Ronna Bonifacio | Practical Tips to Wake Up Ahead
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Practical Tips to Wake Up Ahead

A few days ago I posted a little challenge to try this lenten season for any one who might want to develop the habit of starting the day with Bible reading and prayer and there are a few who want to try it with me. Yay, thank you for joining me! 🙂 I hope this little activity proves to be beneficial to you as it has been for me. I am sure it will be.

I missed out on sharing a verse that I remembered to remind us that though these good habits are highly coveted, it is something we can only learn if we put the effort. Much like most things in life that are worthy of our time (and money). 

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive,[b] because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. -1 Timothy 4:7-9

How wonderful for us who were not born with the natural ability of being spiritually disciplined! Paul reminds us that we can be trained in godliness. It can be done! We can grow into it. Those we admire when it comes to the discipline of devotions probably started out the way we did, too. There is hope. And what a great reminder in verse 8, that this training we must push ourselves to develop “is of value in every way”. Could there be a better way to start our day than with an activity that matters in this life and in eternity?

Here are a few practical tips I’ve been trying which have proven to be effective to me:

1. Buy an alarm clock.

What’s wrong with the alarm on my phone, Ronna? It’s already there. It’s free!

There is nothing inherently evil about your Clock app, I am sure. But I have found that when I use my phone as my alarm clock, the next thing I do after I turn off my alarm is check my phone’s notifications. I open Facebook. I open my e-mail. I open Instagram. I scroll around.

This domino effect instantly puts my mind on the work track, or sometimes the “what’s everybody doing?” thought pattern. Rather than starting with a blank slate, I have already jogged my mind to start thing about the day’s agenda, which most likely leads my mind to today’s deadlines and worries, or today’s bills or payables. There isn’t anything wrong with thinking about work and our responsibilities, however I find that when I start off there, I always seem to come to God with my needs first. I don’t ask, “what do you want to say to me today?” because I’ve already listened to others’ noise beforehand.

My recent two reads have made me more mindful about my own screen time, which I am trying hard to cut back on. Ironically, it’s the same time I said I am committing to blogging. This whole topic deserve another blog post or maybe even a series of blog posts but the main point is: discipline yourself not to get in screen time or for some, not to start with your agenda for the day. Come to God first, enjoy him. Ask him his agenda. Just like a romantic relationship, we don’t start off quality time by listing the things we must get done. We linger in their presence. We savor the conversation, even when it’s just the silly dance of “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know. You?” “I don’t know.” What does it matter, as long as you’re together? Is this our attitude towards spending time with God daily?

Another tip: Don’t bring your phone with you to your time of devotions. Leave it in another room. You will survive.

2. Make yourself breakfast you will look forward to.

I don’t really eat a heavy breakfast first thing in the morning. I am quite content with a piece of bread, I just really, really, really need a good cup of brewed coffee. That alone can be enough to lure me out of bed earlier than usual.

When I know that a delicious breakfast awaits me–maybe some soft boiled eggs with a grilled cheese sandwich, or chocolate croissant from my favorite bakery, or just creamy peanut butter on toast–I get excited to get out of bed. I may even wake up before my alarm.

3. Sleep earlier.

If you are like me, I often relish that time when both my kids have fallen asleep. I’m free to do whatever I want. Sometimes I squeeze in some work. Many times I am online. Probably doing nothing productive nor life changing. (See, this screen time thing will be another post, I promise.)

But when I started trying to wake up early, I realized I also need to sleep earlier so that I already get enough rest by the time my alarm goes off in the morning. It keeps me from hitting the snooze button.

This means I try not to work right before sleeping, so that I don’t need to wind my mind down before I can fall asleep. I’m also trying to have a cut off time for my phone–no scrolling till I become sleepy. Because I really won’t be sleepy by scrolling on my phone.

Do you have any tips you swear by which you can share with me or those who’re trying to wake up earlier than usual? Share them with me below! I would like to try it out!

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