About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

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  1. Thanks for an inspiring and encouraging post this morning.

    Now I feel like I’m not struggling with this one on my own.

    Thanks.

  2. Last year was definitely a struggle with me. I vowed to make a change last fall, and then renewed that after the 1st of the year. I have now been getting up SUPER early everyday. At first it was difficult, but now I look forward to those hours in the early morning when the house is still asleep. I end up going to sleep much earlier than I used to, but find that I am more relaxed and happier throughout the day then I was when I would stay up late for a few moments alone. And there is something about talking to God first thing in the morning, everything is still and the day hasn’t really begun, so I feel like I can hear him more clearly.

  3. Jessica, I,Ve never been where you’re at, never having had a child, but I’ve watched my sister go through it with her three. It seems miserable. It also seems to me very dedicated even if beneficial to have a time with the Lord.

    I want this to give you hope but my sister’s kids are adults two out of three still at home and she stays up til 1am playing some computer war game with them. She loves them and loves being with them.

    My quiet time is sporadic. It’s where I get my blog. I just write what I learn.

    Take care. I’ll pray for you. You’re precious to keep up with time with Jesus with all you have.

  4. Not sure this is for everyone, but getting up in the middle of the night and spending time with the Lord, is also awesome. The house is quiet and dark. Then go back to bed. Sleep your best sleep ever. I have never been more blessed or experienced any extra tiredness. He rewards.. Kerin (Australia). Will pray you find your perfect time and place..

  5. This is a hard season…I’m in the middle of it!!! I do get up pretty consistently before the girls, but there never seems to be time to do much of anything else. the blogs I used to write 2-3 times a week are now down to 0-1 because they stopped napping!! ACK! (they’re 3 & 5). I sound like a crazy lady walking around the house whispering quietly under my breath “it’s just a season, it’s just a season”

    My last post was about trying to pursue your passions in this season…(go figure!).

    glad we’re all in it together, right?!

  6. meant to say that I do get up consistently before them to spend a few quiet minutes with God! At the end of the day, I realize it’s probably the most important thing I do if it’s the only thing I do!

  7. One of the things that has helped me most in life is giving the Lord the very first part of my day. I have my phone charging beside my bed every night. When I wake up I start the day by going first to my Dayspring devotion ap on my phone. I have learned so much from all the amazing devotions. There are truly no words to describe my thankfulness to all the amazing women who take time to write these devotions. It’s soo cool how the Lord brings just the right devotion on the day I need it. Thanks so much for this reminder today. I’m praying right now for you to be blessed with more sleep :]

    • Stacey – this is a really good idea!!! Half the time my son ends up in bed with us, and so I don’t always like to set my alarm to have time to myself because he just ends up waking anyway and it defeats the purpose!! But THIS – I can set my alarm quietly, and just stay in bed while doing a bible reading and checking out some devos!!! Thank you Stacey for your wonderful idea!

  8. Jessica, thank you for your honest words this morning – I often feel like everyone else has it together all the time, and I’m just pretending to and failing miserably! Before my son was born, I used to be very diligent about having quiet time daily, and often I felt like because of that, I was in that whole state of being at the foot of God all day long. Now, it seems like I am struggling to get in quiet time once a week, sometimes once a month, even though now that I am a mother, I feel like my soul thirsts for that more. I think I’m going to try your example of going through Streams in the Desert, and just try to do something every day πŸ™‚

    Thank you for your encouragement Jessica!! You are definitely not alone πŸ™‚

  9. As our obsession with screens morphs into something unwieldy, I’m finding that making and keeping that daily date with the our Savior is getting more difficult to follow through on.

    I wonder if He feels like a jilted Lover instead of the One who is worshipped and adored?

    I recently set up 3 standards that I wanted to call my own. The first one is all about connecting with God before I even leave my room in the morning …
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/03/our-obsession-is-growing.html

    Now … to keep that pledge …

  10. I learned to meet God each morning before the rest of the house woke up almost twenty years ago. I think that after our third child was born I came to a place where I couldn’t function patiently or well throughout the day any more in my own strength. I might start out with a good plan and intention but was screaming at someone (picture mommy’s head spinning 360 degrees with loud screaming and anguish) by 10:30 each morning.

