Establishing a Morning Routine – Maximize Your Mornings

Photo by j.anne4

I have always loved the benefits of rising early; but over the last few months while dealing with sleeping issues, rising early has gone out the window. To be completely honest, I often would lie in bed past 8 o’clock and wallow in self-pity. The longer I would lie there the inevitable result would be increased tiredness. When I would finally be dressed by noon, half my day was gone and the most profitable hours are also lost. Thus I would encourage the entrance of depression and discouragement. Aaron and I determined together that one of our new years goal was to plan and purposefully begin rising early TOGETHER. ;) Accountability is key. Sitting down together to plan out our morning routine was also essential. I determined, by God’s grace, that I needed to rise early, whether or not I slept well. Why do I believe rising early is important?

1. The morning hours are your most profitable moments of the day. You are fresh and energized. You can accomplish more in one hour than most people accomplish in an entire day.

2. It takes time to mentally prepare for the day. As Kat in her e-book, Maximize Your Mornings states, “Professional athletes don’t roll out of bed and stumble into the game. They warm up, talk to their coach and get mentally focused for what is ahead. We need to do the same thing.”

3. Personal quiet time can help maintain peace and harmony in the home. I can testify that without my morning devotions, my flesh tends to be more prone to anger and frustration (my sinful weaknesses). If I don’t focus on the Lord first thing, I often lose sight of my mission as a wife and mother.

“Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Consider no circumstance too clear to need his direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative; temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme. Who of us has not found the unspeakable ‘peace’ of bringing God matters to minute or individual to be entrusted to the most confidential ear?” - Charles Bridges

Our Plan:

First, we determined what we wanted to include in our morning routine. For us, this included personal devotions, exercise, shower, get dressed, make breakfast, eat breakfast together while having family devotions, concluding with sending Aaron off to work.

Secondly, we mapped out these activities according to our priorities. If nothing else, personal devotions are the most important to us. We believe strongly in beginning our day with the Lord. Sitting at his feet keeps Him the center of our lives and the Source for our strength for the upcoming events of the day. We listed them in order of priority above.

Finally, we mapped out the time frame they needed to take place by. Aaron needs to be out of the house by 8:30am, so we worked back works determining how much time each of these events would take.

Start small. We were previously waking up by 7:00am. Our new goal was 6:00 am. Rather than jumping into that significant adjustment, we started by waking up 5-15 minutes earlier each day. This way it was manageable adjustment and able to be maintained more effectively. Since exercise is one of our priorities for the morning, we also determined to start small here. If we jumped into a strict 30 minute routine, we would fall out relatively quickly, as we have experienced in the past. So we adopted the starting small technique again here – 5-15 minutes each day. Doing a smaller amount more consistently has been proven to be more successful in developing the habit. Exercise in smaller more consistent chunks is also better for your body than random extensive exercising periods.

Collect things for your morning routine the night before. Get things set up in advance for your morning routine so you are not blindly hobbling around at 6:00am trying to find your Bible, exercise clothes, etc.

Make a plan for your devotional time. Choose a Bible Reading plan. You must have a plan to really effectively grow in your faith. There are many different Bible reading plans available free for download at Discipleship Journal or Revive Our Hearts collection of plans. We have used all of these plans at different times in the past and they are very effective.

Plan your day. I have found simply taking 5 minutes to plan my day has increased my productivity. I make a master to-do list of the week during my weekly planning time, but cutting this down to selecting 3-5 things that need to be done today has been helpful. I use a 3 x 5 card to jot down my to-do’s on one side. On the other side, I write out a verse of Scripture from my devotions that I would like to meditate and/or memorize throughout the day. I keep this 3 x 5 card in my back pocket and every time I check my to-do list, I will review the Scripture. It has been very encouraging and edifying!

Our morning routine:

6:00 am – Currently, we are at 6:20 am, working up in 5-10 min increments – Personal Bible reading time individually, plan for the day (make my to-do list)
7:00 am – Exercise (jump rope, push-up’s, crunches, jogging up and down the stairs)
7:15 am – Shower, dress
7:30 am – Kids wake up (roughly), Nurse baby, Aaron get kids dressed
7:45 am – Lindsay prepares breakfast, packs Aaron’s lunch
8:00 am – Eat breakfast, Family devotions (reading one chapter from Proverbs every morning)
8:30 am – Aaron leaves for work, Lindsay cleans up dishes, dinner preparations, quick house pick-up

We committed this plan to the Lord and He has really blessed it. I have never felt so productive in my life! It has been so helpful to develop this plan and carry it out together. The house can be picked up and dinner preparations made by 9:30 am! Formally, this could drag on through lunch. It’s been a huge blessing to our family. I have more energy now in the morning whether or not I slept well the night before. A huge part of this I believe is renewing the priority of quiet time with the Lord. Just getting up and doing the NEXT THING.

