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Behind the Books

How to Start a Morning Routine of Positivity

April 27, 2018

A how to guide for starting your morning in a positive way!


My grandparents were farmers who woke before dawn to work the fields.  Whatever gene that is, I inherited, not that I’m out tilling the soil.  I wake up early, really early, and happy.  When Wayne and I were first married he used to grumble, “Do you have to shine so bright in the mornings?”

“Yup.”  I do and I immediately tear into my day with gusto.

There are a few things that really help get my day off to a positive start.


First things first.  Coffee. When you read the mugs and shirts that say, “But first, coffee” it is the truth! Enjoying hot coffee while thinking about what is to come with my day really gets me off to a good start.

I start my day with my ‘alone time’.  I’m not really alone, as this is the part of my day that I spend with God, centering myself.  I begin by reading a series of devotionals and finish with my Bible.  I’ve read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation each year for probably the last 20 years.  I give my day to God, and set my schedule for the day.

Mapping out a plan for my day.

I’m a great list maker and I open my planner and make a list of what I hope to accomplish that day.  Each Monday, I set weekly goals and check to see if I’m on target.  My list might include 1.  Writing goals.  2.  Exercise goals or steps for each day.  3.  Working on a knitting project.  4.  Something extra (this generally means something above and beyond the norm like sorting out a drawer, connecting with a friend.)

Taking my time to Journal.

From the time I learned how to write I’ve kept journals.  I still have my journal from high school and the early years of my marriage and writing career.  I have three distinct journals.  My day to day journal and yes, I write in it every day.  My Gratitude Journal.  Listing five things for which I’m grateful—that’s a great way to start my day on a positive note.  And lastly my Prayer Journal.  Having a written list of my prayers is a great way to keep track of God’s faithfulness.  Whenever a prayer is answered I mark it with a star so that when I’m discouraged or feeling blue, I can open my prayer journal and be reminded that God does indeed answer prayer.  I’m fairly organized when it comes to prayer.  Mondays I pray for our oldest daughter and her family. Tuesdays belong to Adele and her family.  Wednesdays are for friends and my office staff. Thursday is for Ted and his family and Fridays are for our son Dale’s wife and two sons.  Saturdays are for Wayne and me.  And Sunday is a day of rest.

So friends, that is my morning routine. If you create a morning routine that you stick to and devote your mind and time to starting each day in a positive way, big exciting things will happen and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.


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  • Reply
    May 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

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    May 20, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your Prayer Journal idea! I love the organization of praying for different family members each day of the week. I am going to start mine tomorrow, since today is Sunday.

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    May 22, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I try to do this each day, be upbeat and happy.

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    Christina Gabel
    May 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I really love your morning routine. I am trying to create a routine of my own as a “new beginning” for myself. I am starting to get a running theme everytime I start something new and this is the word of God. I have not dedicated myself in awhile and I plan on changing this. I am a divorced mother of four and I am enjoying me time with my children and just trying to positively create a better life.

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    Marsha Markham
    May 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    For years I’d start a journal, then a couple of weeks would go by and I’d leave it behind. A few years ago, when I was on a trip with a good friend, I was given a journal. I kept it while we were away and when I got home decided to keep it up. Now I write in my journal every day…usually it’s one of the last things I do before going to bed. Besides that I keep one for my grand kids. I figure they will be a welcomed surprise when I’m gone to read about all the cute little things they did. Moms don’t have time to document things but Grandmas do. 🙂 There is a lot of satisfaction in journal keeping.

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    May 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Love it and what an example of a sweet and dedicated cheerleader of life!

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    May 22, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Love this. I need to put more structure in my life and prayers. Thanks!

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    Paula B
    May 22, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Gonna love searching through all these

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    Carmel Sitton
    May 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Beautiful routine Debbie. You are an inspiration to me.

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    Gloriana Nickolis
    May 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I feel blessed to wake up each and every morning. I spend time thanking our Father in Heaven for another day of his love, leadership and Spirit. It’s what gets me through the day. I have 3 jobs and work 14 hour days, 7 days a week. My husband works 2 jobs. We go to 3 services on Sunday as my husband plays in the band and I teach Sunday school and am a Church Counselor for new people. Our church is very loving, strictly Bible based Christian church. Thank you Debbie for your inspiring stories that I go to bed with nightly and fall asleep with a smile on my face. God’s Blessings, Gloriana

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    Jake Hinkle
    May 22, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    That is inspiring and a great start of the day/week.

