Erin smith: becoming his



I was frustrated. Frustrated at my lack of discipline with going to bed on time. Frustrated with not getting in quality time with God each day; it either wasn’t happening or I was giving Him time at the end of the day in complete exhaustion. Frustrated with not getting up on time…and therefore not getting to work on time. I’d been rolling in to work late consistently for several weeks. Overall I felt like I was failing in a lot of areas of life and had been for quite some time.

On a Monday night in late July, I made a resolve to change. It was one of those nights that I hadn’t gotten in time with God yet that day and it was 9:45 pm. I was exhausted after working all day and then spending the evening with a good friend. As I was driving home from my friend’s house I knew I needed to make a change and it needed to be pretty drastic.

Instead of going home and trying to get in some Bible reading that night, I went to bed but set my alarm for extra early. I was going to leave the house early and go to the coffee shop. If I couldn’t be disciplined to make time for what I was communicating was the most important thing in my life – my relationship with God – in my normal “waking” hours I was going to have to start making some changes.

That was nearly 6 months ago and I have only missed a handful of early workday mornings at the coffee shop. In fact, my original goal was that I would go to the coffee shop 3-4 mornings a week. But, when then the first Friday came around (which was going to be my “grace” day), I really wanted to get up because I wanted to make this a habit. And then the second Friday came, and I just wanted to get up because I was enjoying my study of the Word and connecting with God so much. And so it has continued. Some days have been harder to get up than others, but I’ve forced myself out on those days knowing that I would regret it if I didn’t.

It’s hard for me to describe how great this new morning routine has been for me. It’s revived my soul in some incredible ways. It’s allowed me to be more focused each day because I’ve focused myself on Him and His Truth. I’ve been to work on time every day that I’ve gone to the coffee shop. And, because I’m up so early, I’m forced to go to bed at a decent time. I have set a bed time for myself; I don’t always hit it, but I won’t let it be an excuse for not getting up the next morning. At this point it’s a non-negotiable.

The greatest thing though is my attitude and the words that are on my heart and mind! It’s focused on the truth and I can meditate on the scripture I’ve read in the morning all throughout the day.

As I’ve been in the Word, it’s been so much easier to recall scripture that I know and have memorized – and trust me, I’m not good at memorizing!

A few months back, doing the SheReadsTruth study through Proverbs was incredible for me. I felt like there was so much truth that jumped off the pages at me about gaining wisdom. It all culminated in Proverbs 31. I’d read it a million times before, but having just read through the whole book and taking time to study the verses, it was amazing to see how verses 25-26 came alive for me. “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” I remember my first thoughts being “May I be that woman. May the Word so penetrate my heart and life that this is true of me.”

It can be hard to see the changes that are taking place within us when we’re in the midst of them. But, I was struck a few weeks ago when I wasn’t able to make it to the coffee shop for several days due to not feeling well. Near the end of that week I recognized that I was having a really “off” day. Everything was wrong and yet nothing was really wrong at the same time. I just knew something wasn’t right.

As I was getting ready for bed that night I was struck with the thought that I used to have a lot of days like this prior to starting my morning routine. And, that since really making it a habit to get in the Word so consistently, I was having far less of them. Even if the morning started off with some defeated thoughts, I could usually be doing well as I got my heart and mind centered on Him and in the Word. It was one of those “Ahha!” moments.

God has been working in me. He has been changing me. And hopefully allowing me to become a woman like in Proverbs 31:25-26 — for His Glory.

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  • Thank you for sharing this Erin! Since May 1 of this year I have had an incredibly similar change in my life! Having recently discovered my husbands unfaithfulness to me, I was through the floor with grief! I have turned to the Lord in an incredible way! The only difference in our story is that instead of going to a coffee shop for time with the Lord, I now go on some version of a 45 minute power walk each morning, where I am able to totally focus my thoughts on Him, as well as revitalize my mind and body through exercise, which was so necessary considering what I was going through in my life. When I return home I am enjoying spending time in His Word, filling myself with His Truths. It has been completely transforming for me!
    So again, thank you for sharing your story! I am happy for you and the joy you have found in adjusting your schedule to allow for wonderfully renewing time with Him each day!

  • sarah beth

    I'm trying to focus on prayer and really talking to him. I want to feel His presence….. A lot of times i Dont. I'm also struggling with fear…specifically of storms. We live in a ,manufactured home and have no basement. We live in tornado alley. Could someone help me how I can trust Him' to keep me safe?

  • I've been trying to have quiet time in the morning (like now!) before work, to read through devotionals, catch up on SRT and just be silent before God. It's REALLY hard but I know it'll be worth it.

