I woke this morning in a strange room in a bed by myself, which is strange in and of itself. My beautiful sleeping daughter shared the bed adjacent to mine; she and I on our own little journey enjoying some breathing, smiling time away.
In the quiet of the early morning hours, before the sun and I were reintroduced, I laid in my unfamiliar bed and absorbed the sound of waves lapping outside my window–wait those aren’t real waves, that’s the sound of fake waves from my white noise app I use in hotel rooms. Close enough.
Because the waves of Lake Michigan are rolling in within view of my window, and the view when I awakened…perfection.
A grateful heart is what woke me up this morning. And soon it was time to wake my sleeping teenage beauty.
As a lover of sleep, it has always been important for me to wake my children in a pleasant way. Having my own mother screech my name every single morning from down the hallway, I determined to do the opposite every single time for my beloveds.
This morning I was remembering a song. A song for moments such as this when I had three sleeping precious people to awaken. Three remarkable souls given for what seemed like just a moment into my care. The picture in my head includes a home on wheels with some lovely mauve flowered wallpaper and an over-the-cab bunk and three sleepyheads with eyes crusty and hair in complete disarray.
Barely aware was I, that these moments were slipping away like sand between my fingers.
Beginning the grieving of a mother’s heart was I, since I knew my son was about to leave the nest.
Trying to savor each day of that motor home adventure was I, enjoying new vistas each day, absorbing the creation so vast and varied it awed the mind to the point of wordlessness.
Mountains and canyons, waterfalls and oceans, plains and deserts–the stuff of legends in our minds stretched before us. Our faith tested daily, our physical strength tested frequently, our relationships pushed to new levels of trust and closeness as we journeyed together with itty bitty living space, and the desperate need to work as a team to get through a single day.
Thus, the choice to wake them with Hallelujahs.
And today as well. My girl and I heard some hallelujahs to start our day. A day to celebrate our togetherness. We have to relish it here and there because when the days are colder or darker or more mundane, we need these memories of laughter and firsts to recall the team that we are.
Just like the whole family does. When life creeps in and we feel overwhelmed with the details and the choices, we need the reflection–and we desperately need the hallelujahs. Being a part of a family means your own will must usually be set aside to consider those you love. It means that you share in tremendous opportunities for joy together, but it also means that you see each other in the weeping moments. The ones where you can’t see straight. The ones where you’re thankful that there are arms to pick you back up.
And, I will tell you two very important keys to this life that I have learned from the juxtaposition of the various seasons of my life.
I have had a very sad and disjointed family, and also a very happy and real family in this lifetime. The very messed up one taught me to make the choice to be real and to love for real and to trust for real when I was given a new family.
I have had some horrible moments that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and some moments of such joy and bliss that I cannot even find the words to share.
The dark moments have taught me to find the hallelujahs and sing them with all of my might even then and as much as the unbelievably good ones. Because no matter where I find myself in this great big world and this great big life, there is praise to be sung.
It is the key.
If you find it, you will know what I mean. Praise when it hurts because there is light in the dark place. Praise when you can’t see straight because trust is placed in bigger hands anyway.
And then praise when all is right because those hands provided.
And much more than three fast followed by three slow songs, THIS…this thankfulness welling up…this is worship.
So, as I see my sleeping sweetheart, I am reminded of how time marches on. And sometimes it just sprints out from under you. And these moments with her are precious. Though I don’t know how what her future holds, I know that I have this day, this moment carved out of time to love her. To let her know by the way I love her, that she is valued beyond any treasure. That she is worth my time.
Though life has shifted for me in ways that set me back on my heels a bit once in a while, I find myself gazing ahead with nothing but gratitude. And this morning my soul just plain wells up with hallelujahs.