This post is dedicated to helping you rise early, fill your Soul with the Creator, and take time to fill your cup without feeling selfish. Yes, I said rise early.
Sister, please understand this: I know this feeling of dread that can come along with rising early. I distinctly remember the first morning I intentionally rose before 5 am to purposefully change the trajectory of my life. It wasn’t easy.
We were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. My children were 4, 6, & 8. I was teaching full time at a local DoDEA school with a 35-minute commute one way. My Superman was working/soldiering 12+ hour days. We were in full swing of wrestling season and the ONLY day off we ever had was a Sunday to catch up on laundry, housework, grocery shopping, and food prepping.
I was exhausted and running on fumes. I was frustrated. I was overwhelmed. I was hiding deep anger and resentment over my life. And I knew something had to change or I was going to break, and I don’t just mean those black pants that were pulling at the seams across my rear-end. (That’s another blog post)
Before I could reclaim my mornings, I had to wade through the Enemy’s lie.
I want to preface this MAP (morning action plan) with this: I don’t want to wake up stressed and on edge thinking of all the things that I must do to get out the door on time every single morning. I’ve been there. This life led me to frustration, anger, and shouting matches with my Superman and those sweet blessings. I am able to now start my mornings in peace without guilt or overwhelm because of these Spirit-led Strategies I’m sharing with you.
And in the spirit of full transparency, I find that when I get out of this routine I’m sharing with you here today, I am out of step with the higher calling I have from the Creator. The higher calling that beckons me (and you) to live like we’ve been called out from the grave in an abundant life! Which means this truth bomb: I suffer and everyone else (my family, my friends, my students, my readers) suffer from getting a lesser version of me.
I swallowed the lie Satan fed me about who I was.
I realized to manifest the fruits of the Spirit in my life (Galatians 5:22-23), I had to weed through the Enemy’s malicious whispers. Once again, I swallowed the lie Satan fed me about who I was. His lies pervaded my thoughts with words like this:
- I was too busy to get organized and to have time for myself.
- I’m too exhausted to rise any earlier.
- I can just read/pray/journal/exercise later.
- Time for yourself is selfish.
Part of my morning routine became to combat the lies of the Enemy with Godly Affirmations.
I have learned to recognize the Father’s voice because I’m spending time with Him daily. I adapted some strategies from the secular book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod to practice Christian Miracle Morning Strategies. (blog post coming soon). So to practice self-control and reclaim my mornings I had to be focused and intentional with my limited time.
I can be intentional with my mornings because I practice these Five Tips and Strategies to Help Every Woman Get Organized for the week before the week begins. I talked about the Spirit-led strategies I have used to Overhaul the Overwhelm in my life in this post. I’ve shared these with women all around the globe to help them reclaim their lives and overcome their overwhelm through Christ! Seriously, sister, go read this one.
Since that post, I’ve had countless messages come in about Tip 4: Reclaim Your Mornings. So, sister, I want to answer all those questions in one place to help women everywhere to reclaim their mornings, find a quiet time with the Creator, and to be intentional with a Power Hour before you meet the demands of everyone else!
Use a MAP
Ok, Steph, I thought a MAP was that thing we used before Siri told how to get around! Think about it this way: When we have a MAP we know exactly where we’re going and how to get there. Even in the case of a detour, we can still arrive at the destination with less stress than if we’re just wandering in the wilderness. Side note: I much prefer to be marching around Jericho with a purpose than wandering in the Wilderness in forty years of stuck!
To combat the hundreds of mindless time-sucking choices I would make each morning, I use a Morning Action Plan (MAP) to ensure I’m ready with a plan in place to save my thoughts for more important tasks (like creating amazing content to help you).
I rise early and give myself a Power Hour daily.
The Power Hour
What do I mean by a Power Hour? I mean an hour in which I fill up my cup so that I can serve others better. I love to claim this thought here:
His truth is your superpower.
His truth. His love. His precepts. His whispers. His words. His affirmations.
They fill me. They are endless. They are of Him: the Lifter of my Head.
These are my Superpowers.
If you want to learn more about creating Godly Affirmations like this to help transform your mind as Paul speaks about in Romans 12:1-2, then click here.
What to include in your Morning Action Plan
I include the following in my plan:
- Workout. *I use at home fitness programs which I highly recommend for anyone! You can find the programs I use HERE.
- Podcast or Reading Plan. *This is usually a personal development book/podcast to help me with various areas I want to improve. See my recommendations here!
- Reflections. *I use my “In the Word” printable to dig deeper into my Bible study and usually reserve this block for reflections from a Podcast.
- Mindset/Affirmation. *Who does God say I am?
- MAP. *Which tasks must be done BEFORE I leave my house for the day?
- NAP. *Which tasks must I do in the evening to be prepared for the morning?
- Serving Others. *How will I serve others today?
- Gratitude. *Offer thanks always!
- Make Good Choices. *I know I have weak areas. When I write down my intentions for when the “temptations” come, I am much more likely to overcome them.
Of course, I created an infographic for you!
A Printable for You
HERE is a sample of what my Morning Action Plan looks like for my daily Power Hour! I’m offering a free printable for my subscribers! I hope that is you, Giant Slayer! What do you have to lose?
Other Helpful Tools
To be able to focus on myself each morning and not feel guilty, I knew I needed a few things in place.
One of the very first Spirit-led strategies I began in my life was to bring order and peace into our home. I’ve shared my Chore Chart from Tip 1 to help you create a Peaceful Home with solid routines and focused habits to restructure your chores.
Waking up to a home filled with peace and not craziness is one way I can be intentional with my mornings and focus on filling my cup. Trust me on this one sister, you
want need a chore chart. Swing by here to see how this changed our home so that I could be more focused/intentional with my mornings.
When I shared my Five Tips and Strategies to Help Every Woman Get Organized, the idea was to really focus on Tips 2 & 3. I shared with you a few time management strategies by creating 3 ten minute power pockets and using a running task list. If you would love to have a little help in this area then I’ve got you, sister!
And lastly, my dear Sister, I must shout from the rooftops how this simple “In the Word” printable is changing the way women are in the Word! To create an intentional study time, we’re using focused questions like:
- What do I learn about God in this passage?
- What promises are for me in this passage?
- How will I use these words and serve others today?
Please swing by and see if this might be just what you need to help you truly be purposeful with your study.
How do I get out of bed?
Hey, Steph, all this is great, but my struggle centers more on HOW to get out of bed early to do this Power Hour! Sister, you are not alone! I hear this one from women everywhere! So I’ve put together “Five Morning Motivation Tips” to help you rise early, get out of bed, and seize your day. Having this Morning Action Plan in place will help you!
So sister, make sure that you get on my email list today so have access to the toolbox where I share all my free goodies with my subscribers! In case you missed it above, just join us here!
Giant Slayer, I also want to invite you to join our free encouragement group ♥️A Simply Dunn Life♥️ so that we can spur one another forward! This group is full of fierce and passionate women who love Christ and each other!