The morning started far too early. Or did the night just go super fast? Or did I lose track of time completely between diaper changes and feedings? Bleary eyed, I reach for the coffee. (Of course.) But lately, I’ve been pushing hard to reach for something – or rather Some One – else besides just the caffeine when the morning comes.

Early mornings with little sleep between them and the last evening are habit now. With lots of littles comes…well, very little rest. If you’re a parent, you know. 🙂 While this is nothing new to me three kids in, sometimes my lack of sanity and joy after a particularly tough night still surprises me.

In the more recent past, I am ashamed to admit that my attitude is less than stellar on these earlier mornings, and I’m prone to making bad habits out of grouchiness and bitterness and snappiness.

But something else has strangely become a habit, too. When I feel like I just can’t handle another stressful morning of making sure everyone does their chores and schoolwork and ticking off the boxes of to-dos, and when I have no energy to dive into a creative project or craft, I always end up loading up all the kids and heading out into nature. A park. A lakeside trail. A local garden. A nearby orchard. When the overwhelm sets in, I set out.

And miracle of miracles, its like hitting the reset button! Getting outside somehow helps me get out of my head. And when the brain fog finally clears a bit, I can hear and see and feel Jesus so much better.

The breezes kiss the yellow-tinged leaves. Thank you, Lord.

The grasshopper flits over a vibrant flower. Thank you, Lord.

The children giggle as the case each other. Thank you, Lord.

It’s like a liturgy created just for me in the time I so desperately needed it, but couldn’t create on my own.

While I strive to create a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled home, sometimes I need to breathe deeply the fresh air God created. It only makes perfect sense that being out in Creation brings us closer to the Creator. Without fail I am reminded of His love for us. His peace that passes understanding. The hope that comes with salvation in Him.

Today, by the grace of God, the baby only woke once in the night and this morning feels like a good one. But because life always throws curveballs (and messes and grief and overwhelm), I am now more aware of how practicing being in God’s presence outside is a form of worship too.

Maybe today I will seek God’s face out in His creation and find something completely new. Maybe I will find a fresh way to approach a hard situation, a sense of peace about a troubling event, a quiet word to focus on as I watch a bumblebee or a praying mantis or a swaying wildflower.

The great thing about habits is that I can start anew any time. Any day. Today, whether sleep deprived or rested, glad or upset, I’m aiming to breathe afresh the air God so graciously granted and in turn, breathe deeply His presence.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you . Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:7-10


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