How a night owl became an early bird

I have never been a morning person.  My school days with their 7:15 bus pick up were torture.

As I got older I acquainted myself with caffeine.  When coffee proved to be devastating to my internal organs, I switched to tea.  Something had to get me through the day after burning the 2:00 am oil!

This habit became entrenched when, as a young mom with frequent nighttime nursers, I got used to spending the beginning of each morning in bed.  I enjoyed snuggling and playing with my little ones at the start of the day, but breakfast at 9:00 was just too late for everyone.  When our oldest reached school age I knew it was time to get the breakfast plan under control.  But I still never rose before dawn.

Over the years I had awakened early at one time or another, but never with any consistency.  About a year ago, I spent some time with a cousin who rises at 5:30 each morning.  Her family was very organized and her life seemed to flow effortlessly.  But 5:30?!  I decided to try.

It was hard at first but fruitful.  The problem?  I still could not seem to go to bed early.  I would become more and more exhausted, and eventually the whole schedule would implode.

Last August I began writing again regularly.  It was a good thing for me, but I was very concerned that it not detract in any way from the life of my family.

In September, I read that Kat from Inspired to Action was teaming up with Michelle from So I Married A Mennonite to challenge moms to be intentional about their morning time.  With great trepidation, I decided to join the challenge starting October 1.  I did okay with it, but it wasn't until I re-committed in November and joined the twitter accountability group that I began to see real change.

I was going to bed earlier and getting up earlier.  Months of waking in the dark grew a passion in me for those still early hours.  I lingered over my bible and in my prayer time.  No need to rush!

I decided to use that early time for writing as well, but found that because I did not want to feel hurried in my prayer and study, I needed to set my internal clock back a bit more.

Would you believe that my wake-up time is now 4:00 am?  And yes, this means a much much earlier bed time.  It is a rare night indeed that I am still awake at 10:00 pm.

It is truly a miracle that this chronic night owl is now such an early bird.  I joyfully anticipate the wee morning hours.  The fruit of my quiet time in the dark is greater peace in the light.  I am so grateful!

photo credit Michael Connors


  1. This encouraged me. I've been getting up, but want to be more efficient and constructive with that 'me' time. Thanks for writing this :)

  2. God is good, isn't He! I'm not a night owl - I used to love starting work at 5 but once I got married, changed jobs and had miss seemed like the smart idea to stay in bed. But then I noticed how grumpy and not-nice I was getting - to both hubby and miss A - when she woke up early, or he had to go to work early. And I knew this wasn't how God wanted me to, #hellomornings!

  3. What an encouraging post! I mentioned this on the Tx AR loop today but I am not a morning person BUT I know if I could change that our whole day would flow better. Thanks for writing this and passing on the encouragement!

  4. So love your next-to-last line, "The fruit of my quiet time in the dark is greater peace in the light." This really underscores for me the importance of getting up before the children and spending quality time with my Father. I've really struggled with that since moving almost two years ago. Before that, it was a normal part of my life. I think I need to be more intentional. Thank you for the encouragement!

  5. Having that accountability (what my friend Katie calls Twiccountability!) and fellowship really made a difference. Next step for me is adding regular exercise in the morning. THIS IS HARD! :-) I definitely encourage y'all to check out Kat's site and consider joining an accountability group when they start the next round... I think mid-March?

  6. That is awesome! I can't believe you get up at 4am! Amazing.

    The accountability really does help, doesn't it?

  7. This is awesome and sooo what i want!! I want to write in the early morning hours as well as spend time with the Lord. But I am STRUGGLING to get out of bed in the morning (as you know from Twitter, ahem).
    May I ask, when do you spend time with your husband if you go to bed so early? That is my dilemma.
    Joyful Mothering

  8. I want to beleive you. I really do. You have given me hope.

  9. I'm new to your blog and I have so enjoyed being here. I too would love to be up early, but I work at night it's so hard for me to do mornings. Hopefully in the future this will change. Blessings.

  10. Stacy - thanks for all you do to help women stay accountable with #hellomornings! You are a blessing!

    Christin - You ask a great question. My husband does not have a regular schedule so it has been a challenge for years to have time for just the two of us. There are nights that I choose to stay up later so that I can be with him. My rule for myself is that if I stay up late I have to set my alarm for a minimum of 6 hours after I am going to bed. I often still wake up right around 4:00 (today for example... last night I was up later than usual with him, but woke up well before the 6 hour alarm). When I get less sleep, I try to take a 10-20 minute catnap in the afternoon. If I nap much longer I feel groggy. We also are trying to find a way to have dates despite his crazy schedule. And we are very intentional about keeping Sunday a day of rest and family focused. Thanks for asking; it is SO important!

    Robin - it really is true. Crazy but true. And it is ALL God! :-)

    Tonya - Thanks for your sweet comment! Working at night would be very challenging for an early morning schedule. The wonderful thing is that God knows exactly what is on your plate right now and can guide you into a creative way to have time with Him. I just said a prayer for you... that He would reveal His perfect plan for your schedule during this season of your life.

  11. I SO need to go to bed earlier and get up earlier! As a full-time working single mum, I find my time flittering by at night and then I go to bed too late and I'm tired the next morning! Great post Patti.

  12. Such an encouraging post! However, 4am truly seems dreadful to me! Praise God for your strength and energy to serve Him each morning.


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