There are few things in life as life-giving and grounding for me as time spent alone in the quiet morning.
Ideally, I rise before the sun, sneak downstairs, light a half-dozen candles, and breathe. I stretch my body, then sit in the stillness with a cup of hot coffee. Very recently, I’ve been practicing centering prayer, spending time in the presence of the Lord and seeking to listen. Then, I read and reflect, centering my mind on truths and concepts that nourish my mind and soul. This dedication to sacred stillness prepare me for a day of service.
Why Sacred Stillness Matters
As a mother, I pour out myself daily for my family. I am constantly giving. But I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t allow myself to be filled, I don’t have much to give.
Rising early is not easy for me. Physical exhaustion often makes it easier to press snooze and remain in the warmth of bed. I have often pressed snooze so many times that the time was completely squandered. Other mornings, I’ve snuck out of bed only moments before a little one. In the past, I became frustrated by this, wanting and needing the alone time so badly, but not making an adjustment to make it happen.
But the discipline of rising early has proven so fruitful. On the mornings I am able to feast on solitude, I am more patient, compassionate, at peace. I am a better mother, wife, and person in general. After all, “a glass can only spill what it contains” (mewithoutYou).
Taking time to be still and quiet, to be with the Lord and fill out hearts and minds with truth and beauty, is a form of self-care that blesses us and those who we interact with throughout the day. For me, practicing sacred stillness is one of the greatest gifts I can give myself and my family.
Books for Mama’s Morning Time
In this season of life, I am spending my mornings reading selections from a buffet of books. I am including them here in case that they may be useful to you as you seek to carve out time to learn, meditate, reflect, and pray. May they be a blessing to you as they have been to me.
Note: This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase one of the items through the link provided, you will be supporting me and my family in a small way at no cost to you.
Often, when I lie in bed in the morning, I can hear the Lord’s voice calling: “Come away with me.” Sometimes, I tarry in the warmth of the covers until his gentle call comes again. I have often come down in the dark and opened this beautiful book as a means of opening communication with the Lord.
My sister gifted me this gorgeous Bible, and I have been enjoyed reading the Word of God with illuminated text. The artist has taken motifs and themes from Scripture and used them to highlight each book of the Bible and various beloved verses. I enjoy how it is written in a single column, allowing for a less cluttered page. I find the format has helped me to see the Scripture in a new way, while inspiring me with its beauty.
When my counselor showed this book to me, I my heart cried out in gratitude. Artist Ruth Chou Simons’ has taken themes that speak to a woman’s heart and created thoughtful reflections on how to turn every day life into worship. She illustrates them thoughtfully with scenes from nature that resonate with the theme.
Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship is a breathtaking book with sound wisdom and has brought much perspective and peace into my mornings and has offered me sound advice on how to go into my day with a spirit of active worship.
This collection by seasoned mom Sally Clarkson offers daily insight and inspiration. Each day begins with a bit of Scripture, then a thoughtful reflection, and closes with a question for pondering or application.
I’ve greatly appreciated Sally’s mentoring perspective as I seek to center my mind on caring for my family as God has called me to do.
Several years ago, I began integrating poetry into my life more frequently, and Mary Oliver is the poet I most often turn to. This collection, as well as her New and Selected Poems: Volume Two, are dogeared with frequent readings.
Oliver has a way of reflecting on life, nature, and love with such simple honesty, such earnestness that I am often moved closer to the heart of God by her poetry. Her work has taught me to practice awareness. Her poems inspire, instruct, and move me, and morning is my favorite time to read them.
As I child, I journaled often. As an adult, I’ve nearly abandoned the practice all together. But this year, I decided to invest in a five-year memory book journal so that I can practice the art of reflection and have a momento to go with me and document life and God’s faithfulness over the years.
This particular journal has a few lines of space for each day of the year, allowing for me to jot down a few thoughts or reflections or memories without feeling overwhelming. I often take the time to write down what Scripture or idea stuck out to me during my morning time as a means of anchoring the thought for the day.
May your mornings be rich with peace and promise!