I said earlier that I would take some time to explain parts of my schedule, so I’ll begin with the top. Most of you were probably thinking, “4:00 in the morning?!” Let me explain. First, I am the most productive and joyful toward my family when I rise early. It gives me plenty of time to spend with the Lord and get some energy before the kiddos wake up. Second, Bill goes to work at 6, so in order to serve him by spending some time with him and helping him get out the door smoothly, I make sure I wake when he wakes. For him, that’s 4:00 each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The other days we don’t wake until 4:30, and sometimes if we feel we need the rest we sleep in on Saturdays; however, I will say that those sleep-in days usually feel a little yuckier because the day starts with a bang and seems more rushed and stressful.
At 4:00, Bill runs and I prepare coffee, make his lunch, stretch to prepare for running, and read from the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan. We are reading through For the Love of God by D.A. Carson as a family, and it uses the M’Cheyne plan which means 2-3 chapters of private reading daily. Then it’s off to the track for me (or rather parking lot). I just began running a couple of weeks ago using the Cool Running plan one of my friends recommended to me. Until I began this, I had never been able to run very long without wanting to quit. I h-a-t-e-d it. I have loved using this interval training plan, though, and actually look forward to running each morning. I’m up to running 9 minutes each day and have already lost weight. Yeah!
Then I come in for Bible study and prayer. It may seem a little strange that I have my quiet time so broken down, but I love to study too much and tend to leave out other important aspects that strengthen my spiritual life if I don’t limit some things. I begin with an Inductive Bible Study (I’m currently working through Matthew), then I read a devotional (right now that’s Life As a Vapor by John Piper), and then I read a commentary (Genesis by Bruce K. Waltke). I find it helpful to do my own study (the Inductive Study) and then learn from others (the commentaries and devotions or something like that).
Next, and this is the most important, is prayer time. This is the part I will skip for the sake of study if I’m not careful, but this is the part that most reminds me I can do nothing apart from God’s grace. I like to use The Valley of Vision (a cross-centered book of Puritan prayers) as a guide , not a substitute, for prayer time. I journal after that which usually is just a couple of lines about what impacted me that morning and what I most want to meditate on that day. I then write that meditation at the top of my planner page and take a couple of minutes to plan for the day and prioritize what needs to be done. Most of this has already been done because Bill and I put our calendars together each Sunday and plug in activities and to-do’s for each day that week.
Finally, it’s shower time, and I’m ready to see my babies.