I have never been a morning person. I have tried and tried to change that about myself with no success. With that said, having more and more kids didn’t change anything either – except make me value my sleep more, when I could get it!
Last fall, as my wife and I were preparing for an overseas trip, we adjusted our sleep schedule leading up to our departure to try to battle against the looming jetlag. Over a few week period we had successfully managed to get up by 5am each day. This was a 2+ hour swing. Of course, it meant that we were trying to get to bed by 9pm each evening. After making the switch, I started really liking my new schedule. Instead of staying up late either working or watching hulu/netflix, I would get up early and have time to work (if necessary), exercise, read my Bible or talk and pray with my wife.
Of course, the holidays came and wreaked havoc on my schedule. There were too many late night gatherings and family events in a row for me to recover. It wasn’t long and I fell completely back into my old routine and habits. I didn’t like it, though. God started showing me how the simple decision to go to bed at a reasonable time and to rise earlier had some pretty large implications on my life – my spiritual wellbeing, my physical health, and my relationships. It kind of surprised me actually. We started getting up at 5am again (actually Jess has been getting up at 4:30am, but she’s a bigger rockstar than I am!). I now feel like I have control of my schedule instead of my schedule controlling me.
Another side benefit is that as my girls get up in the morning around 6:30, I’m usually reading my Bible. Not only am I modeling something I’d like them to give attention to, it has been easy to help start their day with spiritual conversation about what I’m reading.
I never thought that such a seemingly small adjustment would have such a profound impact on me.
It makes me wonder what other changes I could make that would impact my life in this way…