Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gateway to Joy/Getting Out of Bed in the Morning

When my children were smaller and were attending Christian school, I used to have the opportunity to tune into the radio broadcast "Gateway to Joy" by Elisabeth Elliot. I am sure most of you know who she is, and how she served the Lord on the mission field and has had a great impact on the lives of many Christians all over the world whether through her books, radio programs, or speaking engagements.

I recall one program where she was talking about the importance of having a quiet time every morning. Her father used to get up every day at 5 am to read his Bible and pray. No one was allowed to eat breakfast until they had read their Bible.

I am thankful that my husband has always set the same example for our family. I know that my husband would much rather read his Bible than eat breakfast if he had to choose between the two. It became a part of our daily routine, and nothing was ever allowed to come before our quiet time in the morning. You wouldn't even think about reading a newspaper or emails before the Bible. If Dad saw one of the kids playing, or reading something that wasn't the Bible, he frequently would ask "Have you read your Bible yet?"

For this very reason I prefer to schedule appointments in the late morning/afternoon whenever possible--otherwise the early morning becomes too hectic, rushing out the door, and before you know it the Bible time is pushed aside for the day. That is one benefit of home schooling, you can schedule Bible reading as part of your early morning activities--rather than having to catch the bus at 7 am our children can spend a little extra time in their Bibles. My girls at Bible college have to be up at 6:30 am, and at breakfast by 7, then choir at 7:30. That means if they are going to have a good time in the Bible, they probably have to be up at 5 or 5:30. That can be a little rough at times.

I remember Mrs. Elliot saying that "there is no such thing as a morning/night person." In all due respect, I will have to admit that even though I may be officially out of bed, I am not a person who can just jump out of bed and feel ready to meet the day. I go downstairs, make a cup of coffee, and head to the living room for my devotions, and by the time I am through I will start the rest of the preparations for the day. But on the way to making my coffee, sometimes I feel like a disaster waiting to happen. Things fall on the floor, coffee spills on the counter, and my coordination is all out of whack. My husband, on the other hand, pretty much hits the floor, ready to go, always with a cheerful smile to face the day.

Someone asked Mrs. Elliot how she got up so early every day, and was so disciplined in her life. Her reply was, "When the alarm clock goes off, I put my feet on the floor, and pull my body out of bed. I don't even think about it. In other words, just do it." She also tried to go to bed by nine o'clock every evening.

Living here in Spain, that is about next to impossible for us. Spaniards don't even eat dinner until 9 pm as a rule. I find myself staying up way too late. I enjoy the quiet hours of the evening--reading, catching up on things that I didn't get to do during the school day--after all, sometimes it is a mother's only chance to be alone. I would have to say that I am definitely a night person but by reason of necessity I manage to somehow make it through the morning : ).

No comments: