6:45 AM – I’m on the sofa, reading my bible as my husband walks by on his way to the kitchen.
My brain: I should go in and chat with him. His interview is today. I should encourage him.
But that’s an awful lot of moving and talking for this early in the morning, so I remain where I am.
7:00 AM – I’m still on the sofa, now composing a text message for the bible study group I’m in. My oldest walks out and snuggles up next to me.
My brain: Crap. I’m on my phone again while he’s watching. I should stop. This is setting a bad example.
I press on with my texting anyway, trying to finish up my study contribution before the rest of the kids are up.
7:10 AM - My precious child starts chattering on about his current favorite video game. So many words. So little coffee in my body.
My brain: I should engage. He’s sharing his passions with me.
Instead, I say gently to my little early bird, “Hey Dude, I’m up early to do my bible study. I’m not quite ready for talking yet.”
7:15 AM - My brain: I am selfish. I am an indifferent wife. I am a bad mom.
I’ve been awake less than an hour and I’ve already declared myself a failure at the roles I hold most dear. Yikes.
Luckily, I’ve been at this “masterpiece” study for awhile, so I am aware of the lies trying to take root and I take a moment to turn them around.
Lie: I am an indifferent wife.
Truth: So I didn’t go sit in the kitchen with my hubby. I could have, but I didn’t. After nearly ten years of marriage though, he didn’t expect me to. He knows I don’t do mornings. We talked about the interview last night, so he also knows my unwavering confidence in him. The truth is that he’s not thinking I’m indifferent at all. He’s just eating breakfast.
Lie: I’m a bad mom.
Truth: I could write a novel about my conflicted feelings on technology, but the truth is that it’s just a part of life. I have a bible on my phone and I’m in a text-message-based group bible study, which is the perfect fit for this season in my life. With a few quiet words, I let my watching child know that I was in God’s Word even though I appeared to be just “staring at my phone.” The truth is, I was setting a great example.
Lie: I’m selfish.
Truth: Mornings are not my jam. Conversation before coffee is just rude and sudden movements are to be avoided. Most mornings find me sluggishly trying to get going while impatient children clamor for breakfast and suggest things like chess matches and Lego role play. TORTURE! But I want to be ready for them. I do. So I was up at 6AM in order to enjoy the slow quiet start that I crave, with the hope that I would be all set to begin the day when they awoke. And I almost was. My little man came out early and had to wait a few minutes for my attention, but that’s not a bad thing. Patience is a virtue best learned young, right? The truth is that I intentionally sacrificed beloved sleep for them. I’m not selfish at all. On the contrary, I’m clearly a candidate for sainthood.
Three lies and three truths. It’s up to me to choose where to place my focus. Philippians 4:8 tells me to think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… anything excellent or praiseworthy.” So on this day, I choose to believe that I am a loving wife, a great mom, and that getting up early makes me a a bonafide saint. I choose to believe the truth. That choice gets easier every day as I become more and more practiced at spotting the lies. Perhaps one day, I’ll get so good at it that my brain will just tell me the truth to begin with!
Jenn is a book-reading, quietly nerdy introvert who has, one choice at a time, managed to completely surround herself with chaos. Wife to one incredible man, and homeschooling-mama to three crazy-awesome boys, life is almost never quiet...but in each day there are moments - brief pauses in the crazy - and it is there that she finds God. He is in a quiet breeze through the trees, in a one-on-one conversation, in a lingering glance at a sleeping child's face. It is enough.