Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thirty One Thursdays - I HATE the morning... is that ok?

New to Thirty One Thursdays?  Start by reading the Intro Week and The Value of Virtue.

Proverbs 31:15
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

Verse 15 is represented by the Hebrew letter Vav.

I have been dreading this week's study.

In fact, I don't even want to write this post.

Why?  Because I am NOT... I repeat, NOT a morning person.

This is how I feel in the mornings:

And I live with this man, we'll call him "the husband", who feels like this in the mornings:

Which makes me feel even worse... like this:

Yep... that is an ACTUAL picture of me at 6:00 a.m.**

But the Virtuous Woman... she is a morning person.  Bummer.  Or at least that's what we assume.
When I imagine the Virtuous Woman in the morning, I picture something like this:

Beautiful and serene after a refreshing night's rest.  She happily rolls off her satin pillow to joyfully greet the sunrise streaming in through the streak-free window.

But then again, maybe she's not like that at all.
Maybe she's something more like this:

The verse doesn't give any indication that she likes getting up in the morning... just that she does it.  And this realization is both incredibly encouraging (because maybe I'm not alone here) and monumentally discouraging (because now I have no excuse) all at once.

Whether or not I'm a "morning person" has nothing to do with making the decision to get up early.  For me, in order to make that decision, I need to know that it's worth it.  I need to know why I'm doing it.  I need to know that there will be some great benefit, and not just that I'm getting up early for early's sake.  Because I think that's stupid.

"She rises" comes from the Hebrew word quwm (pronounced koom).  I am so struck by the meaning of this word.  Sometimes it can mean simply a general rising, but more often than not it is used to describe a rising up that is connected with a purpose; often God's purpose.  It can mean:
-to become powerful
-to arrive on the scene
-to be established or confirmed
-to stand, endure
-to be valid
-to be proven
-to be fulfilled
-to persist
-to be set or be fixed

The word is used in many other passages in Scripture, including:
Psalm 40:2 - "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure."
Genesis 13:17 - "Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you."
Esther 8:4 - "Then the king held out the golden scepter to Esther.  So Esther arose, and stood before the king..."
Proverbs 15:22 - "Without counsel purposes are disappointed:  But in the multitude of counsellors they are established."

So maybe this means a little more than just going from laying to standing, even though at 6:00 a.m. that's usually all I can manage.  I love the idea of being established first thing in the morning.  Being set up for success right away.  Receiving power for my day and arriving in my home.  When I think back on the times that I have been successful in getting up before Maddox, this is exactly how I've felt.  Those mornings are so unique.  It's like discovering a treasure that pays my way through the rest of the day.  The Psalmist writes so sincerely about the mornings:
"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
Psalm 5:3
He goes to God first thing in the morning, and God hears him.  Would we be different in how we greet our children when they wake up if we are first greeted by the Lord God when we wake up?  Maybe this would cause a totally different chain of events between us and our children throughout the day.  We could be prepared to meet them with peace, patience and kindness, instead of resentment for waking us up.  We could be prepared to lead them in the ways of the Lord, instead of being annoyed by their sin and stubbornness.

Funny enough, quwm is also the word used at the end of our poem, in verse 28, to describe the children and husband of the Virtuous Woman rising up to bless her. 

Waking up early in the morning, before my children, allows me an opportunity to be established in the Lord for the sake of my children.  And not only does the Lord establish me, setting me on the path of my daily purpose, but I also receive the reward of my family's praise, which is possibly the greatest reward of the day for a woman who devotes her life to loving and serving her family.  If I rise up to bless my family, they will rise up to bless me.  And that is the amazingly great benefit.

THIS WEEK'S ACTION STEP: You guessed it... set your alarm.  Set your alarm to a time before your kids wake up.  Then don't press snooze.  That's right... get out of bed.  Then make the very first thing you do (after emptying your bladder) something, ANYTHING, that wakes you up to God.  Pray, read your Bible, sing a worship song.  I am not talking about an hour long intense Bible study here.  I am talking about a very small step, something you know you can manage.  It might be a two minute prayer while you're in the shower... and that is ok.  We have to start somewhere.  We just have to start.

If you want to go the extra mile this week, or if you've already got the habit of early rising down and want some more direction for your mornings, I really, really, no REALLY want to encourage you to check out the Maximize Your Mornings ebook, written by Kat over at Inspired to Action.  It is an excellent, FREE resource that I have used before and will likely revisit, helping women get up early and make the most of their mornings.

Here is a list of some more encouraging morning-time Psalms:
Psalm 30:5
Psalm 59:15
Psalm 65:8
Psalm 88:13
Psalm 90:14
Psalm 92:2
Psalm 101:8
Psalm 130:6
Psalm 143:8

"She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard."
Proverbs 31:16

**not an actual picture of Tasha at 6:00 a.m.  That's an old woman... come on now!

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for quwm (Strong's 6965)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 3 Feb 2011. < http://

Strongs=H6965&t=KJV >

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