I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished. -George Muller
For years, I'd sit down to spend time with God & then pause because I didn't actually know what to do next. I felt like I was wasting my time, staring at a random Bible page or throwing prayers up based on whatever popped into my groggy mind.
After reading this book, I decided to come up with a consistent routine for how I spend my time with God in the morning. Do I stick to it 100% everyday? No way. But it allows me to come prepared and make the very best use of my time with the Lord.
I hope seeing this written out helps you prioritize your own time in God's presence. I'm not superwoman, and different seasons of life allow me different availability. But what I know is that I will never, ever regret meeting with my Lord & Savior every day, and He is worth the very best I have to offer.
6:00 Alarm goes off. I get up immediately; that snooze button is dangerous! If I'm feeling extra tired, I quickly pray for energy and joy. God is so faithful to give it! I go to the bathroom, feed the cat, and fill my bottle of water.
6:10 Sit in a chair in my office with my basket that has everything I need in it. Bible, prayer notebook, memory verse box, pencil, post-its (for brain dumping), etc. Having everything there and ready for me is crucial. Also: water, a blanket, and kleenex!
6:10-6:15 Work my way through my scripture memory box. I use the system I wrote about here; it's such a quick and effective way to store God's words deep in my heart. When I'm ready for a new verse, I'll also use this time to write it out on a card.
6:15-6:45 Read my Bible. You can read about the chronological plan I'm using right here. Most days, this looks like 3-4 chapters at a time. After I read, I think through a few questions; sometimes I write the answers down and other times I reflect in my head.
What necessary context do I need to remember from what I just read? What does this text show me about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? What does it show me about myself (sins I need to confess, examples to follow, promises to claim, etc)? And then how would these answers change my life if I took them seriously (what false ideals could I throw off, why might God be showing this to me now)?
Thinking through these answers allows me to move from reading God's words to meditating on them. If you've never done this before, it's where I've seen the most transformation in my own life. God's words are living and active... and it really helps to reflect on them beyond zooming through the assigned chapters.
6:45-7:00 Pray. First, I pray the ACTS acronym regarding what I've just read in the Bible. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. It helps solidify what I've read and allows the information to go from my head to my heart.
For example, if I just read about God leading the Israelites out of Egypt, I'd praise His strength and power; I could confess the times I don't trust Him to bring me out of a hard situation; I may thank Him for His constant leading in my life or for the examples we have in Exodus; I could ask Him to deliver me from a hard time. Something like that :)
Then I use these sheets for other specific needs; I talk all what that looks like for me in these Instagram story highlights. Basically, I have a few things I pray for daily and then I flip to my day-of-the-week page and pray for those things/people.
It feels funny at first, but praying aloud is a great way to stay focused and alert. I find myself less distracted, and more aware of who I'm talking to when I actually say my words aloud. Try it!
7:00+ My boys start to stir at 7:00 which usually ends my morning time, but if I have a few extra minutes I listen to a worship song and/or read a chapter of a God-focused book I'm working my way through. I may also evaluate my goals, write down wonderful deeds of the Lord (Psalm 9:1), or sit and meditate on a specific verse. These last three things are all in my prayer notebook so I have them there at the ready!
During the day: You can read about how I try to tie the Gospel into our days right here. Sometimes, I miss my quiet morning time and instead work the things above into my hours with little boys around my feet. It's valuable and God-honoring even in the chaos.
1:00pm: I usually sit down to work on Dear Mushka right after my boys head down for a nap. I start this time by saying/paraphrasing the Lord's Prayer. It's a great way for me to recalibrate and meet the Lord mid-day.
9:15pm: I try to head to bed around this time so that I can read/pray and be asleep by ten (so I can restfully get up at six the next morning!). Sometimes I choose a Psalm to pray through, but right now I'm reading a chapter of this book. It's so good, I often read the same chapter a few nights in a row.
And then I start the whole thing over again the next morning! For me, doing this 6-7 days a week is really helpful. My body clock knows what to expect and wakes itself up naturally. I let myself sleep in on Sundays if I need to, but truthfully it's become a time I don't want to miss if I can help it!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. -Psalm 1:1-3