Merriam Webster defines ritual as: always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time. I have a ritual, a morning ritual, that is becoming surprisingly wonderful to me. When my husband started his new job a few weeks ago, I dreaded getting up earlier to make his breakfast, pour his coffee, and pack his lunch. Does anyone else out there think that 5:40 a.m. is a better hour to be spending quality time with your bed and cozy blankets than hearing your alarm and dragging yourself out of bed? I know, right?
Hello, new morning ritual: Groggily attempt to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, pull on my favorite sweats and a hoodie, and put my slippers on. Shuffle out to the kitchen and decide if it will be pancakes, eggs and toast, French toast, breakfast burritos, bacon, or if I have really thought ahead, maybe I will set a breakfast casserole or baked oatmeal in the oven. Pack husband's lunch while making breakfast and hope that I can do two things at once this early in the morning.
Husband eats breakfast while I sit beside him in silence, snuggling my head on his shoulder. After he finishes his breakfast, he opens his Bible and we read that day's portion of Our Daily Bread devotional. We are left with a challenging thought to ponder for the day. We write our prayer requests in our prayer journal, and pray for others as well as for each other. His hand, warm from cupping his coffee mug, holds mine, firm and loving. I love to hear him pray for me, asking the Lord for protection and guidance for me. He makes me feel like a treasure when he intercedes for me.
He puts his warm overalls on, and two hoodies, and his work boots. He draws me to him and puts his strong arms around me and kisses me. I cling to him, wishing he wouldn't have to leave. With one last regretful kiss, he grabs his coffee mug, lunchbox, and thermos of water and with a whoosh of cold air as he opens the door, he's gone. I pull back the blinds in the kitchen and wave to him as he backs out of our driveway. I see his wave dimly illuminated by the streetlamp on the other side of the avenue.
I pour myself a cup of coffee in my favorite mug, the white one with a pink rose in a china pattern, the one from my cousin Lyndsi, the one that fits so well in my hand and holds the perfect amount of coffee. Wrapped in my red fleece blanket that has traveled a few miles with me, I sit down on the leather love seat in our living room and journal. The lights from the Christmas tree twinkle and the golden baubles glitter in its glow. I watch the curls of steam rise from my coffee in the lamp light. Ah, that hot coffee is the perfect way to begin the waking-up process for my day.
My house is so quiet in the mornings. It's just me, my little house, my cup of coffee, and Jesus. It's before most of our neighbors have gone to work, and the kids down the street are still sleeping, and even the sun isn't even up yet. I am learning to treasure this time of early morning-ness, of my quiet house. There's something so comforting about a good habit and predictability. It's like that favorite pair of shoes that you wish would last forever.
If I can work up the courage to bundle up and face the cold, I try to take a walk as soon as the sun begins to come up. Layers of warm clothes, a good hat, and warm mittens [yes, mittens are much warmer than gloves] make a walk in the morning chill an invigorating experience.
This is how I usually begin my day, and I am beginning to treasure these morning moments exactly the way they are. I would love to hear about your favorite morning rituals via the comment box below!
[This post was written before Christmas--No, we do not have a Christmas tree year round! :)]