I highly recommend and encourage every family to adopt a morning routine, one in which you have quality time with the Lord to prepare your heart for the day, exercise your body to give you health and wholeness, and to prepare and plan for the day ahead!

For more helpful tips for developing your morning routine, please check out Kat’s free e-book, Maximizing Your Mornings.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

86 Responses to Establishing a Morning Routine – Maximize Your Mornings

  1. Rochelle January 28, 2011 at 11:21 am #


    Thanks for this post (and many other great ones!)…I’ve been enjoying your blog since a friend sent me a link to your article re: bible verses for preparing for birth. I read those just over a year ago as I was having lots of early labor with my son, now 11.5 months old! and I’ve found all that and much more here to be encouraging to me. Thanks for sharing your schedule (very similar to mine, but a good reminder that perhaps keeping all our outing to the afternoon would help keep things calmer here!) and these thoughts on the early morning. It’s actually funny because I’ve been feeling lead to get up before my children for the last month or two and I’ve been working at it, a day at a time (difficult since my son has still been up a good deal at night…but I’m in the process of training him to wait until 7). Just good to know that i’m not alone in this challenge to get up and start the day with the Lord (otherwise quiet time has to wait so long and then really it’s hard to be quite as gracious and peaceful during the busy mothering, house-keeping morning.)

  2. Tiff May 25, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    I love reading your posts. You are inspirational and have a way of making things seem so simple (not necessairly easy, but simple). I have half-heartedly been trying to wake up earlier to get a little time before I leave for work so I don’t start my day off feeling ultra rushed everyday…but only half heartedly. After reading this, I am committed to making a full effort to get to bed on time and wake up earlier every morning so I can get my God time in and a few little chores to get the dinner preperations going before I step out the door and get the dogs walked so they don’t have to be walked in the summer heat of the evening. Thank you so much for your example and taking the time to share your routine with me!

    Tiff :o )

  3. Megan February 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    I have just put myself on a basic schedule (from rising to leaving for work). Minu the occasional early trip to the gym, this is the schedule I plan to stick to. It is nice to start the day by reading in bed.

  4. Kaelie February 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    I love to read your posts and crave the lifestyle you and those like you lead. I find it encouraging to know I have time to work on things like this and prepare myself for a husband (Lord-willing) and family of my own someday. (I’m 19 and in college.) Balancing enough productive study time is tough, and God time is even harder to make room for when you feel like school has to be number one. It really sounds like early mornings are exactly what I need. This site is a blessing!

  5. Tali January 30, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    Great advice- Thanks!

  6. mama January 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    what a great post! thanks for the ideas and encouragement.

  7. amanda January 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Thank you so much for the reminder. It seems things are going well then something throws a wrench in things. then we’re back to not doing what we should. Thanks so much~

  8. Libby January 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    what great thoughts!

  9. Autumn January 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Hi Lindsay, I just wanted to tell you that I really love this post. I came to some of these conclusions on my own over the past year or so, through reading books and talking with older women in my church. Waking up early in the morning and getting myself mentally prepared for the day and doing my Bible devotion is a MUST, or else I’m not a very good mom. If something happens and the kids wake me up super early before I have a chance to do my quiet time, I ask my husband to watch the kids for 30 minutes to do it. It’s simply non-negotiable! My only problem is getting my husband to wake up early and commit to a routine. I think I’ll send this article to him and see what he thinks about committing to BOTH of us waking up early.

  10. the inadvertent farmer January 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    My sweet kiddos get up between 5:30 and 6am so sleeping in is never a problem…it staying awake past 7pm that is! Great post, Kim

  11. andrea gutierrez January 15, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    this is wonderful, inspiring and motivating! so happy to have stumble upon your piece of the world…


  12. Tammy January 15, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    Thanks, Lindsay. This sounds like exactly what I need to do to help with my “winter slump”. It really does get depressing. Do you take a nap with your little ones later in the day? I really enjoy a nap, but seems like the same thing happens; I don’t want to get up when I wake up! (My kids are older.) Something I’ve been hearing about but haven’t read yet is “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross. She also wrote the Diet Cure which is excellent; about good nutrition to boost our energy and improve our “mood”. She recommends (and she has a clinic) certain amino acids for different issues. I have started taking l-tyrosine for increased energy, mental alertness, motivation and to fight depression. And I believe it’s helping! Please check out her books, I think you’ll find them helpful. (l-tryptophan is supposed to help with healthy sleep patterns/depression.)

