This morning, when the sun had not yet made its appearance, I savored the silence of the early hours. My husband had just left for work. I dimmed the lights in my room with just enough to illumine the pages of my Bible. Then, I heard it. Such heavy footsteps for such little feet! My little guy, almost 3 years old now, broke through my solitude. He walked into my room, closed the door, climbed up onto my bed, snuggled up under my blanket, and gave me a sleepy smile.
Certainly, there are benefits to rising early. But perhaps, you are one of those folks, whose quiet mornings are constantly met with interruptions. What should you do?
TRY, TRY, AND TRY AGAIN
Don’t give up too quickly. If your children are early risers, try to set your alarm just a little bit earlier. For me, it seemed as though my children had built-in alarms that woke them up whenever I woke up, no matter how early I set my alarm. But eventually, I found a time when I could wake up without rousing them from dreamland, and it wasn’t at 3 in the morning. Also, try to see if there are other things that are waking them up and see if you can make some changes: change out the curtain panels to ones that block out the light, find a dimmer nightlight or remove it altogether, or lower the volume on your alarm. The main thing is not to give up so soon. If your desire is to honor The Lord with your early morning hours, He will grant you that time.
TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN
When my children would wake up too early, I was incredibly frustrated. Why couldn’t they just go back to bed? Then, I realized … they can go back to bed. My children don’t have clocks in their rooms, but they now know that if it’s still dark outside, they should stay in bed. Sometimes, they would actually fall back asleep. This didn’t happen overnight. Training means to do it over and over and over again. We did, and I’m thankful that despite the obstacles, we pressed on.
TURN THE INTERRUPTIONS INTO BLESSINGS
There are times when my children wake up early, they are truly awake, ready for the day before the day is ready for them. If I’m reading something, I would encourage them to grab one of their books and read quietly next to me. Other times, I would put aside my book, and read to them. And, when I could tell they are still half asleep, I just have them cuddle up next to me, like what my 2-year-old did this morning. While I was reading my Bible, I kept glancing over at him, his eyes opening and closing from sleepiness. And by the time I finished, he was asleep again. I absolutely love watching my children soundly sleeping. So really, he didn’t interrupt my peaceful morning. He added to it.
Jesus would rise early, while it was still dark, to spend time with His Father (Mark 1:35). When His morning quiet times were “interrupted” by the people, He did not send them away. But, rather, He served them.
God knows when we desire to rise early and spend time with Him. He may give us an hour or just five minutes. Each day, He has planned for us work to do and people to serve. Perhaps, on some days, He may just want us to get an earlier start.