This post is by Deb Alexander.
I love a routine. I’m a planner by nature, and years ago I created a morning routine that works well for me. The specifics have changed a bit over the years, of course, but overall the rhythm has remained the same. So imagine my surprise, friend, when this routine-loving girl felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to shake up her morning routine.
Let me back up.
Every morning, for the past 20 or so years, my husband and I sit across from each other at our breakfast table and spend time with the Lord while we eat together. Our quiet times are mostly just that - quiet - although occasionally one of us will share a thought or a comment with each other. Recently, I have been reading from the current She Reads Truth plan, and my husband reads from He Reads Truth. We both journal as well, sometimes in the margins of our Bibles and sometimes in our personal journals.
Recently, my husband and our 22 year-old son left on a guys trip to Nashville for a few days. Instead of trying to have my quiet time while my husband finished packing, I decided to wait until he and our son had loaded up the car and pulled out of our driveway. I knew the house would be quiet, and I would have plenty of time to finish reading and journaling before I started my work for the day.
After they left, I warmed up my coffee and sat down, ready to begin reading. Instantly - immediately - I felt prompted to spend this time differently. This is not like me at all - remember, I’m the planner, the woman who loves her routines - so I knew without a doubt the Holy Spirit was responsible for the nudge I was sensing. So, I let Him lead me.
The previous night, my husband and I had talked over some of battles we were currently facing, and he had reminded me that these battles were spiritual. Remembering this led me first to Ephesians 6. I copied all of verses 10 - 18 into my journal, leaving blank spaces where I could insert the name of the specific person I was praying for. I have written out prayers in this way for years, and I love how it makes the act of praying feel even more personal.
After I had finished writing and praying through this passage on spiritual warfare, I walked into my husband’s office and reached for the heavy concordance on his bookshelf. Back at the table, I looked up a word that I had been praying over several people I love for the past year - the word “rest”. I felt a peace settle over my heart. I continued to dig in, looking up the scriptures in which that word was mentioned. I read each one and made notes of those that resonated most deeply with me in this season. And then I began to write, journaling these verses in the form of prayers, as I had with those from Ephesians 6.
When I finished journaling, I found a 3 x 5 card and in bright green marker I wrote down 4 key words from the Ephesians passage (“stand”, “faith”, “all” and “sword”) and 4 key words from another of the verses I had journaled (“come”, “weary”, “rest”, and “yoke”). I chose to use green because it signifies new life to me, and this is the theme of much of what I’m praying about right now. I attached a magnet to the back of this card and put it on my fridge where I would see it throughout the day.
Friends, the morning that I decided to mix up my normal routine was a breath of fresh air for my soul. I ended my time with the Lord that morning with new prayers for my people and a renewed love for the promise of new life that is found in God’s word. I encourage you, too, to try something new in your own morning routine every once in a while. It might be just the breath of fresh air that your soul is craving, too.
Deb Alexander has been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 30 years. They have two children - a daughter who is married to her college sweetheart, and a son. Deb was born and raised in New England, and she and her family have called Central Illinois home for over 20 years. She is a writer and a tutor who loves birds, books, long walks on the trail near her home, and family dinners. Deb would love to connect with you on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/debalexander/.
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