There’s something so equalizing about the morning.
I love mornings more than any other part of the day. They’re quiet and still and (most days) simple. I don’t yet have the privilege of motherhood so I spend them alone. I make coffee and take my dog for a walk around the building and sit in my well-worn couch corner to read and pray and think.
I recently released a 7-day email series on a mindful morning routine with the intent to help us redeem these aspects of our the day and reclaim the new morning mercies promised to us in scripture. (If you haven’t checked that out yet you can sign up for free HERE.)
But through this wild season of traveling and working and traveling some more, my morning routine has looked a little different. I’ve added running into the mix as I train for this half marathon and thrown in pre-work laundry loads as we unpack and repack our luggage. And I’ve spent a lot of mornings in hotel rooms or guest bedrooms instead of the quiet corner of my living room.
Still, there’s a sameness to them all. Even in a strange room in a different state, I wake up to so many of the same truths. There’s a clarity in the morning I don’t find throughout the rest of my day. My face is a little puffy from sleeping and my hair is a mess, but my mind feels sharper, cleaner, steadier somehow.
The day brings so many opportunities for worry and fear. I second guess myself and wonder if I’m overreacting to this or under-reacting to that. There’s more time to overthink things and let interactions with the people around me inform what I believe to be true.
But in the stillness of the morning none of that has happened yet. I am just entirely me. Hopeful, hurting, mostly whole.
Maybe it’s all the traveling – the tiptoeing down to the hotel lobby in search of coffee in styrofoam cups, passing others doing the same, seeing runners out on the street with their hands empty and eyes forward, watching the sun spill into the room as it rises slowly from its rest – but I’m convinced this morning phenomena is universal, at least in part.
That all of us wake up to some form of this awareness. To a feeling of acceptance of ourselves and our lives that’s not yet clouded with discontentment formed by the day’s troubles. To a zoomed-out perspective of whatever we may be facing that’s not yet deterred by emotion, frustration, fear.
And to puffy eyes and crackly voices. A mind still rebooting after a few hours of rest or passive dreaming. A body entirely human, needing water, food, a shower.
Which should humble us as we’re reminded of our very finite, human nature. It should challenge our self-importance by the baseness of our needs. It should confront us with our temporal existence and invite us to respond in celebration of what is eternal.
Which will, if we allow it, bring clarity, perspective, and hope.
We will see ourselves as human, in need, imperfect, in want and we’ll remember He who is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and good.
And we will respond in humility and peace that we have the freedom to be exactly this – to not have it all figured out because we trust in the One who does.
For me, this leads to gratitude. A deep thankfulness for the respite from my constant questioning and worry as I rest in the deeper truths beneath them. It looks like twenty minutes of prayer or a quick “thank you” whispered through sips of hotel coffee, depending on the day. It looks like putting down my phone to simply exist for a moment as a finite being in an eternal story.
Until the day begins and confusion and clutter sneak their way back into my mind. Until the sun rises again. And on and on.
Is this true for you too? Do mornings still your spirit in this way? I guess what I mean is, is this as universal as I’m assuming?
If not, when do you feel the most yourself, the most clear-minded throughout your day? And if so, how do you hold on to that experience beyond just the early hours of the morning?
I want to keep exploring this idea and these questions to better understand how to spread this sanctuary throughout my day, my life. And to maybe create resources to help others do the same. So I’m eager to hear your thoughts.
AND, while I’m asking for your thoughts here, I’m thinking about pulling together a tangible little something something on this idea of a mindful morning routine. So what are your essentials (favorite mug, candle, bible, essential oil, etc.) for your routine? Tell me everything!