I woke to Brad’s second alarm blasting today. I rolled over and saw he was already up so I had to carefully jimmy myself out from under a sleeping baby to shut it off. God’s favor was upon me because I got out of bed without waking Hal and sauntered downstairs to a quiet house.

I don’t regularly get up early. For a season many years ago I did value getting up earlier than the kids, but then would be racked with guilt on mornings when I couldn’t make it happen. And worse yet, on mornings that a child followed me downstairs I would be filled to the brim with annoyance over their presence.

For a long time I tried this technique and that trick to fix everything and make my day better. I tried things that friends who I admired talked about. I wanted to see their fruit and despite the fact that they are wired completely different from me I figured that I could just implement their wisdom and my life would be a lot better. Sometimes it would work for a while but then it imploded and became unsustainable.

I’ve found a lot of grace for myself and this season of small children (however long lasting it may feel) and I no longer believe that getting up early to fill my cup is the only way to start my day. I know that it works for a lot of people, but it just doesn’t for me. Early afternoon is when I often quiet the house to read the bible and catch up on work or sometimes find time in the evening while Brad hangs out with the kids.

So when I naturally woke today and felt alive and ready for the day and no kids tumbled down behind me it was truly a gift from the Lord. The sky was pinking and I bundled up to go sit on the porch and watch it. The neighbors were getting ready to leave and I sat there awkwardly watching the sunrise in 10 degree weather trying to ignore them scraping the ice off their car in front of me. I still feel pretty insecure about that part of town life. Do we ignore each other? Do I stare until the person sees me and then wave hi? Regardless of my awkward feelings I still enjoyed the frigid pink sky for a few minutes.

A couple of days ago a friend and I were praying and I confided that I just feel like I must be able to access even more of God’s presence in my daily life even with homeschooling and kids and laundry than I have been. For so long I felt that I had to get away from my kids to enjoy time with the Lord, but more and more realize that I can feel God’s presence with them and through them. Not that those quiet, just me moments aren’t important but I do desire to level up and experience all that God has for me in this season of children at home. I am not content waiting until they are grown to access the fullness of God, and I am especially not OK just making them go away all the time so I can have “me time”.

This isn’t easy for me. I would rather hole up in my bedroom and tell everyone to leave me alone for a while (and sometimes I still do, guilt free) but I know the better choice is to dig deep and remember the legacy that I want to leave for my children. I want them to see a mom thriving and following the Spirit’s leading, not one who is flailing and barely getting by. I did that for too long, and only with God’s grace and goodness have I gained enough wisdom to be in this place. There was grace for me, and there’s grace for you, too.

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