Hands groggily find phones and slide alarms into the snooze position to steal a few more precious minutes of sleep. Eyes bleary, feet hit a chilly floor to find coffee and solitude in the early morning hours, before toddler wakes and demands are made. Padding down the hallway to find community on the other side of the screen, women and mothers and wives and friends who travel these same early morning hours to work, plan, pray, and cheer together. Silent feet slide over and around and avoid spots known for creaking and cracking, ninja-like mama skills on display.
I meet God in the darkness, in the weary “before” time of my day. He meets me there, over cups of coffee, laptop clicking, living Word on touchscreens and the Holy Spirit alive and present in my closet office. I embrace my role as a Proverbs 31 woman:
“First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.” (Proverbs 31, MSG)
It’s a modern day version, early rising to connect on Twitter and start my day with Jesus loving accountability sisters, rolling up sleeves to work a corporate job, no hurry to call it quits for the day because the late night hours are when the joy-work happens.
Then there are days when those feet make it out of bed with just enough time to head out the door. There are days when the “to do” list grows and the dishes aren’t cleaned and the toddler won’t listen (and all she says is “no”…all…the…time…). There are days when the countdown to bedtime means mama is SO in a hurry to call it quits for the day.
And I am thankful for grace.
The heart-work is done in the spare hours, the ones leading up to brushing teeth, finding baby doll, and waiting the eight years it takes a toddler to slide down 14 stairs when her hands are full of all. the. things. that are essential for a ten minute car ride. There is weariness in those hours, but an exhausted joy that comes from knowing that this work? The reason my sleeves are rolled up before the sun has peaked over the horizon? This is what God had in mind me for me from the very beginning. I am created for this work.
My cup runs over in the late hours, typing words that make souls stronger, planning and encouraging and writing and saying yes to my dreams. In the hours after lights are off, dinner is away, the bathtime bubbles have been stomped and little girl is snuggled asleep for the night. I’m in no hurry to call it quits for the day when I know the pouring into I receive when I pour out what God has put on my heart. The dream-work doesn’t get done during the mundane hours of 9-5. It happens in the sacrifice, the bleary, weary eyes of one who can no longer strive on her own but goes on purely by the saving grace of a Father who holds doors open just enough to let hope shine through.
And so a cup of coffee is poured as sleeves are rolled up. It’s a new day, friends. Let’s get to work.