I LOVE waking up early. I do not love getting out of my warm bed to step onto a cold floor, having a dream disturbed, or prying my heavy eyelids off of my eyeballs. But once these steps have been taken, I enjoy the morning. I enjoy time with my husband before he goes to work, a quiet house in which to read my Bible and pray, a peaceful hour to myself before the wrangling of children begins, and the feeling of starting my day on time. I feel calmer all day long because I have had time to direct my thoughts above and to recognize that any trials I face today are little compared to the glory of heaven and the majesty of God. I feel like praying in the morning has made my days smoother. I don't know if it is because God has smoothed my path or if He has soothed my soul, but either way the days just go better when I stop and pray in the morning. My family is happier, and so am I.
My previous routine involved sleeping until the children woke me. I still had to get out of my warm bed. My dreams were still disturbed upon awaking, and I still had to pry open my eyelids. I spent no time with my husband before he left for the day. I haphazardly read my Bible between demands from children if I read it at all. Morning prayers were a quick plea for help and patience. I struggled to get my mind around everything I had to accomplish that day, and I hit the ground running, but always felt a step or two behind. I felt stressed, short tempered, and overwhelmed. I wanted to be left alone for a few days to just charge my batteries, and my emotions were very close to the surface making them harder to control. I would get angry quickly, snap, and then be encompassed in a sea of guilt. I felt like I was failing my family.
When these two routines are contrasted, the choice seems pretty obvious. You might think that after a few weeks to adjust, I would just pop out of bed and hit the ground running. You might think that the benefits are so abundant that I would eagerly arise to start my day. But I find that the reality is, every morning, I have to make a decision to not give in to the voices telling me I deserve another hour of sleep. I have to decide EVERY morning to get up. I have to decide to sacrifice sloth to gain peace. I have to choose obedience, trusting blessings will follow. I have found it to be so, but I still have to remind myself of that fact every time the alarm goes off. Waking up is not easy, but it is good. The words of this hymn say it better than I ever could.
Walk With God
from the Harp of Ages
Darrene Nowlin Collins Morris Nowlin
"I love the quietness of the morning, the peaceful beauty of the day. I love to go into my bower and humbly bow my head and pray."
"Oh what a joy and peace it gives me, to talk to Jesus in a prayer. It gives me hope and consolation. It lifts me from my every care."
"Things seem brighter in the morning, as God so boldly shows His face. It makes me want to shout His praises, and thank Him for amazing grace."
"Oh, may His grace and mercy guide me, that when it's finished I can say, when the evening sun is setting, I have walked with God today."