How we wake up in the mornings often has a ripple effect on the rest of our days. When I am woken up by my “alarm clock” (which is either Zach crying or Eliza shouting “Mommy COME!”), I’m often resentful that I don’t get to decide for myself when I’m done sleeping.
I have decided to start praying a short yet ample prayer as I hurl off the sheets and walk (or stomp) into the room from where the noise emanates. It goes as follows: “Lord, help me to love my kids today the way you want me to love them.” If I mean it, it changes my whole outlook.
A few mornings ago I fetched Eliza and Zach and brought them, I’ll admit a bit begrudgingly, into our room as usual. As Eliza had boundless energy and all I wanted to do was lie there a little longer, I proposed we play her new favorite game. I said, “Eliza, why don’t we play hide and seek? You go hide.” I heard her little feet lead her into her room where she ALWAYS hides between her crib and the wall, and as I started counting, we heard her count along, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight, nine, ten. OKAY, COME FIND ME!!!” I looked at Greg and we both giggled about how she doesn’t quite have the rules of the game down. And I knew in that moment that some day I would miss it. There are so many of these moments every day that God gives us, and they are little jewels.
It’s like sifting for gold. On family vacations growing up, we took a lot of road trip stops to sift. You get your little bucket of dirt and you carefully sieve it through the running water, bit by bit. You have to go through a whole lot of mud and muck to find the specks of gold. But boy is it rewarding when you get the good stuff. And the sifting itself is part of the joy.
Chuck Swindoll has said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” I think he’s onto something. So tomorrow morning, I’m not sure which one of them will wake me up, but I’m going to pray my new prayer, and be abundantly thankful for the blessing of them. I’ll admit it will be easier if neither of them wakes me between now and then. (Old habits do die hard.)