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Hello mornings

Hello Mornings book

Hello Mornings book

This week I’ve been reading the amazing book Hello Mornings: How To Build A Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine by Kat Lee, which you can find at Amazon here.

It’s about a simple, three-minute morning routine to help you build a daily, life-long, Jesus-centered habit to anchor you for every season of your life.

Now if you’re like me, you are so not a morning person, and you don’t exactly jump out of bed in the morning with glee.

In fact, let’s just be real here. Cheerful morning people can be irritating (and especially chatty ones)! The Bible even backs me up on this (sorta’!) in Proverbs 27:14, NASB:

“He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, It will be reckoned a curse to him.”

Smiling woman. Image source: Unsplash

Smiling woman
Image source: Unsplash

But we can start our day differently (including our attitude!) with these 3 small, simple steps. Kat says, “Each morning can then become a launch pad into God’s amazing plan for your life!”

Here is the routine Kat introduces in this book that anyone can do:

The Three-Minute Morning:

1.Read/memorize/pray Psalm 143:8.

2. Look at your calendar for today.

3. Drink a glass of water.

That’s it!  Totally doable. Simple. Not hard!

She writes, “There you go. That will change your life. There’s nothing magical about each step, yet each one is crucial. Feel boxed in by how specific it is? You can change it up…”.

She said at first, she started it small, and at times it was messy or she was lazy, falling back asleep. But she kept on until it became a daily habit, then she wrote a blog about it, then a group challenge called Hello Mornings with thousands of women joining it.

Finally, to her surprise Kat was invited by the director of the child sponsorship program Compassion to go on one of their trips to the Philippines, the country where her mother was born (who had died nine months after Kat was born. Compassion’s director Shawn Groves did not know this when he invited Kat, but God did!).

Lakawon Island Resort, Cadiz City, Philippines. Image source: Unsplash

Lakawon Island Resort, Cadiz City, Philippines.
Image source: Unsplash

When arriving to the Philippines, Kat not only met the child her family had sponsored through Compassion for years, but a group of people was waiting for her at the hotel-the family that she’d never met! She was surrounded by women who looked like her–her mother’s sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. Not only Kat and her family were in tears, but Shaun and the Compassion team were, too (“all ugly crying right along with me,” she writes).

As Kat says, oh, how God redeems! And it all started with 3 simple steps in the morning for her! Just think what God can do for you!

Kat writes, “Taking the time to sit and savor all the possibility wrapped up in the next twenty-four hours is refreshing, inspiring, and invigorating. The One who, with a simple whisper to your heart, can make all right with the world, waits ever so patiently for you each morning. He knows you. He wants you. He remembers your biggest dreams, your secret hopes, and your desperate prayers…He is my greatest gift, the source of my hope and security. With Him, every single day, all things are possible.”

If you already have a morning routine, you can add this. And you don’t have to stop there.

Kat (I love her name!) encourages you to start small with these three steps, then dives into how to cultivate these daily, continuous habits of God, Plan, Move into a well-lived, successful life of faith and purpose. She includes delicious things like having a woven basket for your materials like your Bible and a notebook and a cup of joe (or hot tea), journaling Scriptures with fun, colorful pens, and doing stretches first thing or getting a FitBit to count your steps during the day.

FitBit Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

purple FitBit Versa Lite Edition Smartwatch

Kat writes about the importance of preparation of a “morning kit” for your morning routine with God. “I like to think of it like having a guest, except the guest is my tired, grumpy morning self. I prepare candles, coffee, a cozy corner, and all the little accoutrements of an inspiring morning time.  Few things make waking up early more fun than having a little nook all set up, ready, and waiting for me to snuggle down and let God fill me up so I can live the day for Him. If we put in the preparation beforehand, when the alarm goes off, the rest will be easy.” (pp. 164-165)

Coffee With God eBook

Coffee with God eBook

I share about my own routine in my book, Coffee With God, available at Amazon here. My own nook is our front entry room, where I have my Bible, journal, Sharpie extra-fine, black pens, coffee (recently I bought Cacoa Bliss to add to the coffee. It is so yummy and chock full of healthy ingredients, USDA organic, and gluten free–and you can drink chocolate without feeling guilty! I also keep a basket and a stack of good books on the little table besides the couch, from which to choose daily readings like Hello Mornings.

What I love about this 3 Minute Morning is that I know I can do this. I can wake up (eventually, if I have had insomnia the night before!). I can say a short prayer to God, thanking Him for a new day to serve Him. I can eat just a bite, like 1/2 a grapefruit, fruit and yogurt, or an egg. Then I start the red Keurig coffee pot (I add the Cacao Bliss and lots of creamer to mine!). This is my “coffee with God” time and one of the fave parts of my day.

