In Ephesians chapter 6 you can read about Putting on the Whole Armor of God. Paul talks about how the armor is important to stand against the wiles of the devil. That although we aren’t in a real physical war, we are in a war against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. He uses symbolism, discussing how you can wear amongst other things, the breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.
I was reading a talk about scripture studying and I found this quote from Elder Ballard, ”As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you… But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you.”
He says to spend time in the morning to study. This is no easy task for me. I LOVE SLEEP! I can fall asleep at 8 at night and still be tired the next day when I get up. Its hard for me to get going in the mornings and so I usually waste a lot of time surfing the internet. But I decided it seems only right to spiritually suit up and grab my sword every morning to face the world the rest of the day. So the last 10 days I've been getting up earlier than my children for the first time ever and those minutes I have are quickly becoming precious. Its an ongoing adjustment for me but I can see the value and how its impacting my life so that I am more patient, and slower to anger.
How am I doing it? A couple ways. I joined a free Facebook group that was modeling the teachings from the book "Miracle Morning" which I have never read myself but it has some great ideas that I started implementing into my morning routine.
I also started a 14 day online training called, Makeover Your Mornings
by Crystal Paine. I am only about halfway through her material so far. Sometimes I have been taking a few extra days to implement each new concept to make sure I really got it before I move on so its a good pace for me. I highly recommend you look into it to get some more information than what I will briefly share with you here.
To sum up what I am doing is I have created a morning routine and a bed time routine.
BED TIME ROUTINE
The bedtime routine is making sure I have done everything I need to make sure my mornings are stress free. For example, I now make sure my kitchen is clean before going to bed so that in the morning when I am trying to do my "me time" I am not surrounded by dirty stinky dishes. Yes I know, you probably already do that. For me I would get so tired after dinner I would be done and leave it all till the next morning. I know I am soooo not perfect. This has been an easy goal to implement. I also make a to do list for the next day the night before. It may be helpful for you to get your kids clothes out the night before or your own for that matter. I am also "trying" to go to bed earlier. This has been an adjustment, still ongoing. I need to still get my 8 hrs of sleep in.
I'm waking up earlier, but not unrealistically early. Just 30- 60 minutes earlier than I used to. And right now I am letting that wake up time be flexible as my body is adjusting.
When I wake up, if I read my scriptures right away, I will fall asleep. So I do a few things to really help wake me up first. I drink a glass of water, I wash my face and brush my teeth, and sometimes even get some exercise clothes on. Then I read. (I do my deeper studies in the afternoon as part of my time working on Worthy Written Words but I needed to add some time that would be only me and the Lords, with nothing business related involved.)
After that, I do a quick Yoga Sun Salutation to get my body moving, and I also do a minute of breathing using my Breathe app on my apple watch. While I am breathing I also repeat a few positive affirmations to help me focus my day. I've put my morning routine in my planner so I can easily keep track of what I want to do.
Here are a couple affirmations I love and are currently using:
I clearly have issues haha.
You may think, "I can get a load of laundry done" or "I can organize this room" etc. Those are good things and they need to be done, but during these early morning minutes the idea is to start your morning off with actions that will help you to feel energized and your soul refueled, to make the most of your day.
Theres more for me to learn and do. You can adjust this idea to what works best for you. Maybe a walk with the dog, or running on the treadmill, setting goals, etc.
I have found reading the scriptures in the early morning when the sun is rising and everyone is sleeping to be extremely rewarding. I think about what I have read throughout the day. I feel like I am really "rising up" each day instead of rolling out and grumbling.
If you have any tips to share please leave a comment, I would love to hear them!
I am not affiliated with anyone mentioned in this article, all opinions are my own.