Start Your Day Right: 3 Keys to Creating a Morning Devotional Routine You Will Actually Look Forward to Waking up to Everyday (and an Amazing Giveaway)

Start Your Day Right: 3 Keys to Creating a Morning Devotional Routine You Will Actually Look Forward to Waking up to Everyday (and an Amazing Giveaway)

Start Your Day RightJust like me, you want to start your day right. Right? And for much of the world that involves a green smoothie and some hot yoga.

But for those of us who follow God, you and I know that the best way to start your day right is to spend some quality time  with our creator.

Some things not to do:

  1. Go from zero to 60 Maybe you heard a great sermon at church this weekend that talked about priorities, or were at a retreat that talked about the importance of quite time, good for you! It’s great to be inspired by people who love God and have had a difference made in their lives by spending time with Him. But don’t become so inspired that you try to change everything about your routine – that’s a sure way to think that a morning routine is impossible.

Instead of saying “I’ll spend an hour with God every morning.” How about, “Every day, I will start with a five minutes.” Five minutes every morning is a much better place to start than a 45 minute crash and burn session.

  1. Thinking you can “squeeze it in” When has a morning ever offered up more time magically? When has it taken less time for your kids to get dressed, for your hair to dry, or for you to take the dog for a walk? Morning magic time doesn’t exist (except in Cinderella, but she had all those mice and birds to help her get dressed…)

 

If you want to start your day right, don’t put yourself behind before you even start.

 

  1. Going too deep, too fast So you’ve decided to do your morning devotions and you think the book of Leviticus is a good place to start.

Let’s be a little kinder to ourselves – shall we?

In order to start your day right, find a devotional that will meet you where you are. You can work your way up to Leviticus – it will still be there when you’re ready – promise.

So how do you get yourself together in the morning if you do want to start your day right with time with God, but you are already feeling behind?

Round up Your Tools

What you need to accomplish this is pretty simple:

  1. Your Bible
  2. A devotional book
  3. A journal
  4. Your favorite pen

 

Reserve Time I know it’s hard to do first thing in the morning, but hear me out: When you start to live Clutter Free in every area of your life, including your schedule, it’s amazing what you can prioritize. As you start to put practices in place to make your mornings easier, but the night before being kind to your future self and setting up the coffee, picking out your outfit for the next day, figuring out what is for breakfast, and having your kid’s backpacks and your computer bag packed and by the front door. If you do any of those things the night before, I promise you, you’ve just given yourself a way to start your morning right with at least five minutes with God.

Set the Time I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me it’s time to sit down with God. I know when it is (7:15 AM) but knowing that the alarm is coming helps me do what I need to do so I can actually sit down for my devotions.

Set the Scene One of the ways that I work to anticipate my morning time is to set the scene; my coffee is set up the night before so I can enjoy it while spending time with God. I have my favorite blanket ready on the couch and a Yankee candle and a pack of matches next to me so that I can set my time aside as a little bit of sacred in what I know will be a very busy day.

Read Decide in advance what to read. I tend to either follow a Bible reading plan, or go with a daily devotional that I can read in about five minutes that is accompanied by scripture. Currently, I’m going through Unblinded Faith – Gaining Spiritual Sight Through Believing God’s Word. It’s a 90 day devotional that is set up perfectly for a quick morning read, but with enough spiritual depth that I feel like I’m able to carry the message all day long. Highly recommended.

Reflect (Mediation and Journaling)

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

If all you are able to do to start your day right is read a devotion, then start there. But, if you do it consistently, it won’t be enough.  Eventually, you will want to go – and grow – deeper. That is where refection comes in – meditating and journaling.

I know that for years, I made meditation a much bigger and way more mysterious thing than it needed to be. But meditation is simply the practice of thinking about the scripture you just read, and then giving God the space and silence to speak to you on that scripture or anything else.

So when I’m going through a devotional, I read the chapter, and then go to my bible to read the scripture. Then I spend some time thinking about the scripture I just read, and then ask God to bring anything about that scripture to mind.

Finally, I have a journal where I write down anything I’ve discovered from the scripture or from the devotion that I’ve read. This is also where I can keep track of any prayer requests that come up in the morning or throughout the day.