Yesterday I implemented the “Move” part in Kat’s God, Plan, Move routine by cleaning the whole house. Today I worked in my little flower gardens, weeding. Can I just say weeding is hard work, especially if it’s been awhile since you did it?

Creeping Charlie weed

Creeping Charlie weed

Weeds are to flowers what sin is to our hearts. It is hard work rooting out these things, but with God’s help we can do it. Today I saw that the Creeping Charlie weed (also called ground ivy) was growing worse in our yard. It is a hard to kill lawn weed.  Even if you dig it out, its rhizomes are so invasive that leaving behind just one fragment can result in a new plant. This weed can take over your entire garden and yard, as sin can take over our lives.

purple & white annuals garden

purple & white annuals garden

 

rose garden

rose garden with stones

I encourage you (and myself) to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that is a hindrance to your intimacy with God. Repent and ask His forgiveness and for God to cleanse you of this sin. He will show you if there’s anything there, and He won’t overwhelm you with all your sins at once.

Well, I’m not finished reading this book yet. But Kat encourages her readers to ask God, “Are the things filling my day the things You want to fill my day?” To align the rest of our day with God’s heart.

Heart on beach Source: Unsplash

Heart on beach
Image Source: Unsplash

*******

Do you already have a morning routine? How does this 3 Minute Morning Routine sound to you? Share in the comments below. 

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Blog, Faith, foodie, Parenting, prayer, Travel, Writing

Ladies’ View: A break for coffee and chocolate

This is post #13 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill,

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

#10, Torc Waterfall, and

#11, Killorglin: flies, a spider, and a moving bed, and a French couple!

#12, Kenmare: Palm trees, a pub, and Irish coffee.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

Irish Quotes

“Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.”–Charles Haughey

After a long journey, we need to stop and rest. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to rest at times. Leah and I found the perfect spot when reaching Ladies’ View, a scenic view on the Ring of Kerry, in the Killarney National Park. The name comes from the admiration of the view given by Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting during their 1861 visit. 

As I drove through treacherous mountain curves to Kenmare, it rained a little but the sun came out and we saw a beautiful rainbow.

a rainbow in Ireland

a rainbow in Ireland

This made me smile as I had prayed before going on this trip that it would not heavily rain, but if it did ever rain for God to give me a rainbow as a sign of His promises and His presence with us. 

 “I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.” (Genesis 9:13, NLT)

The mountains were gorgeous but it was a little scary driving through them. Cars were flying around the curves, but around each corner there was another breathtakingly beautiful view. Pictures simply don’t do the beauty in Ireland justice. 

mountains on the way to Kenmare

mountains on the way to Kenmare

 

mountains in national park

mountains in national park

 

mountain lake

mountain lake

 

unique trees in mountains

unique trees in mountains

In Ireland as you are driving, you have to watch for sheep, goats, cows, and other animals on the side of the highway and roads. Leah and I saw one lone sheep and a lone goat on the highway as we drove, and I slowed down to take a pic. We also saw a funny sign, “Adopt a Sheep.”

Adopt a Sheep sign on highway

Adopt a Sheep sign on highway

 

mountain highway in the rain

mountain highway in the rain

 

lone sheep by the mountain highway

lone sheep by the mountain highway

After driving up and down the steep mountains, Ladies’ View Industries was a welcome place to stop and relax for a bit, to have chocolate and coffee and browse their little shop for souvenirs, such as wool scarves and clothing, postcards, soft toy sheep, and other cute items!

Leah ordered an iced caramel latte and I got a hot latte. They had scones, chocolate, and other goodies. We shared chocolate fudge with walnut, which was delicious. The tables had pretty, fresh flowers on them, such a nice, elegant touch!

Ladies' View Industries

Ladies’ View Industries

 

Leah's and my lattes' at Ladies' View shop

Leah’s and my lattes’ at Ladies’ View shop

 

my latte at table with pretty, fresh flowers

my latte at table with pretty, fresh flowers

 

scones, chocolate, and other goodies

scones, chocolate, and other goodies

 

different types of fudge

different types of fudge

I love coffee and drink it every morning. I also love the smells, sights, and sounds of coffee shops, and think it might be fun to work in one. At home, in the morning after I get ready and cook my cheese omelette, I enjoy “coffee with God,” having that first cup of coffee as I pray and read the Bible. Then at work, I make coffee for the second smaller one! I even have a sign on my bookshelf at work, “But first coffee.”

