I am a morning person. I'd much rather get up at five a.m. to complete a project than stay up really late at night. I've been this way since birth (which might explain while none of my kids sleep in on Saturday morning!) and spent many an early morning in my college years as the only person awake in the sorority house studying for an exam or cranking out a paper.
I love my "time" in the morning. Just a few minutes I get to spend with Jesus to ready myself for the day. I have my notebook, calendar, Bible, and devotion or bible study lesson waiting for me each morning. As a parent, the time I set aside has had to be flexible, there have been buses to catch, car pools to drive, and children getting up on different schedules, however, the need for that quiet and personal time has only gotten more important.
Raising kids today ain't what it use to be! If I'm not spending the necessary time praying for them, for me, and for my husband while keeping the distractions of the world at bay in house, I'm not really doing my job. Over the past few months as we've gotten more into a routine, I've found that precious time between 7:25 and 7:45 when the first "crew" has left and the second and final "crew" is still sleeping to be the time that I spend with Jesus; laying out the concerns of my heart, the details of my day, and asking him to guide me and protect me.
I also been convicted lately that "doing" my Bible study is not the same as spending time with God. I love the Bible studies I've been in lately with my mom's group and a church women's bible study group, but just completing the lesson from Lisa Terkeurst or Priscilla Shrier doesn't solve my need and desire to personally know God better.
That's why I was so excited when Dayspring sent me a copy of Sarah Young's Devotional "Jesus Calling" and I've been able to read, contemplate, and think on the message for each day. I don't know how Sarah knows exactly what I need to hear from Jesus each day; but she nails it! I'm so excited that this book is now among my essentials each morning.
Now, I just want to put a disclaimer here and admit that there are days that the Bible studies, devotional book, and Bible don't get opened because I've let the calender and the "to do list" in my notebook get out of hand. There were years when my children were really small or I was pregnant and sick that the only quiet time I got was in the bathroom shower. But I never gave up. Each day was a new start. Tomorrow, I could carve out that time and maybe catch up on a few of the days I missed. Grace. How grateful I am that there is grace to cover those days, weeks and months!
The best part of Sarah Young's Jesus Calling book is that since I've started towards the end of the year I don't have to look for a new book this January when everyone else is looking for new material. I'm anxious to see a year from now what lessons I've learned on this journey with Jesus and how these devotions have shaped my prayer life, my family life, and my relationship with Him. I can't think of a better reason to carve out time each day.
As an added bonus, I was given a perpetual calendar with a verse for each day taken from the Jesus Calling devotional book. I'd love to give this away to someone reading this blog. If you are interested; just leave a comment below and I'll randomly draw a winner and announce it October 30th. I'll then mail you the calendar and who know maybe a little something special too!
Check out the Dayspring deals page and see what other fabulous things you can find. You won't be disappointed and if you are not reading the (in) courage daily devotion blog you are really missing out, don't wait another day.
* I was given the Jesus Calling Devotional Book and Perpetual Calendar by Dayspring to review, but all thoughts are mine. Thank you Dayspring for consistently providing great materials to grow and challenge our faith.