Every weekday morning is a pretty similar routine for me: I wake up, exercise, get ready for the day and read a devotion. It’s these days that I feel most like myself and like I could take on anything. Granted it helps when the sun is shining and when I get a good night of sleep too. But all the same, this routine I’ve created in the morning helps me feel really empowered. And I am in LOVE with that feeling.
I like to use my mornings to set me up for the day and to put my mind in a place of positive growth. I think mornings are my best time to move forward in my work and in my personal goals. Before I become “mom” for the day, I have time to be me and time to work on what I feel like God has placed on my heart.
It’s these quiet mornings where I feel the most reflective and the most open to changing my thoughts and my habits. It’s also where I feel most receptive to what God is asking of me. I’m not a “jump right in” person, and before I take a step in a particular direction, it can take several different prompts from God.
To me, these prompts often come through my devotions, but they present themselves in other ways as well. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a friend or my mom. Sometimes it’s simply a thought I can’t get out of my head. Sometimes, these prompts come years or months apart rather than right in a row. Nikki Elledge Brown refers to them as divine breadcrumbs. This idea that there are things we are meant to do, and if we look back, we may be able to see small shifts that lead us to this path: breadcrumbs leading our way. I believe these breadcrumbs are placed by God through other people and experiences in our life to lead us to where He intends.
Sometimes these breadcrumbs aren’t necessarily a “thing” I need to do, either. Sometimes, these breadcrumbs are a shift in my attitude or a shift in my habits to better serve Him. It’s these changes I feel compelled to make that can be the most challenging. When my youngest daughter was born I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by trying to divide my attention between my girls and my husband -- and do it well.
I remember crying in frustration and being angry with myself and at this situation that always looked so perfect in everyone else’s lives. In a moment of complete overwhelm I remember praying to God, asking, “What is it you want me to learn here?!” Immediately, I knew the answer: Humility. As a mostly type-A person, I rely on me and only me for what I need. I don’t often ask for help, and THIS was what God was wanting me to learn. He wanted me to rely on Him, graciously accept the help of others and humble myself.
I remember suddenly noticing examples of humility everywhere. As if over night, Bible verses about being humble were in so many of my books and devotions. It was these divine breadcrumbs that started leading me on a path of changing myself to try to be humble.
Four years later, I still am working on this shift in my life. But what has helped me with making this continuous change is by using positive affirmations from the Bible. Every time I would see a Bible verse or quote about humility or being humble, I wrote it down. I had a page in my journal devoted to verses about being humble. I started reading them every morning and thinking about the words very intentionally.
I realized quickly that I could do this with anything that needed work in my life. I just needed to be intentional with writing it down and repeating it day in and day out to myself. It’s the age old concept of “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7). And our minds, even as adults can be molded and can be taught new habits. It’s really hard - but it’s not impossible.
Knowing what you want to improve upon or change in your life can sometimes be the biggest hurdle. But once you know, you can begin to program your mind and change your heart through reading and saying positive affirmations to yourself.
I printed out a prayer to post on my bathroom mirror that I read every morning when I get ready for the day. It’s a prayer that sets my intention for the day to be a servant and a leader in the most positive ways. It’s a reminder to me that I do not need to be in control and I can trust God with my whole day.
You might choose a different reminder for the start of your day. But whatever it is, I think that reading and reminding yourself every morning and throughout the day is a huge benefit when you’re working on yourself. Below are some of my favorite positive affirmations to help you get started.
“I am joyful in hope. I am patient in affliction. I pray faithfully.” (Romans 12:12)
“I have hope in God. He gives me courage and protects me. I am resting in safety.” (Job 11:18)
“I am filled with grace when I need it most. I receive God’s mercy as I boldly ask.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“God has given me endurance and encouragement. I am taking on the same attitude of mind toward others that Christ Jesus had.” (Romans 15:5)
“In Christ I am strong and I will not give up.” (2 Chronicles 15:7)
“I work willingly at whatever I do. I work for the Lord rather than people.” (Colossians 3:23)
“I am completely humble and gentle. I am patient, bearing each person I encounter in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“I am letting the Spirit control my mind. I live a life a peace.” (Romans 8:6)
“I am in perfect peace and I trust in God. My thoughts are fixed on Him.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“I am led by God’s truth. He teaches me and saves me. All day long I put my hope in Him.” (Psalm 25:5)
“I trust Christ and He makes his home in my heart. My roots grow down into God’s love and keep me strong.” (Ephesians 3:17 -18)
“I live in freedom. My freedom is used to serve others in love.” (Galations 5:13)
“I am continuously guided by God. My strength is restored by Him.” (Isaiah 58:11)
“I put my hope in the Lord. I am strong and courageous.” (Psalm 31:24)
“I remain strong. God is the strength of my heart. He is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
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