  • Such an amazing testimony! It can be so "hard" to get into the word but it is the most delightful experience when we do. I remind myself with the song "Holiday" by Shane & Shane. It truly is a holiday whenever I can be in his presence and grow closer to him in prayer and in his word. :)

  • humblemaiden

    Wow, God is so amazing! Truly God lead me to this website. I am so encouraged by the testimonys on here. I to have been making excuses as to spending quality time with the Lord. I know that i must make the decision to get myself up in the morning, to spend time in reading and prayer for Gods guidance throughout the day. The scripture ‘ seek ye first the kingdom’ is one that i think about constantly, but yet i haven’t made that step to seek God first (as much as i want to) i’ve let other things come before God and i know with all my heart that has to change. It’s such a blessing to find like-minded people of God who truly love the Lord and seek to be more like him each day. ‘by their fruits shall know them’
    God bless you all.

  • Julie V.

    This really struck a chord with me. I actually got up early this morning and headed to my local Panera, thanks to your suggestion. It wasn't busy and I got to start my day off right with Nehemiah. Thank you for sharing.

    Autumn Dawn – I have struggled with depression in my life, and I can relate to how hard it is. I will pray that you find peace and come through this time a stronger person. He is there with you at every step.

  • Erin, thank you for your words of common sense. If something is of value in your life, you make time for it. And what could be more valuable than our relationship with our father?

    Autumn Dawn, praying and thanking God for you.

  • monique(forgiven)

    I’m learning how to give more time to God. I’m not always consistent but I’m learning how to be. Early in the a.m around 3:30-5:00am is the quietest time for me because everyone is sleeeping.I’m tired but I press because God has a word for me. Thank you Lord!!

  • That is like the story of us all! Thanks for sharing Erin :) I started consistently spending time with God first thing in the morning a few months ago when I realized I made the sacrifice to wake up super early to work out but left God last in my day. Now my thought is if I have time to work out at 5 am I better have time to spend time with my savior too!

  • Madeline C.

    I definitely feel the same way Erin. I feel so good when I start my day w/ God, I just find it so hard sometimes!

    Autumn, you are in my prayers! I used to have depression and I’m full of advice…but above all you need prayer, and I will be praying for you!

  • Erin thank you for your testimony. The first scripture that came to mind was: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”(Matthew 6:33 KJV)

    Know that God honor your time with Him. As you draw near to Him He will draw near to you and in His presence is fullness of joy…He will continue to mold and shape you into the vessel He desires you to be…JUST KEEP PRESSING!

    Autumn Dawn…you are in my prayers.

  • It’s amazing how much of these testimonies and devitionals have touches my heart. Specifically, today’s restimony is something I can relate to. I have teetered between early AM and late PM time with God. Now, I will seet an appointment with my Lord and Savior. It makes my days easier to handle. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Erin, thank you for sharing your testimony. I feel it was speaking directly too me! I have often struggled with putting time aside in the mornings for God. I will read a devotional or listen to a podcast on my commute to work but not spend any real time in the word (thinking/writing) I tend to do my SRT in evening or in the morning if it is my day off. I need a proper structure. I NEED to set that alarm and actually get up. I put so excuses up (I'm up so early anyway, I have to commute, I'm not a morning person) blah blah blah. But really, is this just the enemy keeping me from time with Father? From tomorrow I know what needs done. Thank you for the encouragement. I need my days to be full of Him!

  • Thank you for sharing your testimony, Erin! Like Candace said, you pretty much spoke the heart of everyone of us on here. Like you said, some mornings are harder than others so I made a decision (lately) that as soon as I open my eyes to a new day, I’ll get the word in FIRST. Even if it’s for five minutes. I choose to get something in and I feel off when I don’t do it. Like something’s missing. Thanks again for sharing, friend!

  • hooleywithaz

    i struggle with this so. much. i have not been able to take the leap to take action on fixing this in my life, and have been praying for the push to help me through it. this is such a good reminder to keep trying.

    • Candacejo

      I had a lot more trouble when I was younger and my boys were home and in school. I admit it is much easier now that my time is my own! It isn't necessarily the quantity but the quality! Don't be so hard on yourself…but do keep trying :)

  • Autumn Dawn Leader (aka Songmistress)

    Thank you for your testimony, Erin.

    Having that time with God, to prepare for the day, makes such a real difference. It doesn’t mean the day will go perfectly but, when things do go wrong, having that time in the morning with God makes me more aware of His very present help in time of trouble.

    I’m going through a very, very dark, rough time with depression right now. Every day is a struggle and some days are truly excruciating. But, since joining #SheReadsTruth at the beginning of the year, I have not missed a day of reading God’s Word. I have been more consistent in Bible reading and quiet time than ever before in my whole Christian life. And, even though life feels very sad, ugly and terrible right now, I know that each time I spend that daily time in prayer and the Word I am putting myself in a place to receive what I need to help me be able to force myself out of the bed and face the day.

    • Oh, Lord. Thank you for Autumn Dawn Leader. Thank you for the talents with which you have blessed her, and thank you for her faithfulness in sharing those with others. Would you please shine your light into her life. May she find strength in your joy, Lord Jesus.

      Praise the Lord ! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord ! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord ! (Psalms 111:1-4 NLT)

    • My heart goes out to you…I've been where you are. I know how hard it is! God is near, keep reaching for Him and let Him help you. Turn to the Word, there is so much help there. That is where I found my strength, that and praise and worship. Worship and praise brings down walls and breaks chains! Praise releases angels to minister, knocks down walls of resistance and brings God onto the scene! We worship God for who He is and praise Him for what He has done. Whe you prasie and worship Him you are bringing down His presence because He inhabits the praises of His people. Praise is a weapon of warfare that is not carnal, it is mighty through God in the pulling down of all walls and all strongholds in your life. I will pray with you that God will begin to bring down that wall of depression in Jesus' name!! We will all bind together and pray. ♥

    • My heart breaks for the pain you must feel. As others have said, keep reaching for Him, listening for Him, He really IS there! I have been where you are, and some days I feel myself going back there – on those days, I have to fight extra hard. I have to remind myself that I am a child of HIS, that my beauty and my strength are IN HIM. Its not always easy. But I have learned that when we reach for Him, he never hesitates. He is there with that hand waiting for ours. I am praying for you girl.

  • Ellen MR

    Since December when I started these devo’s , I don’t start my day any other way!! I used to be a voracious reader, but once I started SRT I spend all that time I used to spend reading only in the Word. What a difference! I’m also writing and journaling more than I have in years. It helps me to reflect and to try to really understand His word.
    Congratulations Erin on your positive changes! I agree, sometimes we just have to make up our minds to make these changes. And we always end up winning when we do!!
    Blessings to you today Sister! :)

  • amykelly213

    Erin, you speak my heart! I think we have all experienced (or are experiencing) similar struggles with making time for God. Thank you for bravely sharing your story!!

  • dardartoyo

    This was me. Almost exactly. Without the coffee shop. It was trying to get up before my two and three year old. And it has Bern amazing to give the Lord my day and thoughts. Thanks for sharing :)

  • rocknitat55

    thank u for that testimony. I so agree. When I don’t connect with the Lord 1St n the morning I feel like something is missing. Like I haven’t brushed my teeth. I remember when I was raising my son I would have to get up so early cause I ‘d have to do daycare before work. My devotion would be in my car after I dropped him off. I know people thought I was crazy crying, and speaking in tongues but that was my quiet time. Now since retiring my son goes to work at 5:30am I have the house tomyself I look forward to waking up with SRT and the devotions of the day.
    You know ladies I wake up and I announce to my puppy. That this is the day that the Lord has made… it only seems right to acknowledge our creator who has kept me.
    I sooo desire to grow in the Lord, his word. In Jesus name.
    Ladies have a marvelous Monday.

  • "Everything was wrong and yet nothing was really wrong at the same time."

    Isn't that an awesome feeling, when you realize that everything around you is messed up, but you aren't even phased by it? You are so close with God, you're in a whole different state of mind than what the world looks at, and sees as "good." It's awesome.

    My pastor gave a word last week, about how we are to thank God through ALL things. Not just when something good happens, even when it wasn't what we wanted, or had planned, give Him thanks!

    He said "When you have a flat tire, thank God that you don't have two!"

  • I agree with Candace, I think we all have been there. I wake up 30 minutes earlier to get my devotion in, even on the days I exercise before work. When my schedule changed to 10 hour days flesh said no, but my spirit said yes. When I do not have my time with God I feel off. I stop in the middle of the day and take some time to study. Things fall back in place and I feel like I can go on. This saying has stayed with me that put it allin perspective “people make time for what they want to make time for.” My relationship with God is a priority and I make sure to spend some time with Him daily, even on vacation. Thank you Erin for sharing!

  • Candacejo

    Erin, that was beautiful!! And you have written the testimony of hundreds of us, all of us, here at SRT! If we fail to give HIM the first part of our day, don't we just feel LOST? Almost…naked?? LOL, we are just undone! When I started years ago to make it a deliberate part of my day it forever changed my life. Did it make me perfect? Of course not! But it made me want to be more like Him and strive to be near Him! And I knew I couldn't make it on my own nor did I want to try. I needed His strength, His comfort, His peace, and of course salvation. I wanted to hear His Words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.." Some day…

    The most glorious part of my day is arising first thing, grabbing my mocha, my SRT journal, ipad, and finding my devotion for the day, then prayer and praise! Then I feel like I can face the world!! Not in cowering terror but with confidence that the One who created the Universe is with ME and loves ME and will help me to overcome ANYTHING that comes my way.

    Thank you Erin for speaking what so many of us have felt for so long…your life is a blessing I am sure. You ARE a Proverbs 31 Woman of God!

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