I am not a morning person. I am far from a morning person. I would much rather sleep until 10 and stay up until 2 in the morning, than get up with the sun. When I was younger if I had to get up early in the morning I would stay up instead of going to sleep so that I wouldn't sleep in past my alarm. When we were first married and had no children my husband worked nights. It was pretty perfect for me. I could get involved with a game, a movie, tv series, or knitting and not be disturbed. Then I'd pass out in bed and he'd join me in a few hours and we would get up and have breakfast together. It was pretty perfect.
Now I have children. Children who get up with the sun and are happy to see it. To this night person it's pretty disgusting. I peek in his room and her crib and they are all smiles. She laughs and giggles and talks to me when I poke my head over the side of her crib. He greets me with "Good Morning Mommy!" and hops out of bed ready to go.
It would make me grumpy to see them that energetic that early. What I'd like to see is sleepy, groggy, cuddly children first thing in the morning, not joyous, bouncy kangaroos. So then I'd feed them, feed me, snag a quick shower and then by that time I'd be happy. In the meantime we would have a pretty horrible morning. It was not a good pattern to be stuck in.
I knew that something had to give. Then Ira (a pastor at my church) started preaching about love and how we should love people as they need to be loved, not how we want to love. I took it a little further and decided that instead of trying to make my children fit into my morning, I needed to fit into theirs. I needed to love them as they needed to be loved, mother them as they needed to be mothered, not try and make them conform to my mothering ideals.
At the same time a fellow blogger spoke about how on the mornings she got up before her children and read her bible she had a much better day. They all had better days.
And I found Good Morning Girls, which had a free Easter Bible Study.
And then my Mom went away for a week leaving me in charge of daycare, which meant I had to get up.
I could say one thing led to another, but really it was God guiding me to a solution to our grumpy days.
I now get up at 5:30 in the morning.
Yes, this night owl purposely gets up at 5:30 in the morning. I found that if I wait until 6:00 the baby is up and ready for the day. If I leave the room at 5:30 for some reason she will sleep until 6:30 (go figure). I get up, grumping at the distance sliver of a sun, and take my shower. Then I open my bible and remember that first and foremost God loves me. God loves me despite how awful I can be and I'm His child. If He can love me when I don't deserve it, than I can overlook my son's foolish three-year-old antics.
I would like to say that I am always successful; that every day I get up at the right time, take a shower, and read my bible before they get up. But, I'm not. I only managed to get up once this week at 5:30 (today-Thursday) and it has been an awesome day. A day full of strife, stress, and an exhausted three year old. But today I also read about how God ripped the veil top to bottom to signify that we could access Him whenever we need Him, and it is that love that in turn helped me to love him when he was trying to fill the shopping cart with Hamburger Helper.
I would also like to say that I completed the month long study on time and with the group, but I didn't. I haven't even finished the second week. I am not discouraged by this "failure", because change is a process.
My challenge to you is this: take a hard look on your life. Is there someone that you've been trying to love the way you want to love and it hasn't been going so well? Can you instead love them as they need to be loved?