Every January, my church kicks off the new year with a week of prayer and fasting. This year, my husband and I decided to fast from entertainment (including music, books, TV, podcasts, etc.) and social media.
It was a pretty amazing week for us. Personally, it made me realize that my day-to-day life is full of distractions, worldly voices, and things that are not feeding my soul, but instead keeping me away from getting closer to God and being sensitive to His voice.
My husband always says that I cannot stand silence for even just one second, and he is right. I usually put on movies as background noise while I write. I am definitely not paying attention to them (I usually pick one that I know I won’t like), I just NEED some noise in the background to keep me going. For some reason, it makes me feel better as I work.
I also like listening to podcasts in the morning as I get ready for the day. I usually listen to a motivational and business-related podcast because I want to keep up with what other “successful” people are doing and make sure I am not missing anything.
At this point, it’s probably pretty clear that I am not a big fan of silence and I definitely don’t feel comfortable when I have to be still and have any sort of quiet time. However, I am tired of experiencing information-overload and forgetting to stop and check in with the One who loves me the most. The One who says I am enough and wanted. The One who actually wants to spend time with me and give me a clear direction and purpose that nobody and nothing else could.
Therefore, I have been maintaining the following three practical and intentional habits to make sure that my day starts with resting with God and allowing my soul to be filled by His spirit.
1. Do not check your phone first thing in the morning.
I know we hear this tip all the time, but are we actually following it? I know I wasn’t, but I recently stopped checking my phone in the morning and it has made a big difference.
I try to be strict about this because I know how discouraging it can be scrolling through Instagram and seeing other people’s lives. I start to compare my life with others and tend to focus on what they have and what I don’t have. I start to compare every single thing: clothes, career, marriage, etc. It is draining and I needed to stop! Trust me, Instagram posts don’t tell the whole story.
2. Pray over your top three tasks.
I learned this from Jess Jordana (you can check out her post here). I have been doing this for a while now and I feel a significant difference in terms of how I approach my to-do list.
Before I started doing this, I always felt like my daily tasks were just tasks. Now that I intentionally pray over them, not only am I more productive, but I am more likely to find joy and peace in them because I know that I’ve prayed over them and that God will give me the strength and wisdom to get them done.
Write your list down in your journal and pray over it. There is power when we pray over things and say them out loud.
3. Be still for five minutes.
I started doing this during the week of prayer and fasting and I’ve found it super helpful. It is amazing how five minutes can make a huge difference in your day. Instead of rushing through the door and racing to keep up with what is going on in the world, spending five minutes just being still allows you to slow down and enjoy a few precious moments of silence.
Find a space in your house where you feel comfortable, but not so comfortable that you could fall back to sleep. Set a timer for five minutes and just be still.
There you have it! Three simple habits to start your morning with minimal distractions. Don’t forget to share your progress with me in the comments!
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