Friday, January 17, 2014

the early mornings

I’ve been up between 4:30 and 5 the last several days.
Whew, that's early. This early-waking has happened a few times during both pregnancies. But, I guess the plus side is, it gives me a good chunk of quiet time. Perhaps the Lord knows that’s just what I’ve needed these past days. I am loving all the time with family and friends – connecting, laughing, sharing. But my soul still craves the quiet and serene. Those moments when I can hear the Lord whisper to my heart exactly what I need to keep my cup overflowing.
Overflowing, not just barely full.
That is my goal for these next few months. To rely on the Lord so that we make it to the end of this semester thriving rather than surviving. Sometimes, there are seasons of survival. And I get that. But I’m not going to be in one right now. Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – including, be content and “overflowing” through this next mini season. Aka: the home stretch of Ben’s graduate school and living in Cambridge.
So, what will that look like? Supporting Ben’s work, both with my attitude and my actions, even if it means long days. Putting the needs of my family before my own. Investing in the friendships that have formed in Cambridge. Daily time in the Word. Prayer. And lots of grace.  Eyes focused – straight ahead on “the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
And he gives grace upon grace.
And then, spring will give way to summer, which will coincidentally give way to a new season for our family. But… one thing at a time.

Moving on.
One reason I don’t drift back off into deep slumber during those wee morning hours is all that’s on my mind. I wake up awake. No time to sleep- too much to think about. Kind of like when you were a kid and you woke up early on Christmas morning. All you could think about was what your presents might be. It was too hard to sleep. Or, maybe, if you are experiencing anxiety, it is easy to have similar sleep habits. Lay awake, thinking thinking thinking.
Well, I’m not a kid on Christmas morning. And I’m not anxious.
But I am thinking. So much to think about!
I think a lot about who this new little baby is. Gender, personality, likes & dislikes, sibling interactions, sleeping habits, arrival date.
I think about the next season – moving back near family, where will we live, how much will it cost, how much will we save, what will Ben’s company be like, who will we be friends with, where will we go to church, how much will we see Chicago family and friends, will I teach piano lessons, who will be my students, where will they come from.
I think about our goals for 2014.
I think about relationships. With my husband, with my family, with close friends, with friends that used to be close.
I think about my daughter. Molding and shaping her little heart to obey, love God, and love others. Learning to walk and talk. Curiously exploring her little world.
And on and on.
I’ll not bore you with the rest.
But needless to say, I’m awake now. The first day this 4:30-am-wake-up-and-can’t-get-back-to-sleep happened, I lay in bed thinking about everything.
The second day, I got out of bed 15 minutes sooner, came downstairs to make a cup of coffee, and opened my Bible in front of the fireplace. Much better than lying in bed with my own thoughts.   
And so, each day, I get up a little sooner. If I wake up and feel awake, I come downstairs, grab a cup of coffee, and open the Word.  And let it stir up my heart. Somehow it gives me more energy than going back to sleep.

And then, I write. Because it helps me to process and remember and articulate. So, good morning to you and yours. And now my baby almost-toddling-one-year-old is up crying. Too early… she takes after her mother I suppose.