The what was my mother beginning her day; the when was 4:00 A.M. I always thought she was crazy to wake while the rest of the world, including the sun, slept. Even when I got married and my husband left for work within that 4:00 hour, I would head back to my cozy bed as soon as he drove away.
It wasn't until I had children that I realized the value of those early morning hours. For a long while, I realized it from underneath my covers and with the first shriek of a child, awake and needing attention, thus doing nothing about it. Those days of "hit the ground running and don't stop until you fall back into bed many hours later" are stressful, to say the least.
There are certain benefits of early rising to which I, as a mother of younger children, can attest:
- Quiet. If you're a mother, you understand the value of complete, delicious, unadulterated silence (whether or not you've actually experienced it).
- Time. You know all those things you never have time for? This is the time you've been craving for devotions, exercise, decluttering, cleaning, planning, hobbies, reading, or whatever else you might want to do.
- Unhurriedness.When you know the most pressing issues of the day are still a few hours in the future, you can relax with a cup of coffee or take your time on a morning walk to observe nature or even stop to hum a tune as you prepare a special treat for the kids' breakfast later. The hurry will catch up to you sometime between the first child's waking and the last one's sleeping sighs, but for now...you can be as slow as you would like.
Sound simple? Yes.
It takes determination and lots of practice. I still haven't made it to a 4 A.M. or even a 5 A.M. rising time. However, when I taste the beautiful solitude of those morning hours, even a confirmed night owl like me can turn in just a trifle earlier and drag out of bed the next morning knowing the benefit I will receive.
A beautiful and godly older woman in our church has risen at 5 A.M. for years and is claimed to have said that to wake up at 7:00 is to have half of her day wasted. She has seven now grown children. I think I'm beginning to understand.
Further Reading on Rising Early:
- Establishing a Morning Routine @ Passionate Homemaking
- Conversion Experience: How a Night Owl Became an Early Bird and Liked It @ Small Notebook