My journal is simple. I have about a half a sheet per day where I can write things down. There is no elaborate system (those have never worked for me in the past.) This is just something between me and God, for no one else.

At first, creating a daily routine can feel awkward and as if you’ll never make a habit of it – but trust me – if this girl can learn to enjoy and embrace the routine of a daily quite time – I have high hopes for you.

 

In the comments below, tell us one step you can take to start your morning right – let’s all learn from each other!

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What does Jesus Say About Our Stuff- You’re Invited

What does Jesus Say About Our Stuff- You’re Invited

Friends, I am so thrilled about tomorrow morning. We’re launching our second year of the Clutter Free Bible Study with a few hundred (maybe a couple thousand) friends over on our Facebook group. We’ll spend the next 40 days taking a deep dive into the spiritual side of Clutter. Going Clutter Free is a lot like peeling an onion, every layer removed reveals something hidden beneath. Together, we’re going to figure out the emotions that lurk below the surface of our attachment to our stuff. I want YOU to come join us. Wonder if you’re ready to take on the challenge?

Here’s what last year’s participants have to say about their experiences:

“I have learned so much through this process about the ways clutter affects not only my house buy my body and my mental health too. I am learning to let go of stuff that before had a hold on my life I didn’t even realize. I am so grateful to be on this journey with all of you!” ~ Robin

“On Christmas Eve 2013, my youngest son wanted to host a tea party for his grandparents but our house was such a disaster that they were forbidden from coming inside and we had a picnic in the back yard instead. After doing Clutter Free in 2015, this year they’re allowed ANYwhere in my house! What a difference a year makes!” ~ Tabitha

“I discovered fears I didn’t know I had – fears of poverty, scarcity and of losing control.   I learned to trust God to provide what I needed when I needed it.” ~ Tonya

You can get more details about the study here. This year the Online Group kicks off on Februray 14 and runs until March 28. If you sign up before February 14, you’ll get a great deal for the online study access for just $14.99 (normally $25) by using code CFBSFEB18. Talk about a Valentine’s gift to yourself.

Plus, join us in the nicest corner of the internet – the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group, absolutely free. Join others who are finding freedom and sharing their #onesmallwin moments as they tackle clutter and find ways to be all that God has designed them to be. You can do it and we’d love to help.

Eps #289 The Heart Reasons We Deal with Clutter

Eps #289 The Heart Reasons We Deal with Clutter

Kathi Lipp invited our Clutter Free Academy queen Tonya Kubo to the studio to discuss her epic transformation from doing the Clutter Free Bible Study this time last year. We talk a lot about Clutter Free in terms of our stuff. But this week we get down to the nitty gritty about the heart and spiritual side of our clutter. What does Jesus have to say about our stuff? It turns out, quite a bit.

Kathi and Tonya talk about how the spiritual side of their clutter was an integral piece of changing their own hearts and in turn, their lives. We also discuss what to expect on our upcoming online group study. For more info on our group study click here.

To be a part of the study club, get access to our online videos and booklet for just $14.99 (regularly $25!) between now and February 14, 2018 with coupon code: CFBSFEB18. Click here for lifetime access to the study and join our private Facebook group for daily encouragement from Kathi and Tonya for Lent this year.

Meet Our Guest

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. She and her husband, Brian, are raising two spirited girls in the agricultural heart of California. She writes about fighting the demons of comparison, clutter and compulsion on www.tonyakubo.com.

When You Need to Hear from God: Discovering Hope in the Psalms

When You Need to Hear from God: Discovering Hope in the Psalms

Hear from God: Hope in the Psalms

I have resisted the whole adult coloring book trend for the past couple of years. I was never much of a coloring book person as a child, plus the fact that I’ve never had what one might call “artistic skills”. (Whenever I made a big swing and a miss at an artistic endeavor, my mom would always sweetly say, “You have other talents.”)

So when my publisher asked if I wanted to blog about a new Bible study/coloring book, I resisted. What if it brought back all my childhood trauma of not being able to stay within the lines? What if my coloring was so bad that you all judged me and openly mocked me in the comment section of the blog? (These are real thoughts I have as I lie awake at night.)

