It’s been so exciting to have so many of you join us for the 5 O’Clock Club! I especially love it when you post a picture or a verse you read that morning. It’s great to have friends all over the world waking up early, and I love that everyone’s goal is different. As we’ve said all along, the 5 O’Clock Club is not about waking up at 5:00 a.m. but about rising early to meet with God and care for your family. So if that is 7:30 a.m., great!
Whether you feel like you are making progress in establishing a daily habit or struggling to wake up early, we thought it might be helpful to post a few quick tips about the club:
1. Get enough sleep
Several people have asked how early we go to bed at night. This varies, depending on the person, day, etc. but typically each of us are in bed or asleep between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. The point is, to get up early you have to go to bed early the night before. For me, I can sometimes manage to stay up late one or two nights a week and still get up early, but more than two late nights and I am seriously tired and seriously grumpy! And experiment with naps. If I get a 20 minute power nap (or two!) each day, it helps a lot.
2. Don’t get discouraged
If you keep trying and failing, keep trying. That’s how the alarm clock outside our kid’s rooms idea came up. My husband and I were frustrated because we kept oversleeping, so we decided to take more drastic action. But I know many of you still have babies waking up at night or getting sick. After nights like this, I always sleep in, guilt-free! Just try again when your child gets better or set a more realistic goal. But seeking God is worth it, so don’t give up.
3. It gets easier
It often takes several weeks of consistently waking up at a new time before your body starts to adjust. And it helps to remember this. Just give it time. Keep pushing through. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever stop feeling like pressing snooze, but after a time, you will find yourself more alert and awake in the early hours of the morning.
That’s all for now. More testimonies and Q&A in our blog archives.
See you in the morning!
~Found this one in the archives the other day. From a grown up daughter of a mom who rose early to seek God. Hope it encourages all of you in the 5 O’Clock Club!
For almost thirty years now, my dear friend Nancy has inspired me by her passionate, faithful, practice of meeting with God each morning. So I wasn’t surprised when, last week, her daughter Anna sent us this testimony to encourage moms with young kids.
I keep seeing these posts with emails of moms of young children who are hoping that their children see their example of rising early to seek the Lord in his word—I want to say, keep it up, your example really can be pressed onto the hearts of your children.
I cannot remember a time when I didn’t get up every morning and find my mom reading her Bible, praying. Not only did I see the habit, but I also remember that she was always filled with joy when she was done. Some of my earliest memories was getting up before all my siblings (I was an early riser when I was really little…it’s a little harder now!) and my mom making an extra cup of tea for me, and playing on the floor while she read her Bible. (I was a talker, so she also had to train me that Bible time was No Talking time)
One of the biggest ways that I was motivated to read my Bible was seeing this example—and my mom always encouraging me that it was a friendship, a delight, and not a task. Because of this, I had an interest to know Jesus through his word at a young age. I have journals of consistent reading and prayer from age 10 on. I cannot tell you, now as an (semi-)adult, how much of a blessing this has been. It has given me a history of love for God’s word and a confidence in prayer. It has taught me the habit, and the value for God’s word. So, if you are seeking to set this example, don’t give up! You might not see fruit now, but Jesus has promised that we will reap (Gal 6:9).
Your example makes a difference—but if you feel like you have failed as an example, take heart. If you have fears for your children’s souls, fears that they will not come to be satisfied in Jesus, let your heart take courage. Remember the promises of our Lord:
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25) and “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:3-6)
Moms: May the faithfulness of God strengthen you as you strive to faithfully seek Him. I pray that the little ones who watch you sit at Jesus’ feet will one day seek Him too!
In case you missed it, at the end of last week we launched a new 5 O’ Clock club Facebook page. A simple page with a simple goal: to help encourage women to rise early to meet with God and serve their families. We’ve been having such fun (yes, fun!) reading comments from different ones of you as you seek to grow in this area, especially the different verses from God’s Word. And we love to see the diversity of times that women have set as goals—all with the same great purpose.
So if you haven’t already, grab a friend and join (or rejoin!) our little club. Its not too late to make the New Year’s resolution that can make your other resolutions possible. Here are a few testimonies from club members to encourage those of you on the fence.
As I write, I am wrapping up my morning meeting with the Lord. In ten minutes, the oldest of my 3 small children will come bounding into the office where I have been studying and praying. Like many others that have written to you, I enjoy the warm comforts of my bed and do not enjoy getting out of it! A few weeks ago I clicked onto your blog and as I began to read the stories of women rising early and carving out that time in their day, it made me cry. I struggle with finding time to study and pray—for years my husband has been gently encouraging me to wake up early to do this, but for some reason I couldn’t do it until I saw the stories of other mothers that were doing it. Not only is it such a blessing throughout my day to have my eyes and heart fixed on Christ from the start, it is such a blessing for my five year old son to sneak up behind me each morning and see an open Bible on my lap; he usually pulls down his illustrated Bible and cuddles up with me for a few minutes. My prayer is that he would remember these times throughout his life and make it a tradition of his own! I am prone to inconsistency, so even as I write, I am praying that this will become a lifelong habit. Thank you for sharing your club and for encouraging a even a sleepy sinner like me study and pray when I would usually be in bed!