  13. Carrie @ Organic and Thrifty January 15, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    Thanks for this post! Unfortunately, as I write this, it’s very late at night, which is when I tend to be tempted by slothfulness (instead of just going to bed!). I have been feeling convicted about getting up earlier as well and beginning with a solid routine. Thank you so much for the inspiration! It’s so true, that what you do before 7 am is worth double!

    Thanks for breaking it down into simple incremements too. Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of your 3 x 5 card! That is something I’m going to start doing tomorrow!

    Thank you so much for the encouragement and inspiration you share here!

    My God continue to richly bless you,

    Carrie @ Organic and Thrifty

  14. Nina Nelson January 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    This post was so encouraging! Since having my baby a month ago, I’ve been having a really hard time getting back into any kind of routine – and I’ve noticed how depressed I feel when I sleep in and the whole domino effect it has on my energy for the rest of the day. I shared this post with my husband and today we were up at 6 together, he exercised and showered while I nursed the baby. While he showered I did about 5 minutes of exercise, prayed, read a chapter from my Bible and planned my to-do list for the day. Then I got a shower. All before 7! We even got up before the other 3 little ones, which hasn’t happened for a while. I feel so much better today than I have been. Thanks for the post!

  15. Megan Harris January 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    What a great routine! I love routine. I am very much a morning person and it does seem like if I get up early I can get more accomplished in those hours than any other time. BTW, have you ever done a blog on lunch ideas? I noticed you pack Aaron’s lunch for work and was curious about what you send with him. I am always looking for ideas for my husband’s lunch. Thanks!

    • Lindsay January 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

      I honestly keep to really simple lunches for my husband. He is a pretty simple and content man. I make sandwiches of all kinds (mainly ham/cheese, chicken, and PB & J’s), and the other days I pack him leftovers, since he has access to a microwave at his office.

  16. crystin January 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Hey- thanks for another post about routine and maximizing your time! My husband and i plan on making a routine asap! I too, get tired and “depressed” when my baby isn’t sleeping well at night and tend to lie in bed…this doesn’t help anything so I should just get up early anyway as you say!
    This is completely random but I just went to Bugaloo b/c I was wanting to order some shoes as gifts and love their prints and prices and all the shoes were 17.99!!! I was shocked that everything went up 3 bucks. Why?? I thought maybe it was just new styles- nope- all of them. I’m SO bummed. Maybe you know why this happened…but I’m just letting you know b/c I know your icon has the 15 dollar price shown. Bummer!

    • Lindsay January 14, 2010 at 11:33 am #

      Heidi, my cousin and the owner of Bugaloo had to raise her prices in over to cover her costs. She wasn’t making hardly any profit for all the time and effort she was putting into it. Her products are definitely worth the $18! I will definitely ask her about changing her icons…thanks for pointing that out.

  17. Shana January 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    This is a great site, found it a week ago or so and I wanted to find a Christian based site such as this, so thank you! I took advantage of this wonderful resource the e-book and look forward to reading the book. But your post has inspired me to get up early. I already have to get up by 6:15, but I want to inch it up to 6 a.m. two times a week to do indoor walking and then eventually work it up to 3 mornings and perhaps around 5:50 a.m. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Natalie January 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Hi Linsday- this has been one of the most refreshing posts I have ever read. This is what I needed to help me formulate what I have been trying to accomplish for the past several months. I have been needing to wake up earlier since I have 3 kids and work full time, also am a student. I always end up staying in bed and time is of the essence. It truly makes all the difference in the world to accomplish so much in the early hours of the day rather than trying to catch up later in the morning or day. I also loved the ebook. I am going to begin working on incorporating prayer in the morning since I have been lax in this area lately. Thank you so much for all you share and your wonderful insight.

