When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

I have blessedly fond memories of waking up in the early morning to find my mother huddled in her robe, praying at the kitchen table – her Bible, study materials, and several different colors of highlighters in front of her folded hands.

I always thought she was amazing, sitting there every morning, hours before anyone else rose.  I believed it was something all mothers did; that it would simply “happen” when I had children of my own, and I would be this amazing mother sitting in a chair, basking in the Glory of God each morning.

Fast forward to current day:

Up before dawn, not to study, but because our 3 year old is still coughing, and now needs a warming pack on his chest with camphor oil.  Back to bed, not to sleep, but to nurse our 1 year old, so she doesn’t wake my husband up before his alarm goes off. Up again (still before dawn), to pack my husband’s lunch, and to get the milking buckets ready for chores.  By now, our 5 year old is awake, and wanting to cuddle before he has to share Moma with two others.  As soon as we sit down in the chair, I hear my husband’s alarm go off, and the day really gets going – kids up and dressed, making breakfast while everyone goes out to do chores, nursing a baby, and then making sure all the dirty boots and jackets don’t walk back inside for breakfast.

It’s now nearly 9 am, and time for our schooltime.  And my quiet time with the Lord?  Does crying out to Him for strength and patience while I’m nursing our little ones count?  Does reading the Bible story for school time qualify? What about locking myself in the bathroom for 5 minutes and praying that God understands I’m trying to be with Him, but this life keeps getting in the way?

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I’ve been there. What a blessed relief that God does hear and understand those prayers.  But that is no way to continue a relationship with our Lord and Savior!

Here are three simple ways to begin our days seeking first His kingdom:

1) Start today. We can tell ourselves that we’ll begin that new habit after the baby is sleeping thru the night, or perhaps when the toddler is not sick anymore, or maybe even save it for that New Year’s resolution… next year. It’s far better to start today and hold ourselves to the commitment without delay.  Even if our time begins as 5 minutes, gradually building to more – we should begin as soon as possible.

2) Stay interested. This is a tough one for many of us.  I personally had a hard time just beginning to read my Bible every day.  I would lose my train of thought halfway through my reading, and end up more frustrated because I feel like I’m wasting time.  Find a Bible study program and use it.  If it’s not working, choose a different one!  I love the ministry of At the Well, and use their daily email devotions to jumpstart my study time.  I also use various devotionals (My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers is a favorite) and materials provided by our church to round out my quiet time.

3) Find accountability. For some of us, this can happen through a women’s study group.  For others, it will be a friend who needs the same support.  For myself, I have a wonderful husband who is incredibly helpful in keeping me motivated.  He began waking earlier than I did for several weeks, and started a pot of tea for me… just a simple act, but it encouraged me to meet his gentle challenge to wake before our children, and take the time I needed to spend with my Savior.  We may not all need someone to keep us on track, but it is a blessing to have when we are first beginning our journey.

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The Lord knows our needs. He is best suited to meet each and every one.  We cannot commune with Him without delving deeply into His Word  – and what better way to begin our day then with our Father’s guiding hand placed firmly around our steps!

What ways do you find time to begin your day with the Lord?

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