Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scheduled Rituals

Lately, my husband and I have been trying to start our day at the MORNING! Now, if you don't know, I am NOT in any way a morning person. If I had my way, the fun would run until midnight and day wouldn't start until noon {or LATER}! So just let me say E-GHADS! As I type this I have already had my cup of coffee and read my Bible and it's 5 minutes to 6.

I'm not a huge fan of schedules. Making one makes me kind of cranky and having to follow one makes me even more cranky, but when it's all said and done, schedules do seem to make the day run more smoothly (or should that be 'days run smoother'?) and THAT makes me happy.

Having cleared that up, I do LOVE ritual and there is a difference. It's my morning ritual that makes struggling out of bed even possible for me. Well, that and a huge push from the Lord, because believe me, if the Lord weren't shoving my behind out of bed, I would still be there, sinking into my cushioned topper, burrowing under my pile of blankets.

My morning looks a little something like this-

"I tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition.
Yawn and stretch and try to come to life"...

WAIT, that's Dolly Parton's song Nine to Five, but it does REALLY resemble my morning.

My alarm goes off (for the first time) at 5:05, I hit snooze and five minutes later it goes off again. So I lay there for a minute and glare at my phone (which is what I use for an alarm) until I can feel my brain slowly solidifying from the mush of sleep. Then I slowly sit up and stay there for just a minute to make sure no body parts fall off and that the world is still spinning as it should.

Next, I fumble my way to the closet to grab a sweater and a pair of socks (because I HATE to be bare footed) while my husband mumbles, "You can turn the light on if you need to", which I don't do because light at 5 a.m. is ridiculously bright.

I really do stumble toward the kitchen (there is always something out of place for me to trip on. Hello-there are 7 of us living here!), where I turn the espresso machine to 'warm'. But before I begin brewing my lovely bit of Morning Joe, I must, must, must turn on the heat! My husband and I sleep with the house as cold as we can possibly get it so by the time I walk from my bedroom to the kitchen my teeth are chattering and I am covered in goose-bumps.

Ahh, now HERE is the part where the ritual starts to warm my bones and comfort me in my morning duress. I begin to brew my coffee. The small ritual of grinding beans, measuring and heating milk, tamping grounds and measuring scoops of white chocolate and shots of espresso calms my breathing and opens my eyes. The whiff of coffee and white chocolate mingling in the air makes me smile, just a bit, in the dark quiet.

My sister bought me a Heated Throw for Christmas and it's rarely off. I have it folded next to my rocking chair in the living room and this is where I cuddle up with God. The heat of the blanket seeps into my bones and the heat of God's word seeps into my heart. This is the reason I rise. I used to say that 5:00 a.m. was an ungodly hour, I must recant. He is there at 5, waiting patiently for me to get to Him. He waits as I wake and read and sip. And we chat.

My children begin wandering in at 6 so they can begin their morning routine. I think they are less comforted by their routines than I am. Maybe theirs are schedules. They throw on clothes and I watch as the four oldest and their father head out to feed the animals. I watch as they toss hay and pour water and dump food. They do it TOGETHER now, and this is more routine that warms my heart. By the time they return they are more awake and laughing. This is bonding time.

Now I am ready. It's been an hour and I've readied my heart. I have found that after my rituals, my words run more softly, more patiently. I am more inclined toward grace and mercy as opposed to the law.

I may not LOVE 5 a.m., but I do enjoy the RESULT.

This year, I have purposed to read through the Bible. It's the first time I have ever done this consciously. I found a web site called One Year Bible OnLine that lists out your daily readings. I have seen this before, but what got me excited about this site, is that here you can choose to read through the Bible in chronological order, and you can set your start date so that if you are not starting on Jan 1, you can still easily keep track of what to read and when.

The site also has the option of reading the scriptures right from the computer in whatever translation you choose. I prefer to read from my own Bible where I can make notes and such, but I am thinking about opening the one on the computer to a translation that I don't have and comparing the two. It's a lot of reading, so I haven't done that quite yet.

I haven't spent much time looking around the site, so I can't guarantee what they teach. I did see that they also have a link to Matthew Henry’s Commentary if you are interested.

Join me, if you'd like, in reading through God's Story this year, you don't have to get up at 5 to do it!  But contrary to popular belief, He is there at 5 a.m. and will help you meet Him there.

"Thank you, Lord, for Your Word.   For taking my weak self and enabling it to come to You, even when it's so early that noone should be awake.  Thank you for the few minutes of peace and quite that can be found at Your feet in the darkness.  Bless this day, Father, and the activities and goals I have for it.  Let me accomplish the things that will bring glory and honor to Your name.  Season my words with salt today, that I may be an encouragement to those I encounter.  ~Amen."

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely wonderful. Just reading about your morning inspires a peaceful mood and a desire to see 5 something in the morning (AKA dark:thirty). I am loving your blog, my friend. Thanks for giving these little peeks into your life.