  19. Melissa January 13, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Thanks for this blog post! I have been yearning for some kind of routine in our lives and just last week my husband went back to work (he’s a professor) from his winter break. I have a 4 month old and a toddler, and the 4 month old has been feeding 2-3 hours through the night…so I have been exhausted. But, this is good encouragement to press on! I got up this morning earlier and already have started on my to-do list for today. Thanks! :)

  20. Jill January 13, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    I just recently started reading your website… and I feel overwhelmed! I will marry my fiance in four months, and I thought I was prepared. Reading all that you do and focus on makes me feel woefully inadequate to be a wife (although I know that I’ll learn and grow.) Can you give any simple tips on your website to a newlywed? I’d sure appreciate it.

    • Lindsay January 14, 2010 at 11:35 am #

      Can you be more specific? What areas do you feel overwhelmed with? Remember, you have plenty of time as a newlywed to learn new things about health and living. Trust me, most of what I know now was learned within the last three years of our marriage. Just take one step at a time.

    • Autumn January 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Don’t worry Jill, I’ve been married a little over 5 years and only in the past 2 years have I really got a handle on being a good homemaker. With God’s grace, you will learn as you go! You cannot expect yourself to start your marriage as an excellent homemaker and wife…it’s something you have to experience, tweak, and learn from other Godly women in your life.

      When we were first married, my cooking skills extended only to Hamburger Helper, but now 5 years and 2 kids later, I’m making healthy meals from scratch every night, and it’s actually easy! It was a slow process to get to this point, and definitely not something someone could have taught me to do.

  21. Esther January 13, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Great suggestions…I have been really blessed by your informative site. Been studying all this info much as of late, and yesterday I made the berry cobbler- yum! Thank you for putting all this info on here to help us all in our healthy eating journey! I was wondering if you had a link to some more in depth info on why whole milk is best. Currently, we are not buying raw milk, but I found a pasteurized (not ultra)and non-homogenized milk I plan to try. So far I have only purchased organic milk, whole milk, and my husband was commenting on the fact that whole milk is bad for your heart and all that. I’d like to share an informative article with him regarding this…do you know of any? Thanks so much!

    • Lindsay January 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

      Check out for tons of info on that!

  22. Tina January 13, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    I use to participate in the 5 16 girls club over @ Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, but then the Holidays came and I lost it! But now with the new year here I also want to go back to rising early with the Lord, it really does make the day so much better and it also sets a great example for my children. The first thing they see in the morning is Mommy spending time in the Word. (I have early risers, so I can’t get enough time in to get up, get dressed and read the bible before they are up.)

  23. Kate January 13, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    I’m up everyday at 4:30. I feel more productive when I rise early. I get my time in the morning for my personal time w/the Lord, exercise, shower, etc. I’m not into devotional books, they are too stuffy for me. Right now we are reading thru the Bible in a year. my hubby and then come together and pray as a family before we all go off to school and work. In the evening, my hubby and I hold Bible/prayer time/worship w/the family.

  24. Lydia January 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    What a great post! I’m a 20-year-old college student, but these ideas will still help me make the most of my mornings! Thanks for the tips!

  25. Stacy January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    This is a great post. It makes such a difference in my day when we get up early. I have nice alone time, to make lunches, throw in some laundry, think about what I need to do that day. It is so calming. I am so patient and a better person when I do this. I also have been reading a few of your other entries over simplifying. So I got rid of my spice rack, and cleaned out the master bedroom closets. I managed to get 3 bags of garbage, 3 bags of goodwill and 1 bag of consignment. It felt so good to just get rid of all that stuff. What a relief. I am already really careful about what I bring into the house. We have 3 kids and a pretty small house. So thanks so much for all of your wonderful info! It has made such a great difference for me!

  26. lo January 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    We currently end our day with devotions — drifting off to sleep with all the right thoughts in our minds. But, I also like the idea of beginning the day with a morning routine like this.

    • Kate January 13, 2010 at 2:07 am #

      You can certainly do both :-) .

  27. Kim January 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    In the last 30 minutes or so I have read the ebook and made my trial schedule! I can see that I’m getting better at doing things in the Lord’s strength and not my own so I have great hopes! Thanks, Lindsay! I’ll be praying for you and Aaron!

  28. Heidi January 12, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Thanks for being so open. It is nice to know that there are other great people out there struggling with the same things and to have a plan laid out for others to use is very helpful.

    • M.I.A in Minnesota January 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

      Once again, God has used you to minister to us ladies! I’m so glad I’m not alone with the self pity business. You’re all an encouragement to me. My kids have to wake up @ 6:15 to catch the bus, so to get up earlier is going to be QUITE challenging for a person who feels like I got hit by a Mack truck every morning! : )

      • M.I.A in Minnesota January 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

        Oops, I didn’t mean to put this reply under your name. Sorry for the confusion!

