10 years ago if you would have told me that I would enjoy an early wake up call, coffee, three books, and standing in the doorway watching my family sleep hours past when I woke up I would have told you there was something wrong with you.
You know those places you never thought you’d be but when you get there you get there you are surprised by your response to them? I’m at one of those places.It’s 7:24 am on a Friday. I’ve been up for about an hour and a half now. I woke up at 5:50am willingly. I made eggs, pancakes, and coffee. I went in to check on my family and see that they are all sound asleep. I got married to Tiffany over 10 years ago. I still remember days that we would have off and would sleep until 11 each morning. At that point I never could have imagined being in the situation I am now where I enjoy getting up before 6 and resting in the quiet of the morning. I typically eat breakfast and read a couple of different books. One of them is a Christian Devotional by Paul David Tripp called New Morning Mercies. I’ve enjoyed that because I appreciate his perspective on the Gospel (that it’s not something centered around us, but around God). That’s usually a 5-6 minute read if everything is quiet. Then I move on to a book about boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend that a friend recommended to me. It’s about setting boundaries around your relationships so that you can better define your own behavior as opposed to letting your behavior always be a reaction to someone else’s actions. I’ve struggled with that in the past and this is a tremendously helpful book. After that I try to read something that is entirely for pleasure. At the moment that is a book based on journal entries from one of the executives at Crossfit, Dave Castro, and his process of preparing the championship weekend for Crossfit (the Crossfit Games). I’ve found that this helps to fill my personal cup that is poured out throughout the day. I fill my faith, my personality, and my hobby all before I head out the door. (I’m always looking for book suggestions if you’ve got one that you recommend-please comment below if you do!)None of these are things that I really enjoyed when I was 23. Waking up early, drinking coffee, reading-especially in volume. That’s one of the amazing things about life though, growth doesn’t have to be tedious but it does take time. There have been times in my life when I’ve decided to try “grown-up” things (like getting up early) before I had really come to a point in my life where that was something that came natural. I’ve always tended to attempt to rush growth because I felt like it was what I should do. Often growth has been a painful and unwilling process. Much like the book on boundaries discusses, I was attempting to alter my actions based on a perception of what life was supposed to look like. I was always trying to achieve a level of “adulthood” that I felt was expected. It wasn’t until I started to understand something that I truly began to grasp who I am…adult are just grown up kids and teenagers. We were all at a point in our life where we didn’t want to get out of bed, pick up a book, or drink coffee as a means of relaxing but instead grew into those things as a natural process of developing our personalities and our lives. When we allow those things to develop as our wants, needs, and personalities change then they become a part of who we want to be as opposed to a part of who we feel forced to be.As we begin to accept who we are and allow changes in our life to happen because it’s what we want rather than what is expected of us we begin to live our lives for the purposes we choose rather than purposes we believe society, expectations, or people around us are placing on us. I never would have expected to be where I am 10 years ago and often I tried to change that many times along the way. But in accepting who I am, where I am, and what I am I have experienced a level of growth and happiness that I can only fumble around on a keyboard to describe. 10 years ago if you would have told me that I would enjoy an early wake up call, coffee, three books, and standing in the doorway watching my family sleep hours past when I woke up I would have told you there was something wrong with you. Now those are the things that root me to my personality and my sanity.