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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. 

Blog, Fitness, prayer, Speaking, Writing

Bacon wrapped pizza? Make a new good habit each week

I watched a webinar this week on losing weight and fitness. One of the things the instructor David said was the only way to lose weight was to make small changes at the right pace. We must change our HABITS.

Let’s face it, most of us would love to eat a piece of yellow or white cake with chocolate frosting – maybe SEVERAL BIG PIECES. The instructor David said you CAN control your thoughts, emotions, and desires.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

Will that piece (or pieces) of chocolate cake help me with my goals and dreams – or hinder them? An occasional helping of chocolate cake might not hurt. Chocolate cake every single day, or even several times a week, might.

If you’re thinking, “But I’m addicted to chocolate. I love cake. I could eat chocolate cake every day for breakfast! I just can’t help myself,” well, I love it too, and could easily eat it every day for breakfast, too. But we have to challenge our false beliefs and views that lead to  disruptive behaviors – like eating chocolate cake a lot, not eating raw veggies and salads, and not exercising!

David said people fail at diets because they are just that – diets, not lifestyle changes. You have to change your habits. He encouraged the audience to make one habit change a week. For example, this week you could focus on having a healthy breakfast every day.

What's ahead for you in 2015?

What’s ahead for you in 2015?

He gave 5 pillars to establish new healthy, fitness habits:

1. Breakfast
2. Dinner
3. Lunch
4. Exercise
5. Snack

These look simple, and we’ve seen it before, right? But do you skip breakfast? I know I constantly did, before last year and especially this year. Your body has been fasting through the night and needs fuel for the day.

Some healthy breakfast options are:

*2 scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach or kale, garlic, onion or 2 eggs prepared any way – with a small piece of fruit (not a banana!), a handful of almonds or a couple slices of bacon, sausage, or ham

*oatmeal (without the sugar – you can make your own healthy oatmeal with blueberries or other berries, a tiny bit of raw honey, wheat germ and/or flaxseed 

*low carb, low-sugar pancakes with low-carb, low-sugar syrup

The instructor suggested that for your main heavier meal, such as supper (dinner), you can eat salmon (or other fish) or chicken with veggies, and you can even include a little wine because it has heart and health benefits.

Foreman's grill

Foreman’s grill

One delightful new gadget I just bought is a Foreman’s Grill.

It’s compact, I don’t have to cook a long time over a hot stove with hot grease, and it cuts fat and calories. And the meats are tasty! It takes 10 minutes from grill to plate!

For lunches, you can choose healthy options instead of pizza, cheeseburgers and fries, or other fast or unhealthy, starchy, sugary foods, such as:

  • salads with raw veggies
  • a vegetable plate with hummus
  • low-carb wraps with meat and veggies
  • cottage cheese and fruit
  • leftovers from the night before, etc.

What is your favorite lunch? What are some ideas you have for lunches for your kids/teens/young adults? I’d love to hear them! It’s not always easy to think of healthy lunch ideas.

Eating healthy is so important, but what about exercise? I know, I hate the word, too! It’s SO hard not to be lazy and to be a couch potato (or a desk potato, in my case…sitting for hours at the laptop, working!).

David said a lot of people will buy a new exercise DVD and do it a couple of weeks, and then quit because they are bored or discouraged with the lack of “results.” They want to lose 20 pounds in the next 2 weeks and it just ain’t happenin’!

Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza Little Caesar's Pizza photo

Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza
Little Caesar’s Pizza photo

Or they will say, “Next week I’m starting to exercise!” as they gulp down fast food with a 42 oz. sugary drink, brownie drizzled with chocolate and Rocky Road chocolate ice cream, or the new Little Caesar’s 450-calories-a-slice, bacon-wrapped, heart-attack deep dish pizza.

I heard about it on KLove Radio. It has pepperoni, 3 1/2 feet of bacon wrapped around it, and bacon sprinkled on top!I’m sure it’s delicious (I LOVE bacon, one of the few pork things I do like), but OMGosh! 450 calories! And you know nobody will eat just one slice!



David encouraged the audience to do 10 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week, such as walking, aerobics, etc. If you want faster results, do more and for a longer period of time – but just don’t overdo it! (Medical Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor! Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!)

You can also do strengthening exercises with your own body such as sit-ups, push-ups, etc. (I currently do the modified push-up and not that many!) You don’t have to get complicated – just do these exercises in your own home.

I’m still walking daily and on the days where it’s just too cold (it was 7 degrees this week – uh, NO, I am not walking in THAT cold of weather), I have a backup plan – a kickboxing video on Netflix that I do downstairs.



No excuses this year! It’s all about being healthy and fit so I can fulfill the purpose God has for me – to go where He wants me to speak and write, to minister, to do the mission He has called me (Ray and our family) to do.

What new habit do you need to do this week? Leave your comments below.