I am not a morning person. I used to have a lot of statements to defend sleeping late. But somewhere along the way, I learned the value of not always missing the first part of the day. When I started writing books, I made a personal discovery about morning time. I can think more clearly and write more during the first part of the day. Sure, I can still have creative bursts and make unique discoveries in the middle of the night, because that is how I’m naturally wired. But there is just something about the focus and clarity of thoughts right after you have slept that is magical (see newsfeed article). I just don’t want to miss the morning light. I can’t really explain it. My night time routine keeps me from getting up early every morning, but I never regret the mornings that I do.

My hobby of photography has reinforced the need to push myself to get out of bed more often. On Saturday, I was in Hermanus Bay, South Africa. The people in the village there have a lot of reasons to get up early. I climbed out on the rocks at 5:45 a.m. and waited for the sun to come up in the bay. I had a sense in the dark that I was surrounded by something. Then when the light begin to fade up on the water I counted at least eight southern right whales floating on their backs, playing in the water all around me. The town was quiet, the light was amazing, and I’m just glad I didn’t miss it. I think I am going to fight harder to get up earlier a few days a week. Maybe I can enjoy what God is doing around me more.

What does this have to do with parenting? As parents we need a lot of emotional and spiritual fuel to do what we do. What if you just picked one or two days a week and decided to get up before everyone else? What is something you could do to help you focus, or refuel? (Photography, reading, journaling, walking, or riding.) I don’t know how you are wired, but I do know that reclaiming a little morning light could help you see more clearly. Do it for your sake and for the sake of your family.