A few notes from church Sunday spurred me to thinking it is time for a bit of change in my life…

When we create, we worship God. Imagination is the closest we get to mirroring God’s ability to create something out of nothing.

Create for His glory.

Don’t let others run your life and your schedule. Set aside time to dow hat God has called you to do. Don’t let technology and the pave of life control you.

God calls us each beyond our comfort zones.

Huperekperissou refers to going way beyond what you can imagine. It’s a super superlative, describing how God can do everything we ask, He can do everything we can imagine, and He can do wildly beyond what we can imagine we can imagine.

God lives beyond the space we call possible.

Take on a challenge that requires God’s amazing power, and then give the glory to Him.

The one thing that struck me in the midst of the sermon, and followed me throughout the day, was the book I’ve been working on (I use that phrase loosely, very loosely) for about six years. Most of that time has been spent NOT working on it. Because things got in the way. I worked diligently when I lived in Ohio, by myself, in a little tiny, sleepy community, with no internet access or TV or anything. Then I moved to Virginia. I started a new job, grad school, another new job, met Husband, got married, moved 5 times, bought a house. Life has been full. And I have not been writing.

We’re busy with home renovations, but really, I see this as a lull time in our life. (Crazy to think that with how busy we are!) Post-school. Pre-kids. Ideal for writing. I hope.

My most productive time of day is really mid-morning (9:00-1:00). However, I spend those hours at work. I’ve tried writing during my lunch break, but the fact is that my brain needs a rest then, so knitting is a better occupation for that time. That leaves me wondering, when?

So I’m evaluating. Calculating. Looking over every inch of my schedule. Finding time. Finding energy.

To that end, this is my current schedule:

5:30 am – alarm goes off
5:40 am – roll out of bed; brush teeth; feed horse and goat
6:00 am – try to wake up by taking a hot shower
6:30 am – eat breakfast; pack lunch; get ready for work
7:00 am – leave for work
8:00 am – 5:00 pm – work
6:00 pm – arrive home from work; change; feed dog, horse, goat and sugar gliders; unpack lunch bag etc.
6:45 pm – select one or two things from list: ride Chappy, clean house, laundry, clean barn, yard work, house projects, everything on never-ending to-do list
8:30 pm-ish – eat dinner; sit with Husband; watch part of a movie
9:30 pm – crash
10:00 pm – 5:00 am – sleep roughly 7 hours

It doesn’t leave much time for writing. Or anything else I want to do.

Weekends are different, but also full. Saturdays are spent in constant motion: riding, cleaning house, laundry, cleaning barn, yard work, house projects, everything on never-ending to-do list. I never get everything done. I just prioritize until I run out of time. Sundays are set aside for church and Husband time. We don’t do much planning ahead, but usually run an errand or two, go for a bike ride, take the pup to the park etc. We end the day on the couch with a movie. It’s intended to be restful though often active, laid back, and time spent together.

There are things that haven’t made it onto the schedule that I very much want to make time for. Writing; reading; yoga; baking; knitting; jogging.

I was doing really well at getting up at 5:40, when it was still light out. That’s what gets me each and every year. In the summer, no problem (okay, problems with grumbling and sleepy eyes, but I can do it), but fall? Winter? No way. Not happening. Darkness apparently immobilizes me in the winter.

But with our new house comes new habits. New phases are the easiest way to create new routines. Change is going to happen, take control of it, make it work for you. For me, the most effective has always been when I move. In this house, I will… or In this house, I will not…

So this is my year, my time to change, my opportunity to learn how to rise early even in the winter.

As part of that, I’m going to participate in the Rise & Shine Challenge for a few days. I’m a bit late getting in on it (and I rolled out of bed at 6:00 instead of 5:40 this morning — it always sabotages me when Husband has a day off and doesn’t get up with me).

Cup of hot tea with book and plaid on table on gray background

This morning’s challenge is to consider what your ideal morning would feel like, how it would flow, and what sounds you would want to hear…

An ideal morning would be gentle. I am not a morning person, I do not leap out of bed ready to greet the day. I need to ease into it. I think it’s why I don’t mind slipping on some boots and going out to the barn to feed first thing, in my pajamas. (At least while it’s warm I don’t mind.) I drink tea, slowly. I take a hot shower. All of these things are gentle, quiet, calm.

I’d like to feel like I have it together and I’m awake when I leave for work. I don’t want to rush. I don’t want to forget something. I should really pack my bag the night before. (And thank goodness for Husband who packs my lunch or I would likely starve.)

In some ways, I would like to do devotions, but I’m usually not quite coherent enough to remember anything I read that early. So I want to leave a little early and dive in when I get to the office and am more awake.

I might try yoga or jogging in the morning. As long as it’s gentle, and I can do it in my pajamas. Maybe. We’ll see.

The sound question is something I never really thought of. In my perfect life, it would be chilly enough to leave the windows open all night and I would wake up to the birds chirping. Otherwise, quiet is good. It’s calm, it’s gentle. Maybe a bit of serene background sounds, like they use in spas…

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