You know the drill...
Beep beep beep beep beep!
Flops blanket aside, lumbers over to alarm clock, slaps the snooze button. Stumbles back to bed for a heavenly 10 minutes, or 9 minutes if the snooze is on your phone. Why do phones cheat you out of that minute, by the way?
Beep beep beep beep beep!
Regardless of the time I set my alarm, every morning I wake up...late, and I have for as long as I can remember. Mornings and I have never been friends.
In high school I would push the snooze button until the last possible moment, which of course left me with no time for breakfast and barely enough time to fix my hair and brush my teeth before the bus came flying up the road. Grabbing my backpack in a state of panic, I would run out the door and catch the bus on its way back from the cul-de-sac.
It was the mid-90’s, and the zippers on my JanSport bag were adorned with a handful of “cool” keychains and other knick-knacks. Because my backpack was heavy with books (I was voted “most studious” by my senior class, which I translated to mean “biggest nerd.” Thanks, guys.) and due to the fact that the double zipper was weighted with teenage expressions of individuality, my backpack would slowly unzip with each pounding step I ran toward the bus.
On more than one occasion, I made it halfway up the driveway only to have the contents of my stuffed bag come falling out behind me, papers taking flight on the wind, entertaining the audience on the yellow bus as I scurried around trying to collect my things. The bus driver was not amused, however. I don’t think she was a morning person either.
Not much has changed since then, except I don’t ride the bus anymore.
The problem is I’m not in my right mind in the morning. Its like I’m drunk on sleep -- a snooze-aholic, if you will -- because no matter how disciplined I felt when I went to bed, how many great plans I laid out for the morning, the length of my to-do list before the children went to school, it’s all out the window when the alarm sounds and the snooze button calls my name.
It doesn’t matter what logical, night-self says to morning-self, because come dawn, morning-self WILL NOT LISTEN. She has her snooze button on and she cannot hear you, night voice of reason. She will certainly regret not listening to you, again, once she peels her eyes open and stumbles out of bed to find herself hopelessly behind and frazzled, but not until that point.
It doesn’t mean I don’t long to be a morning person and wake up with my stuff together. I’ve tried so many things over the years -- turning off the alarm instead of pushing snooze, putting my alarm on the other side of the room or in the bathroom. Nothing has worked.
But it dawned on me the other day that I dread mornings. I hate the alarm clock and wish to God that I could sleep a little longer. Just a few more minutes. Probably because I didn’t make a good choice and go to bed at a decent hour. Or maybe I didn’t sleep very well, because….five children. Sick children. Teething children. Snoring husbands. Head colds. You name it. So I dread mornings.
The last thought in my mind before I drift from exhaustion to sleep is something along the lines of, “if I fall asleep in the next ten minutes, I will get exactly 6.5 hours of sleep. Here’s hoping that’s enough.”
Never do I go to bed with a thought of expectancy about next day. Never do I think about the positives of waking up, such as taking a hot shower, some time as a family before we all go our separate ways, or a fresh, warm cup of coffee. Or things like working out, writing, or getting housework out of the way, you know, if I was a much more organized and productive person. Instead, I dread mornings.
And I realized today that regardless of the strategies I’ve employed over the years, they were all destined to fail before I even plugged the ominous sleep deadline into the clock. I have never owned my morning: the morning has always owned me. It’s always been something that happened to me….and I hated morning for it.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
By His grace, my prayer is that I will learn to replace my grumblings, especially first thing in the morning, with gratitude. That I will have the wherewithal in the dark, wee hours of the morning to be thankful for a new day, a chance to begin again, and for mercies as fresh as the new fallen snow.
Maybe, like me, you find yourself a victim of your own life. Maybe you’ve allowed circumstance to control you, situations to manipulate you, and your emotions to be tossed about as waves in the sea. One of the many things I love about Jesus is that He’s not like that, prone to our human wandering and folly. He is the constant in the chaos, the calm in the storm. I love that He can walk on water, because when it feels like we’re drowning, He’s more than capable of rescuing us.