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    Candyce Rude
    May 22, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I enjoyed your Blog as well as your books. I mostly read on my Kindle in the evening. I am not a morning person and like you I have my alone time with my coffee, bagel and check my e-mail, enjoy Pinterest, and on to card making and sewing. I always enjoy your books old and new.

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    Irene French
    May 22, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Love your scheduling, wish I could be that regimented. I particularly loved your say on list making..My late husband made a list every nite for the next day on a 2″ x 1″ piece of paper. Kept it in his shirt pocket. When I asked him why he didn’t cross off what he had accomplished, he said, “I know I did it”…ooh well. I need to cross off just to know I would have a sense of accomplishment

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    Judy Roll
    May 22, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve never looked at a morning routine in this way. Thank you for giving me a new perspective.

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    Colleen Dinovo
    May 22, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Great ideas – avoid the morning nuttiness!!!!

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    May 22, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I get most of those goals accomplished, but not the journaling. However, I have begun to record the books I read and thoughts to help me remember the books.

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    Veralyn Hershey
    May 22, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    These are great tips to keep in mind while I’m trying to start my days on a more positive note. I especially like the idea of a prayer journal and marking when prayers are answered to provide encouragement while I’m waiting for other prayers to be answered.

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    Sharon E Maese
    May 22, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Dear Debbid
    I love how you start your day. I have been a “faithful reader” for many years & keep most of your books to read again. Your stories are always inspiring & uplifting.
    I lost my husband of 44+ years 7 months ago & I have been on a path to a new normal. I know it is a day to day journey. I want to thank you for your wonderful stories. It is so refreshing to read stories written by someone with your christian values. I can’t wait for the next one. Thank you for inspiring me.
    Sharon Maese
    Carrollton, TX

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    Peggy Haller
    May 22, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    I too am a morning person getting up about 4 a.m., watching some recordings, and having breakfast until it is time to get ready to go out to the Wellness Center or do an activity at home. You are a wonderful happy and inspiring lady and I love your books and movies.

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    Dawn Kep.
    May 22, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for this post, Debbie! My homeschooling days are waning…only one left with three years until graduation…i find myself finally having time to think straight in the mornings, and really needed some help figuring out something new. i’ll enjoy using the best part of my day for journaling, prayer, and Bible reading.

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    May 22, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Love it!

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    Arlene Turner
    May 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I also start my day with a mug of coffee, thanksgiving to God for another day and the morning paper. My hubby has dementia so I never know how the day will go once he awakens. I usually also walk during this time. Our doctor of many years recently retired so about a month ago I scheduled my annual physical with our new doctor, a good way to get to know her. Never happened, she rushed me off to the hospital. Seems the lower half of my heart was 100%blocked and I was on my way to cardiac arrest. Another reason to thank God each day that she was so astute as to what was going on and saved my life.
    Thank you for your talent, my relaxing time is to knit and read. Recently also read your new cookbook. Thank you for transporting me to the Pacific Northwest for a time out.

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    May 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Love the photo of you and your grammie – that is what my children and grandchildren call my mom! Have loved Debbie’s books for years! Will continue to read them for years to come!

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    Stephanie Hanna
    May 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you for this article about your journaling and prayers. I found it extremely motivating. I used to journal everyday from hish school on and stopped for some reason. I plan to start and be disciplined about it from now on. Also wanted to tell you how great you look in your photos. Love your haircut!

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    Sheila Chin
    May 22, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I like to reflect and meditate at night as I am a night person. Whatever works, right?

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    May 22, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Love this!

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    May 22, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Debbie, I’m not a morning person so any advice you have for me to start my day with positivity will be much appreciated! Janice,
    Arvada Colorado

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    Kathy Koke-Drum
    May 22, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    As I read this I felt energized because I do some of the same things. Although not first, or early in the morning. I have discovered there isn’t a thing I can do with out Father God, Jesus Christ & Holy Spirit. I just don’t have any incentive to do anything. This has been quite an awakening to why I seem to just be working in circles & not seeming to be accomplishing anything. So First And Early will be my God Time, when I will read His word, & ask Him what are His plans for me.
    I am now even more aware of the fact that I need to get back to writing down what 6 things I need to get done for the day.
    Thank you Debbie for sharing this with us. I found it most helpful & interesting.

