Morning Discipline – Appreciating the Past

green tree

Good morning!

It is a new week and a new day and I’m so glad you could join me as we continue our journey toward renewing our minds and improving our self-discipline. If you’re just joining me, you can read my article, “Morning and Evening: A New Self Discipline Journey” to learn more about why I am doing this, and how this may benefit you as well.

This week we are going to focus each day on reflecting over the last few years, months, weeks, days, and maybe even hours. Each day this week I will provide affirmations, scriptures, and daily challenges regarding this topic. Next week will be a new one!

With that said, let’s start our morning together!


Before we begin let us take some deep breaths to calm our mind and prepare us for this mornings discipline.


I personally like to have some soft music in the background, so if that’s something you like as well below you will find a song you can play for the duration of our time together.

PRAYER For Reflection

Now that we’re calm, let us transition to a time of prayer. Over the next few minutes you can pray on your own or feel free to use the following prayer:

Lord of Compassion,

Show me how to reach a deeper loving. Take me past the pain when love is cast aside, to the source of healing where I can renew myself. Let me take in whatever is given me that is unloving and cleanse it in Your light and return it kind and clear. Expose my cave of darkness where I hide my fears and let me see how the light transforms all it touches.

Steady me as I look into the window of my world and its perfect reflection, as it offers me the choice of correction. Reveal to me the brighter image of the One who stands within the greater possibilities, the fulfillment that is present in the acceptance of every overcoming.

Renew my mind, body and soul Lord, I come before You today in need of Your healing hand. In You all things are possible. Hold my heart within Yours, and renew my mind, body, and soul. I am lost, but I am singing. You gave us life, and You also give us the gift of infinite joy. Give me strength to move forward on the path You’ve laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those You’ve placed around me to help me get better.

In Your name I pray,


Prayer of Self Reflection #1 and #2 | The Spiritual Life

AFFIRMATIONS for Reflection

Here are a few affirmations for this morning that you can put in your pocket and carry with you throughout your day.

As you read through them, repeat each one out loud at least three times before moving to the next. Take your time. Close your eyes and say them to yourself as well. Let these words sink into your heart and mind this morning:

  1. I give myself permission to be quiet and reflect on my many blessings.
  2. I embrace my past and am thankful for the lessons I have learned.
  3. I respect that my past has lead me to this very moment.
  4. My past does not dictate my future.

SCRIPTURES For Reflection

As Christians, our affirmations should be rooted in the strength and power of God who empowers us and strengthens us to face every trial and every day (both good and bad).

Here are some scriptures that further support the affirmations we just spoke to ourselves. Again, repeat each one three times out loud before moving to the next one. Take your time. Maybe try to commit these to memory as well:

  1. Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:5a, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:3, “If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
  4. James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”


Our challenge today is this: look back and appreciate where your past has brought you to today.

Today I happened to look at my Facebook timeline before typing this up and it brought up a memory from 7 years ago. The memory was a picture of my wife with our 4 kids. In the picture my children were 8, 6, 3, and 1 month old.

When the picture was taken we were just absorbing the fact that we had a new child in our midst and now had to juggle 4 children instead of 3. We were younger, we were experiencing some hurts, and sadly I didn’t realize I had spent several years up to this point hurting my own wife with how I handled prioritizing her in my life, and much much more.

There was so much under the surface that was bubbling (some to our knowledge and some that wasn’t), but in the picture we looked so happy. In the fall of the previous year my parents had split up, I was about 1.5 years away from losing my full-time job, and about 2 years away from my church closing and me effectively being made the “scapegoat”.

What a difference 7 years can make. Today, we are stronger, we are older, we are wiser, we are more cautious, we have better jobs, a healthier local church, we have a slightly brighter outlook on life, we’ve reconnected with long lost family members, and more. But 7 years ago you couldn’t have told me I would be where I am today.

While a great deal of pain was experienced in the last 7 years, I am thankful for that journey because it was that path that brought me to where I am today, and it’s part of my story. A story I can pass on to my children, and grandchildren. A story that talks about the pain and trials of life, but also the steadfast love and faithfulness of God who walked with us through the entire thing.

So today, look back over your past and try to appreciate where it has lead you. Maybe you’re still in the midst of the pain and trials though, but let me encourage you that growth involves pain and what you are experiencing will form you and grow you.

Quote of the Day

Today’s quote comes from theologian, philosopher, and Church Father Origen, who said:

In silent thought, we encompass the sea we sailed upon. As I said, man’s heart, which can encompass such great things, is not small.


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