    God has been so faithful to meet me every morning since then that I have prioritized spending quiet time with him. I can’t say this about myself . . . but He has never failed to be there. What a difference that has made. At that time in my life, I began meeting God in my need—–knowing that without His strength I was toast.

    That third child is now twenty and I still cherish my morning time with the LORD. Oh, sisters, He is Faithful!

  11. Amen and amen!! Too important not to do!
    I am grateful for technology now – and wish I had had it when my kids were born. It’s nice to wake up in the morning, turn on whatever device is bedside, and spend time in His Word, get prayer requests, even blog posts to point me to Him. All from the comfort of my bed.
    My personal challenge is to get it out of doors. With a daughter and her family living with us now, the kids voices are even earlier in the morning. I don’t want to be a grumpy grandma. I also want to be a bit more fit. I have felt His leading to prayer walk my neighborhood in the morning. EARLY morning. Not my favorite time of day, but I’m praying that HE will wake me, coax me, and that these quiet times in nicer weather will revive me spiritually and physically.
    I DO love my time with Him!!
    Thanks for the post!!

  12. It never fails to amaze me how much more I can accomplish in a day if I just wake up and spend time with the Lord and then get ready for the day. I am a working momma of two ages 7 and 4 and although they aren’t waking us up at night anymore, even the few activities we have them in keep us busy!! I always face the day in a better frame of mind if I spend even 10 minutes reading my devotionals and my bible. This post is a great reminder of that.

  13. I was just thinking about this-God’s been calling me to get up earlier and spend more time with him. Thanks for your words.

    By the way…it does get easier when little ones get older. I have 3 boys, 6 1/2, 5 and 3 and it is easier to spend time with God in the morning now than in my extremely sleep-deprived days when they were really little. It was worth it on days I did manage to get up before them back then though, but sooooo much harder than now.

  14. Amen, a hundred times. πŸ™‚ I’m working on a series about this very thing for my blog this week. I am such a different wife, mommy, and teacher when I start my morning with the Lord. My problem is that I like to make BIG plans for my quiet time, and then when they fail I give up. Taking a new approach and baby steps has helped my consistency INCREDIBLY.

    Loved your words, as always. Thank you!

  15. I have come to the same conclusion, and my state of mind is better for it!
    Thanks for this wonderful post. πŸ™‚

  16. I try to have my quiet times in the morning, because it really sets the tone for the entire rest of my day!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather πŸ™‚

  17. I so loved your comment – “the great Guest and honored Companion of your life – Jesus Christ.” I clicked with you right then and there. Bless you for loving Jesus.

    Lots of love and big hugs
    Pam (South Africa)

  18. Beginning each morning with Lotd and His Word gives such comfort. You have the assurance that whatever happens you never have to face it alone. A small whisper to Jesus for help is all you need to know that sweet peace.

    Blessings, Lynda

  19. I wake up at 5:30 each morning and I have been following this routine since Jan. 1st of this year. I do yoga – three sun salutations – setting my intention as my heart inspires. Usually it is something like Lord, be with me today. Fill my heart with peace and my body with strength.
    After this good stretch I fill the teakettle. Then I grab my Bible, my Jesus Calling, and my glasses (!) and I wrap up in a blanket. I read, look up Scripture, ponder the messages. Then I center myself and offer up prayers to God. I try to spend an equal amount of time listening to God as I do talking at Him! When my mind wanders I ask for His help.
    Over time I have found a PROFOUND difference in my daily life since beginning this practice. Just last week, my alarm was set for “pm” instead of “am”. I had no time for my morning routine. My day just wasn’t the same! I felt a lack of connection to God, less patient…. I was missing that serenity that comes when I have taken the time to set up my day.
    Interestingly, even when the connection seems weak or I don’t feel like my prayers are effective in the moment, the end result is the same… a deep feeling of peace and a calm joy that stays with me and radiates out to everyone in my life. Praise God!

  20. It is so difficult to find the perfect time. Ultimately, the start of the day IS the perfect time. I carve out time for myself after my four hour work shift. The kids are still at school, and the home is perfectly quiet. I feel like at least I am getting in my time with Him.