employees in coffee shop

employees in coffee shop

We looked out the amazing scenery at Ladies’ View for awhile, then went on our way and stopped at another scenic view, this time with mountains and a lake.

gorgeous mountain and lake in Killarney National Park

gorgeous mountain and lake in Killarney National Park

 

scenic view of mountain & lake in national park

scenic view of mountain & lake in national park

 

mountains, Killarney National Park

mountains, Killarney National Park

 

Leah, Killarney National Park mountains by lake

Leah, Killarney National Park mountains by lake

It was raining softly. The area had huge mountain boulders, that Leah began to climb. Since she was wearing flip flops, I was so afraid that Leah was going to slip, fall, and hurt herself. She was very amused, taking a picture of herself with me in the background, admonishing her to be careful. Thank God she did NOT fall. The picture is funny now!

me telling Leah to be careful climbing the wet rocks in her flip flops

Leah is funny–but she needs to listen! Me in the background, telling her to be careful climbing the wet rocks in her flip flops

As you drive through Ireland, you see stone walls on sides of the roads and highways, a variety of homes with thatched roofs, and so many castles and castle ruins (you can even take a castle tour, attend castle meal feasts, and stay in castles overnight). The sights are interesting, so make sure you have lots of room on your camera or phone to take pics and videos!

stone walls on the side of highway

stone walls on the side of highway

 

home with thatched roof

home with thatched roof

 

you see castles and ruins all over Ireland

you see castles and ruins all over Ireland

In my next post in this Ireland blog series, I’ll share about our last B & B in Kilkenny, where we listened to a woman playing an electric harp on the sidewalk and Leah shared a lesson of truth with me which convicted me. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN’s HEARTS! We also had a near miss with a semi-truck when I stopped at a convenience store for ice cream! God protected us! Stay tuned!

Green Irish hills

Green Irish hills

 

My beautiful, precious daughter Leah. I love her so much!

My beautiful, precious daughter Leah with her souvenir necklace from Ireland. I love her so much!

 

 

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Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Coffee *from* God. He cares about the little things!

This morning I was getting ready for church in my fuchsia colored/black/white dress, with the black shoulder wrap and the butterfly necklace my husband Ray bought me (I love butterflies). Then I realized as I cooked an egg that I was out of creamer for my morning coffee. Oh oh.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T. S. Eliot

coffee and Bible

coffee and Bible

And Ray and I were broker than broke, so I couldn’t go buy any creamer. I don’t do black coffee, like my husband Ray does. Normally I have “coffee with God,” my morning devotional time with Him to pray, read the Bible, and journal. Today I would get coffee *from* God. 

I let it go but thinking, “I’d really like a cup of coffee,” and then I went out the door to church.

Woman with issue of blood Image resource: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aeRnaVuFljc/U-dwVMDEv8I/AAAAAAAADSI/ycrWBTakZMA/s1600/hem-garment.jpg

Woman with issue of blood
Image resource: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aeRnaVuFljc/U-dwVMDEv8I/AAAAAAAADSI/ycrWBTakZMA/s1600/hem-garment.jpg

This has been a very hard week for me emotionally.  Someone I deeply love hurt me, and then after that it was like all hell broke loose against me with the enemy’s flaming arrows. I’ve cried all week and at night, I’ve had terrible insomnia. But I lifted up my shield of faith against the flames of fire, I chose to forgive, I let go, and I’m trusting God to heal the wounds (of mine and the loved one) by Jesus’ healing power and virtue

Our family, Ray's 50th bday Left to right: Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

Our family
Left to right:
Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

At church today, Pastor Jeff preached on the Christian family and his message went straight to my heart. I knew I was supposed to be there today for God to encourage me.

I cried during a short, inspiring video about family that Pastor Jeff shared,  I lifted my hands in praise during worship (you must understand, this is a BAPTIST church where they don’t normally do this, but I do!), and hope touched my broken heart. It is well, it is well with my soul. 

And after church was over? I noticed in the foyer on a little table, they were serving coffee and doughnuts. I’d never seen the coffee before. I skipped the doughnuts (THIS time!), poured the hot coffee in the white styrofoam cup, mixed in several little cups of creamer, and in the car as I drove home, sipping my creamy coffee, I thanked my Heavenly Father God, who cares about the little things–like my morning cup of coffee.

I enjoyed it, sitting in our sunroom, watching and listening to the birds on this beautiful, sunny, spring day.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” – 1 Peter 5:7, NLT

My coffee *from* God

My coffee *from* God

 

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