If you know anything about Josie, you know she is not a morning person. She is my little night-owl, totally happy to stay up until 10 pm and sleep until 9 am. Because Joel has to get up so early, he likes to go to bed early, and I like to have a little alone time with him. So, we have worked hard to help Jocelyn learn to go to bed at 8:30 pm. It doesn't always work, and there are plenty of times that she lays in her bed until she falls asleep after 9 pm. But regardless of her bedtime, she is rarely awake before 8 am (another bonus to putting her to bed earlier- she sleeps longer!) . Even when she gets out of bed she needs some "sofa time" to really wake up- it is kind of like her coffee.
But, they don't call this the "season of miracles" for no reason! A crazy change has taken place in our daughter. My night owl has been up before 8 am every day this week! She is bounding out of bed, sprightly as a little songbird. She has beaten Carson out of bed twice- a rare feat indeed. And what might you ask is the reason for this sudden change?
Two words: Advent Box. She knows each morning there will be a new special surprise waiting. So far there has been something new everyday. She can't wait to see what it holds. She is so anxious to discover the treasure for the day that sleep takes a backseat. The other morning when she came downstairs, Carson wasn't awake and I made her wait. She couldn't even sit still! And trust me, the gifts each day are just simple things: stackable crayons, Christmas tree brownies, slap bracelets (anyone else remember those from the 80's?). But they bring her immense joy- enought to forgo her usual late morning rising.
I love it- I am a morning person, and I think it is fun to see her excitement. And it reminded me of how I wish that I approached each day with that kind of joy.
" Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1: 17 (NIV).
He has given me such better treasures than those in that little Advent box. That silly little saying comes to mind, " Each day is a gift, that is why they call it the present". It is true- and especially so around the holidays. Taking time to enjoy the gift of God's Son is more important than any gift I will give, any treat I will bake, or any decoration that I will put up. If I didn't do a single thing that is part of a traditional Christmas celebration, there would still be reason to have joy in my heart. I want to be excited, willing to change my routines, to get up early, with a happy heart, in order to celebrate unwrapping what each day has in store for me. It may sound cheesy, but it is true. Just as Jocelyn trusts that each day that box will have something new and fun for her, I can depend even moreso on my Father's promise that:
" All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And I don't even have to wait for Christmas!