When I was pregnant with my firstborn, my doctor advised Husband to serve me a cuppa tea when I wake up in the morning. Husband diligently followed that advice and two decades or so later, he still serves me my morning cuppa. Sometimes I'm pregnant, and sometimes I'm not. These days, too, it's coffee. For a few years -- when weight management was a breeze -- it was hot chocolate.
Regardless of the type of hot beverage, caffeine content, and gestational stage, though, the morning cuppa never failed in its purpose: to help me kick off the day right. That's because any day, started the right way, will more likely go the right way and end the right way. But a cuppa does not a good morning completely make. If that were so, I would have trained to be a barista a long time ago and gotten me a job in the best-paying coffee shop I could find.
My morning cuppa needs a companion. It's called the Morning Prayer. If I were more honest and serious about it, the Morning Prayer is actually a stand-alone, and can do excellent headstarts independently of the cuppa. But you know, the habits of pregnancy die hard.
The Morning Prayer pegs the start of the day, and it is fitting that I start my day with the Lord, who is gifting me with another 24 hours. Who doesn't like gifts? Maybe if I think this way as I open my eyes in the morning, it would be easier to rise and shine (and be full of praises and thanksgiving, having just received yet another gift) rather than bargain for a few more minutes of sleep and then a few more...
The Morning Prayer is actually a good way to organize my day. You know... Lord, today, the children and I have some tough lessons to finish. Please glue them to their seats and make them stop making up reasons to take yet another break. Lord, I'm not really up to cooking dinner, but fastfoods are just so unhealthy and expensive. Please transform me into a Rachel Ray. And it goes on. I enumerate the tasks for the day, almost like consulting my planner, and reminding the Lord where and when I can really use some help!
Just as my choice of cuppa has evolved over the years, so has my Morning Prayer. A carryover from almost another life is the Morning Offering, which we prayed morning after morning after morning for a good part of grade school.
Another carryover, this time from my college days, especially during the freak-out weeks at the end of the semester is the hurried "Dear God, thank you for this new day. Help me to remember that you won't let anything come that you and I together can't handle." (That's not original; I read it somewhere back then. I tried Googling it, but can't get a source.) A near variant is "Dear God, thank you for this new day. Please help me make the most out of it."
These days I try to make a go of the Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Honestly, it is rather long :-), but after getting more familiar with it, I have developed a better appreciation for this prayer of the Church. I feel a deep sense of togetherness with priests, nuns, other religious, and the laity, knowing that they are also praying the Liturgy of the Hours. The use of Psalms and other Biblical selections also bonds me with the believers of long ago.
On the hopefully unlikely chance that I find myself alone and stranded in an island, I would still start my day with my morning companions, my cuppa and the Morning Prayer. I may have to close my eyes and coach my sense of smell to imagine my cuppa, but my Morning Prayer would flow naturally. We do not forget the things we do again and again even if the locations and circumstances change.
Then I would not really be alone.
This post was originally written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.