I get up at 5 - I should be in bed right now!
I found that I need to start praying as soon as my eyes open and my feet hit the floor - praying that I can wake up and focus on Him for a while! I make a cup of tea and get my quiet time "stuff" - my nook, my 2 Bibles (one is NIV, one is Holman, but that's just because...I'm weird), "My Utmost for His Highest" and my current Bible study, which is "John: 90 Days with the Beloved Disciple" by Beth Moore. Oh, and my prayer journal, which is really just like any other journal - I don't do a good job of keeping track of specific things I've prayed, and answers. I think that's a great idea, I'm just not good at follow-through. But, I have found that journaling helps keep me focused.
I pray. I open my Bible and read - I've been going through the Psalms just lately; they are so good for praying. Almost always, something in the Psalm will really speak to me, and I might underline it and/or copy it down in my journal, and/or pray about it or write down a prayer based on it.
Then I might go to my nook, where I am reading the devotional - "Mornings and Evenings" by Charles H. Spurgeon. Read the morning's devotional. Again, there is almost always something that really speaks to me and I'll highlight it or mark it in my journal, or just pray about it.
By this time, the tea is steeped, and I have only wandered into daydreams 7 or 8 times.
I start drinking my tea and praying some more.
I go to my Bible study book, which always starts with reading a bit of Scripture, and then answering a couple of personal application questions (this particular book has room to write in). Then there is some commentary, and sometimes another question, and it always closes with a prayer and some journaling space, which I may or may not use.
Then....I may be done, or I may read My Utmost - sometimes I do that later, sometimes I don't do it. Sometimes I read that instead of the Spurgeon book, or before it, or...there's really no ritual here, except that I need to be really prepared in my heart before I do the Beth Moore book, or I have no answers to the questions. My goal during this whole time is to just feel close to God - to get in His presence. I started this all a couple of months ago, when I was feeling very overwhelmed and stressed out by everything, and I couldn't figure out why. I finally realized that I just felt very separated from God, and I wasn't doing anything to really strengthen my relationship with Jesus. I started praying and trying to figure out what to do, and came across some resources to help. One thing that kept coming up was the verse in James (I think it's 4:8) "Come close to God, and He will come close to you." It has helped - my hunger and thirst for Him has increased, and that has helped my relationships in general, kwim? It's amazing how many days it seems the Spurgeon book, the Psalm, My Utmost and the Beth Moore book will all be saying the same thing, or use the same verse or something.
All of this takes anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes. I think I was stuck in the mindset that if I could just spend 15 minutes in the morning, I'd be set. The problem was, the 15 minutes were not quality time, kwim? So, I had to start getting up early - I argued with God about this, but He was pretty insistent. I'm not saying that's what everyone needs to do, that's just what I need to do.
Then - in theory, but not always in practice - I exercise for a while (Mon-Thurs) or go to WalMart to do some food shopping without the kids before dh has to go to work (Fri). Then I shower and dress and open the blinds and turn on the lights and by then the kids are eating breakfast.
And then - well, I'd like to tell you that then everything runs perfectly smoothly because I've had my time with the Lord, but I live with real people, so I should just end this here.
But, at 8 am, we start school, and we always start with Bible. I need to be better about praying with the kids, before we even start the Bible "assignment" but I'm bad about this. Does anyone have a prayer they say for their school every day? Maybe we should write a family prayer to say every morning. I don't know.
Anyway - after that, whenever things are getting chaotic and I'm about to lose it, I go to my room and pray. Sometimes I slam the door to my room, but I really do pray once I'm in there - usually something like, "God, are you SURE you want me to homeschool? Then why does it have to be so HARD?!"
Aren't I helpful?