I love getting up early.
Let me rephrase that. I love waking up early on my own accord. I do not love having a four year old crawl over me in bed at 4:00 am, her knees and elbows jabbing into every soft surface on my body.
But yes, in a general sense, I can honestly say I love getting up early. I always have. Even as a teenager, I would stay over at my best friend, Ashley’s house. She frequently would rise at noon to find a note from me stating “I woke up at 7 and got sick of waiting for you to get up. Call me when you do.” I don’t know. There is something really exciting about the early morning hours. Yes, there is a peaceful quiet that I find to be super lovely. However, for me, there is a more overwhelming sense of excitement found during that time.
Maybe it’s because when I was growing up, everything awesome in our family started FIRST THING in the morning. Christmas, road trips, pig shows, skiing at my aunt’s lake house…if it was fun or exciting: my family was waking up early to do it. JOYFULLY.
And THAT part came from my dad. That man puts the “shine” in “rise and shine.” He loves the morning time. Goodness sakes alive. You can spend the weekend at the Yerglers’ and you might think you’re’ waking up early…I guarantee you walk out of your bedroom before the sun rises and Jeffro is standing in the kitchen: coffee brewin’, music playin’, and fried eggs cookin’ on the stove.
Even my grandpa Jim…a man of great faith his entire life…took his last breath just before sunrise on a warm Sunday in September. We like to think he held on that last week of labored breathing and tearful goodbyes…just so he could spend his first few minutes in heaven at the most beautiful Sunday morning service imaginable.
As I sit here drinking my coffee by the glow of the Christmas tree, I resist the common temptation to scroll through Facebook or turn on the early morning news. I am feeling overcome by the anticipation of what this day will bring…and I want to really FEEL it. This feeling is a blessing! When will my little girls burst through their door, greeting me with hugs and asking for breakfast? When will I hear the man I love turn on the shower and ask if there’s coffee? When will my infant son stir and rise, ready for his first feeding of the day?
Once all of those things happen, it will be time to greet the day and tackle its many responsibilities. Admittedly, I often lose this sense of gratitude and enthusiasm in the hustle and bustle of runny noses, dirty diapers, spills, and bills. I will be cursing this crazy lifestyle I lead with every cow that gets out and every Sunday driver I pass on the highway. But I wanted to take this moment to reflect on this warmth I’m feeling. I want to challenge myself and anyone reading this to cling to a childlike excitement towards daily life. I want to try my hardest approach everything I do with the anticipation and eagerness I have when I open my eyes. I don’t want to let that fade with the challenges that come as the hours tick by. Easier said than done? Sure. But I’ll be dipped in butter if I don’t give it my best shot. And if and when I fail, I will try again tomorrow.