Focus verses for this week: Proverbs 31: 15, 21
I recently gave myself the challenge of waking up one hour early and it. rocked. my. world. Seriously. It has made a HUGE difference in my day and in my heart. I began to dig a little deeper when I recognized how much this impacted me each day.
I started reading more into the purpose of early rising and began putting my focus more on Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31 is known for describing basically this perfect, indescribable woman of God. Seems intimidating and defeating after reading it, am I right?
Here’s the chapter described from biblegateway.com with emphasis put on our focus verses for this week:
[d] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
I love this…but it pretty much made me feel like it’s an unattainable level of womanhood the first few times I had read it. So I avoided it completely. You can’t fail if you avoid something completely right? So wrong. God literally formed us to be someone incredible in our mother’s womb! Avoiding reaching our potential is avoiding part God’s purpose for us.
After waking up early, I found that this is actually described as part of what the “perfect” woman does. Now, friends, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think God’s purpose is for us to be perfect. No ma’am. But I DO think that God wants us to be constantly trying to develop ourselves into being an even better version of the person we think He created us to be. That’s what this whole challenge is going towards. Development, not reaching perfection.
I broke Proverbs 31 into 5 main parts and decided to take one week to introduce each new piece. Obviously, there are more than 5 parts to this and it could be interpreted in different ways, but the way that I molded it has had God working on my heart with massive, huge development as a woman of Christ.
This week I am introducing the first week’s challenge of Rising Up. It’s simple, but not the easiest…
Week 1 Challenge: Rising Early
Focus verses: Proverbs 31:15, 21
I chose these verses to focus on for Week 1 for simple reasons:
- verse 15 describes waking up early and preparing for her family to be fed and taken care of for the day
- verse 21 explains that she is prepared. I believe waking up early allows you more time to not only physically prepare things for the day ahead, but mentally as well.
Waking up early is easy for me because I love mornings. There are a LOT of people I know, however, who would laugh and use some choice words with this challenge put in front of them because they have a strong relationship with their bed. Ya’ll, I know it’s hard. I totally get it. Trust me though…one hour. Just one hour early. Here’s the break down:
Waking up early has helped me with the following:
- better attitude throughout the day and more patience
- starting the day with a little bit of peace and quiet or alone time helps me to breathe easier throughout the day
- focusing on Christ early allows for me to focus more quickly on Him throughout the day
- giving myself grace
- remembering Who I serve instead of doing things with a poor attitude
- more purpose
- more organized/prepared for the day
Obviously these reasons will vary from person to person, but these are the main reasons that I have continued to wake up at least one hour early each day.
- do a relaxing bed time routine the night before (Find mine here.)
- set several alarms the night before (I do one for every 10 minutes for the hour)
- make the bed as soon as you’re up
- I know you’re going to unmake it anyways…but going to be at night makes it so much more relaxing and easier when the bed is made. Trust me here.
- have a plan for the morning instead of waking up to do nothing…You’ll for sure fall back asleep if you’re anything like me. (Again…look at my bedtime routine.)
- Nothing fancy, but having a purpose when you wake up makes things much easier!
- I start my day with a bible study because I feel like starting that way helps me have a better mindset throughout the day.
- remember what is waiting for you…COFFEE.
- Something that also helped me was meal prepping a light breakfast. I’m going to be making a post about egg bites from the instant pot and linking it here shortly!
I know for a lot of people this isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it gets easier. I promise! Here are some ideas to help things be a little easier for you.
Tips and Tricks
- make coffee as soon as you wake up and have a light snack before doing anything else (I’ll be linking an egg bite recipe here shortly.)
- throw in a small load of laundry
- workout (endorphins keep me almost as happy as Jesus…almost)
- get dressed for the day
- This was HARD for me, but there’s something about getting out of my pajamas that helps with not wanting to go back to bed as much.
- Enjoy your alone time!
- Finally getting to be alone with the Lord was HUGE for me and did big, massive things in my heart.
- Review your plans made for the day and adjust accordingly or get started.
- Start a crockpot meal for dinner or get things ready for dinner (chopping veggies, taking meat out of the freezer, etc.).
- This will really help your evening flow smoothly. I’ll be doing a crockpot/instant pot post soon and will link it here.
- HAVE GOALS TO KEEP IN MIND!
- Display this somewhere you look every day. I put mine on the fridge…because food is my love language.
- My goals were simple:
- wake up one hour earlier than normal/stick to bedtime routine
- get dressed out of pajamas
- make coffee
- have Bible set up the night before in a comfortable, coffee reachable spot
- make the bed
- remember your purpose in doing this and that you DESERVE alone time
Week 1 of Rising Up is just a stepping stone into discovering the woman God created you to be! Good luck this week and feel free to share in the comments how this week went, your own tips and tricks or goals, etc. Happy Week 1!