This summer, I developed a greater appreciation for the rhythms of rest in my life. Today, I am thankful for the simple, daily routines and spiritual disciplines that keep me rooted, grounded, and renewed in God’s Truth, no matter what changes around me.
I’m curious, do you practice a morning routine or weekly rhythms of rest?
Over the past few years, and especially during COVID, I have found that implementing a consistent morning routine and keeping a weekly Sabbath has been key to living out an abundant life in Christ. Having my priorities in order and making time to do the things I care about most each day (like a quality morning quiet time) fills me up, adds joy, brings focus and sustainability.
If you’re in need of more peace, clarity, and joy, maybe start with one (or all) of the tips I’ve listed below. I’m a huge advocate of living out of rest and doing less, so if this overwhelms you, let it be. The goal is not to DO more, but to consistently BE in His presence more often so that we are transformed by Love and radically choose to live out of abundance and freedom. I pray these are helpful for you. Enjoy!
10 TIPS FOR A MORNING QUIET TIME
1. Schedule a time
This is the MOST important part! Make an appointment with God and yourself (like you would for a doctor’s appointment) and plan 100% to show up. Select a location and prepare that space with whatever you need the night before. The meeting space should be quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free. I put out my Bible, journal, devotional book, candle, lighter, yoga mat, and headphones where I’m planning to meet with Jesus. Lastly, I set an alarm on my phone and place my phone outside of my bedroom in the actual meeting location. All of this guarantees that I show up ready to go.
2. Light a candle
This has become a powerful symbol for me. When I light the candle I take a deep breath. I remember Jesus, The Light of the World, and his love that shines through the darkness (because it’s usually dark outside). I start my morning routine lighting a candle, gazing at it, and awakening to God’s presence. I have grown fond of the six-hour unscented tea lights. I love noticing the flame off and on during the morning, it reminds me to keep breathing, keep praying, and simply brings me back into God’s presence over and over.
Take time to breathe in and out for five to ten rounds of breath. You can use any type of breathwork you are familiar with. I recommend starting with a few cleansing breaths (in and out through the mouth) and then sealing your lips closed and practicing nostril breathing. This type of breathing has been proven to reduce stress, calm the nervous system, and relax the body and mind.
There are many different ways to pray. Keep it simple here. After my breathwork, I like to start the conversation with a simple greeting and some thanksgiving that goes like this, “Good morning Jesus, I love you. Thank you for this new day. Thank you for your presence, I love being with you.” And then I sit and listen. Sometimes I have more to say, but I try to wait to spill my guts out until after I have read my Bible and renewed my mind. I like to show reverence for God by holding an open space, listening, and waiting here for a bit.
5. Read the Bible
There are many ways to read through scripture. I like to ask the Lord what He wants me to read and I do that. Again, keep this morning time simple and let the Holy Spirit lead you in this. If you’re a research or information junkie, maybe it would be helpful to change it up and only read one sentence during this time and practice breathing one word in and out and letting the Holy Spirit speak to you about it. Or maybe you desire to grow in your knowledge of the Bible and are hungry to learn more, so you read a chapter or two each day. Again, ask the Lord EACH DAY to show you what he wants you to do in this morning time.
6. Move your body
I have found that doing some gentle movement and stretching each morning enhances my life. It moves the energy around and helps me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually release. When I move and breathe, I let go of heavy burdens, worries, aches, and pains. Specifically, practicing Holy Yoga (Scripture, breath, and movement) has been life-changing for me. It allows me to live out the scripture in Mark 12:30 and worship God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and body. It allows me to breathe in the word of God and let go of heavy burdens with each intentional inhale and exhale. There are a lot of great Holy Yoga resources out there. You can check out my Holy Yoga classes on @kathryncarringtonyoga on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel (coming soon!).
7. Listen to a Guided Meditation
Some mornings, all I can do is show up. On days when I feel like my energy is low and I can’t really engage in reading, I listen to a guided meditation. My favorite one to use is a podcast by Cultivate Connection. Amy and Lee Chapaton love Jesus so much and have done a beautiful job creating quality, biblically-based meditations. I like to lay on my yoga mat and let my body be still or move intuitively as I listen. It’s such a great way to start the day.
Focus on one word or scripture. The bible tells us to meditate on the word of God, daily. I like to pick a word or verse I’ve read that day and reflect deeply or focus my mind on it for a period of time in silence. Aka meditate. In Psalm 1:2 it says: “Blessed is the one whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Again, keep it simple. Note that meditation can be challenging at first, but the more you practice sitting in silence and focusing on one thing, it will get easier.
I like to journal my conversation and thoughts with the Lord. In order to stay in a consistent rhythm, I follow a simple prompt I learned from an amazing woman named Becky Tirabassi 10 years ago. I took her prayer training and she taught me about P.A.R.T. (Praise Admit Request Thanks) I literally write out each word and journal my thoughts under it. It keeps me focused, worshipful, pure, and grateful. Thankful for this helpful tool. Find something that works for you!
10. Plan the day
As I wrap up my morning quiet time, with a fresh, renewed perspective, I like to plan out my whole day WITH Jesus. I use an hour by hour sheet. You can find one online and make copies. I do this so I make the most of each day and don’t miss what God’s asking me to do. I don’t leave any open chunks of “free time”, I actually schedule in rest, fun, walks, play, and a loving bedtime for myself. I find a ton of freedom having this schedule, setting obvious boundaries, and having a clear lane to run in each day.
When I practice these simple routines, I live my best days. Not kidding! I’m more grounded, more present with God, myself, my kids, and others. I’m more sure of who I am, and what I’m supposed to be doing, even in the midst of constant change. This sweet morning time has been the key to unlocking abundant life for me in this season and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. I believe that God has great things waiting for you in this season. Especially in the secret place with Him. Praying for more time spent in His presence, whatever that looks like for you. Thanks for visiting my website.
Get what you need, have fun, and be encouraged!