In a warm, comfortable half-sleep I hear the alarm beginning. In a haze I automatically rise quickly in the hopes that the ring does not wake the baby. I reach the desk and hit the silence button on my phone. The cuddly bundle nestled under the covers doesn't budge. Good.
Now, I just can't let myself crawl back in bed. I want my quiet time with You, and this is the only guaranteed time I'll get it. I sway slightly then stand still, and the usual assaults begin in my sleepy mind.
But I'm so tired because.... and I had to stay up late last night because... and I could check my email because I need to respond to that quickly... why don't I just go take a shower really quickly first?... do I need to start a load of diapers so they can be washing?...
If I leave this room my day will begin, and I won't ever stop to really listen to Him. Talking is not a problem, but the listening... that often needs some work.
I sit in my chair, down next to Him, and turn on a light, so I can see the Light through His Word. He wrote this for me because He loves me. I love love letters. Everything else can wait.
Several weeks ago I began in Hebrews, and now I have read straight through to Revelation. I find my place in Chapter 7. These are hard words. I read through to chapter 12. The picture is not becoming prettier. I slowly close this letter written out of love for me and my heart is heavy. I think about the described future devastation and am shocked and saddened that " The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, and bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Not did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts."
My mind is still somewhat foggy from sleep. I really don't want to think and pray through this. It's depressing. It's emotional. Fear is threatening to cling to me. I should have prayed before I read anything. A furious fluster of frustration is building so I swallow it all down in an ache. I don't want to think about any of this.
The soft creak of a bed spring draws my attention over my shoulder. I turn to see a grinning mess of curls smiling over her baby sister. Little Girl's not-so-subtle movements have stirred Baby into her morning stretches. As soon as their eyes meet, the giggling begins. I breath out my spirit of jumbled-up-ness and let their joy infect me. I join them on the bed and embrace them both in a grateful hug.
"Good morning!" big Sister pats, pats, pats Baby on the head.
Baby's wide-watching eyes soak up every movement and sound of her much-loved admirer. I see a love in Baby for her Sister that is unlike any other. She must somehow know they've shared the same womb. She must somehow know they belong to each other.
They laugh because they're laughing. They make noises for the joy of it. They are so happy it's a brand new day, they are awake, and ready to play! Every time they wake it is with this beautiful, fresh, pure default optimism.
When did I lose that? And how do I get it back? Why is work easier for me than play? Why does heaviness come more easily than joy? I feel it creeping back in. The heaviness.
I want to stopped being dragged into an unknown future that I can't control. My heels dig in the dirt in resistance. The dust is swirling around me in a choking cloud. I want this to stop. I ask for His help. He tells me the solution.
Surprised, I look at my hands and He is right, I am the one holding onto this possible future, it is not holding onto me. I let go. I sit hard from the release. Surprised again I find I am not alone in a desert, but He is with me, and we are surrounded by the softest waving grasses. The incense of His presence washes over me.
I look up into His face, it is the first time our eyes meet this day, and He smiles at me just like Little Girl and Baby smile at each other. He knows we belong to each other. In firm gentleness He says "Lie down."
I obey. His Holy Spirit, the Great Reminder, sings and I let the songs of the Sweet Psalmist of Israel flow over me...
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul...."
"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture..."
"I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread..."
"For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever..."
"But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me..."
"You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God in the light of life..."
"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name O LORD, for it is good."
I choose to do this.
I praise your name today O LORD, for it is good. YOU are good to me. I praise You in gratefulness for....
Time for a cup of Little Girl's "tea" (or two, or ten...)
Little Girl's cry to her Baby Sister of "Release the hair! Release the hair!" but they giggle all the harder because of it.
Your Word that is a Lamp for my feet.
18 year old little brother.
Spring sunshine and trees in full bloom.
Soft baby cheeks.
A Husband who wants to tell me all about his day, even things he knows I won't understand, just because he likes sharing with me.
My dearly loved, soon-to-arrive Niece and Nephew and their wonderful parents.
My family support system at home.
My family support system away from home.
Box fans and sleeping babies.
Ice cold filtered water.
The freedom to sing to You in public with my church family.
The ability to sing to You because I am free!
Let's praise Him today and re-gain some of our child-like faith and default optimism!