I am naturally a morning person. I like to go to bed early and get up early, before the savages (i.e. children) start their daily raids. Two things that help me the most in the morning when I get up is 30 minutes of stretching exercises and a quiet time reading my Bible. If I get those two things done in the morning, other stuff tends to run smoother.
I have a set of Pilates-type exercises that takes me about 30 minutes. The combination of stretching and deep breathing help me wake up and give me more energy. On the days I miss my stretching, I can tell that physically I don’t feel as well and have less endurance to face life and its craziness. I can’t say that I have a Pilates “hard body” like many people I know who do it. My exercises are strictly beginner rated, but I have fewer back problems and can tell a difference in my strength when moving, picking up, and doing other physical tasks. I need a new routine since I’ve been doing the same one for about a year now. I consult Pilates books and videos for ideas on good exercises for my level and ability. Form is very important, so when I incorporate a new exercise I start slowly and gradually add repetitions.
Our house is anything but quiet. So, a little time in the morning reading and reflecting on the day tends to quiet my spirit. Trust me, that’s important to a busy mom. I read several chapters in different parts of the Bible. Currently, I read a chapter in Psalms or Proverbs, a chapter in one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), and one of the smaller books, such as 1 Peter (which I am reading now). That is usually about 7 or 8 chapters total. I read one of what are called the Letters to the Church through daily for a month. So, for example, I’m reading 1 Peter just about every day for the month of August. Next month, I’ll read 2 Peter. I sometimes write in a small notebook a few verses and what they mean to me. It doesn’t have to be anything deeply theological, just a note to remind me of God’s faithfulness, His promises, or how something relates to me personally.
School starts in two weeks for us. I’m trying to get our schedule under control before then, and this is how I commit to start my day. It’s a good example for my children and helps me better handle all the challenges of the day.