1000 gifts // chapter eight

book clubs are cool. ( i feel like dr.who when i say that! anyone else get it? bow ties are cool?) and because we are cool, just like book clubs & bow ties, we created our own online book club. where we read, share, write, count, and be. read along with us – or don’t! but please link up, share your thoughts, your journey.

adorable otter card from the Little Matters

these last couple mornings i have been setting my alarm a little earlier and actually listening to it when it starts singing at 6:45 in the morning. i am getting up. making coffee. spending time with Jesus and feeling a whole lot more refreshed than i usually do when i wake up at 8 or 8:15 and try to rush to get ready, grab food, and head out the door at 8:30. it begins in rush mode – stress mode (because lets be honest, if i don’t speed or i hit too many red lights i am going to be late for work!). and once i start there i cannot seem to break it.

stress mode is not good for my heart so i tried an experiment to see if 1) i could get out of bed early and 2) to see if it was worth it.

it is so worth it friends. my heart needs a heart check before i run out the door. i need a lot of Truth to fight the lies of the enemy that will be whispered in my ear all day. i need the time to eat breakfast, grab lunch, maybe even stop for coffee on my way into work (i cannot believe i have time for that!).

but it doesn’t always work that way. sometimes i sleep in. sometimes i cannot fall asleep because i am thinking about finances, work, projects, lists, relationships. sometimes all it takes is a low gas tank or a cryptic text from a friend to send my heart back into stress mode. i was convicted by this quote:

“stress and anxiety seem easier. easier to let a mind run wild with worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the binders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead. are stress and worry evidence of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God? to stay in love? isn’t joy worth the effort of trust?”
(page 147)

i never really associated stress mode with my relationship with the Lord. i mean, isn’t life just stressful? how many times do we respond to “how are you?” with “busy & stressed”? how many times has stress effected the way we respond to our husbands, coworkers, ourselves? how heavy is stress literally on your shoulders – the tension in your mussels. stress is s big deal people, and it is doing more than robbing you of joy:

“stress isn’t only a joy stealer. the way we respond to it can be sin. i stand in the laundry room looking out at the barn, knowing that stress stands in direct opposition to what He directly, tenderly commands: ‘ do not let your hearts be troubled. trust in God; trust also in Me’ (john 14:1)”
(page 146)

when i chose to give into stress. to worry. to wonder. to try to fix it alone. i fall into sin. i fall away from the Lord. the one to holds me in His arms and rocks me as He says “TRUST ME. trust Me”

will i trust Him today?
will you?

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Gosh I love this post! I have been convicted by he Lord lately with understanding my quiet time with him in the morning is truly essential for me to get through the day with joy and peace. It is certainly a discipline, and my sinful nature often does anything it can to avoid it, but I am sticking to the solid truth that it is essential for my peace. It brings me the most joy in my relationship with the Lord! Thanks so much for sharing this! Hope you have a stress-free day 🙂



  • This is such a great reminder! As a teacher this time of year gets crazy and I did feel stressed today and nothing good comes for that.

  • I LOVE THIS! I have been doing the same thing, waking up an hour earlier than usual, drinking some coffee, and reading the Bible. It's crazy how much better my day goes! I am just so much more happy and uplifted through out the day, and I find it much easier to brush off the negativity that I am faced with at work! So glad you found my blog so that I could find yours!! 🙂

  • I do the same thing, get up early and spend time with God. Some mornings I ignore the alarm and either have less time or no time, and on those days I feel so rushed and out of sorts. This is the first year I have ever made God a priority in the Morning, Partly because I now feel more stressed and busy than ever and I really really rely on the sweet early hours (I get up at 5:30) to spend time with my savior. It really does set my day right.

  • Book clubs ARE cool. 🙂 I have theee hardest time waking up early. I have no idea why but I just can't do it! I have been instead challenged to find time somewhere in my day for my bible reading and devotions. Usually it's before I go to bed. But it's important for me to do it…even if I can't wake up early every day.

  • I love book clubs! I need to take your lead in waking up earlier- would make my day so much smoother but I wonder if I can actually do it!

  • Amy

    umm YES.
    I need to start getting up around 530 at least.
    My brother & I are starting 6am work outs and in order for me to do an hour of that and then be ready to shower/eat/pack lunch and get out of the door by 7:50 i'd have to wake up earlier to spend time with Jesus.
    I'm a morning person so it's totally do-able…yet i always find reasons to NOT do it. 🙁
    Great post…as always.
    Definitely caused me to sit back and reflect on my attitude and if i'm entering "stress mode" first thing in the morning.