How I'm ditching my 5 a.m. wake up call for something better

Isaiah 49:23b, 25b "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed…I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save."

It's a subtle, slight slip into rational and reasonable responsibility that leads to fearful fretting and anxious alliterations and thoughts tripped up in thinking that in the end, it is all up to me which ends up making it all about me.

That's what gets me into trouble most mornings.  I wake and the thoughts come unbidden and instead of showing them the door like I know to do (surely, by now I know to do this…) I invite them in and sit them down for a discussion to see if I can figure out this puzzle of where things went wrong and what I can do to fix them by replaying past events and thinking how I could have done that differently.

The problem is, short of an ability to time-travel, there is absolutely nothing I can do to go back into the past as recent as 5 minutes ago and change anything.  I mean, if you figure that one out…can go back even 1 minute to change something you just did that you wish you didn’t do, please come see me.  I need what you got.

So, I'm sitting with these thoughts, and, in my defense, they do come knocking on my door around 5 a.m., usually a few minutes or an hour or two before I am even planning to get out of bed.  Why I don't get up every morning at 4 a.m. and beat these suckers out of bed, I don't know.  I actually did try that for a season, and it was helpful, but I also wasn't getting enough sleep because who can get into bed before midnight with fun-loving teenagers in the house?  (Whoever said I'd get more sleep when my children were older never had children because while I do get to sleep without outside interruption through the night, I have my thoughts on the front end and my children who I love connecting with late at night on the back end, so maybe I'll sleep when they are all grown…nah, probably not. By then there will be grandkids to love on.  This may be why I've taken up drinking coffee more than just socially.)

Back to the thoughts…I can hear them outside the door starting a little before 5.  I don’t even look at the clock anymore.  They come calling without fail.  No one told them that today is MLK day and that perhaps they should let me sleep in a bit.  They start out whispering and tapping lightly.  This only serves to wake other thoughts that had a restless night and were chomping at the bit to get some things discussed when I was awake.  So now the noise is getting louder.  Finally, a thought gets bold and knocks loudly and without waiting for me to open the door (aka wake up and get the tea/coffee going), they all come tumbling in talking loud and fast, vying to get my attention.

This used to throw me into high alert, nigh unto panic attack mode.  Thankfully, that is no more.  With time (going on 5 years to be exact), I have gotten more adept at sorting through the thoughts and discarding the majority of them.  Also, honestly, I've experienced a lot of healing in the past year and a half through many different modalities that Jesus has brought my way which have served to increase my awareness of patterns of thought and behaviors that no longer serve me and have given me tools to let those go and pick up new tools that lead to love, peace, and joy.

My word for 2017 is "delight," and I've come to realize that it's a challenge to experience "delight" when the 5 a.m. wake-up crew keeps barging in.  They are my thoughts, after all, and somehow I need to get their attention and let them know that when the door is still closed at 5 a.m., that means they need to go back to bed and read a book or something… until I at least am up and moving around and they see the light under the crack of the door.

This morning I actually woke first at 2:45.  I think the storms we had last night got my subconscious all in a dither because they were early.  I got up to pee and told them to go back to bed.  For once, they paid attention.  It was the dog that got me up at 5 today.  She's in heat and sleeps in a kennel in the house which means her routine is off and, thankfully, she barked to alert me that if I didn't get up and let her outside, she/we'd be in a world of stink.

After letting the dog out and getting some tea going, I sat down to read Isaiah 49, a passage rich with encouragement for me this morning, especially the last parts of verses 23 and 25: "Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed…I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save."

As the Spirit of God breathed revelation into my spirit, I found the response I've needed to these thoughts that bombard me morning by morning until I wrestle them to the ground at some point.  All of that wrestling takes energy, and it's time to direct that energy into more creative and life-giving endeavors.

Those mistakes and worries and fears and anxious ponderings that are so insistent that we need to talk and talk and figure all of the things out right this minute will now be met with these words: "Look, guys.  I appreciate you trying to bring these things to my attention.  I know that I have some part in making things work out, but right now, I'm choosing to trust God and put my hope in Him.  He's promised to contend with those who contend with me and to save my children (a lot of my worries have to do with them, and most (if not all) usually end up being completely unfounded)."

A lot of words for 5 a.m., so perhaps I'll just shorten it to: "I'm hoping in God.  Relax.  We won't be disappointed."

