|Around 6:00 am on Christmas morning in my backyard|
Then there were the years when Tim and I were married without children yet. We'd groggily open one eye on a late Saturday morning and say to one another, "Enjoy these weekends of sleeping in, smoochkins (yes, that was the corny name we had for one another back then). After the kiddos come we'll be up early enough."
If only I had known the half of it! Elena, Camille, and Leanne slept till sane- people hours soon enough in their infancy, but Chloe was a whole different story. She always has been! That bright-eyed, dimpled, springy-curled child broke me into accepting 5 am wake- ups as par for the course. It was either that, or pull my hair out in desperation. Actually, she was preparing me for the last days of my pregnancy with Daisy.
I had gotten HUGE during my pregnancy with Daisy. Wouldn't you know it, she didn't want to come out when she was "supposed to." Days past her due date, I would fall into bed exhausted, but hopeful (will this be the night I go into labor? Oh, please God! Let it be so!), and awaken around 3 am or so with intermittent, mild contractions. I would lay in bed for at least an hour, counting the contractions and the minutes, sleepy, but wondering if this was "it." Well, I thought to myself, if I am in labor and I get up, the contractions will keep on going. So, I'd get up, go to the kitchen for a snack, and sit at the table reading my Bible. Too many mornings, the sun would rise over the field behind my house, and I would sit there with a calm, relaxed uterus - all contractions had ceased completely. The sun, bright orange and glowing like fire some mornings, seemed to be saying, "Not this morning, dear. Perhaps soon...." Those mornings, mixed with discouragement and exhaustion, were accentuated by a glorious sunrise. It was the one redemptive aspect of those 10 days I waited till I finally went to the hospital and evicted that 9 1/2+ pound child. Amniohooks have their place in modern day labor (although I think they are way overused for the most part).
Anyway, fast forward to my current schedule. With six kids, ages 2 to 15, in various places throughout the day, and multiple demands on my time, energy, and organizational skills, I absolutely have to start the day out with prayer and Bible reading. It makes such a difference in my day. The problem is I can't seem to get up early enough. I frequently find Daisy and Julia have arrived in my bed throughout the night and half the time I didn't even know it! If I can get out of bed by 5:45 a.m. and am very quiet, so as not to wake them, then I can help get Tim's food ready for his long days and then sneak into my office for some reading time, journaling, and prayer. Sometimes, they wake up, though, and I'm holding Julia on my lap who wants to cuddle as I read, but she really needs a diaper change. Or, she's hungry, and because Chloe is still usually an early riser (thank God now!), I'll send Julia to Chloe who gets her some cereal. I then have a couple more minutes to jot down some prayers I like to write out.
The part of my morning I treasure the most, however, is observing the sunrise over my backyard field. I simply am in awe most mornings. I pause and look out the window in my office. Frequently, I say, "Oh, thank you Lord. Good morning to you, too. You are simply awesome!" The heavens declare the glory of God....Indeed they do. They also reveal a loving Father who rewards those who diligently seek him. He whispers to me in those sunrises, "Today's another day to experience my presence and joy in your life. I love that you love my expressions of kindness toward you. I will be with you today in all things."
Oh how I need that reminder!
|The view out of the back room next to my office at 6:30 am or so|