Last summer, we had some friends visit us and while they stayed with us, they gave us some positive peer pressure to start going to bed earlier, like 8 p.m. instead of 10. Jenny gave us a whole spiel on how the hours before midnight are worth double, so if you shave a couple hours off your bed time, you can get an extra month out of your life with all the extra time you will get back from getting up 4 hours earlier every day of the year. I have tried to implement this with moderate success. until the introduction of these tasty minty little vitamin D pills (it's hard to get enough sunshine up here, especially in winter) and more importantly a very personal loving God who finds lots of ways to wake me up early and get me going for the day.
Lately, I've been under a lot of stress from every area of my life: work deadlines, projects at church, piles of clean clothes and dishes, weeks without having time or energy to go to the grocery store or do any cooking to speak of (contributing to feelings of failure as a wife), friends who want to hang out that I can't accommodate, holidays that come and go with no word from me of holiday cheer, let alone gifts for my 6-year old nephew or college-age sisters. Don't worry about putting pressure on me, since I obviously don't put any pressure on myself.
But God is good. Back to the pills, so because of my long hours working on deadlines, I come home exhausted, and often just go to bed without supper, which actually suits me well. I have a little extra fluff I could afford to lose from holiday season 2015 when I went home to my dad's for about a month and told myself I was going to enjoy myself and eat whatever I felt like eating, within reason. Don't ever do that when you're about to turn 35. Don't you remember them telling you as a teenager that your metabolism would magically drop off a cliff when you turned 35? Yes, you need to listen to them. They are telling you from personal experience. Anyway, because I'm going to bed earlier, and taking the vitamin D pills and heaven is mercifully answering my prayers for help to get everything done, I'm now waking up (at least this week) around 12:30 a.m. or 1:30 a.m. in the morning some days. Sounds crazy, right? They say the Lord works in strange and mysterious ways, and I'm happy that is true.
All this time in the mornings leaves me with more time to spend searching scripture for interesting jewels, and there are an endless supply. Today, for example, I was reading in Romans chapter 8. Wow. This is the part about getting adopted. No, I didn't say we are adopting. I said we are getting adopted! Yes, that's what it says in Romans chapter 8 (check out verses 15-23, or at least verses 15 & 23). I'm picturing what other people have described of the orphanages in China; endless cribs with silent babies. That is this earth. We are suffering. We are alone. But wait, we're getting adopted! We're just waiting for our adoptive Heavenly Father to come to our orphanage in China to get us. We don't know what it will be like in America until we get there. We don't know what it will be like to be with our Father until we meet him face to face.
Not only are we going to America (okay heaven, even better), but after 1,000 years, we're going back home to China to our very orphanage (earth), but our dad (Abba/daddy/Father) and our brother (Jesus), who was born in the same orphanage as us, by the way, just a few years back, are moving in here (check out Revelation 21:1-7). This is good news, friends. This is the time that he will wipe away all tears from our eyes and we shall be his son, forever at home with a heavenly family. Praise God for that blessed hope.