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    J Keeley
    May 22, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Love to read the posts.

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    May 22, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    This is wonderful. Thank you for you!

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    Carol McGuires
    May 22, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I have read and sometimes a lot reread your many books, the navy series and of course the harbor ones yes the tv too ! Coming from that part of the country takes me home in each book I read. After my late husband passed your writing was such a source of comfort and joy . So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and novel s

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    Olivia Klupenger
    May 22, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    It would have been nice if I could have started a journal from an early age. Boy, would I have a lot of stories to tell. I am an early riser but my husband is not . He would rather I stay in bed for another hour or so. So, I say my morning prayers , thanking God for a restful night and for all his blessings. I pray for my children and their families , for my grandchildren to help them through their daily struggles, for our government officials, for peace in our hearts, in our families and in the world. Before long, it’s time to rise and start the day!

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    May 22, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Enjoyed all of your newsletter!

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    Janet Rowland
    May 23, 2018 at 1:35 am

    I love these stories you’ve shared. Especially the one about setting a morning routine. Thank you for sharing so much of you with all of us. For me, it’s like visiting with a dear, wise friend.

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    May 23, 2018 at 1:47 am

    I’m like you – I wake early and happy. My church sends out a “First 15” Devotional that gets our day started. I also have read the entire Bible each year for several years. It is amazing how my perspective changes each year so it is like reading a different story every year as a lot of it seems very familiar, but then other parts stand out to me in a different way depending on what is going on in my life. I have become much more mellow and laid back since I started this practice.

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    May 23, 2018 at 2:02 am

    This is awesome, spending time with God in the morning is great and reading thru the Bible 20 years in a row how incredible. I admire you so much for that alone. God is good. Also listing 5 things to be thankful for, I am going to try that, I need more positivity in my day. I am a morning person too but I do live with a more negative person who is not on the same journey with Christ that I am.
    Thanks for the blog, the books and the wonderful ideas.

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    May 23, 2018 at 2:14 am

    I love thatyou love God and give him part of your day, partvof your writing, and infuse him ibto your life and your writing.
    Your books always keep me interested (can’t put the book down) and love that they are clean 😉

  • Reply
    Marian Carol Carter
    May 23, 2018 at 2:32 am


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    Kathryn Mary Stahl
    May 23, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Good evening, Debbie. I appreciate your suggestions for stating the day with a positive attitude. The counselor at the Clinton (Michigan) Elementary School gave a lesson to the 4th grade class about “We can CHOOSE our attitude.” I was volunteering that day. The next day when I left home to volunteer in a different class, I was very irritated, even angry. My husband had eaten the last of the cereal and I had to go without breakfast. I remembered the counselor’s suggestions and reminded myself that I loved being in the classroom, loved the students, respected the staff and enjoyed helping with their lessons. Correcting papers to save the teacher HER after-school time and NO lesson plans to make on my own. So I chose those thoughts and the day was a very good one. I don’t jurnal but I thank God every day for many things. As an example, I am not a derr, a moose or an elk and do not have to carry those antlers for months. My neck aches to think of it. However I know that the deer, elk, and moose have necks that can carry all that weight. I thank God for our beautiful planet. I pray for Muslim women. I pray that Muslim leaders will decide to choose respect for women. I pray for our servicewomen and men and an end to our presence in the Middle East. I will print out your tips on positivity. Thank you again. Sincerely, Kathryn Mary Stahl, leesburg, Florida, USA

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    May 23, 2018 at 3:09 am

    You are not only discipined, you are also an inspiration to all of us. Thank you Debbie.

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    Beverly Howe
    May 23, 2018 at 4:33 am

    Beautiful information about starting your day. I start with God and end with God. I’m 78 now and who knows when it is the day I’m called home to be with Jesus. Every day I ask forgiveness for my sins and to be strong. I love your books Debbie. They are really inspiring. The problem I have is if I start one at bedtime then I want to stay up all night reading. God Bless You Debbie for all you do both in volunteering and work. You are a marvelous writer and put out get books. I am very thankful they are not full of sex stuff which is so disgusting and usually quit reading the book. I hope I am lucky enough to win your giveaway.

