Just Life

Dark Early Quiet Time.

Last November, I wrote a post about Choosing Thanks that was part of of my decision to choose this year’s OLW and the intention of “more gratitude”. In the last few months, as I’ve been focusing on how my word and my intentions have intersected, I decided November would be the month I shared about choosing gratitude. I also figured I should do a few posts, maybe weekly? (anyone remember Thankful Thursday?) and I settled on four Thursday posts. Long-time readers likely know I journal five things I’m grateful for at the close of every day’s journal entry. You might also notice that my recent Looking Back posts include both a gratitude and a life-giving list. For me, gratitude is life-giving. and for these posts, I’m choosing to focus on the things that show up often on either list (because really, that means it’s something that’s showing up a LOT in my daily journal entries). Whew, that was a long way to introduce a blog post! Here goes:

Dark Early Quiet Time, shorthanded to “this time” makes my gratitude list at least weekly. and weeks like this … I had a colonoscopy yesterday morning, so I missed my time two days in a row … make it all the more apparent just how important it is to me. Here’s what that time looked like today.

I got up a little before 5 and made coffee. and steamed milk. I didn’t take a photo, but that was a big part of what I missed – and what I love. Early mornings without coffee mean black tea, and that is just not the same. The coffee takes about 12 minutes to brew; while it brews I check Instagram. and once I have that perfect cup of coffee, I head to my chair with Holly, light a candle, and read. for an hour. It’s my best reading time of the day (honestly, there are days I look forward to getting out of bed to spend more time with a book). Today’s pages were How the Word Is Passed. I’m only two chapters in, but I can tell this is going to be a stand-out read for the month (and the year), and I’m tempted to spend more time … but I haven’t had the second part of my time since Monday. So just after six, I poured another cup of coffee and moved to my desk.I spent about 30 minutes journaling …  about yesterday, about today, about how I’m feeling in general, hopes, dreams, etc. I closed my entry with this Grateful List: 1. this time 2. Women’s Ministry 3. a sense of energy in spite of two sleepless nights 4. feeling like myself 5. HOT coffee with steamed milk.

and then I moved to the last part of this time – the spiritual time. Depending on the day, that can be reading and journaling responses to email devotions*, reading a book, journaling, centering prayer (meditation) … today it included three devotions, some journaling, and a yoga practice I’m trying out (which I missed yesterday, so I doubled up today). It felt wonderful to close the time with some movement!

and that was it. I finished around 7:30. it was still dark. and relatively early.

This time matters so much to me because it’s quiet (introvert time), I do things that matter to me, and I get a sense of being grounded, centered, and growing. and some days (today was one – I forwarded Steve’s email to a friend) I even find connection.

I’d love to know if you have morning routines – or parts of your routine – that make All the Difference in your day … please share!

*These are my daily devotions right now – Enneathought, Richard Rohr, Cameron Tribble, Steve Garnass-Holmes, and here’s the Yoga Practice. (I hope all those links work … some of these are newsletters without websites, so if you get stuck, just holler).

p.s. to all of you who leave such lovely comments – I’ve recently discovered that some of those notifications don’t come to me very promptly, and some land in my junk folder when they do come … all of which adds an extra layer of complication to my already not-so-great response rate. I’m trying to figure out a way around all that – in the meantime, please know I’m reading your comments here – and I’m grateful for every one of them. This community makes a regular appearance on my daily gratitude list and I trust one more lapse from me won’t break that link. Thank you all!

14 Comments

  • Karen

    With the exception of Tuesdays when my study group meets early on Google Meet, I start every morning with 1-2 hours of reading (with coffee!) and reading my email and a few blogs. The time passes so quickly that I have to pay attention to the time. I rarely get back to any extended time for reading so it’s a really important time for me.

  • Jane

    You have perfected your early morning quiet time. I don’t get up quite so early. I have tried several times but my biological clock does not work that way. Most morning I do spend time at my desk after breakfast with my thoughts, journal, and/or a book related to writing or poetry. I also try to do a bit of writing each day.

  • Tina

    Your morning sounds much like mine with a slight difference, I work and have less time to spend writing or reading. The best part of working, I work from home and tend to have a small block of quiet time that allows me to write in my journal before work truly begins. Enjoy your mornings, for that is the best part of the day.

  • Sarah

    One of the many perks/blessings of working from home is that my mornings are calmer. I don’t have to rush to get dressed and out the door by a certain time, so that allows me to really savor my coffee rather than chug it down. I also appreciate that when I go upstairs to wake kiddo up, I have a few minutes to snuggle with her.

  • kym

    I have a similar – sort of – morning routine. It’s much easier to maintain . . . now that I don’t need to rush to get to work. Like you, I can really feel the difference in my day (balance, focus, energy) when I’m NOT able to engage in my morning routine. XO

  • Kat

    I have a similar, but shorter, morning routine (minus the reading… if I open a book, I am lost for the day) What a lovely peek inside your morning though!

  • Carole

    Your morning routine sounds so relaxing and lovely. When I’m retired I hope that I will establish a similar routine for myself. Right now my routine has to be short because I have to get ready for work, but I do write in my gratitude journal every morning while I wait for my coffee to brew.

  • Bonny

    You have perfected a morning routine that works well for you. Mine is much shorter, but always includes a perfect cup of tea, planning dinner, reading emails and blogs if I’ve got time, then I’m usually out the door for a walk. I often listen to an audiobook while I walk, but sometimes silence is the best company. I’m with Kat and save my “real reading” for the end of the day. If I start in the morning, nothing would get done!

  • Margene

    My day starts early and is more secular than yours. I start with good tea and a little something to eat. While sipping the tea I do a puzzle I’ve become addicted to and text with my niece about our attaining the puzzle answer or our total confusion. I enjoy starting the day with her. And, I have been emailing a friend in GC, CO every morning since early 1998. We have been together through just about everything life can throw at you and we recount our days to each other as a way of connection. I try to read a blog or two, but after that, I’ll read a book until Mylo decides it’s time to start his day and that’s when we’ll head off to the trail (by then the sun is coming up). This time of day is important to me for the connections I make, if nothing else.

  • Debbie

    My morning quiet time has been part of my life for over 30 years and my routine is similar to yours, but I don’t journal. I’ve tried journaling, even keeping a gratitude journal, but after a few days I always wind up in a negative space and then I get stuck on wondering why I do that. I do have a notebook where I write meaningful and inspiring quotes.

  • Patty

    With you as my inspiration I’ve been trying to start my day with no less than 30 minutes of reading. As long as I don’t go near my phone I’m pretty successful.I’m generally up first as well and love the quiet early hour to myself. Oh that first cup of coffee is so delicious.

  • Jeannie Gray

    Your morning routine sounds so nice and relaxing. I do morning journaling with my coffee but my time is no where near as special as yours. My coffee is in a giant thermos type travel mug so I don’t have to get up for refills as often… and frequently there are family members or dogs wanting my attention while I try to write. Despite the distractions, I’ve been doing daily morning writing for over a year now and it feels horribly wrong if I miss a day.

  • karen

    my early morning routine is to journal with coffee about the day before then I do lots and lots of praying and bible readings, it’s a nice way to start the day. Every journal entry ends with gratitude over here as well.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I loved this post! My early morning time is so precious to me. For about a year and a half I had a really solid morning routine with included daily journaling, meditation, and some reading. That’s fallen to the wayside over the last few months and I’ve shifted to some quiet stitching, which is also quite wonderful. I’d like to get back to a more contemplative routine, but I’ll take what I can get right now 🙂

    Thanks for this little peek into your morning – I love posts like this!