Saturday, January 30, 2010

An early morning appointment with God

When we first got married Tim predicted that, though at the time, I dreaded dragging myself out of bed at even 9 am, I would one day be a morning person. He was sure that once we had children I would start to rise earlier and even look forward to the mornings when I might steal a few minutes of peace before the kids got up. This, apparently, was what his mother did when he and his four siblings were little and he thought it must be a sort of universal mom thing. I wasn't so sure.
Fortunately for me, our first child was a night owl, like Tim and I, and would sleep until 10 am most mornings, even as a baby. I remember reminding Tim of his prediction and pointing out that it had yet to be fulfilled. In fact, even after our first four children were born, I would burrow under the covers, when morning came, trying to steal a few extra minutes of blessed sleep. Of course, I was not sleeping until 10 am anymore but anything earlier than 8:30 still felt like the middle of the night to me. For the most part, our four children all agreed. Then along came our beautiful fifth child. She certainly looks like she belongs to the family, with her big beautiful eyes and her long (yet very chubby) legs. Her sleep patterns, however, could definitely not have been inherited from me! Here, finally, is Tim's morning person! She awakens, most days, when it is still pitch black outside my window and is ready to start the day by 6 am, if not earlier.
I am desperately hoping she will outgrow this very bad habit quickly! Yet, despite my sincere hope that this is short lived, I am actually starting to appreciate my mother-in-law's wisdom. I have come to discover that there is an amazing peace in the quiet, dark early morning hours. I am now starting my days with prayer as I nurse the baby in virtual silence. I am able to truly reflect on the upcoming day and to even listen for God's quiet voice in the stillness of the new dawn. I can watch from my window as the sun lights up the morning sky and see a special beauty as day breaks and the world comes awake. I feel a little closer to God as I rise to this time of peace and prayer than I did when my day started with the chaos of four children clamoring for breakfast and fighting over who gets to look at the back of the cereal box. I am filled with gratitude for my life and my family as I sit quietly nursing and snuggling my baby instead of being filled with resentment that I must greet a day already filled with bickering and screeching. It seems, these days, this is the only peace and tranquility I have and so, though I still sort of wish it could come at noon, I am savoring every minute of it. Because, deep, deep down, I am hoping that any day now baby will start to sleep till the more reasonable hour of 10 am!

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