I’m a pastor’s wife in Oklahoma, raising and homeschooling a teen and twin preschoolers. With any left over time, I enjoy writing books.

What does your morning look like?

What time do you wake up? What time do you go to bed?

I wake up at 6.00. I go to bed around 10.00.

Are you showered and ready to go for the day, or eyes barely open, bed head hair, comfy cozy in your jammies for your HelloMornings?

I’m in my workout clothes. I dash back to my room to get dressed in the “peaceful time” of my children “working” on their independent work. (I have to come back out a few times usually to redirect the teen and keep the twins from taking each other’s things.)

Breakfast before, during, or after HelloMornings? Do you have a go-to breakfast? Coffee, tea, or juice? Favorite brand(s)?

Breakfast after, with the family. I usually eat cereal. (1 cup of boring Rice Chex mixed with 1 cup of fun cereal–so it balances out.) I usually drink water in the mornings, but a few times a week, I’ll also have hot chocolate.

Do you have the same routine on the weekend or do you change it up?

The weekend is different. My amazing husband lets me sleep in on Saturdays while he gets up with the kids. He also brings me breakfast in bed. On Sundays, it’s similar to the week days, except I don’t work out.

What does your Hello Mornings time look like?

How long have you been a part of Hello Mornings?

I think I’ve been apart of HelloMornings for eight or nine years, way back when the groups were just HMC and two numbers.

What items are a part of your Hello Mornings routine?

Prayer cards for my family and friends, calendar cards to review what has happened on the date in years previous, journal, Bible, devotional books, also my phone, because I use the Scripture Typer/Bible Memory app to learn and review verses

Do you have a favorite type of pen and/or journal you use?

For pens, I use a different colored pen every day, out of the same six.

I use them in rainbow order, so if I wrote with a green pen yesterday, I would write with a blue one today. (I don’t use yellow, because I’d don’t have super vision. I don’t even have average vision.) It makes it easy to see the differences in days in my journal, because I don’t write on the lines. I start in the top left corner and write out from there.

It winds up looking like a pyramid or triangle. If I can get a journal with no lines, I like that. Currently, because I’m a minimalist, I’m using up the extra pages in a journal I started in high school.

When I’m done, I’ll throw it away. (I know, I know, it’s terrible. My mom is horrified, but really how often have you reread an old journal. It’s actually really freeing, knowing you’re going to throw it away, because then you don’t have to worry about writing messy, and since I write my prayers out, I can write faster with what is basically illegible handwriting.)

When I’m done using old journals, I’ve got a Rocketbook that I’ll use. That is an erasable notebook where you can put it in the microwave and erase all the pages. It’s basically awesome.

Do you listen to music during your Hello Mornings time? Any favorites artists or songs?

I listen to I Am They, Brother Down, and Psallos on Amazon music. No Longer Slaves has been my anthem lately.

What, if any, tools do you use for your planning time?

I mostly love my Panda Planner. My husband and I use the Cozi app to keep all the family stuff organized.

Is exercise a part of your Hello Mornings routine? Why or why not? If yes, what is your routine?

Yes. I do fifteen minutes of easy stretches and five minutes of treadmill walking to get my body going. I struggle with sciatic pain and fallen arches in my feet, so the stretches help prevent some of that pain. I listen to the current HelloMornings study and other podcasts while doing that. Or Voxes from my sister.

If you have kids, how do you do your routine with them awake?

This hasn’t been a problem for us lately.

In the past though, we had a foster son who would usually come out while I was doing my Bible study. I hadn’t the feeling of pushing him away so I could spend time with God. It felt really wrong, so I started keeping a stack of kids’ Bibles around so that if he came out, I could tell him what I was doing and invite him to read his Bible too.

With my current little ones, I’ve gotten up from my Bible study many times to go in and hug them and tell them it’s not quite time to come out of their room. I encourage them to play or read while I finish up. I try to keep in mind that the way I respond to my children matters and if I can’t respond in love because I’m too busy with my Bible study, then that sends a bad message.

How has your Hello Mornings evolved since you first started?

Well, when I first started, we hadn’t adopted any kids, so I used to have a nice long quiet time.

Keeping it shorter–about twenty to thirty minutes has been one change. The other is more of an attitude. I’ve always been a morning person, so that aspect hasn’t been hard for me, and since about sixth grade I was having a regular morning quiet time.

Since becoming a parent and learning that there was still a whole lot God wanted to refine and needed to sanctify in my self, my morning God time became much more of a requirement. My kids are all adopted from hard places and that requires patience and love–even when I don’t feel like it, even when I haven’t had a chance to meet with God yet.

I started resenting that aspect of my life a little and would feel like if I didn’t get up and do my routine then my whole family would have a rough day. That was a lot of pressure!

The three-minute morning was a big help to me in that regard. But I also had to make a change in my attitude and remind myself that I’m not doing a morning quiet time for my kids’ benefit, or my husband’s. It’s for me–for my relationship with the Father, for deepening my walk with Him. The fact that I’m better able to respond to my family because of it is the fruit of that.

What are some words of wisdom you have for our Hello Mornings community?

How do you deal with a missed Hello Morning? Does it discourage you or do you just start fresh the next morning?

At some point during the ensuing chaos of our morning (if we have slept in), I’ll try to slip away for a moment to pray and meditate on Psalm 143:8. I do typically not have as good of a day if I miss. I’m not as patient, calm, kind, or loving. But it doesn’t have to stay that way! God is big! He can turn your crazy morning around and make it be one of your better days. Turn on some praise music and commit the rest of the day to Him. We’re meant to be walking with Him all day, not just during our Bible study.

What is the hardest part of Hello Mornings for you?

My phone is distracting. I do better if I can be self-disciplined enough to not check Facebook, Voxer, or email until I’m done with the routine. Also, my husband with start talking to me.

What advice would you offer to someone just starting out with a morning routine?

Be flexible and willing to experiment to find what works well with you and your family for the season you’re in. Focus on establishing the routine rather than doing a really long Bible study with tons of homework. (Those always got me down.)

Anything else you would add that is special or unique about your Hello Mornings routine?

I start a load of laundry at the very beginning so that by the time we gather for breakfast, I can rotate it to the dryer and start my second (and usually) last load for the day. My husband get up with me. We have two alarms set, fifteen minutes apart. When the first one goes off, I turn the lamp on. Ideally we’d like to get up soonish after that, but we have to get up when the next alarm goes off. The lamp keeps us from going back too deeply to sleep.

Connect with Kristee:

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Thank you Kristee, for sharing YOUR (Hello) Morning story with us!

3 Comments

  • Joyce Moy says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I love that you also seem to know the next steps you want to take from where you’ve been and what you are doing now. I might incorporate some of the things you do into my day. I have heard that FriXion pens have a similar effect as what the Rocketbook you mentioned. People have put their journals/planners in their hot cars and they came back to blank journals/planners. But all you have to do is stick it in the freezer and it’ll come back. How do people come up with these things? :p

  • tam hall says:

    This is actually the first hello mornings I’ve read. Thank you! This is inspiring. I had to laugh at a few things you wrote, basically because it’s so my life. And God bless you for adoption. There are so many children in need of loving homes and you took that step. Again, thank you for encouraging me to get going on my morning routine.

    • Kristee Ravan says:

      You’re welcome! As you’re figuring out your routine, don’t be afraid to drop something that isn’t working or try something new. it takes a while to get a new routine just right, but when you finally do, it’s so good.

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