How to find 'joy in the morning'
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How we found "joy in the morning:"
- Get up early. We are up, dressed and have had personal prayer and scripture study, as well as husband/wife prayer, before the children wake up. Breakfast is about ready to serve.
- Set a time for the family to be at the kitchen table.
- Sing a hymn. The hymn tapes from the distribution center really help us to make a more "joyful noise."
- Read the scriptures aloud and discuss them.
- Have kneeling family prayers. Specific prayers bring greater joy.
- Eat breakfast together. Visit, check schedules.
- Get a personal commitment from each family member to do these things and to pray and study the scriptures individually. This united us and eliminated "murmuring."
- Go to bed early. (D&C 88:124.)
We do experience joy "in the morning" - and blessings of obedience which spill over into the rest of the day. - Mary Jo Rasmussen, McAlester, Okla.
What we did:
Wake up to music
Wake up to music, whether non-classical, classical or a Church hymn, that you know will lift up your spirit.
The Lord loves to hear us sing, even those without the talent. By the time I kneel to say my morning prayers I feel sure the Lord has heard me coming and I am ready to face whatever is "coming my way." - Pamela Brogan, Colesbourne, England
Exercise each morning
Last August, I made a goal to exercise every morning after taking my son to school. So, Mondays through Fridays, I go to the walking park and jump-start my morning with a 60-minute fast walk, including a five-minute warm up and five-minute cool down. This has helped me feel better physically and mentally. It has helped me gain a more positive attitude and gives me lots of energy for the day.
Exercising each morning and morning prayer go hand-in-hand for me in bringing me joy in the morning and making a much better day.
I have also met a lot of really neat people and have been able to share the gospel and give someone a copy of the Book of Mormon. What a great way to start the day! - Alexa Davis, Midland, Texas
I remember my mother finding much joy and satisfaction in the early morning hours as she would rise with me each school day and see me off to early-morning seminary class. She would then sit during the quiet time while everyone else was still asleep and read the scriptures. I know she found much joy and satisfaction in this.
Sometimes finding the joy in each morning is as simple as opening your eyes and being more aware of the miracles that surround you. I have spent the last year and half getting up early, before the rest of the family awakens, and going for a morning walk with a good friend. I find joy in her company and the discussions we share. We both take delight in feeling healthy and being in better shape. There is a special enjoyment in watching the stars fade away and the clouds shine in brilliant oranges, pinks and reds as the sun rises.
Some days when I don't go walking, or before walking, I sit in my quiet kitchen and write for a few minutes. Sometimes I write in my journal, and sometimes I write down pieces of stories or articles. I find peace and satisfaction in writing at this time. I am not worried about my children; they are safely asleep. There are no phone interruptions. - Linda Butler, Pleasant Grove, Utah
At 6:30 a.m. every weekday during the school year, I meet with a few of the most vibrant people in the Church - the "youth of Zion" - to teach seminary. The feeling walking into the seminary room is joy.
It is a joy to be with these youth who seem like sponges soaking up the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have joy in seeing them become excited when they discover something on their own. This morning, as we studied another lesson in the New Testament seminary course material, I watched a young man become delighted when he came across a scripture of his own finding that cross-referenced with one of the scripture mastery verses on which we have been drilling.
It is a joyous experience to teach when these youth are digging through their scriptures to find answers or to scripture chase, when they are analyzing the Savior's teachings to find present-day applications for themselves. - Janet Kruckenberg, Wahpeton, N.D.
- Get a full night's sleep and wake up early. That way your body gets sufficient rest.
- Don't watch the morning news or read the day's headlines. Start the day with a few minutes of reading, such as the scriptures, a good book, an article from any of the Church publications.
- Be glad you're alive. Making that the first thought that comes to my mind as I open my eyes sends a surge of hope and energy that makes me feel glad I have another day to enjoy life. - Glenn Allen I. Gattud, Quezon City, Philippines
My wife follows a simple rule for joy in the morning. It goes like this, "Joy in the morning begins with preparation the night before." The 10 evening do's for a joyful morning are as follows:
- Do the dinner dishes before you go to bed.
- Set out clothes for school children.
- Know what you are fixing for breakfast.
- Organize rides for special events.
- Ensure that all special school assignments are complete.
- Free the home from clutter.
- Have the day planned in writing.
- Go to bed at a reasonable time.
- Pray for a spirit of peace and joy.
- Remember, the turtle won the race, not the hare. - Eric A. Lee, Fresno, Calif.
Most of our joy in a day comes as a result of how we start the morning. If we wake up and quarrel with one another in the morning, we may continue to quarrel with others throughout the day.
Always put up a smiling face and accept all the circumstances you cannot change. If you do so, making this a part of you, then your morning will always be a joyous one. - Mba Ogburubi, Lagos, Nigeria
How to checklist:
1 Begin day with family, personal prayer, scripture study.
2 Exercise in the morning; notice the miracles of nature.
3 Be positive, grateful for life; listen to uplifting music.
4 Prepare the night before; plan ahead; go to bed early.
WRITE TO US:
Nov. 23 "How to prepare for the arrival of your first child."
Nov. 30 "How to appropriately develop a dating relationship as single adults."
Dec. 7 "How to reach out to the lonely during the Christmas season."
Dec. 14 "How to apply the principle of repentance in daily life."
Dec. 21 "How to be more Christ-centered in our relationships with others."
Dec. 28 "How to maintain hope in the midst of affliction."
Jan. 4 "How to apply in our lives the legacy of faith as found in the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history."
- Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to be more patient with your children," "How to foster positive communication in your family."
Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2121 or use internet E-mail: Churchnews@desnews.com. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.