Seven years ago, I began waking up at wee hours to care for my firstborn nursing child, who quickly grew into a toddling child. Soon enough, I woke early to care for another nursing child. And over time, though rather quickly, I birthed and nursed two more little ones.
Suddenly my mornings were quite noisy, and so was my mind. I hadn’t established a rhythm for meeting with the Lord, and evidence was everywhere.
Morning after morning, I realized these four little ones needing my care gave me four very strong reasons to change our rhythm. And so, I began to wake up early and care for my mind. It took a little bit of time, but like a garden planted, steady growth was noticeable.
There isn’t much we can control in our lives, however there is much we can control over how we respond to things! God has given us agency over our lives, and so this deeply encourages me to keep seeking the Lord in all that I do. Because HE IS, I AM. Being made in His image, I have agency to live out the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control).
Joshua 1:9 tells us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I mean, what results could possibly occur from waking up early to care for my mind?! An abundance of goodness, that is for certain.
For me to gracefully make it through my calling to mother, care for our household, and pray for / with my sisters in Christ, I must keep my Bible nearby and study it often.
And so, I rise early. During the cool and dark of the early morning, I side-step across our hardwood floors. I move from our bedroom, down the hallway, past bedrooms with sleeping children, in search of my Bible. Steady movements.
And like the steady movements I take across the floor, steady growth happens. Roots form. Knowledge grows. Grace sprouts.
As the light of the sun breaks through the horizon, my temptation to give birth to unhealthy thoughts (worry, comparison, defeat, anger) fades more and more, and the day literally transforms before my eyes.
This early morning sanctification has been a process, that is for sure. I did not grow into “a woman of the Word” by chance. Instead, I slowly began to notice the behaviors of the women mentors in my life. Through the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit I knew I wanted to model my life after theirs. So I started to ask them questions. And while these women are all quite different from each other, what they have in common is a desire to live a life that honors the Lord.
I’m reminded of Genesis 50:21b where Joseph comforted his fearful eleven brothers and spoke kindly to them. That’s the posture I want to present to my children. “A quiet and gentle spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” as mentioned in 1 Peter 3:4. This is why I wake early, hours before the sun rises. It’s a cycle of grace; a steady rhythm of grace.
When my children emerge from their cozy bedrooms, when they bring their warm bodies to my side and flash me their smiles, I respond this way: “Oh, I am SO happy to see you! Good morning, good morning!”
What a powerful way for my children to start their day; what a powerful way for me to start my day!
May the grace and peace of Christ flood not only your heart, but also your home. Amen.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: