I am writing this with sincere humor. Sometimes, we earn the right to just giggle at ourselves and the progress we make over periods and stages of our lives. So here is one from my personal growth files:
I am not a morning person. I almost felt guilted into saying that God has made or is making me into a morning person, but that would be me forcing a truth. (That’s a clear setup for failure.) So I stick with who I am. I come from a nocturnal bloodline. We can hang until the wee hours of the night, but leave us alone at dawn. Trying to have a conversation with me at the beginning of my day is almost next to impossible until I can get my mind set to concentrate on those in front of me. Or so I thought. For years, I have trained family and close friends not to call me in the morning unless it is important, such as life threatening, extreme circumstances, etc. So needless to say, for may years now, if I receive a phone call or message in the morning I automatically know it is very important and get to the phone right away.
I said that to say this. My husband comes from a long line of early risers. I equate him to a Disney movie. The birds fly into his window in the morning. They chirp and sing hymns together while sharing a cup of warm tea on the balcony watching God’s masterpiece coming alive with the rising sun. Yeah, like that. It drives me, the owl, crazy! He puts on his cape and leaps into the shower with a single bound. Any American Dad fans here? He’s that theme song all day! Just ready. Who does that? Apparently my husband does.
When we first started sharing mornings together, it was so hard for me. I would grit my teeth when he would say, “Good morning, _(nickname)_.” Often times, it was because I was more than likely just falling into a deep sleep. Wait let me explain this a little more. We’re not talking the usual 7 a.m. type wake up. This man is bound to open his eyes at any given time at 4 a.m. or after. So I repeat. Most of the time I would JUST be falling into a deep sleep about this time. Of course, I would attempt to respond as politely as possible, but I soon realized that he took this as a cue to begin conversations with me. In addition, by the time my alarm would go off for me to get up for work, he would really kick into high gear. He’d report the sports news, review social statuses, and talk about events of the day. I’m doing all I can to not turn and yell at him, “Do you not SEE how tired I am?! Why are we talking about stuff that doesn’t even matter at this moment?! I’m trying to focus on getting out of here for work!” But he never really noticed. So my anger began to build up. Out of fatigue I would begin talking through my teeth or sounding real short and annoyed. Then we would get into our vehicles and drive to our separate places of employment. However, my phone would ring before I could even get out of our neighborhood. He would call me to “finish” our morning briefings. I was undone.
I can remember one morning, I truly could not hold in my emotions and I had a partial explosion. Guess what? He suggested that I try turning in earlier. I will not describe what happened next. It’s done and over and now in the past. He has forgiven me. However, as time went on, I noticed a change in him. I noticed that he was becoming more and more quiet in the mornings. So quiet that it began to worry me “out” of my sleep. I can remember one Saturday morning, I turned over and caught him in slow motion mid reach of his tablet. He paused when he felt me turn to look at him. I asked, “What are you doing?” He replied. “Just reaching for my tablet. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. I’m trying my best to be still.” Now, even I felt the Holy Spirit pack his suitcase, write me a Dear John letter, and throw the “deuces” to me. I felt like dirt. This man is 6’4 and the size of a running back, and he’s literally trying to “keep still” so he won’t wake me. It is physically impossible for him!
So I sighed at my own disgust. Am I really that selfish, Lord? I have been this way all my life. Many of my family members are like this. I cannot help that I can’t go to bed earlier. I cannot stop my brain like he does and tell it it’s time for bed. We’ll pick up on this tomorrow. I don’t know how to do that. I simply function better at night. I felt like an abusive spouse. So I decided to at least apologize for being a bully. He deserved that much. As God would have it, a real heart to heart discussion took place. I never really took time to explain why I was so cranky in the mornings. I even pointed out times when I have nearly been in tears because I wanted to sleep and could not. I would have to get up and work until my brain decided it was ready for bed. He honestly did not realize that a lot of my being up late was not necessarily voluntary. We talked more and compared childhoods. Before I knew it, we were learning new things about each other. So we agreed to try to be more accommodating to one another’s habits. It was not an easy start, but we made progress.
After a little time went by, his work schedule became more demanding and inconsistent. He would actually leave out to go to work when I was just crawling into bed. There were no morning conversations when my alarm went off. He would call just to make sure I was awake on time, say he loves, and have a good day. I noticed that my mornings began to feel off. I started feeling partially prepared to get into my work day. Then I began to notice that I would have to call him in the mornings. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, but his job stress and requirements would not allow him to keep his ritual going. So I heard God clearly ask me on the way to work one morning, “So what are you going to do about it, because you and I both know you’re about to get upset and have a pity party over it. What’s the big deal? You have your mornings back now, right?” I picked up the phone and called my husband. “I know you’re swamped and can only talk for a minute, but how is your day?”
My moment of discovery? My husband had created a new bond between us. We were tied together in a new way that I was unaccustomed to. In doing so, I had made room for my husband in my morning space, but I was too self-centered to realize it. I was so busy holding on to what I needed instead of asking God to help me make space for what he needed from me as his wife. I took the time to really examine myself because I want my marriage to last, and I could sense that something this small would open doors for other issues. What makes me so special that he has to be the one doing all of the adjusting? Why was I having a problem “moving over” and letting him in? After all, he’s my husband because I said “yes”. My problem was I assumed that if I let him in, I would have to let everyone else in this space; therefore, I would lose control over that time of day I needed to get myself prepared to deal with the world. See where assuming gets you? Splitsville, USA. God instructed me later to talk to my husband specifically about morning calls. This is where I’m going to end this one. You will see, there will be nothing more needed to say when you read his reply.
“Babe, why is it so important to you that we talk so much in the morning? Like, we talk at home, but then you’ll call me on the way to work like we never talked at all. Is something wrong? Am I missing something?”
“No, you’re not missing anything at all. It is my duty to make sure that my wife is able to get through her day. As your husband, I need to know that you are mentally and emotionally ready to handle today’s struggles and battles that may come up. Even if you call me with a problem later, I know you didn’t start out with one. I want to know, I need to know I sent you out ready and prepared knowing that I got you. It is my responsibility and duty that you are smiling and okay when you leave my presence. That doesn’t mean you won’t have any problems. I’m not God. But I am a part of making sure you can handle them to the best of your ability. I cannot speak for any other husband, but that is the charge God gave me as your husband. That is the kind of husband I am. Besides, I love to hear your voice, especially when you smile. That makes my morning.”
You all have a wonderful rest of your day. I’m going to go call my husband. :)
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.