Romans 8:6 & 10 "The mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace. Your spirit is alive because of righteousness."
I have mentioned creating wide margins in my life to reduce stress. I have adopted this practice lots of places. From giving myself twenty extra minutes on top of what I think I need from soccer games to grocery shopping to aerobics class this is an effective practice.
The only place it has been difficult to achieve a margin is in the mornings. Quite simply, I.am.tired.
I used to get up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. I could read, pray and clean uninterrupted. It was awesome. I was pregnant. I had babies. I was up at all hours of the night anyway. Then my kids started school. Between dinner and homework I was exhausted. No matter how early I tried to get up, I couldn't.
Literally, could not. I would sleep through my alarm or get up for a few days and then get sick. I could not do without my sleep.
I've read about many successful people lately. From businessmen to inventors to the lady who lost over 200 pounds without surgery, they all had one thing in common. They got up early. By early I don't mean 6 AM. They all got up in the fours. By 4:30 AM, all these high achieving people are awake and reaching for their goals.
When I came to college at Texas A&M, this was a goal of mine. A personal goal. To wake up at 4:00 each morning and begin my day. Back then I reasoned this would give me plenty of study time so I could maintain my active social schedule. Needless to say, a motive like this is less than pure. Ummm, never quite panned out that way.
As a young mother my goal was to rise at four to have my whole house cleaned before going to the gym each morning, have breakfast sizzling by seven and my whole day to do other things...not housecleaning! It never quite happened this way, to say the least. My priorities were a little whack!
I leaned back on the fact that I must be a night owl and hated the heart pounding rush of the morning at any hour. I learned to make time for a decent quiet time. I learned to pick up and check off the list at night. I found time for deeper Bible study in the afternoons when my kids were napping. Until this year. There.is.no.time.
There are no naps. There is always homework, always baths, always hungry people, always a practice, always a game, always a need. There is never time.
That night several weeks ago as I was driving to football practice, I felt the Lord calling me. Telling me to endure. I pushed myself that evening. I went to bed earlier. The list wasn't checked off and the house wasn't picked up. But the next morning I woke up, early. I woke up, refreshed. I felt great. I had an awesome quiet time. My heart was not pounding. I had time. I had found the time I had been crying out for.
I now get up consistently between 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning. I am not tired. In fact, I am energized. This is a miracle. A MIRACLE!
I am experiencing peace in every area of my life. I am experiencing freedom that comes as a result of struggling with the frustration that God allows to grow us. Romans 6-8 says our fleshly bodies can be subdued by our spirit man. God in us can reign over our flesh. For me, I believe God showed me this means I can be healthy on less sleep in order to serve Him better. Would you praise Him with me today for this freedom?