Stone Soup for Five: How to Spend the Day with God--Part 2

How to Spend the Day with God--Part 2

Part two of the series on Richard Baxter's "Directions for the Holy Spending of Every Day" takes us from being intentional about our sleep to the next direction, what we do first thing after we get up.





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.

My translation:
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?

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for doing this. Love it!

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    1. It's been really good and convicting for me too!

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  2. The First 5 app from Proverbs 31 Ministry is centered around this idea. You can set your alarm through the app, and it automatically pulls up that day's teaching. We are currently going through the book of Genesis, one chapter at a time. I can read God's Word before even leaving bed. (I just have to make sure NOT to check anything else,like e-mail, and I limit myself to reading only 3 comments.)

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    1. Oh that sounds like a great app! Thanks!

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  3. I have a daily devotianal that I use every morning and it has Bible verses that it refers me to. This is a good way for me to be in God's word right away everyday. However, I am not very good about the gratitude part in the early morning. I am a grumpy person until that first cup of coffee and some "quite time". Ann's challenges are great and I like that she encourages you to be grateful throughout the day for even the smallest things. This post is making me realize I need to do better! There is SO much that God has blessed my family with and I need to give Him more of the glory for it all!
    Michelle P.

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