Editor’s Note: Have you ever found yourself struggling to have a morning devotion time with Jesus? Maybe you’ve asked How do I get started? What do I need? How do I remove the obstacles that so easily get me distracted? Here are some thoughts from author Kat Lee in her book Hello, Mornings to help you get going on great morning with Jesus!
The Power of Preparation for Your Morning Devotion Time
Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. — Psalm 143:8
O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for You and watch. — Psalm 5:3
Prep Your Tools
I’m a bit of a morning-spot supply addict. I love resources. Here are some of my favorites:
I use a New International Version Bible because I’ve had it for years, and all the pen marks and highlights make me happy. I’ve also started to use the English Standard Version. Whatever translation you use, I highly recommend keeping a highlighter or pen handy. There really is something special about a well-used Bible that inspires me to dig in.
I’ve tried to use fancy notebooks, but for some reason, the thought of messing them up with my not-so-pretty handwriting stresses me out, so I use a super cheap spiral notebook from the grocery store for my Bible study.
Think through what kind of notebook might most invite you to write in it. A pretty journal? A legal pad? An old-fashioned diary? A plain notebook? Try new options until you figure out what keeps you going.
- Bible Study
If you’re using a specific Bible study book, keep that with your Bible and journal. Make sure to choose a study that will fit the amount of time you have available each morning. If you’re not sure how to choose a study, start by asking friends or your pastor for recommendations.
I like to make sure that my clothes are all ready for me in the morning. Frankly, I usually sleep in my workout clothes, but I make sure a cozy robe and slippers are ready for me when I emerge from the warm cocoon of my bed. If you go to the gym or run outside, make sure your shoes, keys, phone, and jacket are all ready for you so you’re not racing around the house in the dark looking for them.
I’m not gonna lie; I love a good writing implement. Gel pens, felt pens, ballpoint pens. I may be a little addicted. My absolute favorite pens are Pigma Micron, but I also like the Papermate InkJoy. Whatever pen you prefer, make sure you also have a good highlighter handy.
- Workout Equipment
If you’ll be using weights, bands, or a mat, make sure everything you need is in the space where you’ll be working out.
Prep Your Morning Spot
It’s one of my favorite moments of any non-school day. As I sit in my closet office, affectionately known as my cloffice, reading and sipping coffee, I hear a quiet little knock, and the door slowly creaks open. Messy light-brown morning hair peeks around the corner, and my son’s blue eyes light up when he realizes he woke up before his sisters and gets me all to himself.
He’ll give me a sweet hug and then sit down on the little couchlike cushions behind me as I wrap him up in a soft blanket. I love making my children snuggly warm.
One by one, my kids wake up and come into my little five-by-five-foot space. They squish together with their books and breakfast, and at some point, I’ll declare, “Twenty-six hundred square feet!” They all have their own rooms as well as the family rooms, but they find their way into my tiny little space.
It’s not a perfect spot, but it’s definitely cozy. On one side is my desk that faces and extends the length of the wall. My guitar hangs on my left, and directly in front of me above my desk is a magnetic board covered with a million sticky notes with quotes and messages from my kids.
Behind my office chair, opposite my desk, the wall is divided into two sections. On top hangs a long shelf the length of the wall, about four feet up. On it sits a cube of baskets where I keep most of my clothes, and a hanging rod is above that. Beneath that long shelf is a tiny sitting area covered in pillows, floor cushions, and blankets where my kids like to get comfy. And in the corner sit a few small weights ready for a quick workout.
A coffee machine with a collection of tea and hot chocolate complete the little space — a welcome treat on cold mornings.
My closet didn’t always look like this. When I first started having my morning time in a closet, it was just that: a tiny closet where I sat on the floor under my clothes to read and pray. My introvert self needed a space where I could focus and read without fear of interruption or waking anyone up.
But as my habit has grown, I’ve made more preparations for my morning time. I have a place to sit (an actual chair!), something to drink, and everything I need to study, plan, and exercise.
