Baxter: Direction 2. Let God have your first awaking thoughts: lift up your hearts to him reverently and thankfully for the rest of the night past, and briefly cast yourselves upon him for the upcoming day; and accustom yourselves so constantly to this, that your consciences may check you, when common thoughts shall first intrude. It will be a great help against the temptations that may else surprise you, and a holy engagement of your hearts to God, for all the day.
Direction 2: After you get up (without hitting that tempting snooze button), intentionally direct your thoughts to God. Don't start thinking about your plans or your "have to do's". Purposefully think about God. Start by thanking Him for your night of rest (even if it wasn't as deep or as good as you would have wanted), and ask Him for His blessing and help to prioritize your day correctly. Make this a habit. Make it such a habit that when you don't do it, it feels wrong. Why? It will prepare you for the day in a way that will strengthen you for the battle and set your mind and heart where it should be.
What I liked:
I LOVE the picture of a morning started this way. Just reading it calms my soul. And he's so right, starting off with thanksgiving and a focus on God will help strengthen me for just about anything.
What convicted me:
Ya, this is not me. My mind is usually swirling with a thousand things when I first get up, and because of that, I usually get up and think I need to check email, work on an idea, switch the laundry I forgot last night, etc. And when that cycle starts, it's really hard to pull my mind back to work on Bible study and prayer and thanksgiving. But,if I start the day off with focus on God, though it will be a difficult habit to get into, it will make the whole morning much, much better... but how? HOW?
How will I do it?
It's one thing to know that I should do this, but it's quite another to actually put it into practice. I know everyone has heard of the power of being thankful, especially being thankful to God. If you haven't done one of Ann Voskamp's monthly challenges, today would be a great day to start! Even keeping a journal where you write just one sentence a day of something you are thankful for is a good starting place (but don't get hung up on the perfect journal, the best pen, etc.) use whatever you have or print off the available one above. Make today the first day of learning this habit, then keep the journal right where you'll see it when you get up.
If that's not your style, think through other ways you can remind yourself to start off right. Maybe a sticky note on your beside table, slippers, or lamp? Maybe a 3x5 card near your light switch or bathroom mirror. Do what you can to start building the habit. We are so easily distracted and set in a pattern that it can be hard to turn around a habit or form new ones, but make it as easy as you can with lots of reminders.
What do you think? What are some ways we can be deliberate about starting our day with our minds thinking the right things? How can we slow down and rest in Him in the mornings?