I hope many of you have been blessed by the Fly Lady's routines the past couple of weeks. My house has been blessed and I am ready to have fun the rest of the week. Today I am going to give you one task to do keeping this post short and simple. Then I will do a part 2 in a couple of days.
The next two posts we will look at how get cleaned and organized in our morning routines. In this issue we solely be looking into our hearts and will work on getting up earlier. The next issue (later this week) on "Getting Ready" we will look at: how to get "out the door" on time, how to organize the things we use to get ready in the morning, and our morning routines/chores.
First off, I get up early. I have NEVER been a morning person, but I make myself get up early and get going so that I can get things done and enjoy the day with my kids. This is mostly a selfless act on my part with help from God. I could not have done that without Him. I'd say if you take any advice from me at all, it would be this one. Let's spruce up our hearts by organizing God first in our lives. It is important to keep God at the center of your day - and at the beginning of the day if at all possible. The word of truth gives us backing on this. Mark 1:35 says "In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place and was praying there." Jesus shows us an example of getting up early and spending precious time with God. Psalm 5:3 says "Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly". Psalm 119:147 "I rise up early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words." And finally Proverbs 31:15 "She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work..." The word gives us plenty of truth on this matter.
For the past 3 years, I have gotten up really early and started my day with the Lord. This has greatly blessed not only me, but my family. Getting up before the kids get up is so helpful. I usually get up around 5:15 or so. Every other day I try to work out first, but by 6am I am always up and in the word. I pray and do a bible study of some sort until 6:30 or 6:45. Then I take a shower. My kids don't get up before 7 and if they do they have to wait until 7. Being ready for them, sure makes the morning a lot less hectic.
We still have hectic days, but most of the times our mornings go smoothly. When you organize God first in your life - all other things kind of fall into place. It's hard when you are tired and you just want some extra sleep, but for me, that extra sleep didn't help me have a better attitude toward my family or help me accomplish more through the day. What did help me have a better attitude and helped me accomplish more? 1) God 2) being up before the kids 3) getting organized 4)teaching my kids chores (later post). He really blesses me for this effort. I am really no more tired when I get up early than when I sleep in a little extra. Plus, I always rest 20 minutes at nap time to get recharged (this Dr Oz says is better than sleeping in). This is coming from a long life of excusing it as being a non-morning person.
Beth Mooore says it's all about submitting to God...which also means "to put in order under". She says "I don't know about you, but I'm not a very orderly person naturally. Most of the time I work in what a co-worker calls creative chaos. My desk looks like a grenade has gone off in my office, and I have about 3 drawers at home that nearly throw me into self-loathing every time I open them - IF I can open them. And don't get me started on the garage or my purse". She says "If it's under God, it's in order". And we can see from the above verses, that getting up early is under God. She goes on to say "I'm not saying we all couldn't stand to fold our pajamas in that overstuffed drawer, but only one brand of order is necessary to open the door for grace outpoured. Put your sweet self under God. ENTIRELY...no arms and legs kicking out to the sides...death to your pride" Let's put our pride to rest and our bodies to rest early each night so we can rise early and accomplish what God wants us to, not what we want to.
Ultimately each one of us has to determine what God wants us to do. We believe a lie that we don’t have time to do everything we’re suppose to do. Nancy Leigh DeMoss says in her book Lies Women Believe “The frustration comes when I attempt to take on responsibilities that are not on His agenda for me. When I establish my own agenda or let others determine the priorities of my life, rather than taking time to discern what it is that God wants me to do, I end up buried under piles of half-finished, poorly done, or never-attempted projects and tasks (Can anyone say, pinterest?). I live with guilt, frustration, and haste, rather than enjoying the peaceful, well-ordered life that He intends” (pg 119). She goes on to say “frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities , in the power of His spirit realizing He has provided the necessary time and ability to do everything that he has called us to do (pg 120)
We also believe a lie that we can make it without consistent time in the word and in prayer. This is a lie from Satan. If Satan can get us to operate on our own thoughts and ideas, rather than seeking the wisdom that comes from God, he knows we will eventually get sucked into the world’s destructive way of thinking. “Satan knows that if he succeeds in getting us to live independently of the Word of God, we become more vulnerable to deception in every area of our lives” (pg 122 Lies) What we are saying is we can handle that day on our own – apart from the presence, wisdom, and grace of God. We are saying we can do our work , keep my home, handle my relationships, and deal with my circumstances without Him (pg 123 Lies) That independent, self-sufficient spirit is an expression of pride (pg 123 Lies). We can’t do it without Him…trust me, I have tried.
Beth Moore says “God is the one with the real plan.” James 4:14 says 'You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring'. But He indeed does. We have all sorts of plans jotted on our calendars pertaining to next year, but they’re mostly based on theory, right? His is the only day-timer based on certainty. That’s one reason why spending time with God in His word in the morning is so vital. He wants to prepare us for the reality of our upcoming day. Not our theory."
So in conclusion…I can give you all sorts of wonderful ideas on how to organize and hopefully live in less chaos…but if there is one I really want you to take away and start right away, it is this one of putting God first in your life. If what you are doing in your life is under God, it’s in order.
If you make time to pray in the morning and actually sit and listen, He will really speak to you and show you what to do. We as women can hold so many things dear to our hearts that aren’t important – down to how clean our house is, what types of material things we have – decorations in our home, down to the containers we use to organize our home, etc. But none of that really matters to God. All he wants is us and our obedience to him and his perfect plan for our lives. Taking time to stop and listen and pray in the morning is one way we can do this. One of my favorite songs is by Tenth Avenue North called “Pretty things” and the chorus goes like this: “Look at all the pretty things, that keep my heart away…I can feel I am fading…Cause Lord I love so many things, that keep me from your face, come and save me”. What are we allowing to keep us from God’s face? Sleep? A messy unorganized house? Let’s get organized with God.
So what is the task I am assigning? You guessed it...try getting up early. Start small...even 15 minutes earlier than you would have. I started by getting up 15 minutes earlier every day and each day I wanted to get up earlier because I knew how much I accomplished by doing this. Try getting up at least 15 minutes before the kids and spending some time in prayer or in the word. If you don't have a current bible study, I encourage you to start by taking a look at the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs...start by reading one a day...that will get you a month of material. Start tomorrow is my task to you. I would love to hear from people that do this and how they are blessed by this. You can do it!
Tomorrow we look at how to organize our morning routines and our stuff!