I never considered myself a morning person. When I was working 40+ hours a week mornings were always so damn painful...metaphorically speaking.
I hated morning.
I'd have to get up at 5:00am in order to be the first of 5 people in the shower.
(We only have the one bathroom)
And let me tell you 5:00am never felt, to me, like a normal time to get out of bed.
I was always so tired during the day.
I worked 12 hour days, 4 days a week, while occasionally eating lunch on the run.
Mostly I fueled myself with a steady diet of coffee and cigarettes.
Back then I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.
Good lord but that is a lot of smoking before, but mostly after working all day.
If I'm honest, I never really felt well back then only driven or amped or hyper.
And I thought that since I was always moving I was getting stuff done.
I did get stuff done but there wasn't any heart behind it. Or kindness. Or thought really.
I was on autopilot. Ticking things off of my to-do list like a general.
I felt little joy and my soul was shriveled up like a raisin.
On the morning I was fired, 8 years ago, I didn't want to be working there anymore and truthfully, they didn't want me to be working there anymore either.
It felt like a severing though. I felt cut, raw, hurt and injured.
Now it just so happened that my sister and her family were traveling to Florida that morning.
When I called to tell her of my firing, she invited me to go to Florida with them in their car.
I gladly accepted and soon found myself wedged into their conversion van in the last open seat,
along with 5 other people and assorted pieces of luggage, shoes, snacks, bottles of water and beach supplies.
I was happy to be heading south to the Sunshine state. I was a little crowded and a lot carsick but otherwise my destination is what kept me happy and smiling.
On the second morning of our trip I found myself alone, sitting outside of a Cracker Barrel restaurant somewhere in bumfuck Arkansas, drinking a nasty cup of to-go coffee, smoking a cigarette and crying. (The rest of the family was inside eating.)
I didn't know what I wanted to do. I certainly didn't want to be eating at that Cracker Barrel I can tell you that! I felt panicky. I regretted taking this last minute trip with my sister's family, because all of them squished inside that overly full van, kept arguing with each other.
It was driving me insane driving with all of them.
I wanted silence. I wanted to go over my firing in my mind and pick apart every word that had been said by my bosses and by me. I wanted to nurse my indignation and my heartache. I wanted peace in my mind, in my heart, in my soul. And I wasn't getting any of it.
The third morning of my trip found me awake at, you guessed it, the ungodly hour of 5:00am.
But I could smell the salt air and I could hear the ocean from the open window of our Condo so I got up and headed outside to take in the view.
That view of the white sand and the blue-grey-green water that meets the sky never disappoints.
As the waves roll in towards shore there is the subtlest sound of Yah-Weh.
Yah as it rolls in, Weh as it pulls back out.
It's like the ocean is breathing His very name every time a wave comes ashore.
It instantly settled my soul and I took my first deep breath of air in weeks. I felt myself starting to unkink...felt my soul start to expand.
There is something about the smell of the ocean...I wish I could bottle and smell this all the time.
The feel of the sticky sand on my feet, the little tiny birds running running running on the beach,
even the sound of the seagulls is something that puts me to rights.
Every morning for the entire week I was in Florida was spent on that beach staring into nothing and yet also staring directly into and hearing the very breath of God.
If I close my eyes I can hear it still today. And remember how it felt to be so near the sound of YahWeh and how comforted and held I felt.
Now I get up at 5:30am in the morning and it no longer bothers me.
It's so automatic I don't even need to set an alarm clock. I even look forward to it.
Because the first thing I do is grab a cup of coffee and then I head to my desk where I keep my devotionals and my Bibles and I say a good morning to YahWeh and I thank Him for the morning, for THIS morning and for other mornings to come. And I am grateful. So very grateful to be up at 5:30am.
Thanks for reading,