Important Beginnings

A Nugget of Thought

The first hour of your day is critical.  It sets the tone for the rest of your day.

I was reminded of this a little while back while reading Wrecked, which I highly recommend you read.  I had, once again, gotten into the bad habit of plowing straight through any semblance of a morning routine and head first into work.  This is naughty.  Why?

By the time I got to reading Wrecked and being rechallenged to purposefully set the tone of my day I was skipping past breakfast, quiet time, devos and even showering sometimes.  I woke up, barely rolled over, and grabbed my phone.  On my phone I was immediately sucked into emails and Facebook.  Not inherently bad and seemingly harmful, but because I did this I was thrown into my work day before I could yet hold my eyes all the way open.  This is exactly why I skipped past all the important things and walked directly over to my office chair.  Work became the only thing I could see and shortly into my day I was drained.

I dare you to be intentional about the first 60 minutes of your day.

After realizing I slipped up in my prioritizing I reset my morning routine to include a leisurely breakfast, prayer and devotional time in my quiet space, and often times I even do yoga and shower 😉  My new routine has given me life and energy to get me through long hours of editing, corresponding, shooting, and otherwise working.  It also helps that in my prayer time I specifically pray for creativity, productivity and kindheartedness as I work.  Most importantly, I refrain from looking at my phone past looking at the time until well after I have completed my healthy morning routine.

Do you have an intentionally life giving morning routine?  What is it?

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Life is Too Short

I think life is too short to waste time not doing what you love.  If you don’t love you’re job, make it something you love or change it.  If you don’t love your marriage, put the work in and make it incredible.  If you don’t love your house, put in the time to make it beautiful or move on.   If you don’t have valuable friendships, go out and make some friends and really spend time investing in those relationships.   Bottom line, you are not doing anyone any favors by maintaining a miserable state of being.  In order to life a full life sometimes you have to be bold enough to change it.

I am not talking about the American search for happiness.  I am talking about searching for joy.  In searching for joy you are searching for the heart of God.  And that my friends, is where life starts.

Jobs consume about 25% of your life (based on a 40 hour work week).  Sleep consumes about 33% of your life (based on 8 hours of sleep a night).  Not including working overtime, commuting, eating, showering, maintaining the home, and other necessary activities, you are left with 42% of your life to work with.  Here you might spend time with your family, exercise, work on a hobby, enjoy some leisure time… etc.  I lay out these stats to specifically point out just how much time is spent at your job.  I have, and hopefully always will be, a HUGE advocate for doing the work you love, not working to do what you love.  Too many people work 40+ a week and are looking forward to the weekend the moment their Monday morning alarm goes off.  If you know you cannot love the work you are doing please seek something else.  I highly recommend picking up Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life and 48 Days to The Work You Love to help get your started.

Marriage isn’t about you.  Period.  Marriage is about your partner and growing your heart closer to Christ.  If anyone has entered marriage thinking of themselves it will be better to learn sooner rather than later that it isn’t by being served by your spouse, but by serving your spouse that will bring you joy in your marriage.  People say marriage makes you die to yourself, but I say you can only really die to yourself if you want to.  It is all to easy to stay selfish even if you’re married.

Home is the place you rest your head at night.  Whether you are living with your parents, have a crummy apartment, live in a problem house or your parents live with you, you rent a stunning loft, or own a gorgeous home, this is the place to invest some thought.  The best answer isn’t always trying to find the next best place.  Sometimes the best answer is making your current place a gem.  To get started on your own Remaking Home project you can take a look at my experience doing this HERE.

People need people.  No matter who you are.  People need people even if they are married… especially if they are married.  Any one person cannot be your everything.  That is the beauty of fellowship.  For example, my husband doesn’t want to listen to me talk about books, but my Mom loves talking about books.  I would bore my husband to death talking about photography for more than ten minutes, but I could talk about photography all night long with Laura.  And most people wouldn’t listen to me talk about my deepest hurts, but my husband and my family would listen to me until I had no words left.  Like a marriage, friendships are an opportunity for you to grow.  By truly investing in friendships you learn to die to yourself just a little more.  If your friend needs help moving, you clear your schedule and lend a hand.  If your friend lost a loved one, you clear your schedule and show up to the funeral.  If your friend just passed a major milestone like having a baby or publishing a book, you throw a party.  And remember, by loving your friends well you are not only pulling your focus off of yourself but you are loving the heart of God.

Now go love your life!