  21. Mornings are the best time for me as well, although this has only been since my children started sleeping in past 6am. There was a season when my son woke up at 5am every day, and there was no chance I could have coped with any less sleep than I was already getting. I know the Lord had grace on me during those years, and although there wasn’t huge spiritual growth, I did learn how to let Him sustain me even in those foggy, difficult days.

  22. I am single – no partner, no kids – just me, and I struggle with this simply because of my need to stay busy to feel less lonely. However, I have an app on my phone that gives me a daily verse. It is waiting for me next to my bed when I first wake up every morning. Now, some might think this isn’t very proper, but I read the verse, then hop in the shower and mull it over, pray, reflect, listen – whatever seems necessary for that particular morning. Never fails, my mornings always go smoother when I have scripture on my heart, even if I didn’t sit down and be still for 15 minutes with the scripture. My heart and I work together to dance through the morning. Then, when I get in my car, I either continue in prayer or I turn on the Christian radio station I love and worship a bit on my way to work. I am thankful that God partners with me in the mornings to uplift me and start my day with me, but that it isn’t a “one or the other” between being productive and giving time to God. My still, one-on-one time comes in the evening, and usually involves some reflection from the day, which I feel more grown by after being able to determine what from my morning verse(s) I actually applied through my day, etc.

    • I love the idea of having an app on my phone. I can see myself even picking this up in the work day when I take a quick break. He meets us where we are. πŸ™‚

  23. Jessica,

    I get up between 5-5:30 AM Mon-Fri. The first thing I usually do is feed my pets & get tea. Right after that it is in computer room to listen to Bible & read any devotions. That is before breakfast, exercise or anything else. Granted my hubby is up at 5 & on road by 5:30 so I usually take time to say good bye to him.

    I have made it a habit these past 3-5 years to read through the Bible in a year, do at least 2 Bible studies. Each time I read through the Bible passages can come up and having heard them enough I can almost repeat the scenario.

  24. My children are almost all grown and oh how I wished I had opened my eyes just a few minutes earlier than their noise began and spent time with God! Ladies, if you children are young, you will never, ever regret doing this NOW and you will have NO regrets later.

  25. Jessica, Yes, in May 2000, II came to a place in my life where I wanted, more than anything else, to love God more. I began to pray, β€œLord, I want to delight in you!” God is so inconceivably good. He’s not looking for perfection. He already saw it in Christ. He’s looking for affection. That’s why every lasting change will invariably be a change of heart. He’ll even supply the heart, if we’ll ask him. I began to ask Him to wake me up at 5 a.m. so that I could have my quiet time with Him and His word…and He is faithful, even i my alarm does not go off, I usually wake up at 4:45 a.m., put on a pot of coffee and sit down at my kitchen table to begin my quiet time…I look forward to this time…I wrote about it in this blog post…http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/2010/10/delight-yourself-in-lord.html

  26. I have quiet time while the baby and toddler take an afternoon nap. It works for me, and is much easier for me to accomplish because a) I am bad at getting out of bed and b) I never know what time they may wake in the morning

  27. Loved this post, Jessica. I’m in a similar season (boys aged 2&4) and a working mom. I was struggling with this exact same thing and envious of my sahm mom friends that could do bible studies and quiet time, etc to add to their church and Sunday school time…and wondered what I could do to in my situation. I too felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to carve out that quiet time…so mornings it is! I wake up anywhere from 10-30 min before I need to. I started reading Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. It’s great because they are short and I KNEW I could commit to it and not fail with keeping it up! And SO good! Then depending on days and time, I’ll read p31, incourage or day spring daily devotionals. Currently reading Jen hatmaker’s Out of the Spin Cycle. Hilarious and touching and perfect for moms with young kiddos.

    Anyway, still trying to figure it all out but love that you shared this because I felt for awhile it was something I struggled in alone! πŸ™‚

  28. For the past year, I have begun waking before everyone else to pray and meditate. For me, this means before 5am due to our work schedule.

