Let me just say that I am not a morning person. While I will admit I tend to be on the more chipper side of the bunch even when awake early, it is not something that I enjoy. I love sleep. Before I had kids I was a really, really great sleeper. On the weekends, I perfected the art of sleeping in and during the work week I would find that optimal wake-up time that would ensure enough time to get dressed and shower before work while maximizing my sleep down to the minute. Why did I used to complain about waking up at 7:45? Why was that??!!
Now that our girls are a little older and somewhat more predictable, we have successfully set a “wake up” time. Molé obviously doesn’t get it yet, but for BQ it’s great and since they share a room it works for both of them. The girls are not allowed out of their room until 7 a.m. so even if they wake up earlier, the yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…” cannot begin until that beautiful number shows up on the clock. If the yelling does begin earlier, they have learned that this “mommy person” is a no show (don’t worry I can tell if there is a really something going on that needs me and I do respond to that). It has truly been miraculous. I know that some of my friends have purchased clocks that use color to show a child when they can wake up- all ingenious. Regardless, if you have a child who is old enough to get the concept of colors or numbers you should give it a try. It has given me such freedom to know that I have until 7 in the morning. This isn’t to say that there aren’t days my kids are sick or just plain old whiny by 6:30, I’m no miracle worker. But, this schedule has given me the freedom to better plan my own mornings. I have a husband who leaves for work when it is dark out, so I don’t have an extra set of hands around in the a.m. to help me get in a shower, cup of coffee, or quiet time to read or pray before beginning the day. As a result, I have not done a very good job of dragging myself out of bed early to prepare for the day and it has really taken its toll on my body and spirit.
It’s funny how often I think that physical sleep alone will bring me the most rest. Sleep is crucial and we definitely cannot function (well) without an adequate amount. Being a parent lack of sleep just comes with the territory at various stages of life with our kids. That’s a given. What’s crucial is that we make sure we refuel our entire self- mind, body and spirit. I thought I was doing that with my extra half hour of sleep, but in reality I was draining myself even more. So, I have decided that it is time to stop making excuses. I am going to get up early in the morning, because I need the rest.
This morning was the first time I had success. I asked my husband if he would bring me a cup of coffee when he comes to give me a kiss goodbye. That way I can sit in bed for a couple of minutes, take some sips, and still have that “wake up slowly” feeling. I also have a wonderful book and my Bible sitting right there, so I don’t technically have to go anywhere. A first step. The day began without me feeling behind. I had already invited God to enter into our day, which for me is crucial. As I talked about on a previous blog post, God is real to me and life without Him is just a series of me fumbling, wandering, and losing my mind. Knowing that before it’s gotten even a bit chaotic I have spent time in prayer fills me with unspeakable peace. I know that for many of you who read this blog a day without prayer and connection with God is a day of chaos too. I’d love to hear your strategies for fitting in prayer and quiet time while mothering small children!
All this to say, it’s pretty obvious that in life when we make hard choices and do the things that are difficult, it pays off. Putting in the hard work is definitely worth it 99% of the time. With the help of coffee, a very kind husband, and God himself I am going to make this happen. Frankly, I’m way too tired to sleep. I’m choosing rest, real rest instead.
That’s all from me, but I wanted to share something I read this morning. It’s from a translation of the Bible called The Message and is a passage where Jesus is talking to his followers about rest. This is what I am craving- why settle for anything less?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:27