My favorite part of the day is the early morning. As much as I can, I try to get up before the rest of my family. I usually like to get in a run, I’m crazy like that. Sometimes I make coffee, sometimes I read, sometimes I shower, sometimes I just sit. I relish the stillness of a quite house just starting to brighten with the light of the new day.
I wake up with a fresh heart, ready to receive the world. And because I am a wife and mother of small children, I am not the only person relying daily on the state of my heart. Although I’d like to think I am always at my best, I cannot say that in good faith. I am my favorite kind of mommy and wife when I am operating from a peaceful, renewed state.
I have to be intentional about what parts of the outside world I let into my stillness. My outlook for the day is mapped by the simple choice between the news and my favorite Bible podcast. When I allow my heart to start the day defending itself against the assault of the world before I even have my first cup of coffee, I am left feeling drained. And I can’t pour from a drained cup.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4:23 NIV
I find Proverbs 4:23 empowering because of the intentional emphasis on choosing what stimuli we let into our world. I have heard compelling arguments for and against the value of being born in the age of constant information. Yet, like it or not, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. We can’t also control what is out there, but we can control the space we give it in our souls.
This proverb also speaks to who daily renewal matters to more than just our own selves. We can’t be soft for our children if our heart is hard. Sometimes we spend so much time grieving silently in our hearts for the state of the world, we leave ourselves drained and lacking the stamina to change it.
There is no heart like yours, and like it or not, you aren’t the only person who relies on it. Together, let’s commit to be intentional with our first steps into the world. If it helps you like it helps me, let’s get up early together! (I’m only half kidding!)
Let’s start our days quietly and ease ourselves into this world we live in. Let’s set the expectation that our hearts are a sacred space; not just anything is allowed in. Let’s decide what gets a piece of us.
A grateful heart is a happy one. Choosing to be intentional with our tender hearts is the first step in fully walking in love with the ones we love, the ones that need us the most.