The sun glistening across the ocean waters, skipping over the tips of the waves as they’re pulled in from the horizon. The first morning rays stretch out – reaching across the ocean and grasping for the land beyond. Melodies emerge from the throats of birds, filling the air, calling to the world, “Rise! For a new day has begun!” The rustling, marking the path of the warm, first morning breeze, makes its way along once empty roads. Hovering bees wait patiently for their favorite blossoms to open once kissed by the early morning sunlight….
And with one swift move, simultaneously rolling over and pulling the covers over my head, I pray for God to give me just a few more minutes of dark and silent bliss. I have no time for the chirping of the birds or the rising of the sun. I opt for sleep.
Hunkered down in my bed, comforter snuggly wrapped, encasing me up to my ears, trying to savor the last moment of shut-eye in my soft, cool, and quiet cocoon anxiety builds as one of two things is about to happen. Either my fourth, and final alarm will annoyingly convince me to get out of bed and start my predictable morning routine; or one, two, or – if I’m lucky – all three of my kiddos will climb their way into the cozy lair, making it all the more difficult to rise. Snuggles alone, or snuggles with three usually end up with a sideways glance at the clock before the panic, blood-pressure, and stress levels hit the roof. We’ve got to get out of the door in 30 minutes?! Go! Go! Go!
Have I mentioned I’m not a morning person?
But for some reason, motherhood changes all that. On a “good” day, I find myself dragging me out of bed an hour before I’d like the kids to wake up. Hungover from a night of cramming pleasure reading and podcasts, I’m sleepily making breakfast and pulling together something that resembles lunch. I’ve been a mom for twelve years, and I still struggle to come up with great lunch ideas and something beyond a breakfast shake. It doesn’t help that my kids all have different tastes and two of them are pretty picky eaters. So we end up with mac and cheese two or three times a week, sandwiches for one or two days, and if we have bacon, I’ll whip up a batch of their favorite variety of fried rice. (It’s basically just bacon, eggs, and rice mixed up. I can’t really mess that up. Although once I burnt the bacon….) On those “good” days, I have just enough time to assemble my coffee before it’s time to head out the door. On those not-so-good days, the coffee will have to wait.
I often hear that this is the most stressful time of day for some moms. Between getting the kids up, making meals, packing bags, and getting ourselves ready for work, school, or drop-off, moms sure do cram in a lot of things in those early morning hours.
I’m pretty sure that’s not how God intended the start of our day. There’s a song that gets stuck in my head with the words, “…joy comes in the morning.” I get it. The mornings are a blessing of something new. A fresh restart. A chance to do it all again – in a good way! But really? It’s so hard! But hey. It’s worth a shot, right?
So how in the world do we keep it “joyful”?
Remember that scenario, I described at the beginning of this post? You know. With the sun rays and noisy birds? Guess what. That happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. For real. (Well, unless it’s raining. But you know what I mean. It’s happening somewhere in the world.) With our focus on our daily tasks, we miss our chance to catch the moments. Now, I’m not saying to drop everything, leave the kids at home to fend for themselves, and to drive down to the beach to catch the sunrise every single day. As much as I really would love to start my morning that way, I realize that what I am really looking for is a balance between these two worlds. It all comes down to a few little things. These little things can take an ordinary day, and blow it up into an extraordinary one.
A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a podcast called, The Hello Mornings Podcast, put on by the fabulous Kat Lee and Heather MacFadyen. It’s a fairly new podcast that has blossomed out of the website, Hello Mornings (www.hellomornings.org). The website itself is almost too overwhelming for any busy mom just starting to look at revamping her mornings, but I would suggest taking a look through when you have a chance. It’s such a wonderful resource! But the podcast! I would highly recommend taking some time to listen to a few of these. (Perhaps not at 10:30pm though.) They are about half an hour each – and seriously, they are life changing. From the little things like going to bed ON TIME to creating a short three minute morning routine, these are the little changes that can bring about BIG results.
Another great tip for really finding the joy in your mornings is to be intentional each morning to find the beauty. I recently met a beautiful woman named Jill, who has the Instagram account: @joyinthesmallthings. Jill created the hashtag, #iwentlookingforbeauty and encourages us to actively seek out the beauty right where we’re at. Now, mind you, I was a bit intimidated by the incredible amount of beauty in this world revealed through both her IG feed, and the hashtag’s feed, and thought that there was no possible way the beauty in my life could compare with the beauty captured in the pictures I scrolled through. But as I began my personal journey of actively searching for the beauty all around me, I felt as if all this time I had been walking through my mornings with a dirty pair of glasses. All I needed to do was to take a minute or two to care for them and clean the dust and dirt off. Through these “new” lenses, I could see the beauty in the things around me. From the way the milk swirled in my cup of iced coffee to watching my children’s slow steady breaths of slumber before I gently wake them from their sleep, all of the wonderful in this world could truly be found in the little things.
The little things.
So if you’ve hung around my words this long, my friend, I hope that I’ve encouraged you to take that one small step. Maybe it’s simply listening to the podcast. Maybe it’s simply getting to bed a few minutes earlier. Maybe it’s simply taking a minute or two each morning to find something beautiful in the world around you.
Yes, life is busy. Yes, the kids can be whiny. Yes, we are tired. But friend, take this small step – the one that is whispering in your heart right now. You know the one. You can hear it right now. Don’t ignore it. Give it a try – tonight, tomorrow. Don’t give up on that first small step because this small step is a gift just for you.
It’s simply this… you are SO worth it.