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By Trish West

I am not an early riser… I don't usually get up until I have to — hitting the snooze button as many times as I can get away with. This year my daughter started High School and is taking Orchestra…classes start at 7am twice a week and unfortunately the bus schedule is set up where she needs a ride to school those mornings. I usually wait until I hear her pulling together her shoes and coat before I throw on some clothes and grab the car keys. In the fall, I didn't mind this new routine as much — have to admit I sort of enjoyed the few extra minutes to my day. It helped that the sun was already up and I could fool myself into believing it wasn't that early… but once we hit daylight savings, I hated getting up in the dark! I figure if it's still dark out — one should still be asleep. (I know I have been spoiled with babies/children who sleep in)

Sometimes the only time I see color in the sky, are during these mornings when I am able to catch the sunrise. Minutes after — the sun slips behind the clouds, leaving us with another cold and grey winter day. I started bringing my camera in an attempt to try and capture these sunrises — posting them on my Facebook wall for others to enjoy. (I am not the only one who prefers to sleep in) During those grey days, many would leave comments saying they never realized that the sun was out that morning and maybe they will start waking up early to catch the sunrise as well. I found myself starting to look forward to these mornings and even started waking up earlier on days my daughter didn’t have orchestra. Finding that I enjoying the peace (remember my kids are not early risers) and beauty of each new day before me and would use this time to reflect on God's blessings in my life.

This past weekend, I enjoyed a winter holiday in Miami with a few girlfriends…taking a break from the chaos of the school routine, packing lunches and driving kids everywhere. The four of us looked forward to not having to worry about 'what's for dinner?' and the idea of sleeping in! Only I didn't find myself sleeping in because our hotel was situated on the beach overlooking the ocean with the sun rising directly ahead. Each morning I would wake up with enough time to make a coffee and grab my camera before heading down to the beach. For four mornings — I was able to witness a new sunrise…taking in the peace that is only found at the beach early in the day. I was surprised to see how many people were up that early as well, gravitating to the water’s edge to catch the sunrise. As my girlfriends and I silently waited, we notice others who took this time to pray or stroll quietly along the beach’s edge. It was definitely my favorite part of the vacation.

Today is my first day home and back into the 'normal routine' and I was surprised to find myself waking up (on my own) before the sunrise. It's still dark out so I don't know yet if there will be a colorful sunrise or if the sun will be covered behind another grey winter day — regardless, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to enjoy a few minutes to myself while the house is still asleep. To thank God I am home safe with my family, for the opportunity a new day brings and this quiet time before the chaos of the day begins.

Maybe this will become a new routine to my day…or maybe not. Either way, I appreciate the opportunity it gives me to take in those quiet moments before the sun rises or once everyone settles in for the evening. To be thankful for the promise of a new day, for those I love around me and the opportunity to witness the beauty of a colorful sunrise splashed across His canvas.






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