Each morning I try to get up an hour earlier than my children. By nature I am not an early morning person. Sleep has always been a close friend of mine and a relationship that I have nurtured well. Sleep and I - we have always been tight. Of course, this was before I birthed light-sensitive roosters, whose cocka-doodle-doo may have changed in sound over the years, but whose volume has remained exactly the same.
So I get up early. I awaken on my own joyful terms, rather than the demands that come from those under three feet tall. I like the quiet, and the stillness, and the hum of a household where all are resting peacefully. I use the time to listen to what God wants me to know through His Word, to pray over my family and our concerns, as well as those of others. It is a sweet time that belongs just to me, without interruptions, that influences the manner in which I approach the rest of my day. Those rare days that don't begin with solitude are glaringly apparent in my attitude and temperament and an unfortunate reminder that without Divine guidance, I am a proven mess. It has become a habit that I don't mind indulging, especially because of the benefits it offers to those under my care.
During warm-weather months, my quiet times take place on the porch. With coffee mug and Bible in hand, I greet the dark morning with a heart ready to learn and then end in prayer just as the bright sun greets me. The birds too, begin their chorus, reminding me that chatter for the day is about to begin.
Colder months find me inside and on my couch, which is where I was this morning. I was deep in prayer when I heard a door creak open. My children's bedrooms are right off the living room, and from the sound and proximity, I knew that it was one of my boys. I continued praying, and then heard the bedroom door close. Either Chase or Chandler had seen me with my head bowed, and chose not to interrupt. A few minutes later, the same thing happened, but this time the door that creaked open was that of my four-year-old daughter. I heard her step into the living room, then quietly retreat back into her bedroom. I finished my prayers and sat for a few moments reflecting on what had just occurred.
My children do not have an aversion to interrupting. In the egocentric mind of a young child there really are not many private places or circumstances that will cause appropriate pause. They interrupt while I am in the bathroom, or on the phone, or in conversations with their dad. Heads poke into my shower, or into my closet where I now have to dress to avoid probing questions and embarassing observations. It is not out of total disregard for privacy or flagrant disobedience, but more of a pressing and very important need or concern they think they have that usually can only be fulfilled by me. It is frustrating at times, and repeated instruction and consequences are given, but it still happens more than I would like.
But not while I am praying. There have been more than a few occasions where they have witnessed me with eyes closed, and understood with an adolescent reverence, that I am not to be interrupted. A respect that I have not necessarily instilled, but nonetheless one they understand because of their knowledge of Him. It is a Holy phenomenon that defies secular explanation, but one that evokes parental gratitude that my children so instinctively acknowledge the sanctity of what they see.
So, because I now undoubtedly know that my children possess the ability not to interrupt, I have a new and improved plan for deterring such intrusions. Forget consequences and punishments and constant reminders. Instead I am going to shower, dress and converse with my eyes closed and hope interruptions are struck silent with temporary confusion. Maybe then I can be a solitary occupant in the bathroom.