Waking Up Grateful

Today, I'd like to reflect on something that may resonate with many of you. I want to reflect on why I can regularly rise so early in the morning yet despise it. 

Let me explain what it's like to face the day on my end. 

When the alarm goes off, I often still reach for my nightstand to hit the snooze button, but there's no free-standing alarm on my nightstand with a snooze button to hit. Old habits die hard, man.  

No, my alarm is across the room in the form of Alexa, the Amazon fairy.  I can give her commands like, "Alexa! Snooze!" But that requires having enough consciousness to form words, which usually awakens me.  

To get the alarm to shut off,  I will bark, "Alexa! Off!" Then, the voice inside the cylinder will pleasantly tell me, "Good morning, Leon," and then inform me of the temperature outside. 

At this point, I will lie awakened and may reach for my phone to see how many important messages and texts came in between 10 PM and 5:30 AM. Surprisingly, there are few of those. 

Then, I'm off to make coffee and stare blankly at my computer screen for a hot minute before digging in, sending off these reflections, and creating new ones.  

With coffee on board, my spirit begins to unfold, and finally, I can think coherent thoughts.  But I need quiet or soft instrumental music to not jar my nervous system too early.  

What "morning people" don't get is that all of this is necessary for those who aren't.  We don't leave bed ready to slay the day from Jump Street.  Oh, we may slay the day... just later. 

There's a verse in the book of Proverbs that reads like this: 

Don't wake up your neighbors early in the morning with a shout of “Good morning!” They will treat it like a curse, not a blessing. Proverbs 27:14

I'm sure many of you just decided this is your favorite Bible verse.  It could be mine, but I'm willing to share. 

I wish I could be more energetic in the morning and feel more alive and awake. But despite my inability to do so right away, I have learned something valuable. 

The moment I begin to feel gratitude that I woke up and have a gift of a new day, all of the weariness, fogginess, and whatnot start to lift.  The key, however, is to get to gratitude, which may be more challenging sometimes. 

But even on those days, I can feel a change if I find even the slightest thing to be grateful for.  

I tried to keep one of those gratitude journals that people said I should keep.  I'm lousy at it, which made me feel poorly about myself, dampening my gratitude.  So I do it my way.  

I think it's whatever works for you, but you have to practice it. So give it a try tomorrow morning. As soon as you rise, think of something to be grateful for. If you are not a morning person, you'll find a way to face your day more joyfully.  

And if you are a morning person, it will definitely center you and start your day even better! 

May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen!


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