Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Radical me

My husband told me I was radical. Yes, me. Of course, he wasn't thinking radical in terms of hair color or a liberal voting record. No, what made me radical in his book (and he was totally teasing) was the fact that I got up at five. Yep, A.M. Like in the morning.

See, I've made a commitment to join the 5 AM club as inaugurated by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters in Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed. Granted, after only two days I am still in the honeymoon period of membership in the 5 AM club, but I have to tell you, it was great. Of course, the coffee helped.

In the 5 AM club, as the name implies, one rises early, not necessarily at 5, could be 5:30 or 6 or 4 for that matter, but early enough to have time to consistently meet with God. I would normally get up at 6, so rising at 5 gives me an hour of uninterrupted time of prayer and reading the Word. As the authors state in Shopping For Time:

So much to do. No time for the Lord. Desperate. Alone. No doubt every woman can identify. We all want to be consistent to meet with God. And yet it can seem impossible to find a slot in the schedule that we can maintain. So instead we often continue for long periods of time--weeks and even months--convinced there is no alternative...[O]ne busy season invariably gives way to a busier one. The spiritual disciplines gather more dust at the back of our priorities shelf...Dramatic action is needed. Enter the 5 AM club. For many of us, the only cure for our starving souls is to wake up early--or at least earlier than we currently do. It's often the only way we can secure a consistent quiet time to meet with God.
The authors are careful to point out that they are not saying that really godly women get up at 5. Instead they are insistent that "early" will mean something differently for each of us, depending on the stage of life we are in. The point is maintaining consistent time alone seeking after God.

The book quotes John Piper (emphasis mine):

I earnestly recommend that it be in the early morning, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons...We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.
I have heard it attributed to Anne Graham Lotz that she would rather go without sleep than without prayer and the Bible in the morning.

Surely there will be days I will choose to sleep in. Surely there will be days when the 5 AM club seems more like a form of cruel and unusual punishment than an avenue of spiritual growth. My flesh will rebel; my sinful nature will be tempted. My goal is not some legalistic, boastful standard. Rather, I want to be radical enough to choose to give up sleep and gain intimacy with my Savior.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
~Mark 1:35
For more on the 5 AM club, visit the girltalk blog written by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters. Or, better yet, buy a copy of the book Shopping For Time. I've found it to be both encouraging and informative in my pursuit of doing it all and NOT being overwhelmed!


  1. Lisa,

    I have seen your name mentioned many times by Lisa at The Preacher's Wife so I thought I would stop by. I have been to the Girl Talk site a few times myself. I love it. I haven't joined that 5AM club yet myself, but I am working on not a morning person! BUT I will get there. I am so praying about that!

    Enjoyed your site. Still working on mine and what I (He) wants me to make it!


  2. Hi,

    I found your blog from another blog...and love it! I have been practicing getting up earlier and it works out great for me! I recently read my first book by Carolyn Mahoney - Feminine Appeal and absolutely loved it! Thank you for sharing her blog.

  3. Blessings on you, you radical!

  4. Amen. We don't have time NOT to pray and be with our Lord. For me it is after hubby leaves before I wake the children while I bike on my stationary bike I write in my prayer journal. It is a recumbent one with a back, though I am sure it still looks funny! For me that is usually 6:30 AM.

  5. Hey, I'm part of the 5:00am club too. I loved Shopping For Time and quite frankly anything else by Carolyn Mahaney. Did you know that you can download some of her audio messages for free at Sovereign Grace Ministries? I have them loaded on my Ipod. I am currently reading her book Feminine Appeal, Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother.

  6. This is something I really struggle with. Trying to figure out what is best for my situation and circumstance.

    Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration.

  7. I've been a member of the 5:30 club since August. I absolutely LOVE that time alone. My life hasn't been the same since. I have 1 1/2 hours before my girl gets I spend an hour with the Lord, and 30 minutes tidying up or preparing for the day. It's truly been a God-send. (this from a gal who more often than not went to bed in the AM hours)

  8. Go Lisa! Yay for you. I'm impressed. Be blessed. :)

  9. Okay girl, I am SO not happy with you! ;-) M-T-W I have to have my girl at school at 6:45 for BB practice. Thursdays are game day, so she doesn't go early. So awhile ago, as I'm in the kitchen, I think "Ahh tomorrow's Thursday and I can sleep 30 minutes longer!" Then BAM - I remember this delightful little post and a little voice says "why don't you leave the alarm set and get up anyway?"

    I am NOT a morning person, ESPECIALLY in the winter.

    But the combination of this post plus my little "don't just do the deeds for show" post today met up in my spirit and OUCH!!

    And to top it all, you get to go retreat with Lisa McK and she gets to go retreat with you!!

    Life is so not fair. . . . .

    But I was reading C.S. Lewis this afternoon and of course the chapter I was on he was talking about acting our way into feelings, so: Love ya! (I think!)

  10. You should get crowns just for waking up at 5 am :)I seriously need to get in the habit of getting up early. Honestly, I hate the morning time; I'm a total night owl, but I should start breaking that pattern.

    Great post!

  11. I was forced to begin gettng up at five in the morning when my eldest daughter started working an early morning shift before her university day starts. I loved it from the first day! In this house, prayer time can be hard to find!

  12. Yes!! I just read that last week and boy did the Lord convict me.

  13. This morning I woke up at 6:20. NOT 6:00 as I was originally was inspired to do by your post, but still 40 minutes before my son. I did a bleary eyed quiet time, and my mind wandered more than I would have liked but the rest of my morning went immeasurably better than they had been previously.

    My family is absolutely under attack right now and John Piper's quote in this post about entering the battle each day unprepared really rung true. I feel as if I was doing my family a disservice.

    I am joining the 5AM, or better yet, the 6AM club, and now the challenge will be getting to bed on time. Because this afternoon...I am tired. :)

    As usual, thanks for your post.

  14. "Early" has always been hard for me. I constantly struggle with giving time to God first in my day. But when I do... it is so good.

    Good for you in getting up at 5am!

  15. Way to go!!!!!!!!!! I have been wanting to join the same club forever... still thinking about it. I did use to do that before kids like 8 years ago. I loved it and my day was so much brighter.

  16. I've joined the 7 am club which is earlier than I've usually gotten up in the past (esp. when we homeschooled.) But I'm beginning to see to get all I want accomplished in the morning before the kids wake up, I'll have to get up even earlier. Not sure if I can manage it since right now it's the afternoon and I need a nap!

    Welcome to Writer...Interrupted!