I wake to a bone-chilling cold in the house and out the window is a sky that is so grey that it just seems dull. I open the front door to let in the early morning light and for the cats to look out and ponder their hunting ability as the birds begin to arrive in the grass.
Slowly I wake as I sip the coffee that soothes my throat and clears my head. I’m still in the unbreakable cycle of being caffeine-deprived and lacking in prayer. Out of my peripheral vision I catch a glimpse of some unusual colors emerging within the spindly, bare trees across the field. The field grass and leftover soybean stalks stretch out across the road from my yard and lead up to the small rise of a hill and that is where I see the horizon of the Southern sky.
I see the brownish grass and above that the horizontal slivers of blue, tan and pink. The icy morning air and the beginnings of sunlight make a splendid magenta against the dark tree silhouettes. It’s nothing short of spectacular and the vividness of it completely escapes my Nikon. You just can’t capture it, you have to see it for yourself. I’m reminded that if I don’t praise the LORD, the stones will cry out. (Luke 19:40) Creation is praising God in full color. This includes the cows in the field as they mill around munching grass – as cows do best – and those birds digging for worms near my porch.
Most mornings in my house are filled with noise…and it begins before six a.m. with an alarm clock. I promptly hit the snooze button and receive an automatic 9 minutes extra – of what I don’t know. But this alarm is not a praise to the Creator of the universe. My wide-open eyes – or slightly puffy and partially closed ones – are the beginnings of my praise. My mind and attitude are usually present for this version of morning praise as well. Hopefully they’re all working together, but at age 46, I don’t remember which comes first. Sometimes my mind is running wild before the alarm OR the opening of the eyes.
But if anything, I have observed this – I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) – but I’m at my best when I’m asleep!
So, my physical being may be a praise offering to the Creator, but the thoughts, attitudes, and even the coffee deprivation are not. I know this because I’m feeling frustrated with my lack of peace in my mornings since schedules started to change and I can no longer have a Bible open in front of me to go along with my coffee. It’s just too noisy – there are just too many people walking around, eating and making lunches at this hour. Before I know it, I’ve had my breakfast and hit the shower. Then I dig into the chores of the day.
So, what’s a body to do?
This is where sticky notes or index cards usually come in handy. I’m participating in a year-long scripture memorization team effort. (http://blog.lproof.org/) That’s one card that could be propped up on my nightstand table. How about something motivational too? Like one of my favorite go-to verses –
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things
Whatever is “praiseworthy” sticks in my mind.
How about a little happy dance that I woke to a new day with new opportunities?
How about a little praise for being trusted to raise those kids that are going about their day … with all their noise?
How about a little praise for that gorgeous ground out there that will soon turn green and yield some beautiful colors?
How about a little praise for that roof over my head, the food in my cupboards, and an opportunity to serve a mighty God?
Then, I’ll praise him for that coffee, cause I love that he made that too!