    I grab coffee, my devotion books, Bible, and journal, and write my prayers as I meditate upon the Word. For me, writing it down helps me to stay focused and makes my prayers more concrete. I begin my time with my gratitude list (thanks to Ann Voskamp) which always helps me to become attuned to the day’s praise. Although I still struggle daily with issues, I am usually able to return my thoughts to my morning devotion to help guide me in the right direction. I am so grateful to a strong, Christian woman who suggested a morning routine to me. I can’t imagine a day without talking with God before I begin anything else.

    Thanks for your post, and to all the women out there waking before their little ones, God bless you!

    Melissa

  29. My heart wants a closer, more intimate relationship with Jesus……..I don’t have little kids at home…….I don’t have any kids here anymore yet I still don’t make time for the One who wakes me up everyday and provides for me far beyond what I deserve. I must do something about this……….

  30. Moms of young kids, i hear your hearts. Been there!!! Please remember, it’s a SEASON. Jesus knows what will work best for you. He doesn’t have to be compartmentalized. Ask Him. – – – “I am with you always . . . .” (Matt 28:20) and “He gives to His beloved even in (her) sleep.” (Psalms 127:2) Sometimes a little more sleep is how Jesus spoke to me! – – – And, I love the devo book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – – – ALWAYS the right word and scriptures, at the right time, even on days when I don’t have “enough” quiet time during this season of parenting two teenage boys! Blessings on you and your families!!!!!!

  31. One thing I have learnt is ‘quiet time’ as a Mum is not necessarily quiet! Often a DVD is on in the background to try and entertain them, or they are snuggled up in bed next to me as I drink my coffee and read His Word. I used to read Psalms aloud while I sat breast-feeding or read a Proverb in line with the date when my brain was too numb to remember where I was up to with my reading.
    When sleep was to broken to really spend much time with Him in the morning, I used the afternoon rest time – I send all the kids up to their rooms to play, I have my coffee ready to go for when I’ve settled them and I set the oven timer and they can’t come out until it goes. These times were precious because I was awake enough to really connect.
    It helps when you get a revelation that these times are not another to do, but hanging out, connecting with the lover of our souls. I have two girls (3 & 6) and have been fostering our 5yr old nephew since he was 3 and have to say I could not have survived, let alone thrived in this season as a young mum without being in the Word. Jesus said we don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. I can’t encourage women enough (you can probably tell by the length of this comment!) to get into their Bibles – be creative in difficult seasons, write it on your walls, your mirrors do whatever it takes to be fed by Him.
    P.S. I’ve taken some sessions at conferences about becoming women of the word so here are some tips I’ve put together to help people get started, hope it blesses some of you – http://onbecomingesther.wordpress.com/resources/become-a-woman-of-the-word/ and remember Isaiah tells us He gently leads those with young x

  32. I am a teacher so have summers off. A number of years ago I started having daily prayer and Bible time first thing in the morning in summer. I loved it so much and always was sad when school started and schedule prevented me from doing that. Well I missed it so much that I decided to make some radical changes and completely switch from being a night person to being a morning person so I could get up crazy early to have that time together with God for about three years now.WHAT A DIFFERENCE AND BLESSING IN MY LIFE!!! Yes it is still painful when that alarm rings at 4:30, and I drop dead into bed most nights before 9. My children are teens now, but I still have to get husband and son out the door by 6:30 so time for myself is limited but sisters this is Sooooo worth it. Even if you can only make 15 min…try 5 to read-5 to contemplate or memorize scripture–5 to pray and listen to God. Of course there are days things happen but tuck your digital bible or devo or whatever next to yourbed side table if you can’t move somewhere without waking littles and just bless yourself, your family and your Lord by spending time with Him. Ask Him to help you do it. He is faithful!

  33. Jessica,
    Thank you for your reminder. I’ve had seep issues for years and it can really get to you after a while. When I put God first, instead of last, my life is easier and my sleep seems to be better. Hang in there with your little one. It is temporary!
    Blessings to you~

  34. I have struggled to make time for the Lord a regular part of my mornings. Often I slap the alarm clock w/ good intentions but find myself rolling over for just a few extra minutes. My sleep fogged brain cannot recall my thoughts of self encouragement from the night before..” those extra minutes of sleep will not bring the refreshment that spending time with Jesus will, don’t touch that snooze button!” In the morning I am groggy and have a one track mind…..sleep more! So….. I tried putting the alarm clock far away, but it broke and went a bit haywire, I probably would have just stood up, hit the alarm and gone back to bed. Now I set my oven timer to go off at the right time and I have to get out of bed, walk the hall, and turn off the alarm which happens to be right next to a pot of coffee that has already brewed. So far so good!