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    Helen Peoples
    May 23, 2018 at 7:07 am

    I’m training a new puppy. So mornings are no longer my own. I know things will settle down again, eventually, but for now it is one more stress. My ongoing dialog with God has suffered. I’m not as young as I was the last time I did this. God is reminding me in many ways to look to Him fir guidance and support. This blig is a great reminder to look to God . I named my new little girl Angel. A definite misnomer. But my Callie (cat) has decided to love her and so have I, Love is a decision and it is work. But oh the rewards. I pray God continues to bless you. Starting the day with God is the best way to start the day.

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    Wendy KOVACH
    May 23, 2018 at 11:07 am

    You are such an inspiration. Love your website.

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    Joann Younts
    May 23, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Debbie…I love this section. If I could figure out how to print it out, I would hang the whole thing on my refrigerator, so I could look at it often.
    I went thru chemo & when my ” chemo brain ” gets hold of me, I have to give myself a good talking to. Knowing that God will see me thru this time, I’ve been praying for something to help me get back on track. PTL….this morning, I open your e-mail & read this. God is so faithful in answering our prayers.
    Thank you so much & God Bless You.

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    May 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    You are truly a beautiful person.

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    Sharol Molland
    May 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I have a very strong faith in God and I have found peace within by keeping a positive outlook on life. I believe I see angels all around me through friends who have befriended me or been an inspiration in ways they don’t realize they’ve been to another person. My husband has suffered through many years of cancer and heart problems and I’ve learned that there is always hope, He should have died many years ago, but he’s still with me. How blessed we have been.

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    Reba McGaha
    May 23, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Debbie, reading how you start your day is a true inspiration for me to try to be more structured in my time at the beginning of the day to spend time with God and listen to Him as I plan my day for guidance from Him. God bless you for the inspiration that you surely are to a lot of different people.

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    Christine Kellogg
    May 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    I love your AM ritual—I think, even in my old age, that I may give it a try! Thank you.

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    kathie m lowry
    May 23, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Debbie , I have read so many of your books , I just finished knitted together and enjoyed it so much . I must say that you have to be one of the most energetic persons I’ve ever heard of . if ever there is a way to bottle some of your energy I will buy it . thank You for being such a great champion to women .

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    Vonnie Ballew
    May 23, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    I just read how to start a morning routine. I LOVED it!!!!! Keep up the great wonderful work. I really enjoy reading your books. Was hoping to make it to your yarn store, but was not able. Your staff responded – and I was thankful for that.

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    May 24, 2018 at 1:22 am

    I’m so glad to know you have a blog. I love your books and look forward to following your blog!

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    MaryCarol Wilson
    May 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I plan to use Debbie’s plan for the day to encourage me to have some structure & discipline in my life. I so admired my husband, Larry, for his devotion to God. Larry begins every morning doing the Upper Room devotional. It is not a big devotional but if you knew Larry & how he avoids reading, you would understand that this is a big commitment from him. He rarely misses a day when you cannot find him very first thing in the morning with his Bible open studying God’s Word & reading the devotion provided for that day. I would like to take on that discipline but fail in my attempts. I am hoping to make that my summer goal & pray to accomplish a better devotional, quiet time with God each morning.

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    Kathy S.
    May 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Wow! I am so impressed with how organized and motivated you are! You are such a good example to all of us. Thanks for sharing!

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    Mary Ann Rush
    June 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    I love your morning routine including the Prayer Journal. That sounds so incredible to me. I have never thought of this creative idea before. Thank you for all your amazing books and I am using the new cook book and everyone loves the Gratitude Bread.

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    Bonnie K.
    June 17, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Debbie. You are an inspiration to everyone. I too begin my morning with God, reading the first5 devotional app. Your morning ritual has me kicking it up a notch, or Several! Thanks so much for sharing it.
    I hope you decide to have readers sign up to get your blog via email so we don’t miss any of them. Or maybe sending out am email to us that a new blog has been posted and the link to get to it.

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    July 13, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you everyone for the your comments .I always enjoy Debbie books.

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    joseph pruett
    September 12, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Hi there, I have just retired for the 10th time and am learning at 75 to have a filled life without having to work. People who dedicate themselves to their professions have always inspired me and pushed me to do the same all my years of teaching and being in helping professions. I have given much and loved doing the giving. I so want to give to myself now and fulfill what years I have left. I just found your books and have read some older ones. I plan on following your blog and I want to find other books. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writings with me in your many books.

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