Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If, with the help of God, you conquer yourself in that moment, you’ll have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish! ... The heroic minute; here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does not weaken your body. St. Josemaria Escriva - The Way - #191, #206The past week, I have been laying in bed falling asleep thinking about the first minute of the day... the HEROIC first minute as St. Escriva calls it. That moment of choosing to get out of bed has always been a weak point for me. The call of sleep and burying my head in the pillow and covers overwhelms me every morning. I typically get of bed when I have to, either in order to have time to make it to an appointment or because the girls are awake and needing me. Rarely do I get up at a certain time simply to rise and start my day.
I ponder how many days have started on the wrong foot because I linger in bed and have to rush in order to make it out the door on time. Or how many harsh words I've spoken to little ones laying in bed with me that want to be awake but I'm not ready to join the day yet. The grumbling moods I've been in when I finally drag myself out of bed knowing that I'd be feeling better about the day if I had just made the choice to get up sooner. Headaches I've struggled to overcome from laying in bed half-awake, half-asleep. The list goes on.
One of my focus points for 2013 is discipline and this challenge falls right in line with that focus. I would love to be disciplined enough to choose a time to get out of bed and just do it. I had a (very) brief period last fall where I was out of bed by 6:30 for about a week and it really was wonderful. Carl is typically up early and it gave us some time in the morning together before we were both tired out from a day. It helped me start my day on my terms rather than on that half-a-step-behind feeling. Rather - I should stay it helps me start the day on God's terms... because when I do manage to get up without dragging it out, I typically remember to say morning prayers, to offer the day up to Christ, just generally be better disposed to accept and tackle the day for what it is!
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So... how do I go about making this change? Part of it is "simply" deciding to do it. Not wanting to do it, or intending to do it... but just doing it. Does that distinction make sense?
It is about conquering my will and strengthening it. I recognize that I have three toddlers... one of which is still waking up several times at night - so no time is going to feel like the right time to start this. I recognize that deciding to do this means that I need to start making choices at night that put me in bed before the 11 - 12:30bed time I've been on as of late. I recognize that I also need to make sure I don't fall down the slippery slope of thinking that all sleeping in is a bad thing. But on days that I do linger in bed, I want it to be purposeful - meaning I want to have chosen the night before that sleeping in is on the agenda.
Most importantly, this "heroic first minute" is an opportunity to bring my heart close to God. To strengthen my will by overcoming myself. To become a better mom, wife, and daughter of Christ by embracing the day at it's start! I will fail, but I am strong in Christ and will continue to try and will succeed.
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