Grace Comes in the Morning
I have never been a morning person. As a kid, I always woke up midmorning, never thinking anything of it.
Some of my favorite memories stem from early morning walks to school with the light of the sun rising over the trees, birds chirping in their nests as mother bird comes back from her morning flight. Mornings for me are marked by the smell of coffee and Saturday morning breakfasts that include pancakes, waffles, or eggs. They encapsulate diner one on one memories with people I deeply care about, the seasons outside appearing different out the window because life changes as seasons pass and move on.
Despite all these sweet things, morning has been a constant battle in the waking up. My mindset has always gone a little bit like this:
7:00am: I want to wake up. But my eyes feel so tired. I’ll just rest my eyes for a few more minutes.
Time passes and I’ve somehow fallen back to sleep.
8:30am, well, I guess I should work on getting out of bed now.
Goes on to take 30 minutes to sit up and roll myself out of bed.
I’m not proud of this, but no joke, this is always how it goes on a harder morning.
I always end up getting down on myself if I don’t wake up at the time I had intended. This mindset always results in feeling exhausted the rest of the day and I have just recently realized that never allowing myself grace in the waking doesn’t give me the kind of peace and rest my mind deserves starting the day with, resulting in feeling stressed and behind the rest of the day.
I’ve come to see that grace comes in the morning.
The scriptures tell me that joy comes in the morning, but sometimes I have to laugh because my first thought in the morning is definitely never “oh joy! Waking up!” Only until after I’ve sat up, showered, and gotten at least some semblance of water, food, or coffee in my stomach do I think “okay, now I can look on this day with joy.”.
And this is just for the kind of morning where I wake up later than I anticipated.
On good mornings, I’m awake at 7:00am, but still use that 30 minutes to physically get up because that slowly allows my mind space to be awake even without the coffee and shower. By waking up earlier, I’m able to use my time wisely to slowly meander about my morning and if I’m out the door between 9:00am and 10:00am, I feel great peace and a lot more productive.
The problem on the hard days has lied in the way I look at my getting up and whether or not I have listened to the discipline to get to sleep on time the night before (which is a topic for another blog entirely). Even so, I think the concept of waking up with grace is so important, because it’s inevitable that there are always going to be those days, and I trust we all know what those days and mornings feel like.
As humans, we are our biggest critics when it comes to getting down on ourselves for the things we “should be” doing or “should have” accomplished by now. Granted, we have several people and media critics gauging in on how we “should be” nowadays.
For me, this “should” mentality has always begun in my waking since childhood, resulting in an overflow for the remainder of my day depending on what kind of morning I’ve had.
I think the idea of giving myself grace on the hard mornings is one I’ve been trying to comprehend for ages and have finally come to terms with actively exercising as a discipline to grow.
There are always going to be harder mornings in the waking. This doesn’t mean I have wasted a day away, it just means that I need to be reminded of the grace I have been freely given and rest in that cushion of grace, the cushion of grace that reminds me my identity begins with the invitation to rest.
I recently began listening to a podcast called BEMA Discipleship, run by Marty Solomon and one of his close buddies. They discuss the Bible in a new perspective that has given me an entirely new perspective on how God views His creation. I listen to each episode twice, once just to take it in and chew on, the second time for notes, which always end up filling pages on pages of my journal. The first episode on “trusting the story” discusses the way in which God made and views creation in the context of sabbath.
What God wants us to know before any other thing is how to rest because our value in His eyes is not based in what we produce, but in who we are. God uses his seventh day of creating to rest because He has done everything He needs to provide for us and He simply wants to enjoy what He created. We have been given everything we need. We’re okay in His eyes. That is what we need to rest in and trust before anything else.
This idea has been so freeing to me in my everyday waking. Whether I wake up early and accomplish everything on my to-do list or not is not the point, the point is that I am loved by the God who created me before all else. When I wake up later than I wanted because of a lack of discipline the night before, He gives me greater grace and allows me to try again tomorrow.
Do you allow yourself this grace or do you find yourself beginning the day with your constant stream of “to-do?” I think God wants us to rethink the way we begin every day and grow closer to Him in a posture of rest.
The invitation is simple.
We are loved.
We are valued.
We are accepted.
We have everything we need.
And we can’t do anything to earn it anymore than we already have.
Come in. Rest. Grace comes in the morning.