By Sarah Baker

Unlike lots of other folks, I am a morning person.  I like to go to bed early and get up early.  If I am going to work out regularly, it has got to be in the morning and I always have a better day if I go to the gym before work.  What I have been missing is quiet time and, as a person who spends her day surrounded by hundreds of middle school kids, I really could use some.  That is why I was stoked when my friend Nicole Masters presented me with the Hello Mornings Challenge.

The Hello Mornings Challenge is an online challenge designed for Christian women to maximize their mornings through quality time with God, intentional planning of their days, and exercise.  Who couldn’t benefit from that, right?  Plus, I am a girl who isn’t naturally structured so anything that gives me a schedule and accountability is a good thing.  I’m thinking that being a Mary in the morning will help me be a more productive Martha during the rest of the day.  Right now, I’m just a mess.

Here’s how it works.  You sign up on the Hello Mornings website to pick a group or to create your own group.  Then you and your group check-in with each other via Twitter and/or Facebook.  The next session is January 28th –April 26th, but there will be more sessions in the future.

I once heard Lisa Welchel, the “Facts of Life” star who was recently on “Survivor,” speak at a women’s conference about her struggle with weight.  Welchel said that having her devotion time in the morning really kept her from emotional eating during the day.  Did you see her on “Survivor?”  She looks fantastic!

When I was in high school, I read the romance novel “Joy in the Morning” and I’ve always liked the scripture that says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  My e-mail has had the same signature for years, a quote from Gwendolyn Brooks’ “Speech to the Young:”  “Even if you are not ready for day, it cannot always be night.”  I guess you could just say I have a thing for mornings.

Mornings seem to be important for lots of reasons.  Isn’t breakfast supposed to be the most important meal of the day?  I’ve always heard exercise is more effective in the morning too.  What I need to add to these is quiet time.  Quiet time has benefits other than the spiritual.  According to an article published by Wellsource Inc., meditation can help you become more mindful “of thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and observe them in a nonjudgmental way.  This results in you becoming calmer and physically relaxed.”  Has anyone told you that you need to relax lately?  I get told that almost every day.

Robert Greene said that “the quiet mind is richer than a crown” and “sweet are the thoughts that savour of content.”  Sounds good to me.  I’ll take some content with my coffee, please.  If you’re interested in doing the Hello Mornings Challenge, visit