Friday, January 7, 2011

early in the morning

I am slowly reviewing 2010 in my mind and heart.  It was a year of refining, a year of growth, a year of healing, a year that was sometimes very painful and a year filled with a peace that passes all understanding. I am documenting lessons learned and lessons that God continues to have to teach me that I wish I could learn.  I'm not sure I'm brave enough going to post the specifics here or if I will keep them private. 

But one thing I did learn last year is that my days, and then by extension my family's days, are better when I start my day early in the morning with God.  I had heard the Christian expression of "quiet time" for years but not really ever known what it meant.  Until this year of refining by God.  I learned that "all" it means is that you quiet yourself before God and spend some time with Him.

So, I tried it.  Early in the morning before the house is awake; I like to sit in this chair, on my favorite quilt from Guatemala, drinking coffee from my favorite flowered mug and read my bible.  The sun streams into the windows beautifully (or at least it did when I took these pictures in November) and there is a profound peace in the stillness.

I like to have a devotional to point me towards various verses or scriptures and one that I really like is called Jesus Calling.  Here is the amazon link to a newer version that I was given for Christmas and it also includes a place for journalling on each day.  Which I think will be really great so I have a record of what I was going through on that day the year before.  Another book I am in the process of reading with a dear and trusted friend is called Sacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley Barton.  We have scheduled time every other week in the morning where we get together to review the chapter and honestly discuss where we are.  We are hoping to get past chapter 1 this year.  We have a lot to talk about in our lives so sometimes we don't get to the chapter discussions.  But it is so great to have a trusted sister in Christ who can walk this journey with me.

Towards the end of the year, really from Thanksgiving through Christmas, I stopped being as dedicated with my quiet time.  In fact, I stopped it all together.  I would grab a few minutes during my day on my way to other things but I didn't start my day that way.  And it showed.  My life was disordered, my thoughts and days scattered, my emotions where up and down, my thoughts were not focused on God and others but on me, and as I result the end of the year was not smooth and peaceful.  So one of my New Year's Resolutions is to get back to my quiet time.

From now on, this is where you can find me, early in the morning...


Kathy said...

Found your blog from FFF and I think your post is wonderful and a very, very good idea! I may borrow your idea and try to take some morning me time or maybe evening me time. It is true that we are better Moms when we get this time.

Aileen said...

This post is just what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing.

nora said...

Love your quiet place - it looks really welcoming and a place that would be brillant. I hope it brings you exactly that!

Thanks for posting! Have a good weekend.

Gardenia said...

it's always a calming feeling getting back into our routine after the hectic rush of holidays and all the commitments that come with that. i love your overstuffed chair. big up to fit a little one or two, too if they want to join you. how wonderful that you have a friend with whom you can talk about faith and where you are.

Melinda said...

Boy this post speaks to me! I've been very intentional with my quiet times lately and it makes such a difference in my day, the way I treat my children, the way I interact with my husband. Why do we every stray away?! Thanks for mentioning your devotional book. I'm currently looking for one so I'll have to check it out. And its so wonderful you have a sister in Christ you can share so openly with. I'm envious of you! I've been praying for years for a friend just like that!

Wonderful, thoughtful post!

Kim & Dave said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!! My day is NEVER very good if I haven't gotten up before everyone else & spent some time in prayer & in the Word. Funny, I also sit in front of an east facing window & like to be there for the sunrise!

But, I do have to say, I am jealous of your GT quilt! That is beautiful! (Is it ok to talk about jelousy & quiet times in the same comment?! Hope so! :))

Donna said...

Oh Anne! I am soooo glad you posted this! Wow - this is exactly what I needed to hear today! I have been so "busy" - I haven't been focused on the right things. And mostly that right thing, is spending time with God.

In fact, a while back Gary even made me the perfect spot to spend that time. Now, you've given me some great resources and motivation. Now all I have to do is make it happen!

So gald you are getting back to your routine and time.
Thanks, friend!