Rise & Shine in the Morning

Three Motivations to Brighten Your Day

I am a morning person, always have been. Without any other stimulus, the sun naturally wakes me up before seven o’clock most days. Mornings are usually the most peaceful and productive part of my day. In fact, I write most blog posts in the morning and today is no different. Though I have always been a morning person, I have not always enjoyed them.

Sunrise on a branch with a dew drop

You see, as I grew closer to Christ, I began to spend my mornings with Him. After we married, Reggie and I developed a routine based on this model. During the week, Reggie would spend time with God, get ready for work, and then wake me to pray together before leaving.

So, most of my mornings began praying with Reggie. After that, I continued my time with Christ solo before starting my day. However, immediately following Reggie’s death, mornings were a painful reminder of what I no longer had—Reggie. Understandably, there was a season when I dreaded mornings.

Being without Reggie was hard enough, but unfortunately, in my grief, I responded in a way that was at odds with who I am naturally. Basically, my body wanted to get up, but my heart wanted to stay buried under the covers.

Ironically, it was this dynamic that drew me out. As the saying goes, I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. My Type A personality decided that I just had to do something about my situation. So, after grieving sufficiently (and everyone grieves differently), I determined that if I had to wake up every morning, then I was going to have to feel better about it. I could not go on like I was.

Three thoughts and actions that helped me transition my morning

  1. Send the appropriate message. By dreading waking up, I put myself in a place of resistance to God. Obviously, God’s will for me was to wake up. He was waking me up every morning. Instead of accepting my situation, I was fighting it. In other words, the message my resistance sent to God was I didn’t want to do what God, by waking me up, was challenging me to do—accept and embrace His will for my life, even when I didn’t like or agree with His choices for me.

 When I realized the message my actions sent, I knew this wasn’t the posture I wanted to have. This had to change. I decided that since I had to rise each morning that I was going to shine when I did, meaning I would do it with a positive attitude and hope that today would be brighter than yesterday.

It didn’t happen over night, but eventually my days got brighter. As long as I resisted, my days were dark. Once I aligned with God’s will, my days got brighter. God honored my hope and brightened my days.

  1. Set the tone for the day. When I dreaded waking up at all, it didn’t matter what time of the day I got up. Anytime was painful. Fighting it only dragged out the pain. Avoidance wasn’t the answer. Resistance isn’t a pathway to healing. Unfortunately, the path to emotional healing is often through pain. I had to feel the pain to release the pain.

Traveling through the pain isn’t an easy journey. I shed my share of tears, but it was worth it because my happiness was on the other side. Weeping may endure of a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b). On more occasions then not, when I felt the pain and released the pain, I moved onto more enjoyable times in my day.

If I prolonged the pain by resisting, the enjoyable times didn’t happen that day. However, when I had a positive attitude and hope in the morning, my whole day was more likely to be bright.

  1. Supply opportunities. Each day is a new opportunity at happiness, a clean slate, and that begins in the morning. Yes, the life I had is over and should be grieved, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have another extraordinary life. At some point, I had to recognize that I was wasting valuable time that I could be spending happy—and that Reggie would want me to be happy.

Instead of wasting opportunities, I decided to embrace them and use them to create a life I love. I am not there yet, but I love more of my life than I did and with each opportunity like writing this blog post, I get closer to realizing my goal of not just creating, but living a life I love.

So, no matter what time I wake up, I purpose to rise AND shine. Because starting my day off right is a crucial step in creating and living a life I love. That means I have to have a good morning.

Until next time,


Questions: How do you start your day? Do you dread getting up in the morning? Or are you purposing to Rise & Shine? Please respond by clicking on the Comment, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and/or Pinterest buttons below.



2 thoughts on “Rise & Shine in the Morning

  1. I was *just* thinking, “Where is Dawn? I miss her posts!” I think it’s been me that’s been busy (I love the opportunity to subscribe and have your insights come straight to my email!). I just hung out with a widow of 6 months I think this will bless her. thanks for you honesty and practicality :-)!

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      It is both of us who have been busy. I am glad to be back posting regularly to my blog after a little hiatus. Now that I am back though, you can subscribe to my blog posts by entering your name and email address in the fields below my picture at the top of every page, then press the Subscribe button. Then, my posts will come straight to your email.

      Also, I hope this post, or possibly one of the links in the body of this post, does help your friend, if only to help her not feel alone in her grief/healing process.

      In His grip,

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