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I’ve written recently about how much I love social media, and today I want to share with you a couple of things that I’ve read and seen on the interwebs lately that have inspired and encouraged me.

First up, there was this beautiful Instagram post by Perth writer Em Hazeldean

It was just a humble little picture of her coffee and her ipad, but the message at the bottom read,

First time I’ve missed my 5am alarm in ages. I went for so long feeling like I just couldn’t do early morning prayer and devotions… now I can’t do without them!

Although 9am with the addition of a coffee is not bad either. #toobusynottopray

I read that and felt so inspired by her faith-in-action. The bible says to go into your room and pray behind your closed door where no one sees you. (Matt 5:6) This is what Em is doing.

And I love that she told her Insta-world. Because, yes, we are meant to go into our rooms and do it where no one will see, but we are also meant to spur one another on to love and good deeds. I wish more people would talk openly about their self-discipline! There was nothing boastful here. It was just the heart of a woman who knows what is needed most.

Em’s post was a little seed, planted in my heart.

But I didn’t actually start getting up at 5am.

Until a month later, when I saw this on Instagram.

This is American writer and pastor Glennon Doyle sitting on a pile of washing. Now I’m not very familiar with Doyle. I know she is a blogger, she wrote a bestseller called Love Warrior and she’s connected with Rob Bell and Oprah Winfrey. Occasionally I look at her Insta because I’m a curious person and she is very open about her life and her thoughts (they often don’t sit well with me but it’s important to me to hear what others believe…)

Her caption read:


Hi loves. I got an email from an aspiring writer this morning about how hard it is to find time to write. She said that one day, when she had more space and time, she’d start writing. Whenever I read the words “one day” from a woman, I get nervous… 

Dear S,
This is a picture of me right after I read your message. It’s 5:24 am. My family is asleep, but I’ve already been up for an hour. I’m on the floor in my laundry room because I’m loudly recording a speech I’m giving next week into my phone so I can listen to it four hundred times in the next few days in preparation. I’ve delivered a version of this speech fifty times- but I still wrote out every word – again- and I’ll spend hours practicing – again. My butt hurts and the floor is cold so I piled up my kids’ dirty laundry and made a little nest for myself. My work mantra is: Faith and Sweat. I’m sweating this morning- I’m showing up and doing my part – and when I get on stage next week I’ll have faith that God will show up and do Her part. This is our deal. We are co- creators. Faith and sweat. 

I just wanted to tell you this and show you this, because it struck me that you see the shiny stage part of my career (which is about 2% of my work life) – but you don’t often see the early morning laundry pile part of my career (which is 98% of my work life). One day is today, S. Don’t wait. A woman actually doesn’t need a room of her own but she does need an hour of her own. An hour during which she steps outside of her roles so she can remember her soul. An hour in which she’s serving nobody but her own potential. An hour during which she’s putting work boots on her dreams. 

Doesn’t have to be fancy, S. Might be an hour on a cold dirty floor. But it’ll still feel good, S. I can promise you that.

Someday is today. Write on, Sister.

I love what Doyle says here!

Em’s post was still coming to my mind, and then here was another, saying a similar thing!

Doyle is a writer and a speaker- she was rising early to get work done. She has a goal and she is making sacrifices to make it happen.

Em has a goal too- she wants to lean in to the heart of God. To do deep soul work and grow in her spirituality.

Both are great pursuits!

I started getting up early. I have about a million goals. I have Doyle’s goal of being a speaker and a writer, and Em’s goal of growing closer to God. I also had a pressing need to finish some massive assignments, with the goal to earning a master’s degree in ministry.

So I started getting up at 5am and doing assignments for an hour. I loved the peace and the stillness. My brain whirls a million times faster in the morning than it does in the evening. I was getting stuff done.

As the assignment load eased up, I started swapping that out for more prayer and bible time. I felt my spirit connect with God’s on the mornings that I woke early and made God central in the first few hours of my day.

This morning I watched this wonderful little Ted talk by novelist Ann Lamott.

On this whole topic of self-discipline, and the pursuit of dreams, she says,

“Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair. That’s the secret of life. That’s probably the main difference between you and them. They just do it. They do it by prearrangement with themselves. They do it as a debt of honor. They tell stories that come through them one day at a time, little by little…”

What do you need to get done?

Whether it’s a need for deep soul work, a novel burning inside of you, or maybe a yearning for massive guns

Whatever it is; hard work and self discipline. Working bit-by-bit. Getting up. Showing up. Putting your butt in the chair (or the gym.)

That will be the way.