  29. Jessica January 12, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    I love this. I love morning routines, it was nice to see yours written out and get some new ideas. With kids that rise at 6:00 I can only bring myself to wake up at 5:30 for my morning devotional. So I am thinking I will include the kids in the exercise part of it. Thanks for your thoughts and testimony.

  30. Amber January 12, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Love this post, thank you. I too have needed to get a better morning routine going. I find that when I oversleep, I’m more stressed and I don’t feel productive at all. I’m hoping to truly stick with this goal. And, my hubby is going to do this too. Accountability is wonderful. Love your site and your transparency. You have a beautiful heart, and I am truly encouraged by your posts. Blessings to you and yours.

  31. Girl :) From Europe January 12, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Lindsay, what a great morning routine you have!
    I was wondering: at what time do you go to sleep in the evening?

    • Lindsay January 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

      Honestly, it really depends on when our kids finally settle down for bed. We try to get to bed by 10pm but sometimes it is 11pm.

  32. Josette January 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    when you put God first, everything just seems to fall in place. Thanks for all the good ideas. I am trying to work out my morning routine.

  33. Kitty Hurdle January 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    LOVE THIS! I am going to share this with my college women’s Bible study to encourage them that NOW is the time to get into a routine, so that when a husband and baby come along they will be conditioned to keep Christ in His proper place! First!!

  34. Hannah January 11, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have an 8 month old and am pregnant with my second and I’ve just been really tired. It’s helpful to have the encouragement to continue with getting up early in order to have my quiet time with the Lord. Managing to get up enough in advance of my daughter to have the time has been a struggle and it’s good to have a slap on the back to go ahead and keep trying! =)

  35. Amy blogs @ River Rock Cottage January 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Hmmm… I think several of us have fallen prey to this same problem. It happens every year to me despite my normal “very disciplined” routine. The switch off of daylight savings time and the cold house cause me to stay in bed WAY too long in the mornings.

    This AM I had to get out quickly, exercise and have my quiet time so I could shower before some workmen came to the house. What a difference it made. I told myself as I finished up before 8:30 that this was the end of lingering in the bed til 7:00, reading blogs before routines were done, and school was finished.

  36. Jill January 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Great ideas! I pray that God continues to bless you during your morning times. I understand about having depression set in from discouragement.
    MacKenzie-God bless you on your new venture! I hope you LOVE being a SAHM and are more fulfilled there than working!!! I pray to be there one day too!

  37. Gretchen January 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post. It is exactly what I needed to hear. My baby is 6 months old and I am still struggling with getting up early. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  38. Lauren January 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I was very encouraged by this post. I have a newborn and a 15 month old and getting back into a routine has been hard. I really enjoy your blog!!

  39. Deanna January 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow, my husband and I were just talking about this the other day… We both lost our jobs, me being fairly recently. He is an early riser, me, not so much and it has helped us soooo much to be up, showered and dressed with our devotions done and breakfast eaten and kitchen cleand up by 8 a.m. So he can take advantage of the day looking for work and I can not be a slob in my appearance and have my house clean.
    You are so right in getting up early whether you have slept well or not, Lindsay. I went through a HORRIBLE bout of insomnia that lasted almost a year (all due to birth control pills, but that’s another long story). Whether we stay in bed or get up we’re tired anyways, so it is better to get up and be productive so depression doesn’t set in. A verse God gave me durign that time before I knew what was wrong with me was Psalm 127:2 “… he giveth his beloved sleep.”

  40. sarah January 11, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Thank you for this timely post! This is something I have struggle with since I was a child. My mom would always get upset with me because I slept in too late. I downloaded the book and am starting with the action steps. Thank you very much!

  41. Amanda January 11, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Divine timing–today was our first day of “new morning routine” after the Christmas holiday. I have struggled since our son’s birth in August and our cross-country move two weeks later. I am really being challenged to stand behind my conviction that certain things are absolutely non-negotiable (Quiet Time with my Heavenly Father? Hello?) and more important than anything EVEN when that other thing is sleep! It is especially tempting with my son’s night nursing habits; even at 5 months, he is still nursing twice a night. Lindsay, I know you’ve been struggling with insomnia, but I would encourage other moms out there to spend some of that night wake-time in prayer. I’ve even jotted down a little list that I keep at my nursing station…I’m not exactly interceding for world peace at 2 AM, but even in that fog I can pray for my husband, meditate on (very short!) excerpts of Scripture, or pray for the individuals who have been popping into my mind during those times. I’m pretty sure they’re not a coincidence!
    I ADORE your blog, it is such a blessing and an inspiration.