  35. As a response to something I heard in our pastor’s message one Sunday morning, back in January my husband and I committed to getting up at 6:30 each morning to pray regularly for our kids (they are adult and young adult, but all live @ home/college). Although we are both Christians who always did our individual devotions, we’ve never done anything like this before, or sacrificed our time for God. My husband has never gotten up this early this consistently in our 26 years of marriage! We first took it on for 30 days, but are still going. We wouldn’t give it up for anything, at this point.

    When we started praying, our lives got anything but magical. Out of the blue, we had more expenses come our way than you could imagine, and we were paying out repair bills in $500 chunks at a time. We were tired, often grumpy, getting up while it was still dark and wondering what on earth had made us take on this task. But….we started to see God working in arenas with our children that we couldn’t have possibly orchestrated ourselves and we attribute that directly to our time spent with Him. Change happened slowly, but it HAS happened. We’ve watched a relationship dissolve between one of our children and their significant other that we NEVER thought would happen, and yet it did, much to our relief. We’ve seen a child who battles with depression gain victory in areas that were threatening to spiral him down. We’ve seen our youngest choose a local Christian college for his education next year, which thrills our hearts.

    We’re still paying out on home and car repairs. We also recently found out that in a year or less, we will lose one source of our current income. We’ve come to realize that while those things are troubling, they are fixable problems, and none of that matters or compares when we see our precious kids headed on the right paths and loving God in the midst of it. That, as they say, is priceless.

  36. I’ve been so sick lately and just tired of waking up in pain… after reading this… I am compelled to try this… I’m sure it will change how my day pans out… thanks for the reminder of priority settings…. blessings!!!

  37. This has been such a struggle for me for my entire Christian life. I am NOT a morning person, and almost always choose sleep over devotion/quiet time. It has gotten even harder since my daughter was born in 2009. She does not wake up at the same time every day…instead, there is a 1 1/2 hour window of time during which she might wake up. The sleep-lover in me says “If I want to get up and have a quiet time EVERY day before she gets up, I have to get up at 5:30, and I don’t want to get up that early.” But, as a woman who NEEDS to deepen her relationship with God, I really probably SHOULD get up that early. There’s always naptime or going to bed early to catch a few extra Zzz’s. Now, to figure out how to get my daughter in bed before 9pm so I can go to bed by 10 and get up at 5:30…

    • Kristal,
      I know a quiet time with little ones can be especially challenging. Maybe in this season for your life a morning quiet time is not the answer. Maybe you could fit some quiet time in during your daughter’s naptime. Anytime with the Lord is important. It is more about the quiet time with HIM than the time of day πŸ™‚

      Blessings to you and don’t get discouraged!

      • Thank you, Cheryl. You’re right in saying that quiet time with little ones is challenging! By the time I get to naptime, I sometimes am so overwhelmed by all the other things that need to be done (laundry, dishes, cleaning, job-stuff, etc.). I am going to make the effort to be sure to spend time with Him every day this week by getting up when my hubby does. That usually is a good 30 minutes before her earliest wake-ups. I think I’d be so much more productive in other things if I can get started with my day before she wakes up anyway. πŸ™‚
        Thank you so much for your encouragement. πŸ™‚

  38. What a great post! I made a commitment a little over a year ago to spend my mornings with the Lord. Unlike you, I no longer have small children, but what was challenging for me is I am NOT a morning person. But I am the kind of person that when I start something, I don’t easily give up on it. Some mornings were definitely hard to make myself get up, but the rewards have been amazing!! Now, 1 1/2 years later I wouldn’t trade my quiet mornings with God for anything! Most mornings I’m up by 5:30 and during the summer I’m up by 4:30 a.m. Just giving God my day and listening for his voice sets the tone for my entire day. I actually CRAVE my mornings with HIM now!

