4:33 a.m. the first alarm of the morning goes off. I rarely get up before five but find I need a bit of lead time to ease into the day. If getting up at five counts as easing into the day. I do not really need to get up until six but then my day starts out rushed. I want the extra hour of quiet. Some days that hour is the only time I get to myself.
I take a shower and crack open my latest Bible study, usually something by Beth Moore – I like her studies. They fill a significant amount of space in the box of past, present and future Bible studies that I store under my bed. I found an embarrassing quantity of half finished studies in my book closet when I moved. I will get a new one start it enthusiastically and then my interest will wane and I will go on to the next growth opportunity excited once more. Or they will slip unnoticed under my bed or under a stack of books so that when I am searching for my latest study at 5:15 it is nowhere to be found and I pull out something new. I am determined to finish all those studies in that box before I buy new again. If Dori find them one day I do not want to leave a legacy of unfinished good starts.
The hardest thing for me about becoming a mom was the imposition on my spiritual walk. I mean – God told me to adopt (I hate even writing that. It sounds so cliché. But in my case I really feel it was true.), so I should grow even closer to God through this journey of motherhood. Except I was exhausted and just keeping us going for the first two years. Sleep has always been a challenge and my day was filled with dressing and changing and feeding and playing and working and cooking and cleaning. My devotions consisted of a quick verse and prayer snuck in any where I could (at one point I had a little daily devotional tucked in the bathroom – please don’t judge me). I loved being a mom and Dori is my heart’s delight, but for a while I was a bit numb. Dori and work were all I could do. Church attendance was spotty at best. Dori did not like the nursery and having her sit with me was insanely distracting not conductive to worship or study. Trying to participate in a group study soon became impossible (I used to be a Bible study leader and loved it). I miss my group of friends that used to get together.
For that first couple of years I coasted, grabbing what spiritual food I could get on the go and relying on a thirty year walk with the Lord to get me through. As Dori’s independence started to become real (and not just a battle between efficiency (me) and effort (Dori)) I had more of my own resources free up. I could send Dori to put on pajamas while I loaded the dishwasher. There was less demand on me for everything and it is a beautiful thing. Dori’s resistance to Sunday school diminished and turned into token protest. I became free to grow once again. I began to think we would more than make it. I began to dream of a sibling. I began to once again find myself refreshed in the presence of my Savior where all things are possible.
This fall I finished the study on prayer that I was half way through when I traveled to Ethiopia. It actually made that journey across the world with me. It was a great sense of accomplishment. Not just because I finished the book, but because once again I was growing and stretching and walking with my Savior. Even if it is at five in the morning.