I wanted to share with you how joining the 5 O’clock Club has benefited both me and my husband. I recently joined in order to provide myself some accountability in getting up earlier to have some quality time with the Lord. Both my husband and I read our Bibles and pray, but the birth of our son this past year and new jobs have led to our schedules being turned upside down. The Lord has not always had the priority or quality time that He has deserved. So, now I have consistently been getting up earlier these past few days to read and pray in the living room. After a day or two of doing this, my husband (unknown to me) got up right after me and started spending this time praying in our bedroom. He later mentioned to me, “You should email that girltalk blog and tell them that your getting up early to have devotions has encouraged me to get up early and pray.” He teasingly added that he couldn’t have his wife taking the spiritual leadership in the family! My husband most definitely is my spiritual leader, and he shepherds me very well. However, I am thankful that we both now have an organized, planned, deliberate, and personal time with the Lord each day!
And of all the wisdom shared in Feminine Appeal, one of the single greatest practical influences it has had on me is this habit of rising early, and seeing the value and joy of doing so. Rhythms of life, with now three young children, keep changing, but this single element of my life holds like an anchor and is precious to me. It is not the habit itself that is inherently precious, but the communion with Christ that it has enabled for me and in me. Rising early is no guarantee that I will have sweet communion with Christ. But, practically speaking, rising early is the greatest guarantee that I will have time in the day for communion with Christ. And by His Grace, rising early has been a tool leading directly to that end, and thus of invaluable worth. Thank you for your continual encouragement. I smile to look over the long list of fellow women in the 5 O’Clock club. Kindred Spirits. All praise to Christ.
Last night, before trudging upstairs to our loft bedroom, my husband and I placed an old fashioned alarm clock, set for 5 o’clock a.m., in the narrow hallway between our children’s bedroom doors. Then we set our phone alarms for just a few minutes earlier. If we failed to wake up to our phones, we would risk waking up our four energetic children at 5am. Talk about motivation to get out of bed in the morning. It worked.
Why in the world would we do that? Are we crazy? Maybe, but not in this case. Waking up early is the most important New Year’s resolution I have ever made or will keep making. It is the resolution that makes all my other resolutions possible. So whenever I slack off for a time, which often happens over the holidays, I resolve to rejoin The 5 O’ Clock Club.
By getting up early, I can make the most important things most important. And that means communion with God comes first:
“I earnestly recommend that [Bible reading and prayer] be in the early morning, unless there are some extenuating circumstances,” writes John Piper, “Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons. The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not the heart. We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.”
Oh, does my heart desperately need replenishing every day.
The 5 O’Clock Club also serves my family. Trust me, the day gets off to a much better start when Mom has had a quiet time, made necessary preparations for the day, and maybe even taken a shower, than when I am groggy and grumpy, groping for the coffee pot as a try to field twenty questions at once. That’s just reality, folks.
Now trust me, I’ve opted out or slacked off countless times, especially when I’ve had babies or newly adopted children come into the home. A solid night sleep is essential to successfully rising early and I don’t suggest this to make anyone feel discouraged or condemned. But if you can get up early right now (even if you don’t think you’re a morning person!), consider this a friendly challenge. Just imagine what you’d get done in a day—in a year!—if you woke up half an hour earlier than you already do.
I know it might be January 2nd , but it is not too late to start. Do something crazy in 2013. Join The 5 O’Clock Club.
We’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions: Spend (a little) less money on shoes, organize the kitchen cabinets, dig out the exercise DVD from under the bed, check the Facebook feed fewer times per day.
But wait. Have we resolved to do the one thing that is necessary in 2013?
Donald Whitney in his book, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” challenges us to pursue godliness and holiness: “without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
“Our purpose in life—if we have the Holy Spirit” he says, “is godliness: you want to be like Jesus, and you want to be with Jesus.”
And there’s only one way for that to happen.
By practicing the spiritual disciplines.
By sitting at Jesus’ feet.
“Godly people are godly people primarily because they are disciplined people. And it has always been that way” insists Dr. Whitney:
“You can go all the way back through the history of the church and all the famous heroes of church history. You can be sure that all those men and women became godly men and women – not because God zapped them in some way that he hasn’t zapped you….Those great men and women of faith became more like Jesus the same way you and I do: by means of sustained, unspectacular, routine discipline. Godly people are godly people because they are disciplined people. It’s always been so.”
We want to urge you to read Dr. Whitney’s book, especially chapters 1-4,13. It will strengthen your desire and resolve to be more like Jesus and be with Jesus more often in 2013.
Let’s sit in the new year together.
God’s Word is like no other book: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
How do we profit from Scripture?
...gives us peace (Ps. 119:165).
...fills us with hope (Col. 1:5).
...strengthens our faith (Rom. 10:17).
...revives our soul (Ps. 19:7).
...provides us with wisdom (Pr. 1:1-7, Matt. 7:24-27).
