Since our life has been crazy the past few months, I haven’t had much of a routine.  But starting this week, our family is getting back at it.  There’s still a lot to do as we move in to our home, but we’re ready to get back to normal life, with some form of routine, predictability, and liturgy to our day.

One of the parts I look forward to most?  Waking up early.

I prefer mornings by nature, but even if I were a night owl, I’d still make a point to rise early.  There are so many things I’ve missed the past few months as we’ve gone through jet lag, time changes, and moving — the valuable benefits to rising early.

Here are my favorites.

1.  Time without the kids.

I love my children, I do.  But my life is different when they’re awake — I’m Mom, caregiver, mess cleaner, breakfast maker.  When they’re still sleeping, I’m a person who likes to read, exercise, groom myself, talk to my husband, pray, and possibly even get a few things done.

Waking up early gives me solid time to myself, before I don my mama uniform.

2.  A still, sweet world with cool weather and quiet surroundings.

Mornings are quiet, cool, and fresh. I hate missing that between the sheets.  When I wake up to savor the dawn of a new day, I’m in a better mood for the next 24 hours.

Photo by Steve

3.  I can prepare.

Sure, I can get myself ready the night before by filling out my Daily Docket, laying out my clothes, or showering.  But I’m even more prepared if I take the time that morning to read the Bible, think through my day, start a load of laundry, get breakfast prep started, and occasionally exercise my body.  It lays the foundation for a much more successful day.

4.  I sleep better.

When I wake up early, I get tired at a normal time by evening.  And when I listen to my body and head to bed at a decent time, I get more sleep, making it naturally easier to rise early again — it’s an upward spiral. I’m following my body’s rhythms, and it rewards me with better health, moods, and energy.

Kat of Inspired to Action has written a great little e-book that gives you motivation and tools to prepare for great mornings.  And it’s free!  I encourage you to download it if you’re looking for a little kick in the pants.

I know it’s not easy to get up early — it’s not easy for me, especially if I cave in to that “second wind” at night and stay up too late.  But it really makes my days so much more pleasant and productive. I can’t wait to get back at it.

Why do you wake up early?  Or if you don’t, what’s keeping you?