The preparation I’ve done to create this space has made it inviting not only to me but also to my children. It has become a treasured space in our home.
Your morning space may look different. It certainly doesn’t need to be in your closet. Maybe you have an actual room! Or maybe you prefer your living room couch or a cozy chair or the comfort of your own bed. (That option can be dangerous, though.)
Here are some ways to make your morning spot just right for you:
My grandmother had a mug collection. I remember seeing them lined up in the rec room in the basement, and I always wondered what the stories were behind each one. My grandmother isn’t here to tell me about them, but I’ve started to build my own collection. There is something so sweet about sipping coffee from a mug with a story. Whether it was a gift from a friend or one we’ve picked up on our travels, I love having mugs that remind me of the life I’ve lived and those I’m living for. I keep a couple to choose from in my office for my morning coffee.
Nothing is much worse than to be shocked awake in the morning by a harsh light. While it’s a good idea to eventually turn on brighter lights to trigger a chain of signals in your brain to help you wake up, consider having a small, inviting lamp or book light at your morning spot to help you adjust.
Fact: I have an overactive fear of burning my house down. It’s so obnoxious that nearly every Sunday I run back in the house as we leave for church because I need to make sure I turned my curling/straightening iron off. And now that I have teenage girls, I run through all three bathrooms making sure everyone turned everything off. Actually, I take pictures of the unplugged irons. Weird, I know. But I have this overactive fear… All that to say, while I love the concept of candles, I don’t actually use them much. But I recently discovered battery-operated candles, and… I’m in love. The beauty of these little treasures is that they often come with timers. So I can set them for just a little bit before my normal wake-up time. Then the next morning, a little glowing candle cheers me on in my morning routine and welcomes me to my cozy little morning spot. How amazing is that? Who doesn’t want a little candle cheerleader?
This one is huge for me. Music wakes me up, helps me tune my heart to Jesus, and stirs my soul. I have a morning worship playlist with some of my favorite current worship songs, and I have another playlist of old hymns that I enjoy.
- Warm drink
Y’all, I’ve used everything under the sun for my morning time. I’ve had tea, smoothies, coffee, and water. I’ve used a coffee pot, a Keurig, a French press, a carafe of hot water, and a heater to get the water hot. I’ve made instant coffee, tea bag coffee, and last night’s coffee.
There are so many ways to prep a nice, warm drink without having to do a lot in the morning (or wake up anyone). Here is the simplest and cheapest: the carafe. Just get a small Thermos or carafe, and fill it up with hot water (or coffee) the night before. Then when you wake up, you can just pour your water (or coffee) and prep your drink. Simple. The other bonus of a carafe is that you don’t have to worry about the coffee maker waking up anyone. Another option, if noise isn’t an issue, is to use a programmable coffee maker and set it to be ready when you get up.
Again, I like to have a small basket filled with different kinds of tea, flavored coffees, and hot chocolate. There is something oddly fun about ceremoniously selecting my morning drink. “I choose you.”
I also like to keep a small snack in my morning spot because caffeine before breakfast sometimes makes me feel not so awesome. If caffeine on an empty stomach is an issue for you, too, here are a few quiet breakfast snack options:
* Fruit: a banana is my go-to, but apples, oranges, and other easy-to-eat fruits work well too.
* Breakfast bars: I love granola or fruit and nut bars. They taste amazing and are relatively healthy.
* Crackers: I try to keep a stash of something I’m not as likely to eat so I know it will always be there even if I haven’t refreshed my options lately. A small bag of crackers tucked in a corner ensures that I won’t have to leave my morning time should hunger strike.
Whatever your morning space looks like, a few small preparations can simplify and enhance your daily routine and make it one of the most special parts of your day for you and your family. How can you make your morning spot inviting?
Excerpted with permission from Hello, Mornings by Kat Lee, copyright Rachel Lee.
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How do you prepare for your “quiet times” with Jesus? Do you have a special place you sit and read the Bible, or walk/run and listen to the Bible and pray? We would love to hear from you! Come share on our blog! ~ Devotionals Daily