  39. Oh, I so desperately want to do this every morning. I just have such a hard time getting up. I even blamed it on my dear husband. I thought he was the reason we could not get out of bed on time. He always hit the snooze several times. One day, I moved the clock to my side of the bed and I am worse than he was.

  40. My quiet time is in the shower each morning before the toddler wakes up.

    I just ask for God’s strength to get me through the day, and for Him just to be near.

    Love that time…even if it is sometimes 30 seconds while waiting to “rinse and repeat.”

  41. Well Jessica, I wish I had read this earlier this morning…maybe it would have made the exit out the door to catch the bus for my youngest and myself BETTER!! He has such a strong demeanor about him. At the age of 9 he continually tests me in new ways. And when I paused to think about it just now, he’s just like who? ~~ ME!!! And I was the same way with my mother.

    Thank you for this post…I’ve begun redirecting my life back towards Him, because I miss Him. I long to learn from Him and about His word. And finding you, Holley and the rest of the (in)courage team, I’m well on my way, slowly but most assuredly!!!! Please pray for me?

    Bless you Jessica…Bless You!!!!
    Sherry

  42. So good!! And I can say it has made all the difference in my life when I give the Lord my very best, FIRST. I’m getting to know God in an a new incredable way and I’m less stressed with feelings that I have to do it ALL on my OWN strength. Meeting with God before my house wakes has become my “secret” place of strength and comfort; where I am discovering my identity in HIM! Thanks for the great post~!!

  43. It is so hard to find the time to be with the Lord in the mornings! For me, when I have time to myself, I so often find that I am spending it cleaning, organizing or being on facebook. This has been a huge struggle for me since having my son three months ago. I recently decided that my mornings had to change! I get up at six to get ready for the day and when my baby wakes up at seven, I get him ready and then nurse him. While he nurses is when I read my Bible and pray. Right now, it works because he is nursing for 45-50 minutes at a time. I know that as he gets older, I will have to restructure this. I also decided not to check facebook or e-mail until I’ve spent time with the Lord. So far, this is working for me!

  44. Jessica,
    Everytime my inbox pops up and (in)courage email, I read them intently. I usually don’t pay attention to who the writer is and I just read away. I am always spoken to in some way or another but I to tell you that I always know when it is you!!! I totally relate to you. I feel as if it is like you are living my life! Ha! If we knew each other in the real world and not this lovely technology world, I am sure we would be the best of friends!

    Any who…on to what I really needed to say! Thanks for writing about this. I have a 5 and 3 year old as well as work 3 jobs to help support our family. My husband is working very hard at starting up his business and in the mean time I am trying to help encourage his new endeavor and financially keep our family somewhat afloat! I know it is a season in our life and it will pass but I too have felt the Sprirt moving me and tugging at my heart each day. I am empty without Him. Thank you so much for your very real post and for the ever so important reminder that without Him each day; each morning, our life cannot and will not be the same!

  45. An absolutely beautiful and well-written post that many women need to read.

    Love the quote you posted. But your post will mean nothing if I don’t put it into practice myself!

  46. When I can get enough formal quiet time, I listen to scripture on my YouVersion Bibble app, headphones in. My girls interrupt a lot which is find because I’m just going housework and reaping the benefits of even giving half attention to God’s sweet words in my ears.

  47. Hi Jessica :o)

    Thank you for the (in)couragement of this post and I love the quote… the great Guest and Honored Companion of my life… that’s a whole fresh prespective. I find that I do best when I spend time with Jesus, reading His Word, even if for just 15 minutes. I am better to myself, my work peers and to my new hubbie… :o) even to my cats and dogs for that matter! Currently, I am reading straight through the Bible, digesting a little every morning, a chapter or two depending on my time. Also, FYI, I have to literally drag myself out of bed on order to make this happen… can’t hit the snooze button. I make coffee, a little breakfast (a bowl of cereal or something like that) and then sit on the couch with the Lord. Sometimes it helps if I turn the lights in the house on brighter to wake me up… maybe that’s just me because my tendency is to drowse back off to sleep. However, overall, I find that God’s nuggets of wisdom in in Scripture are perfect for each new day of situations, challenges, etc. The Holy Spirit takes this Scripture and reminds me of it throughout the day.