gentle spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” is only used here, and in reference to Jesus’ precious blood.
Good morning, Becky :) I see that reference a little later in 1 Peter 1:19, but I also see “precious” used many times throughout the Old Testament and New Testament to describe jewels as well as how God views those with faith. All three uses (describing jewels, those with faith, Christ’s blood) resonate deeply with me. How meaningful and thoughtful of God to create & use words with such tenderness! xx
Maggie, I’m also a 4:30am riser! I was happy to see on IG that you are too – now I won’t feel quite so alone! But having that time alone is crucial to my spirit as a mother. I’ve noticed that the mornings that I don’t wake up nice and early, no matter how difficult it is, are the mornings that are hardest for me to be calm and gentle. Even on the weekends!
Katie, this does NOT surprise me one bit :) I have loved hearing from you and learning a little more about your rhythms. Every day as a mother is difficult and beautiful, but you are so right — waking up early makes it significantly easier to handle the calling. I’m glad to read you agree :) And yes! This is a 6-7 day/week routine for us. For sure! xx
[…] started waking up around 4:30am with my husband to get in the Word, fill up our cups (literally and spiritually), and have a little bit of personal time before our four young children wake up. We exchanged […]