Oh, how I miss it.
I miss going to bed and having every expectation that I will not be disturbed until my alarm blares. Or the neighbor’s rooster gets cranked up. Whichever comes first.
I miss waking up refreshed.
These days, when I wake up—never of my own accord—every cell in my body joins in a protest march.
I picture them with tiny picket signs as they work to put my sleep deprived body in motion.
“More sleep!” “Two more hours.” “Stop the madness!” “Are you crazy, woman?”
Their threats are simple. They want more sleep, but if I refuse, they demand an immediate caffeine infusion or—and they’ve made good on this threat—they will shut me down.
To make matters worse, I’m not a morning person. If I had my way, I’d go to bed around midnight and sleep until eight.
And all would be right with the world.
Instead, I go to bed sometime before midnight if I’m lucky, get up at least once or twice to soothe the baby, sometimes once or twice to feed the baby, and then somewhere around 6AM, I hear tiny feet approach.
“You still sleep mommy?”
“I want Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in mommy’s bed.”
“Of course you do.”
Somehow, my two-year old misses the sarcasm and climbs in the bed chattering at full volume about rocket ships and jet packs and requests for milk and a banana.
Once I’m awake, the demands of the day invade my mind and while a permeating exhaustion remains, sleep flees.
In an unexpected and stunning development, I’ve discovered that, once properly “coffeinated” (I made that up—do you like it?), I enjoy watching the day begin, especially if I can be outside as the sky fades from gray to blue.
And there’s an intangible delight in spending time with the Lord before the insanity that is my daily life begins.
So much so, that I find on the rare day when I get to sleep in and start my day a couple of hours later, while my body appreciates the sleep, my spirit misses the atmosphere of the earlier hours.
I’ve always dismissed those "morning" verses. You know the ones I’m talking about. Psalms is full of them. Not to mention the example we have from Jesus (and no one's "busy" life can compare to His). So much talk about “early in the morning” and “rising before dawn” — it’s enough to give any self-respecting night owl nightmares.
But I’m starting to wonder if they were on to something.
If maybe getting up early and spending some time with the Lord as the day is dawning has advantages I’ve never fully appreciated.
It means sacrificing some sleep (I can feel the picket line forming), but the benefits are worth it.
Give it a try . . . you just might like it. And if you do, tell us about it in the comments.
Psalm 5:3 ~ O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. (ESV)