We will see how tomorrow morning goes. 


I am passionate about helping people to become all they are created to be, leaving behind old patterns of thinking, of eating, of feeling, to embrace the life they are meant to live. As a Certified Aroma Freedom Technique practitioner, I combine the power of Young Living essential oils with this powerful 12-step process that helps you be who God created you to be. I'd love to chat with you. Contact me at and check out my classes and AFT session availability at 

All is well

The anxiety isn't as oppressive anymore, but it still lingers in the background, wooing my thoughts into the pool of despair and discouragement.  Things done wrong or gone wrong or going wrong can fill my mind fast and furious, and when it's 5:30 in the morning, I struggle to wrangle them into submission.  I confess, many a morning in the grog of sleep and exhaustion, I sit down in them and allow them to take me away into vain imaginings and fretful outcomes.

This morning, I grabbed my essential oil blend Sacred Mountain* and inhaled it deeply into the unrest and swirling thoughts.  They started to settle.  I lit my candle, took a sip of tea, and read my devotional.** This sentence caught my attention: "All is well and all will be well." 

I've decided that this is to become my new intention before bed each night and when I wake each morning because in my spirit I know this to be true.  It's my uncertain soul that has yet to land on bedrock truth, and I get it.  We've been through a lot.  Our fears have played out into our lives and things I never thought I'd go through have hit me full in the face.

No one likes that kind of pain, so my thoughts rush in with goals of self-protection as if thinking through all of the bad things happening and all the ones that could happen could actually protect me from future pain.

But pain is a part of life.  So is trouble and hardship and unexpected disappointments and mistakes and wrong turns and missed opportunities.  I can choose to sit in those places and allow fears and worries and concerns to be my focus, to absorb my attention and to fill my thoughts.

Or I can make a different choice.

That choice is never easy for me.  Believe me, the ruckus inside my head is deafening and alluring and convincing, especially at 5:30 a.m. for the last 4 1/2 years.  But, if I've learned anything during this time, it's that those thoughts don't actually ever get it right.

Sure, something may need my attention and I may need a course correction, but the truth is "All is well and all will be well."

So, to the fears I have for my children I declare: All will be well.

To the stress and anxiety over building a business, bringing in an income, figuring out flow and timing and tasks I say: All will be well.

To my heart that worries and frets and fixates on all that is not perfect, I emphatically declare: ALL WILL BE WELL.

Peace, my soul.  Peace.

I want to inscribe this on my subconscious, to drive it deep into the deepest places of my heart so that when the tumult of angst and worry swirl loud and strong, the resounding response is the centering voice that rises higher still, calling me back to the truth that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has overcome…has come over and over shadowed, has intermingled and absorbed into His being, every harm and distress that could every come my way.  Because of this I can experience the challenges of this life and still say:

All is well and all will be well.

*I'm finding Young Living Essential Oils to be an important part of my emotional process, in particular the Aroma Freedom Technique which I regularly practice on myself and others. If you're interested in learning more, send me an email and check back here as I plan to write more about it in the near future

**Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40-Day Journey with the Daily Office by Peter Scazzero [affiliate link] is my devotional au jour.  I light my candle, sit in centering silence (or, truthfully, the house is silent but my thoughts are still racing and I have yet to achieve any kind of silence with them that lasts longer than a second) for two-ish, and then read the short devotional and reflect on the accompanying question.  I've round this rhythm to be helpful, particularly the lighting of the candle and the sitting in "silence" to be an important start to my day.

Exercising joy

Did you know that it's important to exercise your "muscle" that remembers positive feelings?

By in large, most of us are conditioned to hold onto negative emotions, to feel fear and anxiety and to use those as motivators to get out of danger, which is good if you are actually in danger, but how often is that? Probably not as many times a day as that gets triggered in you.

Think of a time when you felt happiness, joy, or some other pleasant emotion. Become aware of where you feel that in your body. Focus on that feeling and allow it to expand to fill other areas of your body. Hold that feeling as long as possible.

Next time you find yourself feeling anxious, remember that feeling, how it felt, and allow yourself to feel it again. Practice this throughout the day until it becomes second nature.

I am passionate about helping people to become all they are created to be, leaving behind old patterns of thinking, of eating, of feeling, to embrace the life they are meant to live.  If you’d like me to walk with you on this journey, contact me at and let’s discuss a plan that works best for you.