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The Early Part of Autumn

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published in 2007.

I’m ready for crisp air, ripe pumpkins, apple cider and sweaters. The sun may be beating down and it’s probably 80 degrees outside, but in my heart, it’s autumn. And that means back-to-school and back-to-routine. Ah routine. I long for it. Especially after three months of relaxing the pace.

The best thing about routine is early to bed and early to rise, because it’s only when I get up early — 5 a.m. early — that I have time to read the Bible and pray. It’s part of the rhythm of my life, as one of my first posts from this time last year reveals:

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During this morning’s quiet time, it dawned on me — well before dawn — that I’ve become dependent on time alone with God. And the only way I can get it is to get up early. Of course in Colorado, rising before the sun often brings the benefit of actually seeing the “purple mountains majesty.”

But that stunning view of Pike’s Peak alone isn’t enough to wake me. It’s what happens when I miss that window.

Nothing gets me off to a worse start than oversleeping only to wake to the sound of kids already up and raring to go. No quiet. No alone time. And no peace. I need the daily direction I get when I spend time reading the Bible. The Psalms and Proverbs are especially helpful during this demanding season of rearing small children. Having uninterrupted time for listening for God’s voice — specifically asking Him what the priorities for the day should be — and meditating on what He’s already said to me in his Word, has become the most important thing I do each day. When I don’t, I feel like a ship without a rudder and a car with no gasoline. I lack both direction and power.

It really does make a difference.

Feeding Your Soul by Jean Fleming talks about how to have a quiet time. It’s a very practical handbook that ends with a prayer that includes the line, “Make me what You had in mind when You created me …” I love that image of a blueprint for my life; of a master designer drawing up plans for what my life should be. That’s not to say I always conform to the plan. And often what should be is not what is.

And so I get up early again. Today and tomorrow and the next day. There’s just something about early.


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