  42. B. Wallace January 11, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Definitely, a schedule helps! We recently came up with a schedule for our home, too, so that we weren’t wondering where the time had gone at the end of the day. We believe that being up and ready to go not only gives you more hours in the day but also determines how we feel about our day.

    As far as specific tasks, we have a dry erase board with a calendar on it and extra writing space. Things that aren’t daily givens are written there.

  43. Julianne January 11, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Great post! Perfect timing for our family. It means so much to my husband when I’m up with him in the morning, dressed and happy. :) My day goes tons smoother and the look forward to when the girls wake up!

  44. Shalene January 11, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Thank you for this post … what an encouraging, relevant read! My husband typically leaves for work by 6:30 am, so I’ve gotten into the habit of allowing my 21-month-old son to be my wake-up call. While he’s typically up around 7:30 each morning, waking up with him doesn’t leave me anytime for quiet time or day-to-day activity planning in peace. My husband and I both agreed we need to do a better job of making quiet time a priority in our separate lives AND our marriage, so this has encouraged me to try to work out a similar plan that fits our morning routine. Thank again!

  45. nicole January 11, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks! This was so helpful and encouraging. I made it my new years resolution to start making things homemade, and getting up early in the morning and being productive can really make that a lot easier.

  46. Jessalyn January 11, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Wow! Thanks for sharing! I love how in detail you got, it really helps.

  47. Kristin January 11, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Thanks for this! I started a very structured shedule last year and during the summer we fell away from it and have never got back onto it since. I still need to do a lot of tweaking and am not sure whether I want to whole day scheduled to that degree, but boy, what a difference it makes being on some sort of routine! Thanks for the encouragement! Maybe during naptime today I will get it (the schedule) out and make some changes to it!

  48. Ami January 11, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Thanks for this encouraging post. I’ve been slowly working on early morning routines since we started kindergarten at home in the fall.

    I love index cards and enjoy every using them more and more! They totally rock!

    I also love how those who love Christ have so much in common. Like the daily Proverb, I often think Christians around the world are reading Proverbs 11 today.

  49. April Watson January 11, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Lindsey, thanks so much for sharing and being vulnerable again. You really do encourage my heart. I am looking for advice from you and any of your readers on how to get up before my 3 month old without the alarm waking him. He still wakes at least twice at night, so he sleeps by our bed, and when my husband sets the alarm so he can get up for work it always wakes the baby. I know your kids now share a room, but have you found a way around this? My little one isn’t a very good sleeper. Thanks!

    • Kim January 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

      April, when my youngest was in our room my husband set his alarm on his cell phone and it didn’t wake up the baby. You could try experimenting with the volume of the alarm on your phone and set a regular alarm as the back up if the phone didn’t wake him. Just a thought :)

      • April Watson January 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

        Thanks, Kim. That’s a good idea. My husband has a hard time waking to any alarm, so a lower volume might not work, but we will certainly give it a try! I think the only way we’ve been able to keep the baby in the room this long (over 3 months) is because even when he’s screaming it only occasionally wakes my husband. :) Too bad my baby doesn’t sleep as well as he does!!

        • Lindsay January 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

          Have you tried putting the baby in the bathroom or closet nearby? For the first 8 months of Titus’ life, he lived in a small bassinet in our walk-in closet. It was close enough so we could hear him if and when he woke up at night, but it also gave us a little more privacy that we wouldn’t disturb him.

  50. Leigh Ann January 11, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    What a great post! I’ve been following your blog for quite a while, and I never cease to be amazed and encouraged at the wisdom beyond your years.

    My husband and I started a morning routine this year together as well, and it looks pretty similar to yours (minus exercise, we do that at other times of the day).

    We’ve soooo enjoyed spending extra time together during our “best times” of the day. It definitely sets the tone for us the remainder of the day. Before we had morning time, we’d only have “conversations” after both of us had worked all day. We don’t have children (yet), but we see the need already of giving the best of ourselves to each other.