...guides us (Ps. 119:105).
...warns us (Deut 32:46).
...corrects us (2 Tim 3:16).
...comforts us (Ps. 119:50).
...enables us to fight sin (Ps. 119:11).
Most importantly, God’s Word leads us to Christ. (Heb 1:1-2).
So why do we neglect to read, study, memorize, and meditate on this precious, life-giving book?
As John Piper comments on Ps. 19:7:, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul”:
“Even on days when every cinder in our soul feels cold, if we crawl to the Word of God and cry out for ears to hear, the cold ashes will be lifted and the tiny spark of life will be fanned. For ‘the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.’”
O may God help us to faithfully sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching!
~from the archives
Will you wake up on January 1, 2012 and say to God: “I don’t need to read your Word or pray or listen to your voice today. I am competent on my own. I can keep my New Years’ resolutions all by myself, thank you very much.”?
Of course not! We would never dare say these frightfully arrogant words.
But if we neglect God’s Word and prayer, we are saying with our hearts and actions: “I can do it all by myself.”
Jesus has a different perspective: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” He says in John 15:5.
We can’t start a new diet, stick to our budget, or kick that bad habit without Him. None of these things—no matter how hard we work at them—will have any “eternal value or…produce spiritual fruit” without God (ESV Study Bible).
To bear fruit, we must sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to his teaching (Luke 10:38-42).
We must renounce our self-sufficiency.
We must repent from our arrogant independence.
We must come to the God of mercy who is eager to forgive.
And we must sit.
When we sit at Jesus’ feet, we are saying: “I need you! I can’t obey you without your help. I can’t serve you in my own strength. I can’t walk in a manner worthy of the gospel by myself. I need your grace.”
And you know what? He will give it! God doesn’t correct our self-sufficiency to push us away. He wants us to draw near to sit and listen. He wants to speak to us, to teach us, to give us grace to bear fruit.
So let’s say—with our words, our hearts, and our actions—I need you, Lord, today and every day this year!
(For encouragement and accountability in prayer and reading God’s Word join our clubs!)
“Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.” Luke 10:39
Mary’s choice to sit at Jesus’ feet revealed the location of her heart.
It displayed her eagerness to listen to His teaching. It revealed her zeal to learn and grow. She wanted to hear every word, absorb every word, and submit to every word that came from her Lord’s mouth.
The floor was simply the best spot for that to happen.
Sitting at the Lord’s feet doesn’t imply what position our body should be in; it represents what position our heart should be in. Where we sit has nothing to do with body posture and everything to do with the posture of our heart.
Mary approached her Lord with a posture of humility. She sat before her Lord as a hungry learner, an eager student. We should come to God’s Word in the same way.
(from the archives by Carolyn)
“And [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” Luke 10:40
According to Martha, Mary picked the wrong time to sit and listen to Jesus’ teaching.
“C’mon Mary”—you can almost hear her say—“after dinner, when the crockery is put away and the floors swept, then you can sit and listen to Jesus to your heart’s content. But right now there’s work to do!”
Sounds reasonable to us. But Jesus disagreed. He thought Mary’s timing was perfect.
Let’s take our cues from Mary. We shouldn’t wait until life “settles down.” We must choose to sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching today. And we must strive to do so every day after.
We can’t afford not to. “Man does not live by bread alone,” God declares in Deuteronomy 8:3, “but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”Just as we can’t survive without physical food, neither can we thrive without spiritual food. We cannot live without God’s Word. As our bodies require daily physical nourishment, so our souls need daily spiritual nourishment.
Our morning bowl of cereal won’t sustain us for three weeks. Neither can our souls subsist on one dose of God’s Word. As D.L Moody explains:
“A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
We can’t truly live unless we sit and listen. So let’s daily “take in a supply of grace” through God’s Word and prayer.
(from the archives by Carolyn)
I want to be a serious, life-long, student of God’s Word, I really do. But these days it’s all I can do to have my daily quiet time and make it through the day before crashing into bed at night. If you are a mom at home with little kids, a student with exams looming, or a woman with a demanding job, you know what it means to be busy.
But recently, I found a great theological study aid. And you know what I love about it? I can do it in 16 minutes, and I can do it while I’m doing something else—like running errands or folding laundry. That works, huh?
It’s called Drive By Theology:
“48 sixteen minute lectures by Todd Friel and Pastor R.W. Glenn (a.k.a. Pastor Smarty Pants) that will redeem your time and:
• Provide a rock solid theological foundation.
• Give you a greater appreciation for the soundness of Scripture.
• Give you 48 reasons to praise God (even if you are carpooling).
You will learn: Bibliology, Theology Proper, Anthropology, Soteriology and ten other cool words that will impress people at a potluck.”
I have been working through these lessons and this morning I have officially finished lesson 46! When I am done, I’m gonna start right back over again. I need these truths pounded into my brain until they stick.
When my kids are older, I anticipate devoting hours each week to deeper study of God’s Word. But for now, Drive By Theology is a blessing to this busy mom.