the one thing I can’t live without. seriously.

August 8, 2012 | 25 comments

I’ve told you how awesome it is. I’ve told you how out-of-sync I feel when I DON’T do it.

Today I’m sharing how I truly cannot live (the way I want to live) without morning time with God. Since January of 2011 (for 1 1/2 years), I’ve risen early, headed to my leather chair and spent time in worship and His Word. Not because I’m “holier” than you are. Or God loves me more. Or I’m more disciplined. Nope. I do it because I desperately need to.

It’s a Christian cliché–‘morning devotions’. If you grew up in the church you may roll your eyes or even feel a tinge of guilt when those words (‘morning  devotions’) are uttered. I imagine you saying, “I know, I know. I’m supposed to wake up and pray and read my Bible. But I love sleep. I have 72 young children. I am exhausted all. the. time. I just can’t wake up early. Stop making me feel bad about it. Alright?”

My response is, “That may work for you. But I’ve found I HAVE to get up early. If I don’t my whole life suffers. It is NOT worth those extra 40 minutes of sleep.”

The past couple weeks I have stayed up uber-late watching Olympics, taking care of ministry needs and following Jon Acuff and Jen Hatmaker on Twitter (really important things). When I stay up late the last thing I want to do is get up early (oh and sometimes I have a baby who wants to eat in the middle of the night). 

I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Just a few days of sleeping in. But then it became a habit…the wrong kind of habit.

I left myself open for lies because I wasn’t daily filling with Truth. My cup emptied quickly because I hadn’t filled up with the Living Water. Every where I turned someone else needed a piece of me, but there weren’t even scraps to offer. I cracked. In the drive-thru line of Bubbas after church, I lost it. Like for reals.

When my boys kept asking, “Why are you crying mommy?” I finally responded, “I’m sad.” Then their question, “Why are you sad?” made me stop my mommy tantrum and think.

Why am I sad. What is sooooo important to make me this sad? I realized it wasn’t really an event or problem that “made” me sad. It wasn’t earth shattering life events. It was just normal life. The true problem was how I was reacting to it. I wasn’t handling life well because I was trying to handle it by myself.

I hadn’t been resting in His all-sufficient, mighty hands. I hadn’t been sitting in His presence. I hadn’t seen myself through His eyes, but found my value in how others see me. I had made the temporary important and neglected the eternal.

Realizing how desperately dependent I am on my time with God I’ve made a commitment to my husband, and asked friends for prayer, to rise early. And in that time I will spend more face-to-face time with the One True God, not distracted by social media.

Fortunately my official accountability starts up again August 20th with the fall HelloMornings challenge. Like I’ve told you 20 billion times before Kat Lee changed my life for the better with her Maximize Your Mornings eBook (go read it).

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3

If you have less than 72 children, you feel out-of-control, you need some structure, you feel pulled in 42,000 different directions, then join me in “waking up for your children, not to your children” (Kat Lee) and spending time in His Word. I’ll be checking in using the #hellomornings hashtag on Twitter. If you click on this link–> Fall HelloMornings Challenge, you can sign up for a group in your time zone either on Twitter or Facebook.

What’s keeping you from waking up early to “Meet with Him”? Share in the comments section if you’ve joined over 2,600 women in this Hellomornings Challenge.

*There was a LOT of hyperbole in this post, but that last number (2,600) wasn’t made up. Isn’t God awesome? Will you say a prayer right now for those leading this challenge and the Accountability Captains guiding women? One thing Satan doesn’t want is for 2,600 women to be reading God’s Word every morning and using His Strength to love & guide their families. Thanks.


  1. Kat Lee

    I just think you’re awesome! Also? We lived the same life last week. I finally decided I need to look up Olympic results early each day to decide if it’s worth staying up late.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      once again…great idea Kat! (pst…thanks for sharing in my struggle.)

  2. HisJules

    Great post Heather! So glad you writer chicks can write what’s on my heart, makes it so much easier when you can hit a share button!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      love. thanks for hitting the share button!

  3. Southern Gal

    I love your encouraging words here.

  4. Helen Tisdale

    Heather! Loved your post!I just can’t get enough on all the blogs regarding the upcoming Hello Mornings! This is something I have been trying to get together all my years in this way of being God’s child. 37 yrs. I am so excited with all the info. & honesty you bloggers are sharing!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Helen. I’m hopefully y’all can benefit from my trial/error. Remember to start with just a little time and build up the habit. Before long it won’t be hard at all to wake up early!