But looking at Discovering Hope in the Psalms, three things made me change my mind:

1. My Bible study routine was feeling a little stale and I needed to kick it up. This seemed like a great way to mix it up.
2. One of the authors, Pam Farrell, is one of my favorite people on the planet. Getting to spend a little bit of time with her each morning is a good thing.
3. The title intrigued me: Discovering Hope in the Psalms. I’ll be honest with you – I was in desperate need of a little hope with some of the circumstances going on in my life.

So, I thought, “What could it hurt?” Plus, if my coloring was really so bad as to shame my family, I didn’t have to show you in the pictures I took.

Here’s what’s I love about this study:

1. While there are coloring elements, they are only a part of this amazing Bible study. (Whew!)
2. This is a legit Bible study, not just some pretty pages with a verse thrown in here or there. This goes deep, but in an accessible way. I’m getting to know the Psalms in a whole, new, fresh way, like never before. I’m loving it.
3. This whole study encourages you to explore God and the Psalms through the arts- not just coloring – but through spoken word, cooking and other creative pursuits.

If you are in a place in your life (and your quiet time) where you need to hear from God in a fresh way, I want to encourage you to change up your quiet time routine. Here are some ways Discovering Hope in the Psalms helped me:

• Breaking my quiet time routine by trying a new format for Bible study.
• Experience God in a fresh and new way.
• Get permission to be artistic. Experiencing God not just in his word, but throughout the day in artistic ways through song, art, cooking and reading helped expand my view of Him.
• Reading someone else’s story of struggle helps me understand God in my own struggle. The short stories in this book helped me see how the Psalms applied to Pam’s life and my own.

WIN!

I’m going to give six of you a chance to go through this study for yourself. If you want to experience God in a new and fresh way, I encourage you to take a look at Discovering Hope in the Psalms. And for six of you, you will get the chance to go deeper! I have five copies to give away, plus, for one of my readers, I’m going to send you my entire quiet time kit including:

Discovering Hope in the Psalms
• This beautiful Study Bible for Women
• A set of colored pencils for exploring God through creativity
• My favorite cup for hot and cold drinks Hydro Flask
• My very favorite pen, the Uniball Air Micro
• An assortment of teas (to keep those creative juices flowing)

This post is sponsored by Harvest House Publishers, but all the views expressed are mine and only mine…

For your chance to win, enter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway Disclaimer

 

Digging Deep Into Scripture With Words

Digging Deep Into Scripture With Words

Digging Deep Into Scripture

When we run into a hard-to-understand verse in the Bible, it’s hard to know what to think or where to look for answers. In the second post of her “Tools Not Rules” series of Bible study “how-tos”, Amy Carroll shares how following a single word through scripture can unearth rich understanding. Amy gives some resources to guide word study, and one of them is free. We love free!


Amy Carroll

Amy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s the author of Breaking Up with Perfect as well as the director and coach of Next Step Coaching Services.  As a woman who loves a great story and a challenging idea, co-hosting the Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast has become one of her favorite things.

Amy and her husband live in lovely Holly Springs, NC.  You can find her on any given day texting her two sons at college, typing at her computer, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.  Share life with Amy at www.amycarroll.org and find out more about her speaker coaching services at http://www.nextstepcoachingservices.com/.

How to Get Profound Result from Simple Bible Study

How to Get Profound Result from Simple Bible Study

Results from Simple Bible Study

Have you tried method after method for Bible study only to discard them or forget them? Or are you a Bible study newbie? Amy shares a simple method with profound results in this first post in her “Tools Not Rules” series for Bible study. Before you start watching, click here for a free download that will give you everything you need to dive into deeper Bible study.

 


 

Amy CarrollAmy Carroll is a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s the author of Breaking Up with Perfect as well as the director and coach of Next Step Coaching Services.  As a woman who loves a great story and a challenging idea, co-hosting the Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast has become one of her favorite things.

Amy and her husband live in lovely Holly Springs, NC.  You can find her on any given day texting her two sons at college, typing at her computer, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.  Share life with Amy at www.amycarroll.org and find out more about her speaker coaching services at http://www.nextstepcoachingservices.com/.