When I awake, I pray for God to give me his love for my people. Then I pray about what the day will hold. Sometimes I stretch, there in bed. Then I get up (usually before my hubby) and go in to make him coffee, letting out the dog on the way. I make tea and sit and read my inbox (devotionals), maybe write. Then it’s time to check on my 13 year old and 83 year old! But usually, whether sending the dog out back or sitting at the table, I look out at the weather. I have one little spot where I can see the ocean, down the hill and far away but on clear windy days I can make out whitecaps. On foggy days I can hear the foghorn, even if we have sun here on my hill. (microclimates!) I am so grateful for our location: faculty housing at Westmont College.
I wrote that as a comment on another blog and upon rereading it I realized how I wanted to keep it. How beauty surrounds me, how God gives me grace each morning. I love that I can make coffee for my man before he awakes. My dear “uncle” Herbie Pedersen once was surprised by coffee being all ready when I spent a night with them; it was usually his job. It’s a small act of love, but a daily one.
Today is my day of rest. A time when all free time is for connecting with God. Oh, sure, I’m going to do fun restful things like take Ravinia to see a kids production of Charlotte’s Web, and yes, I did the dishes this morning (from last night-full confession), but it’s a day to find time to read for my heart.
The week ahead looks wonderful. Thanksgiving is upon us! I plan to roast a pre-Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow for Sunday night dinner. Then we will have other families joining us on Thursday.
Hanukkah starts on Wednesday night. Do you know much about Hanukkah? Translated, the word is rededication. It’s a feast commemorating the rededication of the temple, and scripture records Jesus being in the temple one Hanukkah. The rules for how to rededicate the altar are in (of course) Leviticus. Why does it matter, isn’t it just a Jewish thing? What does it mean to Christians?
Here’s what I think: While the Jews have lost their holy temple in Jerusalem, we have each of us believers a temple of the Lord always with us. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. So, how do you reconsecrate a temple, which is your body? What does it mean to light the menorah, a sign and remembrance of God’s eternal light of presence with his people? At the very least it reminds me to stop and focus on God, who dwells with me. It gently flickers to my heart where another candle shines: a flag flies high in the castle of my heart that the king is in residence there.
Hanukkah isn’t there to compete with Christmas. It’s perfectly part of Advent to me. Prepare my heart, soul, and body for Christ’s coming again, as we celebrate his incarnation.
So we will probably have a fairly normal Monday through Wednesday, and light a candle on Wednesday afternoon at sunset. Thursday will be a day of cooking and fun, gathering and thanksgiving (did I mention food? I plan to make leaf shaped cookies and have everyone use frosting to write things they are thankful for on cookies…may we run out of space!) JOY! Friday I usually unpack my Christmas dishes (shopping in my own house) and this year I hope to sort out books that can be passed on to others, decluttering my home as much as I am able. Saturday I will continue decorating the house, pulling out the advent candle wreath to start lighting a daily candle while I read Ann’s new book each morning (after making tea!).
I think too, when I light the candles of Hanukkah, and pray thanksgiving to God, I will ask him to cleanse my heart and body. When we gather with others this week, I want to have always an ear listening for my Lord’s still small voice to my spirit so that I can be a blessing to his people. When I decorate or declutter my home, I want to be grateful and praise him for what he has given and sustains. I am so glad for the hope of each new day.
What are you looking forward to this week? What are your morning rhythms?