    I pray that you two can keep up the morning routine, and that you’ll be able to rest better in the evenings. Thanks for your humility in sharing your struggles and your successes! It’s a testament to Christ’s work in and through you! :)

  51. MacKenzie January 11, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. This is my last week of working outside the home before we move for my husbands job. Then I will be a stay at home wife (and soon to be stay at home mom). I really want to get into good habits right away so I can be productive at home and I think you’re right – a good morning routine is crucial!

  52. Shonda January 11, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    I am a morning person and I’m so impressed with your goal. I already downloaded the book. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Sarah January 11, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    this was an excellent post. A great inspiration to me. Something that I have really wanted to work on for some time. It’s hard to get up before the kids in the morning… Thanks for posting what has worked for you!

  54. Sara January 11, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    thanks for these thoughts…for us, daddy gets up and is gone by 6:30 most mornings…it would be a challenge to get up with him (we typically have both kids in the bed with us by then) but i have started having a real routine with the kids when they awake. coffee, breakfast, day clothes, and then, sipping a second cup of coffee and reading devotionals (me and my three year old) while the baby plays onthe floor next to us. its really amazing how much both me and my son have come to love what we call “our sunshine time” (the light shines right through our window onto our cuddle spot on the couch at that time of day) not only does this leave us more connected and calm for the start of a productive day but we have had some great conversations about God during these quiet moments. getting up with daddy is something to think about though……..hmmmmmmmmm….

  55. julie January 11, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    I was just thinking about this very thing this morning. I try to have my few minutes of peace and quiet with devotions and coffee, but it kept getting interrupted. I need to get up at six instead of six-thirty. Maybe if I’d get up at 5:45, I could do more than just yoga (half-heartedly). I needed to read this. And I also wondered if you’d tried cod liver oil for ear infections. I would give my then-baby a tsp. each morning when he was fighting a cold, to prevent ear infections. I’d also rub a garlic clove behind his ears. He sure was smelly, but it helped.

  56. Kelly January 11, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    How amazing God works! I was struggling with this very thing just this morning (my desire for a morning devotional time has been building up over the last few weeks), but this morning I tentatively woke up at 6:09- I was so determined last night to get up and start my day early with God-but instead I rolled over and fell asleep for another half hour. (I love sleeping in, and my bed is so warm and cozy!) Then I had to rush through making my husband his lunch while he ate a bowl of cereal again. Oh, how I needed to hear this and start a plan! I know that I need to start my day with God – to get my heart in the right place for the day. Thank you for this post!

  57. The Local Cook January 11, 2010 at 6:54 am # is a big promoter of morning routines. This is something I’ve been intending to do for awhile but never gotten around to. Maybe this year!

  58. Deborah January 11, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Lindsay what great timing you have! What a difficult Monday morning I had. If I had prepared last night I would have realized my daughters locker key was missing. It was stressful tearing apart the house looking for it and she ended up going to school without it.
    I also realize I spend my mornings with my computer and not God. I have a book of 1,000 spiritual verses. I love to open the book now and then but I think I will pull one verse each day, write it down and keep it with me. I will get a lot more use out of that book. Who knows what positive light will come of that? Great idea! Thank you.
    I have my to-list and I am going to do it right now!
    Thanks Lindsay. I am also happy to hear about your morning routine and that things are easier and nicer for you.

    PS Oprah today is featuring an organizational coach. I can’t wait for this show. I don’t normally watch Oprah but I saw a blurb of the show and it is about “unplugging” which I desperately need to do. I know you are good about this but I thought you might be interested in this show.

  59. Natalie January 11, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    I really liked this post. I am a morning person and I especially love quiet “mom” time in the morning. While I don’t mind getting up early, it goes out the window if I don’t go to bed on time. So, for me, it’s most important to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I should crawl into bed at 9:30, read for a half hour and get up b/w 6 and 6:30. This would really help me get the personal time I crave and get some things done (i.e. laundry folding). My girls get up at 7:00 on the dot. I work out 3-4 days a week with a friend at our local gym (I can’t exercise at home like some people can. I’ve tried it and just can’t get motivated enough or stick to it. I have a disorganized mind and I get too easily distracted. Therefore, a scheduled class with a friend works best for me). So, just a half hour for me would be great. Reading this post reminded me of how great I would feel if I got back into doing this. Thanks!!

  60. Debbie January 11, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Great post, Lindsay. After having my son in August, I wallowed in a dose of self pity of my own because my husband and I could not figure out a schedule that worked for both of us to get our exercise in. I used the excuse that I just couldn’t get up in the mornings because my little one was (and still is) waking once or twice during the night to nurse.

