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Waking up for my life (not to my life)

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and I was sure I was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad…wife, mom, friend, general human being and occupier of space on planet Earth.

At least I wasn’t prone to drama.

As I sat in my minivan, in the garage, in July, in Texas…the sweat and the tears mingled together, and I mentally calculated the cost of all the therapy everyone in my life would need after interacting with me that day.

I’d been grumpy, rude, and impatient.

I felt exhausted, unfocused, and overwhelmed.

And if I was honest, it wasn’t just that day. It was one of many and I was on a very slippery slope.

I needed something to change, but I didn’t know what it was.

As I sat there and prayed for some sort of direction, I almost instantly understood what my next step needed to be.

While I’d been a “morning person” in different seasons of my life, this season was not one of them.

I had three small children and my customary alarm clock was the sound of someone asking for a breakfast. Or cartoons. Or both.

I consistently woke up playing defense, feeling out of sync and trying to play catch up the rest of the day.

And it never worked.

I realized that I needed to start waking up FOR my life, not TO my life.

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Even if it was just waking up 5 minutes earlier, I wanted to start my day with purpose. To remember why I do what I do, and fill my tank so I could serve and love others out of the overflow in me.

So I did the unthinkable. I set my alarm.

I spent some quiet time reading my Bible, planning my day and going for a run. Some days I skipped the run and did one jumping jack. Yes, one jumping jack.

Progress – not perfection, people.

I rewarded myself by lighting a pretty candle, having a carafe of hot coffee ready, and playing my morning music playlist.

I started getting excited about getting up early. Who does that? Me, apparently.

Then I started getting excited about going to bed early. I didn’t want to be exhausted in the morning. I started getting more rest, more exercise, and more vision for my life.

My streak of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days slowed to a trickle. Then it stopped altogether.

I still have less than stellar days sometimes, but they are few and far between.

This small, intentional act of waking up early (sometimes five minutes, sometimes 60 minutes) has been the catalyst for incredible things in my life, from blogging and ebooks to traveling around the world and meeting my family for the first time.

Some of the biggest moments of my life can be directly traced back to this simple intentional habit.

Will the same happen for you? I have no idea.

But what I do know is that our lives are made up of years. Our years are made up of days. Our days are made up of hours and our hours are made up of choices.

Choosing to wake up FOR my life, instead of TO my life, has made all the difference.

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