Early Sunday morning, before the sun streaked purple and orange through the sky, I awakened. Quickly, before I could talk myself into sleeping an extra thirty minutes, I got up and pulled on my robe. Kelly was already in his usual spot, sipping his coffee and reading his Bible. I smiled at him as I tiptoed past, down to our girls’ rooms. “Wake up, girlies!” I whispered, loud enough to pull them from their dreams. “Time to hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him,” I chirped. Four sleepy girls began stirring.
Back up the stairs to Joshua’s room I went. “Wake up, son! Time to read our Bibles!” He opened his eyes, closed them, then resolutely pulled himself out from under the covers.
I grabbed my Bible and phone and crawled back in my bed. One by one, all five children joined me, Bibles in hand. I never make them do this; I always invite them. This Sunday, like most, they all come.
The kids and I have been reading God’s Word on Sunday mornings for, I think, four years now. Our family has devotions other days, too, but not like this. We started this particular tradition years ago when Christianna, one new year’s day, asked me to help her read the Bible. She and I started reading that very Sunday, then Anastasha joined, then Joshua, then Annalarie and Journey Grace. We started the good ol’ fashioned way: turning on the light and reading our hard copies of the Bible.
Times sure have changed! Anastasha inherited an ipod, onto which she downloaded the Bible app. Then Christianna found an ipod on Craig’s List, and she, too, entered the technological world. Joshua soon followed, fandangling his way into buying somebody’s old ipod, and downloading the Bible app. Then, most recently, my 6-year old ushered me into the new world by down-loading the Bible app onto my phone, too.
And so, we didn’t have to turn the lights on this past Sunday. All six of us snuggled, practically on top of one another, reading chapters two and three of James. It is so much nicer to be able to read, early rays of sun shining through the window, without lights turned on. In the dark, we discussed, “The tongue is a fire.” “How should we use our tongues today?” we mused. Everybody read verses along the way.
My mind flashed back to when it was downright painful to listen to Joshua read, when Annalarie couldn’t read at all, and when Journey Grace tried to find whatever we were reading in her picture Bible. Now, even these younger ones read with ease and, sometimes (to my delight!), expression.
As the sun finished rising, we snuggled a few more moments prayed over our day. Then I shoo-ed my sleepyheads out of bed. Time to feed all the animals, get ourselves ready, and head to church. And then we were off, for a full day of worshipping and serving.
Life marches on, and I’m sure this next Sunday we will continue our tradition: me, wanting to sleep, but knowing that something rich and meaningful comes out of these early morning moments; and, my kids, also wanting to sleep but finding the draw to Word-time in bed with mom simply irresistible.
Bad breath, sleepy eyes, not-enough-room-in-the-bed-for-six-people, and all, these Sunday morning snuggles with Scripture are definitely worth every single early morning we have ever invested.