Which are you—morning lark or morning snark? Are you singing at sunrise with a skip in your step or do you drag your derriere out of dreamland in drudgery? Unfortunately, I’m the snarky, draggy type and I wish to goodness I could be more lark-like. More of a shiny and alert and in-my-Bible-singing-the-Psalms kinda girl. I’m actually super optimistic and joyous most of the time—but first thing in the morning? Give me a wide berth. Or a wide cup of coffee.
Know who else would love for me to be a morning lark? My husband. Because he is an actual morning lark—as soon as his bare feet hit the hardwood, it’s like a switch flicks and he’s perfectly wide-awake and ready for a full-on conversation. You could ask him to calculate an equation or give insight into Psalm 119 and he’d be all over it. You can imagine how minimal the conversation is with this snark.
I didn’t realize this, but “snark” is the amalgamation of “snide” and “remark”, which makes sense. As a wordy girl—writer, author, and all that—my words can occasionally be my weapon of choice. I’m not proud of it, and I’ll often blame my English heritage on the caustic sarcasm (!) but at the end of the day, my words are definitely NOT always edifying. I’m not a physically violent individual (I know, that’s an absolute shocker) and so I discovered at a young age that words can wound. A snip here, a crack there—not in a shout-y, in-your-face way. Mainly snarky. Possibly slightly malicious. Probably in the early morning.
“Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.” Proverbs 12:18 (The Message)
Of course, I know the snark-ism is wrong, and I desperately try to bring words of encouragement and hope and healing as much of the time as possible. Just keeping it real in case you had me teetering on the perfection pedestal! Ha! Oh, I could give you a l-o-n-g list of my shortcomings, and I’m sure you could add a few of your own and we could have a jolly time comparing notes. But I would rather point to One who is gracious and forgiving and loving toward all my/our snarky ways. The One who actually created mornings in the first place—for many glorious reasons, one being this:
“Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them on the morning altar…” Psalm 19:13-14 (The Message)
Isn’t that the beauty of each new morning? That we get to wipe sleep from our eyes and start fresh? I love that. Oh that I would start the day with wise and wonderful words! His mercies are new every single morning and we get to breathe and live and love with abandon. So why is hard for some of us to get our happy on first thing? I don’t remember ever being an enthusiastic early riser, and I’m not placing blame here but I don’t think my pastor-father waking me up throughout my teen years with a rendition of the hymn “Soldiers of Christ Arise!” ever really helped. I’m grateful that he brought tea (you’re the best, Dad!), but really? My snarky teen self is rolling her eyes. I am so not a fan of that hymn.
However, there is definitely something to be said about starting the day with a verse of two from the Bible:
I adore this verse and the idea of starting my day entrenched in God’s Word, journaling my thoughts like a good writer-ly type, while humming some Bethel music in the early morning light. But can I be honest with you? I’m SO a work in progress with that lovely image. Truth be told, I’m a bit weird in that I like to journal and study my Bible, but not until I’ve done all the things. Work out, breakfast, shower, tidied the kitchen and made the bed. It’s ridiculous but it’s me. THEN I can fully focus with minimal distraction. God is a God of grace, and He is awfully good to me. I’ve learned to give myself grace here, too.
CONFESSION: I used to attempt to “do my devotional” first thing, and it was like a box to check, an item on my to-do list, and to be frank, I wasn’t really in the right (wakeful) headspace. So these days I stumble downstairs, make coffee, and then in my semi-awake state I read the verses I’ll be looking at later, before checking e-mail, skimming social media, breakfast, yada-yada. I’m a “marinator” and so hopefully the verses sit with me and steep into my heart so that it’s a productive, precious time when I actually get to sit down later on with my pen and Bible and whatever study I’m doing (I’m a big She Reads Truth fan). That’s the plan, at least.
This is not for everyone, and for the larks out there, I’m so jealous that you can open your eyes and start the day off with some meaningful God time—it’s a beautiful thing. Maybe one day I’ll join you, but in the meantime I want to encourage the non-larks among us to find your time. At lunch, before bed, whenever—time in The Bible is precious and never ever wasted, and even us snarks can start the morning with a few verses to bathe our souls. And soften our words…
More lark, less snark—here’s to beautiful mornings!
P.S. I just remembered, I am always the FIRST one awake on Christmas morning! Yay, I’m a Christmas lark 🙂
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: