I do not understand the snooze button on an alarm clock. I never have.
To me, sleep only works when you’re actually sleeping.
The first beep of an alarm wakes me up. From that moment on, my mind is racing on into the day. I’m not sleeping; I’m thinking.
Worse yet, I’m thinking without actually doing anything about the million-and-one things I’m thinking about, which is a pretty stressful way to start the day, feeling like I’m already behind.
Snooze buttons only work for people who can fall asleep in two seconds and don’t mind sleeping in batches of 5 minutes at a time.
Since that isn’t me, it’s just a way to procrastinate my way into the morning and procrastination super-stresses me out.
But moms don’t get to dictate their sleep habits, sleep cycle, sleep hours, sleep anything. We’re just thankful for whatever sleep we get.
I’ve only needed an actual alarm clock a handful of times since I gave birth to my oldest child over 14 years ago. I have a new alarm clock called “Kids.”
Unfortunately, this new wake-up system came fully equipped with nothing less than a human snooze button.
Babies wake up and go back to sleep, wake up again and go back to sleep. Toddlers choose to wake mom up whenever the baby is still sleeping.
Now it’s my school children with staggered schedules waking me up in waves as their own alarm clocks go off and they troop down the stairs and into the kitchen for breakfast.
I have early risers and I have night owls who don’t exactly appreciate the need to rise and shine and they all like me to be awake when they are awake.
My sleep patterns are dictated by the sleeping or lack of sleeping of a whole posse of other people.
I know in my heart this truth: I need to bring God right into the beginning of my day. I need to start it with prayer before I head out of bed and into the to-do list.
But while I agree with the ideal, my life feels louder than that so many days. Crazier than that. Messier than that.
And yet, I still need His presence. Maybe because of all the noise and rush, I need His presence even more desperately than someone who can lie in the quiet and calm of a morning and spend a few extra minutes in uninterrupted prayer.
I sure need Jesus to be right here in the middle of my mess.
My days tend to take turns for the unexpected. The long, extended quiet time that I’ve been planning for days hasn’t happened yet, because the phone rang, and I got a message, and there was a doctor’s appointment (or two) and an after school activity (or ten of them).
But I read what a missionary wrote in his journal long ago:
“Poor and weak though we are, our abode is a very Bethel to our souls, and God we feel and know is here” (Richard Williams).
Bethel. That means “House of God.”
It’s the place where God’s presence dwells. That’s where Jacob saw the vision of the stairway connecting heaven and earth and the angels ascending and descending.
I’m reminded, then, that God’s presence right here in the middle of my life makes any situation, any morning, any messy day, any short quiet time in the parked minivan while waiting for my daughters outside of school… a Bethel for my soul.
Because God is here.
I’m still fighting for that extended quiet time. I know it will happen.
But even on days it doesn’t, I’m learning to “Do Messy Faith….” to pursue His presence on-the-go instead of waiting until all the circumstances are perfect to meet with Him. Because if I wait for perfect, then it won’t happen.
So I don’t have an hour to spend in quiet with the Bible. I have the Bible on my phone and my Kindle.
So I don’t have the luxury of a quiet morning wake-up. I have a human snooze alarm and I can whisper those prayers in between morning visits from my children.
Dear God, thank You for this day.
Dear God, guide me today.
Dear God, Your will be done, not mine.
Dear God, Please use me today.
Dear God, Please help me. I can’t do it alone.
Dear Lord, teach me to be the wife and mom you want me to be.
Father, show me how to love as you love.
You have blessed me. Lord, how can I be a blessing to others?
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Psalm 5:3 NKJV
What prayers do you whisper as you start your day?