  5. joyceandnorm

    Great post Heather! Recently, I’ve been thinking this same thing… “What is sooooo important to make me this sad?” In the grand scheme of things, some of those things that we get frustrated over aren’t that big. The mornings with Him are seriously the best.

  6. Jessica

    I tried to blog about this too but yours is beautifully written! I’m so sold on Hello Mornings that I tell everyone I can about it. It has changed me. Blessings on your busy day! – Jessica

    • Heather MacFadyen

      you are too sweet. I’m confident your love of hellomornings draws people to spend time with Him!

  7. Kristin

    I just love your transparency. I am not kidding you, I feel like I am reading my own daily thoughts, struggles, wishes, joys, and concerns when I read your blog. Busy mommy of 3 that I am (7 year old son and 3 1/2 year old twins). I sometimes laugh so hard at some of the things you say, I choke on my own saliva 🙂 You are hysterical, well thought out, honest, loving, and the best part about it all, is at the end of every blog post, you always always always point it back to CHRIST. After all, we can only boast in HIM.

    Thank you for the reminder of this Psalm and the importance of rising early. I always rise early before my children, but often times I find myself checking my email first or pinterest and then I run out of time for God. REALLY?!?!?!?! I will join you August 20th. I will give to the Lord my first fruits every day.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      you had me at “almost choked on my saliva”…that’s hilarious! Thanks for your encouraging words. Also thankful when my super tough lessons can help other women on their journey. Oh and the evils of the internet in the morning…totally take-over my allotted time…that devil is a sneaky one!

  8. Larri

    Oh, your sweet, sweet heart! Thanks for sharing, Heather. I just love you and your refreshing honesty. I’m with you…I HAVE to get up early. My day just isn’t right when I don’t spend some quiet time with Him.

  9. Sarah

    it was as if you were writing my thoughts and from my life. Beautiful!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Sarah. Hope you were encouraged to wake up and meet with Him!

  10. Kacey @ Well-Rounded Home

    Really good overview of the Hello Mornings challenge. I completely agree. I’m not even a morning person but after a few of the challenges, I can’t help but get up in the mornings even after late nights.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Kacey! Only 8 days until the challenge begins! woot!

  11. Kris Camealy (@AlwaysAlleluia)

    Loved this Heather. You said it so well!! It’s startling how fast my cup empties without my Jesus time.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks chica! Glad to be serving alongside you to encourage more women to fill their cups!

  12. Julie

    August 20th can’t come soon enough! This will be my third Hello Mornings Challenge (second time leading a group), and there is nothing better than good old-fashioned accountability and encouragement (plus a bit of technology to make it happen) to help you get up and use your mornings for God’s glory! So simple, but SO very powerful. I am one U-GLY mama (and I’m talkin’ on the inside here) when I don’t meet with Jesus in the morning.

    Thanks again for your story and your encouragement……praying with you that God continues to radically change lives this fall. 🙂

    • Julie

      And by the way…….I am a night owl! It has been tou-ough for me to form this habit in my life. I am a marathon sleeper…….could literally sleep till noon if no one woke me. But it’s like most things in life where “the more you have it, the more you crave it”……like chocolate, candy, french fries, etc. The more I meet with Jesus, the more I want to……and literally need to!

      So I put things into place that help me succeed, like putting my alarm clock (iPhone) ACROSS the room so that I have to jump out of bed to turn it off……otherwise
      I fall prey to the snooze button every time! LOL! And like Kat recommends, I create a “plan” for my mornings, and keep my Bible, journal, Bible study, pens, etc. All gathered together in a basket so I don’t waste time searching for them! Sometimes it’s the little things, the little adjustments that make all the difference. 🙂

      • Heather MacFadyen

        these are awesome tips julie! it says A LOT for a marathon sleeper to say she needs morning devotions. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Lauren L.

    If we were in high school, I’d be tempted to plagiarize your entire post for my assignment and change “the drive-thru line of Bubbas” to “the left side of my driveway.” Thanks for this.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      hey miss ‘rhymes with boots”! Sad this is also your story but thankful you share the positive side as well. #hellomornings rule!! (to go with the “high school” mention).

  14. Gaye Lindfors

    Good morning, Heather. I’m new to your site – Kelli Wommack linked me to you, and I’m so glad she did! I’m not a mom, but a very proud Auntie. And your writing still resonates with me. And! Thank you for introducing me to the Hello Mornings Challenge – going to check it out! Thank you for writing.


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