Morning. Having trouble uploading my picture today. I did not rise from bed until 6:20 AM, twenty minutes after my target wake up time. I wanted to stay in bed longer than that but I finally pulled myself up. Today's reading is right on point. Andy talks about the spirit of the Challenge. He says not to be legalistic about getting up early. Some days it just won't happen. For me, today rising at 6 am just didn't happen. The lesson of the day is to allow yourself grace when you don't meet the goals you set for yourself. 

If you know me, You know I am a planner, so meeting my goals and sticking with the schedule I set are important to me. But over the last six months I have learned that it is not about the plan, the schedule, the bed time, or any of those things. It is about becoming the best me I can be. So I didn't rise early today. I'll make the most of my early morning time and try again tomorrow instead of making myself feel bad for not rising early today. My coffee is perking and I am ready for my blueberry waffles and another great day. 

Do you allow yourself grace when things don't go as planned?

I'd like to be polite and say good morning, but today is feeling more like a "bah humbug" kind of morning. I made the decision to get out of bed on time today, but my body is not happy about it. Doing this challenge is really teaching me mind over matter. My mind has to be stronger than my body when it says "stay in bed, just one more minute."

Key point from today: Today is an adventure, and by getting out of bed early, we get a head start on the wonderful adventure called life. Let's just say I am tired, drained, and have  slight headache, so I am not feeling very adventure-ready right about now. I will press on, because I know that this too shall pass and I will once again enjoy the adventure. I am downloading the sleep cycle app on my phone to help wake me up during the lightest part of sleep (within a thirty minute time gap). Maybe that is why I am such a grump this morning....but I will press on.

Thought to ponder: A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. - Anonymous. How are you sailing this morning? Make it a great day.

A couple of months ago I embarked upon a challenge to rise earlier for 30 days in order to become a better person. I did not complete the first thirty days. The second time, I completed the 30 day program, but I was unable to stick to rising early after I completed it. The goal is to renew that spark for rising early and make it a continued part of my daily routine, even after I have completed the month-long reading.s. 

I enjoyed the quiet time I created for myself at 6:00 am in the morning. Time that allowed me to make and eat breakfast, brew and enjoy a cup of coffee, pray, read, and work on my life goals list. Not only did I reap those benefits, but I arrived at work more alert, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day and whatever it brought. And trust me, when you work with high schoolers, the day brings a whole lot!

Tomorrow I will begin the challenge for the third time, and hopefully the last! I commit to waking up no later than 6:00 am Monday - Friday, allowing for grace on the weekends! For accountability, I will post the times I wake up each day and what I did with the early to rise time. Now, who wants to join me? :)

For the past three days I have been following the Early to Rise (ETR) Challange. Here's a recap of how it's been going.

Day One - I rolled (literally) out of bed at 6:37 am. Later than my goal (6 am) but earlier than usual. I still saw it as a sign of progress! I was able to snuggle up on the couch and listen to the Early to Rise Introduction. This took longer than I expected so I had to jump up and get ready for work. I read the Day One Challenge on my way to work. I was behind 3 days in my 40 Day Prayer Challenge readings, so I completed those as well. When I got to work, I prayed for my day to be productive and encouraging to the youth I encountered. Great way to begin the day.

Day Two - I was awaken by a phone call at 7:45 am and could not get back to sleep. So I definitely met my 8 am wake up time! I was able to read in both my devotional and Day Two of ETR.

Day Three - Getting out of bed today was a struggle. I have been using this sleep tracker phone app and I snoozed until about 8:40 am. Once I got out of bed, I was able to cook, eat, read ETR and pray. This is the most productive I've been before church in a long time, maybe the first time ever I am lookin forward to keeping up the momentum this week!

On that note, it's my bedtime. Night y'all!