Still Waters

God leads me to still waters that restore my spirit.” – Psalm 23

Today is my birthday. When my 6-year-old daughter realized that earlier this week, she said “Great, can you wake us up early on your birthday so we can make you a surprise?”

Wait a minute…this is a trick. So sweet of her but that morning time is my sacred time. Waking my kids up early is the opposite of a birthday present.

I’ve often thought that the transition between my quiet morning time when I do yoga, meditate, read and write to the time when I get the kids up and ready for school was a hard transition because I was selfish and wanted more quiet time. But something I read this week sparked the thought that it’s really something deeper.

In those quiet morning moments, I find my own stillness. I breathe into the space beyond myself and feel that unity with the Universe. And in that place, the feelings settle, the rush quiets down and it feels like I see beyond all of our physical boundaries if just for a moment.

And I feel that love for my kids that came the moment they became real for me. It’s bigger than a reaction to something they’ve done or the way we express ourselves. It’s that pure connection between the core of them and the core of me, not complicated by any movement. It’s that overwhelming feeling that I get when I creep in and watch them sleep. They are quiet and I’m quiet.

When I’m still, it feels like I’m standing in one of the clear lakes in Northern Idaho we used to visit in my childhood on a hot day without wind. I can see all the way to my feet and beyond.

Then it’s time to wake them up – and any movement stirs the waters. I reach for them and stir up the waters between us. It’s time to accomplish things, meet a timeline and respond to any worries. It’s like going from my peaceful standing in the lake to a full-on water fight. I have trouble traversing that threshold because I miss the quiet view of my little loves.

It’s not just these relationships either. When I’m quiet and peaceful, all my relationships seem clearer and easier to understand than when we are in front of each other talking and stirring up all the things that come with interplay. It’s harder to feel the full appreciation for the depth of each relationship in the busier moments, I just have to hold the quiet snapshot in my heart.

My friend Betsy, who is a more experienced parent than I am, suggested what to do about my birthday. Get them up just a couple of minutes early – so I get my morning quiet time and then also get to feel their love in full audio as well.

49 thoughts on “Still Waters

    1. Ha, ha, ha! What a great memory! My daughter made me peanut butter toast this morning and put a candle in it – but didn’t toast the bread. 🙂 I think all of these wonderful efforts are memorable!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful line “I have to hold the quiet snapshot in my heart”. It reminds me of all those times I’m frantically grabbing my cell phone, hoping to snap the perfect picture and my Hubs tells me “you don’t have to take a picture of everything, just let this moment be”. Sometimes I disagree with him, but sometimes he is right. Happy Birthday my dear 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rhonda! I know exactly what you mean about reaching for your phone – I do the same. I agree with you – sometimes taking a picture is the right thing and sometimes it is not! I appreciate the birthday wishes my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday! One of the things I really like about being an early riser is morning quiet time. The guinea pigs are up when I get up, and I live in a quiet area so it’s not necessarily that much quieter, but there’s something wonderful about the stillness of feeling like the rest of the world is asleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Chaya! How fun that it was your daughter’s birthday too! The surprise was peanut butter toast that wasn’t toasted with a candle in it. 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful birthday wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never read anything comparable to this, Wynne. Your children are lucky to have a parent who can open the door to the serenity and beauty possible in life. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter used to faithfully text me at the stroke of midnight on my birthday. What a sweet gesture! Sadly, she’s all grown up now and working F/T. Sleep is more important than wishing dad a happy birthday at 12 a.m.!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so funny about the texting. Funny how working F/T will change your value of sleep. Not that she loves sleep more than her dear dad but maybe it’s just made her more pragmatic! Thanks for the birthday wishes, Mark! Safe driving today!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. A happiest of happiest birthday to you, Wynne! I hope you have many more still water starts to your day in the years to come. Hope your time with your kids today was extra special too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ab! I had a lovely birthday that was a mix of still waters and enjoyment with the kids. I think that’s probably the ideal – that have both. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m smiling here thinking about your line: Waking my kids up early is the opposite of a birthday present. I’ve no doubt that is true. I feel the same way about my early morning peace and I have only one husband to contend with. Be that as it may, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🎂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dear Wynne, Happy Birthday for yesterday. I wish you all you wish for yourself. And I am in full agreement with you in savouring those moments of stillness where you find joy and can reach deeper into yourself. Perhaps as your friend suggested, give your little loves just a few minutes of that time for the hoopla you know they want to create for you. It’s precious time for them also. Believe me, you’ll cherish these memories long after they’ve left your care. Happy, Happy Birthday! 🎂Have your cake and eat it too. 🍰

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy, happy birthday Wynne! I just saw your post in my Inbox, I’m getting spammed every few seconds by bots, so working my way down during busy days has become a little challenging, but I’m here!

    I hope your little ones were able to prepare your surprise for you, and you still had your quite time. I love how you have carved out that time for yourself. I was always a little jealous of women who did that when I was a young mom, but I had health issues, and giving up any of the 10 hours my body needed to recharge to be able to get through my work-day was a no-go.

    Your quiet time is crucial for your mental and physical health, just like my 10 hours sleep was crucial, for without them where would we be? Not in a good place, I’m sure!

    Happy birthday dear lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tamara! I’m so sorry to hear about your bots!

      And yes, I agree that sleep comes first. I’m glad you carved out the time you needed for your body which is first and foremost. And as you say, if we aren’t able to recharge in whatever way is needed, it’s not a good place.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for the wonderful birthday wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your friend sounds really smart! 😉 Also, this is such a foreign concept to me–quiet time in the morning. My kids have always woken me up. I get quiet time in the evening, though, and I relish that time. Happy birthday again, friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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