A Quiet Light: Morning Rhythms


A good morning scribble on my black coffee on a very snowy morning.

Before we get started, in case you’re more of a list person, you can scroll past the second heart separator and a list of sorts will kindly meet you there.

I woke with a gentle rub followed by a sweet squeeze on my shoulder, draped underneath a rose patterned quilt.

“Good morning, love.”

As I deeply breathed in the morning air, I fluttered my eyes open to a dark bedroom, no light drifting in from the window, just darkness, but there was his voice pulling me from my sleep. “You need to call your sister.”

Lifting my eyebrows to stretch my heavy eyes open, blinking once, twice, and then again, I swung the covers off, kissed the gentle voice that woke me, and stumbled to the bathroom.

I tried to shush the FaceTime ring but fumbled to find the volume.

Again, darkness in my sister’s answered screen. But there she was, that voice of familiarity, the one I grew up loving and knowing. My sister answered hurriedly, “I’m up. I’m up.”

I giggled, feeling the same sentiment. “Good morning, Han.”

The screen was still black as the deepest night sky. I squeezed my eyes shut as she flicked her light on, followed by the steady stream of the faucet flowing cold water into her empty coffee pot.

In my bathroom, I flicked the lights on and splashed my face with warm water, approaching awake, but not quite there yet.

We bounced off one another’s yawns with the sound of the coffee pot heating up, flickering like a campfire then thunderous roars as the water hit boiling temperatures. And as if taking a deep, long, satisfying breath out, the coffee pot simmered to a steady drip.

I shuffled back into the bedroom, opening up our study for the morning. I pinched my arm to help keep me focused as I read the tiny words on the pages. I leaned into the palm of my hand, my elbow pressed into the desk, holding me up. But once I noticed my heavy slouch, I shot up. Back straight, eyes open. Let’s focus.

Her coffee hissed as it brightly declared finished. I grimaced as her chair squealed against the tile, pushing the chair from the table. Bryan rolled to his side, then his breath steadied to that sleepy cadence.

A quiet light lingered at the bedroom window, until finally it demanded to be seen: morning. There it was, meandering in the bedroom, dancing on the words, tugging at my posture to sit up, wake up.

On the screen, Hannah cautiously sipped her fresh, steaming coffee.

“I’m curious if he meant, well, more here,” I said, flipping through the pages, looking for previous notes and insights.

“Yeah. I don’t know. Alright, I’ve gotta get going. Russell will be here in a few. Have a good morning!”

Good Morning.

This kind of morning, the one where I read with my sister via FaceTime, hasn’t happened in a while, especially now that I live a whole hour ahead of her. Hello Eastern Time.

Morning rhythms have been something I’m constantly adapting as our lives change quite a bit, especially recently. A few things, however, never change:


It starts with a splash of water on my face and then a large gulp into my belly.


And depending on the day, I either enjoy a brisk walk around the neighborhood or bunny hop my way through a run. I recently started the couch to 5k running program. So many of my friends (Claudia, Rebbekah, Anne Elizabeth to name a few) endorse that runner’s high. I haven’t quite gotten there just yet, but crossing my fingers for when that happens. Until then, I love a nice walk about.


A cup of black coffee in hand and a completed list of gratitude scribblings for a morning meditation.

I typically have a cup of coffee nearby while I spend roughly an hour or so grounding my day, reflecting on the things that matter most, and creating that foundation I desperately need each day.

Once upon a time, Han and I would read together (see above). The habit was created, and yes she still holds me accountable, but I no longer require her to wake up at ridiculous hours for me. Thank you, Han. We instead check in throughout the day with one another and gleam insights I had failed to see on my own.

Your meditation hour could look so different from mine. There are so many great ways to fill in here for a steady, relaxing, introspective start to the day. Perhaps, gratitude journaling or meditating with Andi or scribbling your morning pages would all be such good options, too.


This one is fairly recent. I tacked on drawing to my morning rhythms because it kept getting pushed back and back until I was in my PJs, showered, deep in a WWII historical fiction, and forgetting that I wanted to practice drawing today.

A sketch of Ginger from Ginger and the sun chapter series that I'm currently working through.

Mornings are important to me. And so, I hesitantly introduced learning something new to the rest of my ideal morning endeavors. I say hesitant because I really struggle with being vulnerable and imperfect even in the quiet comforts of my own mind. There’s a lot of pride in there and, well, drawing is not one of those things that makes me feel adequate. But my mornings, lately, have been about growth. And learning and growing, well, what better combination?

This is also the time I spend watching Marco Polos of my dear friends back in Texas. I miss them dearly and love that they are a part of my mornings. They make me laugh and cry. So I scribble in my little drawing book while they tell me stories. It’s wonderful.

And once I’ve dusted the desk from all the eraser shavings and sip that last bit of coffee, I’m ready for the day.

If you’re like Bryan, then you’ll quickly work out that this is a long morning, like basically the whole morning. It is a massive privilege to spend 3 plus hours in a morning routine.

I want my mornings to be about practicing presence and mindfulness, so that means for me leaving the clock alone and instead listening to my body, focusing on what I’m learning or reading, spending a little extra time to really pay attention.

As they say, a good morning routine or rhythm starts with a good nightly one. More on that later. For now, I hope you have a good morning, experiencing it the way you want to, the way that works best for a growing you.

Love and Gratitude,