Thursday, June 23, 2016

How to Stay Awake Reading Your Bible First Thing in the Morning


I'll never forget the advice that an old pastor gave to me and my husband before we got married- "Let the first words that your eyes see every morning be the words of God."

Scripture is replete with the early morning practice of seeking God first; from David in the Psalms to Jesus in the first chapter of Mark.

We know it's a good thing to get in the Word first thing... but it can be rough. Especially for moms of little people who aren't getting much sleep. Trust me when I tell you that I know it can feel impossible to keep your eyes open when you are trying to read your Bible right after you get up in the morning. I'm right there with you! I've gone months at a time of not getting up all that early, and reading after breakfast while the kids play {sleep is essential for our proper functioning!}.


I also know checking phones first thing in the morning is a trap that I, and many others, often fall into. When you are sleepy it is so much easier to take a quick {or you know, not so quick} check of email, facebook, and instagram.

I can't tell you how many mornings I've done this... and how much it throws off my days. Instead of renewing my mind, getting my eyes fixed on God, and petitioning Him with the needs and concerns of life; I'm puffed up with pride that so and so liked this thing that I did, or fuming or worrying or otherwise negatively internalizing any unpleasant information I took in. It is so much better to get our eyes fixed on the Lord first thing!

Let's get practical here: you want to read your Bible first thing each morning. How can you physically stay awake to do so? These are the tricks that I apply to keep my eyelids wide open:

Splash cold water on my face. Like, super cold. Especially right under my eyes where I tend to feel sleepiest. It's a shock to my system that really perks me up!

Hydrate. Step 2 upon waking is to get a huge mason jar full of cool water and start chugging. If I've been reading for a few minutes and feel my eyelids getting heavy, I get right back to drinking my water. If plain old water doesn't do it for you, you can always opt for caffeine.

Don't get too comfy. As soon as I get out from under my nice warm covers, all I want is a soft fuzzy sweater, slippers, and blanket. But if I get that warm and snuggle up on the couch, chances are I will be out cold before long. Not what I'm going for! I wear just enough clothing to be comfortable and moderately cool. I sit on a hard backed chair, or...

Keep moving. Many mornings I will read sitting on my exercise ball, bouncing or rocking. The movement keeps me mentally engaged and focused. I've also been known to read on the treadmill, or just pace the room {think Belle in Beauty and the Beast ;)}. It's very hard to fall asleep while you are being physically active.

Get outside. Weather permitting, sitting outdoors {or even on a screened in porch} can be a refreshing way to get and stay alert. Birds singing and the sun rising provide a delightful environment for communing with God.

If all else fails, try listening. The Bible app on my phone has an audio option. Listen while working out, prepping breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, etc. The main thing is to get your mind fixed on the truths of God. How you get there is secondary, so long as you are getting there!


Not every season of motherhood is compatible for early rising and reading, and I go through looooong spells of reading the Bible on my phone in the afternoon while nursing a baby, or reading while my kids play wildly and loudly around me. But when I'm able, getting up early to seek the Lord is a sweet thing. I hope these tips will be helpful to you!

When do you make time for Bible reading? How do you shut out distractions and stay focused?

You might also enjoy Be Faithful with the Little Moments, Apostolic Truth for Weary Mamas, and Bible Reading for Busy Moms.


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