    After prayer and receiving encouragement from other moms in the same boat, I JUST DID IT. Every morning for the past 6 weeks I have risen at 6am for a 30 minute run no matter how many times my 4 1/2 month old wakes. I am back, have done 15 min of yoga, have showered, and dressed before my 23 month old and baby are up and my husband is out the door. My husband runs as soon as he gets home from work.

    Do you know that despite not having a ‘good nights sleep’ I feel better than ever?! Everything else falls into such a smooth pace because of it. Most importantly, taking care of myself this way as made me a better wife and mom because of how good I feel. The enemy is quick to find ANYTHING that will keep us from living a life that is glorifying to God.

    Thanks for your post :-)

  61. Lisa January 11, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    Thanks for this post. Morning is one area that I could definitely work on. My plan is to always rise 1 hour before the children, but it is more like 15-20 minutes. I hope to start an earlier to bed routine.
    I always enjoy your posts. Glad you are back in the New Year!

  62. glenda January 11, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have really struggled lately with getting out of bed and I too had made it a New Year’s resolution, but I was already feeling like I had failed. Reading your morning plan and your thoughts has given me motivation to keep trying, and I really like the idea of getting up 5-15 min earlier each day. I made it my resolution because I know I was letting my kids and my husband down. after being up at night w/baby I would end up coming down to a messy house and hungry kids who had stared at PBS for hours. You are so right that even if we do not sleep well at night it is best to get up and just do the next thing. I was only making things harder for myself and my workload was being multiplied because of my lack of upkeep, which made me want to get up even less. The Lord has blessed me with courage to keep trying.

  63. Kathy Days January 11, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    Thank you for sharing your plan with us! I needed to hear that today!

  64. Erin January 11, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    This sounds like my life. My kids are your kids’ same ages, and we’ve been having sleep issues for lots of months. Just the last couple weeks I’ve been working on getting up early once again.

  65. Heather January 11, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    You are so blessed that your children wake up later! The struggle we have is our son wakes up in the night and ends up in our room in his portable crib or bed with us. He wakes up for the day at unpredictable times in the morning so we haven’t been able to count on a predictable allotment of time each morning to get ready for our day. Hoping this will get better some day!

    • Lindsay January 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

      Well, they never consistently rise at the same time every day! In fact, Titus often rises around 6:30am. To solve this interruption, I will usually nurse him and put him back to bed. If he does not want to go back to bed, I will get him up and let him bounce in the johnny jump up or play on the floor next to us while we exercise, etc. You can make it work, you just have to be flexible and adjust as needed.

  66. Kat January 11, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    Wow! Thank you so much for mentioning my ebook. I’m thrilled you found it helpful enough to share with your readers.

    My sister-in-law pointed me to your blog last year, so it’s quite an honor for me to be linked here. Thanks again!

  67. Jennifer January 11, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I think this is a great goal, and I plan to use some of the tips you have listed to help make my mornings more productive and focused on Christ! I love mornings, and I know that on the rare occasions that I sleep in until 9 or 10am I feel like half my day is gone.

  68. Jodi January 11, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    Wow! That is an incredible plan! What great information and inspiration!

  69. Spencer Kate January 11, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Great post — it’s encouraged me to work on a morning routine for my baby and me, as I have needed to do for some time. “Shopping for Time” is another great book on managing our time wisely (as women, wives, mothers) by Carolyn Mahaney (Sovereign Grace minstries).

  70. Ann January 11, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    My husband and I have four children and I have definitely been in the self pity mode lots of times. I have found it to be a great blessing when there is a lot to be done…times when chores have piled up…to ask the Lord to bless what we do that day. I have seen that prayer answered! When I was young I use to listen to Elizabeth Elliot on the radio and she had a poem about doing the next thing. I found a link to the poem and thought that you might like to read it. :)
    God Bless!

  71. Fruitfulvine2 January 11, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    I am a morning person so rising early comes a bit easy to me whether or not I had a late night. I find that I get so much done when I wake early. Congratulations on your routine. Way to go!

  72. Melonie K. January 11, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    Love it! I’m a night owl and struggle with getting up in the morning too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  73. Erin January 11, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    I love the idea of having a scripture verse or other meditative thought on the back of my to do list. As a fellow user of index cards, I’m going to have to start doing that! =)