It seems to never get old. At five-thirty, the alarm buzzes and stirs me into wakefulness. I lay there willing myself to rise, which sometimes requires a bit of persuading. Sliding into my slippers and stepping out of the bedroom, I carefully close the door. Changing clothes, filling my coffee cup and quietly settling into my chair have become automatic patterns of self care that enable a predictable, warm start to each day.
Taking that first sip, I breathe in slowly and listen. What is happening outside? Looking through the many windows in my studio I see spring emerging, greens freshly popping, vines crawling up the side of our house with birds chirping their lovely symphonies. What is happening inside of me? The house is quiet, but inside I have thoughts and feelings that need to be paid attention to. I listen. Is there something that needs to be processed or expressed? Did something just not "feel right" from yesterday? Or is there a plan or project that needs encouragement for the day ahead? What is happening with God? I listen for Him as I find myself waking into his day. I feel the thankfulness I hold in my heart for his fatherhood, for his existence, for his love.
I pull out my humble little green spiral notebook and start to write. What needs my attention? Writing what comes, without judgement, I find what is waiting there. Inviting God into my process, I know I'll hear from him too. He knows me and as I write I expect that his presence comes through the pen on the paper, assuring me that he is with me and guiding with much love. Opening my Bible, I seek to find a word from him to tuck inside my heart; it will go with me into the day.
After writing, my shy, little, introverted me is satisfied because I have paid attention, listened and even written down her thoughts. She is ok then with sitting aside so I can be open and offer warm presence and welcome to those I get to interact with through out my day. Bravery and confidence are welcomed as great companions to one so fragile. Sometimes shy little me shows up unexpectedly and I am somewhat confused by her and I wrestle with thoughts of unsureness, and the need for assurance. I try to manage it by being kind and understanding, reminding myself that it is OK to be me.
Within the hour I close my Bible and the notebook, line up my pens, turn off the light and quietly step down the back stairs and out the kitchen door to meet my neighbor girl friends to power walk the back roads and steep hills of our nearby city park. Breathing deeply I take in the beauty of every moment, ever thankful for a body that moves and senses that enable such early morning pleasures. The park is always full of surprises and fresh discoveries.
I'm ready now to open my arms and embrace this new day. And to think all started just as the first light made its way above the eastern treetops.