Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why 3am?

Before I start this next blog I'd like to take a minute and dedicate this blog to two of my dear friends. You know who you are. I will never forget our spontaneous trips to California. Little did I know 10+ years later our trips would serve such a great purpose at this particular time in my life, especially at 3AM. May this bless everyone who reads it. Enjoy reading.

3AM Seems to be more common in my world than I'd like. 

Can anyone relate? 

I can't really pin point the reason why this happens because it has happened on many different occasions. 

It's like having two alarm clocks. My brain has one and then my phone alarm has another. Let me just say, mornings are not my strong suite. Just wishfully thinking right now, if this were at all possible I'd like to make an even trade. If I could wake up eyes wide open, ready to go like I do at 3am and make that my usual morning wake up I'd be golden. But in my real world, alarm goes off at 7am and I can't get up worth anything. On any given normal day I swear I could sleep till noon. But I'm not a 13 year old on summer break anymore. I'm a mom who has a job that requires all of my effort and time.

So sleep would be nice but instead my 3am morning have consisted of me thinking about a project I am working on, a conversation I previously had that provoked great thought or everyday simple tasks like maybe what I want to cook for dinner or what I have on the agenda for the next day. 

Or what about the common duties of being a parent. Women you know from the time you are pregnant sleep stops. Waking up to a baby kicking your bladder that makes you go pee six times a night. The morning feedings, taking your child potty (when potty training) or waking up to your sneaking child who found their way to your bedside due to nightmares or the fact that they are not feeling well or just simply to remind you that you're a parent and so why let mom or dad sleep? I mean all parents seem to have the comfy and bigger bed right? I don't know about you but my first thought as a parent at 3am is "what now? For the love all I want is sleep." What's funny is as I'm writing this blog at 3am. Why? Well, not only did I wake up with a thought I also have a 4yr old that had to go potty so here I am writing this blog and taking my 4 yr old potty (and yes I said potty, it's just what mom's say).

Other 3am reoccurrences have involved different scenarios such as, trailing through some rough patches in my marriage, job issues, decisions that carry a great weight, and grieving, that just make for no sleep. These are the moments throughout the day that don't seem to allow us to give much time to sit or much thought to think through situations. But somewhere in between all that there seems to be a reoccurring pattern that usually happens at 3am. So, as I lay here wide awake amongst the quietness and stillness just as the water in the ocean on a dark night, I think about what my 3am's have looked like and now wonder what yours may look like. Maybe your 3am dark mornings look different than mine. You may have different circumstances than I, but I want you to know whatever the situation may be I hope you can be enlightened to know you are not alone at 3am.  

I remember a couple times (in my twenties) I took random trips to the beach. You know those random trips where no hotel was involved but sleeping in the back seat of a vehicle just beside an ocean. Food was on a whim based on the snacks you brought for the road trip or the little cash you brought along to do whatever with. Just you and a friend out to explore and change up the pace for a moment in time. As any beach seemed fitting because living in the moment was all we cared about. 

Our day went from seeing a beach full of people in the morning to just a few hours later, as night approached, the crowds of people dissipated as everyone gathered up their things to head back to wherever they came from. But there stood the ocean. The waves continued as the stars lit up the sky and beneath the surface of the water the sea life continued. 

This is 3am. I can't help but think about how all the ocean reflects so much of the constant life we live. I mean at times don't you just feel like a wave being tossed around when you get out of bed? As you knock into things and stub your toe along the way just to find a dang light so you can go to the bathroom (not that this has happened to me or anything). But other times you don't know why your are awake and there you are still tossing and turning trying to make the waves of thoughts just stop. 

Just as much as we can feel like a wave in the middle of the night we can also find rest if we look out further out beyond the shore of life. 
My family and I recently just took a trip to California. I snapped this pic not knowing I'd be waking up at 3am sharing it with you. But now that I am I have a whole new perspective of what 3am looks like. I was challenged by something as I looked at the photo and I want to challenge you to try and see what I see. If you look at the picture above and escape in your mind how you may feel like a wave of emotions or thoughts and look beyond you will see the little ripples in the water that stay steady. What I love most is to look up and see the sky line up with the ocean and imagine the creator of the universe mirroring who He is through creation. Seeing the sky line up so perfectly with the ocean reminds me how God is aligning my life so perfectly with the waves that so often occur and cause me to wake up at 3am. So instead of just tossing and turning I wake up with Him. The one who aligned the waters and the sky who set everything in motion before I was even created.  

Every time I see God's creation it unravels me to think about all the ongoing mysteries of who He is and how much He loves us. Not only did He take time to make the birds and the sky but he took time to specially handcraft each and everyone of us. He thought about you and I.
Did you know God doesn't make mistakes? He only makes beautiful things. And did you know just like creation, it was once void and empty and from that He made something quite beautiful which tells me God can make something from nothing. 

Maybe this is how your life feels. Empty, void, like a big ocean of nothingness. But maybe if you look a little further out, beyond the waves of whatever your situation my hold, your life at 3am may serve a greater purpose if we allow it to.

Just like the ocean God is constant too, time with Him is always available. It's funny how when I wake up at 3am I can hear every little detail in my home and even the crickets outside. Just think, if that happens how much more will you hear from Him? When 3am wake ups happen now I say "what is it?, do you have something you want to tell me?" Sometimes I start by reading or by writing out some thoughts. And sometimes I'll scroll through social media, fall asleep and it's not until the next day I get something I needed to be reminded of or encouraged with. Whatever it is He knows and He is there, His hand is in everything. He is constantly creating, constantly shifting, He is making you new. Sometimes it just happens at 3am when He knows you have nothing else surrounding you but Him. So, ask Him. 

May this song encourage you.