Every year, Lent rolls around and I know that is a signal to cut the desserts. I have a major sweet tooth so foregoing chocolate and ice cream for 40 days is one tough change. Although this is always a difficulty, I have never found Lent to be a particular time of deepened spiritual growth. This year was an entirely different story.
I chose to keep the food related promise but I also made an adjustment to my morning routine. I decided that waking up early to read my Bible and journal was a necessary step to strengthen my relationship with Jesus. I had class every day this past semester at 8 a.m. so my alarm went off near 6:30 a.m. (but not on the dot) beginning on Wednesday, February 18.
I always saw quotes on Pinterest and heard from religious mentors that starting the day off with the Lord is a wise choice. However, I never adopted this method. They promised that the morning brings a clear mindset, a time of minimal distractions and a still atmosphere for intimate conversation. If not during Lent, when would my trial period begin?
I have always been a morning person but let me tell you, the first week was ROUGH. Taking the layers of blankets off of me, getting ready quietly while my roommates were still sleeping and making my way to the study room in my dorm’s hall was not what I wanted to do. Nevertheless, I stuck with it and didn’t miss a day in that room that soon became my space of worship.
I sat up shop with my laptop, headphones, Bible, journal, Jesus Calling and Minute Meditations for Each Day. And breakfast. Coffee and something to settle my neverending pit was completely necessary. Smudges of peanut butter have articulately made their home on the pages from February 18…woops!
My mornings were indeed free of distractions. Welp, beside the people who would curiously walk up to the brightly lit window and peer in or the girl who came in a handful of times to blow dry her hair because she didn’t want to wake her roommates.
Each day it got easier and easier and soon enough, I was jumping out of bed and getting ready as fast as possible so I could spend more time with Jesus before my day with human interactions had to begin. I can enthusiastically say that Easter Sunday was not the end to this practice. Still today, May 11, I am waking up and entering right into dialogue with God. There is absolutely no reason that I will stop anytime soon. I would have never predicted that this would be something that my day has revolved around!
This choice to start my day with peace gave me clearer eyes to see His presence, a grateful heart to appreciate His blessings and a loving attitude to be the light that He created me for. My worries diminished, my trust grew tremendously and He directed my steps all day long. To wake up and acknowledge that this life is not my own was a major step for me. This joy overflowed into every aspect of my life! I was even more alert in class which I had not anticipated…BONUS!
I can’t refrain from smiling as I currently read the sleepily goals that I placed for myself at the begging of Lent. I am most definitely still working on some but I am filled with delight that God has answered so many of my prayers in just three months since I began on this journey of renewal.
Lent is an amazing period to start new habits and it has officially become my favorite time of the liturgical year. I am thrilled for next year’s season that stands only 275 days away from me. Meanwhile, there is nothing holding me back from uniting my life with his suffering on the cross. I greatly encourage everyone to start their morning with the Lord, even if that means just 60 seconds of quieting yourself to listen to His voice. Give it a go, stay perseverant and allow Him to transform you!