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20.5.14

First Thing in the Morning

What's the first thing you do when you get up?
 
Me? I'm not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination.
Those of you who know me are probably laughing right now!
 
I've tried to convert, I really have! Alas, it just doesn't work for me. And to be honest with you, overly joyful morning people are annoying...well, to those of us who- let's say- are not. I've had other "non-morning" people tell me that it's fingernails-scratching-a-chalkboard annoying.
 
I can relate.
(dear morning friends and family, I love you)
 
There is a beauty in that though. We all do our best work at varying times of day and we are simply built differently. Some work their genius in the morning, while others deliver genius at night. I appreciate the variety, because if everyone was built like me, nothing would ever open before noon!
 

I read an article recently that proposed this thought: the most defining moment of our day is when we first wake up. The reasoning is that we have a choice about the first information we expose to our brain. Apparently the first 30 minutes after waking are key.

 
For me, the first thing I desire to expose my brain to is some strong coffee! 
 
I can see the value in this thinking. By meditating, exercising, writing in a journal, or doing something reflective for those first 30 minutes, we make a choice about what the foundation of our day will be built upon.
 

We expose our brain to something that sets the stage.

 
In King David's day, they might not have had brain science research, but he certainly knew something about this concept:
 
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
 
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)
 
But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. (Psalm 88:13)
 
Proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night...
(Psalm 92:2)
 
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8)
 
There's something to this morning thing!
I'm sure you morning people knew this all along.
So as long as it is accompanied by some strong coffee, count me in.
 
Even if it's 8 minutes, it's better than none.
Let the morning stage setting commence!
 
What do you do right after waking up?
 
 

13.5.14

Hold On to What is Good and True

Not a sparrow falls to the ground without God’s knowledge, but sparrows still fall. God works all things to the good for those who love Him. But He still allows His saints to suffer.
And He doesn’t always tell them why.
I read this quote recently in a blog on how to help those with depression.
(you can find the whole blog by Anna, click here)

Have you ever felt like that sparrow?

When it seems like all the people you see are smiling, but you are just too tired.
When leaving the house seems like a momentous chore.
When things look dull and your life seems the same day after day.
When you've been cheated, betrayed or slandered.
When all the nice Christian answers are hard to believe.
When this current season of your life is difficult, and you don't see any end.
When you wonder who your real friends are.
When you try to hear from God and there's only silence.

He doesn't always tell us why.

I tend to believe that the desire to know why is built into us.
If we can just put our finger on it- the cause, the reason, the expected outcome-
maybe then we could have a justified reason for going through our suffering.
Maybe we would get through it easier, knowing the "why."
But suffering comes to all, often without warning or explanation.

I still believe.

Last night our family attended our youngest son's band and choir concert.
While taking in the choir songs, I was brought to tears by the words to one of their songs.
 (Trust me, this doesn't happen very often in this public school venue. Well, except for when my boys were in Kindergarten and they sang "What a Wonderful World"- but that's another blog for another day!)
Anyway, The song was about hope and holding on.
One particular stanza said something like this:
...when love is absent, I still know it's real
...when God is silent, I still believe He's there for me
What a timely reminder of hope... and faith!
When you are the sparrow that's fallen, hold on to what's good and true.
God is still there for you even when He seems silent.

Watch for the little, gentle reminders.

The song that reminds you that God sees you, loves you and is there for you.
The friend that sticks by you when the going gets rough, and offers their heart.
The sunny day and warm breeze after a long winter.
The timely card, email or Facebook message that comes just when you need it.
The hot meal waiting for you when you get home.
An unexpected kindness.
The sunrise and sunset.
The hug from your kids, your coworker or your spouse- just because.
Sparrows still fall and we rarely know the purpose.

But if we look carefully, we will see hope breaking through, regardless of the why.