I am SO not a morning person.
But this morning, I took a deep breath and braved the dark, early hours of the morning... all in the name of "getting things done."
What has this world come to?
I obtained a wonderful 3rd shift job last Spring. What 3rd shift jobs are wonderful? The ones in which you are paid to sleep. =) Anyway, my shift ends at 6am, so instead of driving home, shuffling upstairs, and crawling into my nice, warm sheets... I stayed up.
Do you know what? It's like I added on a whole other half day to my day. It was great. I cleaned the basement, made a pan of brownies, had a leisurely breakfast, and went to the gym... all before going to work!
Will I continue this tradition? On an as-needed basis. My schedule lately has been beyond crazy. I have so many things on my to-do list that I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day for the next 2 weeks to get them all done unless I stop sleeping.
Another wonderful part of my morning was when I picked up this book that has been in my bathroom for quite some time. It's called "31 Days of Praise," and I randomly flipped to Day 11. Do you ever open the Bible or read something inspirational from a book that is exactly what you needed to see at that time? It's so encouraging... and this morning, that is exactly what happened. It was God's way of delivering to me a cup of comfort, and I loved it.
Here is an excerpt of what I was encouraged by...
"Thank You, my gracious and sovereign God, that You have been with me and carried me from the day of my birth until today...that You have known my whole life, from beginning to end, since before I was born...and that You wrote in Your book all the days that You ordained for me before one of them came to be.
Thank You that in Your gracious plan to bless and use me, You've allowed me to go through hard times, through trials that many people go through in this fallen world. How glad I am that You're so good at reaching down and making something beautiful out of even the worst situations! How encouraged I am when I think how You did this for Joseph, how his brothers hated and abused and betrayed him, and how You worked these things out for blessing, both for Joseph and his family and for countless other people.
I praise You that the things that happened in my past, both enjoyable and painful, are raw materials for blessings, both in my life and in the lives of others. So I thank You for the specific family (or lack of family) into which I was born and the opportunities You did or did not provide. And thank You for the things in my past that appear to be limitations, hindrances, bad breaks...the wounds of old hurts, the unmet emotional needs, the mistakes or neglect of others people-even their cruelty to me, their abuse.
How comforting to know that in all my distresses You were distressed. And how I thank You, Lord Jesus, that on the cross You bore my griefs and carried my sorrows, as well as my sings...that I can kneel at the cross and worship You as the One who took on Yourself all my pain and experienced it to he full. And how comforting to know that in the present, day by day, You feel with me any pain, confusion, inner bondage, or struggles that stem from my past. Thank You that all these seeming disadvantages are a backdrop for the special, unfolding plan You have in mind for me...and that if my past still handicaps me, You are able to lead me to the kind of help I need.
I'm so grateful that all my past circumstances were permitted by You to make me see my need of You and prepare my heart for Your Word...to draw me to Yourself, and to work out Your good purposes for my life. I rejoice that You are the Blessed Controller of all things-You are now, You will be throughout the future, and You always were. All my days had Your touch of love and wisdom, whether or not I can as yet fully see it.
And Lord, I choose to look beyond me past and present trouble is in this life-this temporary life- and fix my eyes on the unseen things that will last forever. i praise You for the eternal glory these things are piling for me as I choose to trust you."
Love you all!