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Simplify Your Morning Routine

5 Steps to a More Satisfying Quiet Time

Recently, I have been convicted to simplify my morning quiet time.  I call this time of day my “Mary time” because during this time my goal is to sit at the feet of Jesus and absorb His presence.  I want to surround myself with Him inside and out.

To keep myself from getting distracted, a while back I developed an outline to follow so that I could stay focused, or if necessary, recapture my focus easily if interrupted. Initially, this worked well for my empty nest lifestyle. However, retirement life is not as unencumbered as I thought it would be.  My schedule is booked up with church activities and ministry opportunities, doctors and dental visits for myself and family members, and social activities with family and friends.

Many mornings, I now wake up with my “to do” list full and matters requiring prompt attention. These are days I don’t feel I have enough time available to follow the plan. (See previous posts: “ACTS of Prayer” & “Prayer Time: Did you Remember Everything”).  I gradually begin to feel overwhelmed because I’m short on time and often end up rushed and am guilty at times of just ignoring it altogether.  Why? Because I have allowed the following mind-set to imbed itself into my brain: “if I can’t spend the time to do it ‘right’, why bother to do it at all?”  Instead I find myself spending my “unclaimed” time being unproductive: reading, watching T.V., or playing computer games.

Is there a “right” way for spending time with God? Oddly enough, God doesn’t require that I follow a checklist or formula for my time with Him.  All He really wants is for me to spend time with Him.  He’s not grading me on time spent, topics discussed, prayers offered, or the order in which I do it.  I am not accountable for this time to anyone but Him.

The solution for me is to still maintain my morning routine, with the realization that I need to be more flexible with how I accomplish this. I need to bend whatever rules I’ve mistakenly believed are necessary and just approach this time with a willing, subservient heart. This should alleviate me getting overwhelmed and deciding to make the unwise choice of foregoing it altogether. Whatever I need to do, I want to ensure I’m spending time with Him, starting my day with Him.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  It doesn’t have to follow a set routine.  It doesn’t have to meet any special requirements.

While I will seek to incorporate my previous guidelines for my “Mary time” when I am unhurried and unrushed, when I don’t have an unending amount of available time, I will relax my formulaic stance.  Instead I will focus on making my time with Him genuine, heart-felt, and passionate. Since I love to make lists, I came up with five steps I can take to ensure I’m spending my abbreviated “Mary time” wisely.

Suggestions for getting the most out of your “Mary” time:

  1. Seek God’s presence. Sit quietly before Him, opening your time in prayer by asking that His peace enter you and that His calmness control your spirit.  Ask for all portals to be opened to Him (eyes, ears, heart and mind.)  Be receptive to the Spirit. Feel His presence.  Feel His peace.

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  Jeremiah 29:13 (NLT)

  1. Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Once you have sat still and calmed your jumbled thoughts, what is left on your mind? This is probably what God wants you to focus on today. It may be a person you need to pray for, or many people that are at a certain place or in a specific situation.  It might be yourself. Do you need to spend time praising and thanking Him?  Do you need to confess and repent of some sin(s)?  Do you need to lift others up in prayer?

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

3.  Read the Bible.  You may want to follow a devotional.  Or you can use a concordance r computer and look up Bible       verses pertaining to the subject you feel led to pray about.  Find out what God says or how He feels regarding the           subjects(s) you feel led to focus on today.

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow Psalm 25:4 (NLT)

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

  1. Pray using the scripture.  Pray what’s on your heart.  Pray with passion.  Pray for yourself.  Pray for others.  Pray for situations. Pray, pray, pray for however long you feel led to pray.

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow Psalm 25:4 (NLT)

  1. Do what you have been instructed to do. Follow God in obedience: you prayed, He answered, you do.  Write it down, make a plan, write a card, make a phone call, or go visit.  Do what you feel the Spirit has led you to do.

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.  2 John 1:6 (NLT)

Please make it a priority to spend time with God every day.  If you start your day with Him, it is much easier to continue acknowledging Him throughout the rest of the day. If you feel rushed, ask Him for the peace He so freely offers.  Acknowledge that you know He is with you, no matter what. Trust that nothing surprises God, so why should we worry about the “what ifs” in life?  If God prompts you to reach out to someone, do so. Make that call, write that card, stop by and visit. Communicate with God constantly, involve Him in your day, in your life.



New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Journaling Bee

I am a retired Christian wife and mother with a passion for reading, journaling, and sewing/quilting. As part of my ministry, I feel called to be an "encourager" and as such, decided to share some of my journaling experiences with the hopes that it would offer comfort, compassion, and encouragement.

2 thoughts to “Simplify Your Morning Routine”

  1. I so enjoyed your post today! Such great steps to going before the Lord! I felt so encouraged reading this post and it was beautifully written. I agree we don’t need a formula just that we involve him in our day.

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