Simple steps to start your day the right way

By: Jacy Pulford of WonderfullyMadeArt

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” 
Genesis 1:1-5

I know what you’re thinking. You read the title of this, and went “Yeah right, you try being positive early in the morning with an annoying, beeping clock next to your right ear!”  To be honest, I’ve tried to be positive many times in the past as soon as I wake up, but have failed at them all. It wasn’t until a few months ago that my thinking started changing. The more I committed to a different way of thinking, the more the Lord changed my perception. I had incorporated some small steps into my morning routine, and had more “pep” in my step. No, I really did, you should see the scars!

It all started when we got a dog. (Cue the ohhs and awws) Well, it wasn’t all cute button wet noses and fuzzy waggy tails either. It was more high-pitched chalkboard whining with the occasional yellow wet sock on the kitchen floor. But it was a commitment. Even if it meant giving up an hour and a half of my morning zz’s.
Before having a dog, I thought I did pretty well starting my day off in a good mood. I felt very close to God. Within the first week of having our new family member, needless to say I was not a happy camper anymore when saw that furry face next to my bedside at 5:00am. And even though I was so upset and tired, those crystal blues would greet me at that same time every single morning after that. Hey, what could I do? She was on her time, not on mine! After one really frustrating morning (to skim the details, let’s just say there were TWO yellow socks that day) I knew I had to do something extra in my routine to preserve my sanity.

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth:
not going all the way, or just not starting at all…” 

Waking up in the morning is a precious gift that I believe we take for granted so many times. God saw the light, and said it was good. The way we start off dictates the rest of the day, especially our attitude. Attitudes are contagious. We have to try to make sure we have the right one. The Lord has given us the gift of life. He breathed it into us, hoping we can in turn use it for his glory.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 
Genesis 2:7

If we were meant to praise the Lord every moment of every day, it would be wise to spend a little extra time at the start of it. Now, I cannot say I do what is on the list every day, but I am working on it. It will take time to change what you are used to, or to shift the regular schedule to make room for new things. But the important thing is priority and setting up your day to have the right positive attitude. Nobody loves that family member or co-worker that just grumbles every single day about being “so tired”, constantly complaining about their nights rest or how they had a rough morning. We all do it, but maybe we can be the exception. That’s it! Be the exception, and give God some glory in the morning.

Here are some suggestions on how you can have a more uplifting experience in the AM:

1.) Pray before you go to bed. This one may seem like the obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I was either too tired or forgot. The mistake with forgetting is I missed out on feeling the Lord’s presence as I slept, and having him wake me up with it. You see, God can move even when you don’t. While you are sleeping soundly like the beautiful child of God you are, he can be rearranging the parts of your heart that need to de-clutter. First, you must having the willingness in you heart to allow him to have his way in your life. He then in turn can take care of the rest. I have had times waking up when I have felt his presence so strongly it was as though we had never stopped talking to one another. And remember this important thing: talking with God is never just verbal.

2.) Let your first word be filled with thanksgiving. Okay, so maybe some days it won’t be the absolute first word that comes out of your mouth, but make it a point to thank God for his blessings in your life within the first half of your morning routine. Start with thanking him for waking you up, and being the light through the darkness. Thank him for creating us and giving us the ability to serve him with our whole being. For being the sacrifice so that we can live in freedom. I find that this is best incorporated in my routine when I’m walking Jackie (yes, it’s a human name. We weren’t keen on naming a dog after a flower or a desert. If you did, no offense! She just didn’t look like a “Muffin” at first glance). There is just something about being outside, hearing the birds and smelling the crisp air, that you realize how small you really are in his bigger picture. It humbles your heart and allows you to focus on God’s absolute greatness.

3.) Have a key scripture(s) with you always. This is my favorite because I am always putting up different scriptures all around to help me soak in God’s glorious Word. At 5:00am, it will be highly unlikely for my eyes to focus long enough to read a chapter in Luke. If your eyes work better than my four, give it a try and read the Bible first thing. Whether you read a chapter or just a line, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is allowing his truth to seep into your soul, feeding the Holy Spirit inside of you. Ask the Lord to guide you as you flip through the Bible. Think about what has been weighing on your heart lately. What burdens do you carry? Is today the day when they will be lifted? You know, sometimes we don’t have positive attitudes during the day because of the things we tend to carry on our shoulders. It’s not entirely our fault. When you grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, something inside gets shifted and you see things in a new perspective. We feel differently. Not just spiritually, but we are more sensitive to the world around us. Especially in our homes and at work.

Let me give you a quick example. I had a terrible situation within my work environment. I felt constant negativity due to tension between some co-workers. Though I was not involved, I sat right in between them. I couldn’t deal with it anymore! I never prayed so hard for two people to be friends in my life! They thought they were just hurting each other, when in fact, I was in the middle the whole time. It was frustrating because we (meaning us Christians) are supposed to “Christ like”, right? “Keep calm, carry on, and let God work it out!” But I really didn’t want to, I admit. God knew too. And because I didn’t properly guard my heart, I ended up taking offenses from both parties. Now the problem wasn’t just these two ladies disliking each other, now I was compromising my beliefs to satisfy my anger in the situation. So I found scriptures that concerned anger. I found about four, jotted them down and taped them to my computer screen. Early when I arrived, I turned on my computer and was reminded about how the Lord viewed anger and how best to deal with it. It was the quick anointed kick that I needed to remember who I am representing in that environment and how I needed to be the exception.

There’s never really a finished list of things to consider when you want a more positive morning, especially with the Lord. God’s hands are always at work in our lives, and different situations will always be thrown our way. But the more we get our minds off of how bad our mornings start, the closer we get to seeing it as an opportunity to be the exception for Christ. And that, I wouldn’t mind waking up to at 5:00am!

By: Jacy Pulford of WonderfullyMadeArt

Comments (9)

On August 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Thanks so much, Jacy. What a great reminder. Also it's a good time of the year for many of us to establish a new routine with kids heading back to school in the mornings.

On August 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM , watercolors said...

What a beautiful uplifting article.
Absolutely give God the Praise.

Enjoyed your suggestions.

On August 14, 2010 at 11:31 AM , MoBoogie Handmade Boutique said...

What a great reminder! Thanks so much. It gave me a lot to think about. :)


On August 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

I really absorbed this posting and am reminded to be grateful to our Lord every morning which will set the pace for the rest of the day.


On August 14, 2010 at 12:34 PM , ZudaGay said...

Very good post!! Thank you for writing and sharing it. The way we begin our day really does affect the whole day.

On August 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM , myeuropeantouch said...

Thank you so much for sharing...fabulous writing and shockful of good tips...

On August 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM , ~Jacy~ said...

You are all so welcome, praise God! He gets all the glory for placing this in my heart to write.
God bless <3

On August 15, 2010 at 11:30 PM , pfd said...

Jacy - you did a great job with this. It is always so important to keep these points in mind.

On August 19, 2010 at 6:15 PM , radyne said...

I felt uplifted after reading this.
Absolutely wonderful
Thank you