Intro #1: I didn’t mean to wake up Saturday morning and get all spiritual but it happened.
I guess some people are just more connected to God than others. Hashtag HUMBLE BRAG.
Intro #2: Harper stumbled into my room at 6:30 AM. It was the weekend, and she was supposed to be sleeping in. As she climbed into the spot next to me, she rested her head on my arm and–miracle of all miracles–fell back asleep. This has never happened. Ever.
But the problem was, I was now wide awake. Once I’m awake, there is no chance of going back to sleep. It’s a curse I received sometime in my late twenties. The other problem was, she was asleep on my arm and I was officially stuck. Sure, this would have been a great time to snuggle her, but really what I wanted to do was reach out and grab my phone.
I needed my phone. I was awake and bored. But I was stuck.
And so I started praying. It was an accident, really. I just didn’t have anything else to do. Literally, it was my only option so I just started talking to God.
Hashtag horrible Christ follower for life.
I really wanted to keep going with Intro #1 but I just couldn’t keep it up. High and mighty normally makes my falls harder and more public. So Intro #2 is where it’s at.
Harper was asleep on my arm–my cell phone arm–and so I started praying. I started simply with thanking God for her and praying for her heart and her future, her kindness and her strength. But then I moved on to Ellie and then Chris and then I started thinking about my grandparents and my extended family and the way the world seems to be so rough and hurtful all the time and suddenly, thirty five minutes had passed.
Once that realization hit home, I realized I was probably the most Jesus-like, spirit-filled person TO EVER LIVE and I could just feel my face glowing with the presence of God.
Okay, so I’m sorta kidding but also, sorta not because I prayed for thirty five minutes and who does that?
Not I, said the fly.
But why not? I could. I could start my morning, even if I don’t get the pleasure of 35 minutes in bed with no alarm, talking to my Creator. I could tell him my worries and doubts. I could tell him my joy and sorrow. I could thank him and ask him and praise him and sit in silence with him.
When Harper finally woke up, she immediately asked for banana bread, (it’s an addiction, there seems to be no way out) and so I got up slowly and made my way to the kitchen. As I cut into the new loaf of fresh bread, I felt calmer and more peaceful.
Not because my prayers were answered, although that would have been nice.
Not because my grandparents were suddenly healthy, although that would have been handy.
Not because the internet people started being nice, although that would have been encouraging.
Not because of anything tangible, actually.
But I had begun my day focusing on my Savior and he seemed to put things into perspective for me. He took my anxiety and quieted it for a few moments. He reminded me that I am loved and cared for in spite of all the things I feel like I can’t juggle or handle.
He offered me quiet in the midst of a brain that never ever stops.
When I was in elementary school, I would borrow this series from the library called Choose Your Own Adventure. It was a line of books written in second person where you got to pick what happened next. Maybe the story would start off with you in a castle and after a few pages the dragon chasing you would trap you at the ledge of a balcony. The story paused and you could decide what you did next. If you wanted to turn around and fight that evil monster, it told you to turn to page seven. If you wanted to risk your life with a jump into the moat below, you could turn to page twelve. Then your story picked up with whatever you had decided.
I loved these books because it made me feel in control. I also loved these books because you could check out both choices–a peek into your future–before deciding which way to proceed. I didn’t want to die so I would always choose the safest route after reading through the scary choice and seeing if I survived.
It was the best of both worlds, safe and dangerous from the relative calm of the couch.
I often fantasize about a life where I know the future. Should I make this big purchase? Is it a wise decision? Am I making parenting choices that are going to significantly damage my little girls? Is this friendship healthy or should I let it go? Do I need to speak up here or just listen? Will my husband notice if I throw away this ugly shirt he loves so much?
I want to know the outcome before I commit. Sure, it’s a bit of a cop-out but I’m okay with that. Mary Graham, would you like to take the easy way out?
It’s like winning the lottery. It’s never going to happen, but I enjoy the dreaming anyway. (Lottery answer: Quit my job. Travel half the year. All the books I could ever read plus a few more. A bigger camper. More books. College for my daughters. Maybe a few bucks to my family. Books.)
I don’t get to know the endings. I’m probably always going to pout a little about it, but I can also take comfort in knowing the best beginning. I can start my day with God, talking to him, reading his Word, sitting in silence before him and, while not get the answers, get a sense of okay-ness about it all.
My nature–our nature–isn’t meant to be satisfied completely. It’s just not happening this side of heaven. But I do have the power to choose my own beginning and it just took a smashed arm, a sweet little girl, and complete boredom for me to be reminded of it.