There is really nothing like being the first one up, drinking coffee before the fire, on a dreary Saturday morning. I would much prefer being the first one up on a sunny summer morning, but this will do. I remember the feeling, minus the coffee of course, of being the first one up in my earliest childhood home. I know I was less than 7 years old, because we moved from there in Grade 2. I remember dancing around the living room in the sunlight, watching dust specks floating in the sunbeams. I thought they were magical.
When we lived in a wonderful 300-year-old house in Beaconsfield, Quebec, my husband and I began a fabulous tradition. As a proud member of Club de Hockey Canadien, Ryan often had to work nights. This meant that the best time for us to spend time together and with our creator, sans les enfants, was early in the morning. Ryan was much more of a morning person than I was, however, and this was putting a damper on our early morning trysts. We needed coffee, or in the case of my 4 pregnancies in that city, herbal tea, at the very least. We discovered, however, that children have radar. No matter how quietly we tried to tiptoe past their sleeping sweetness, and down the stairs to the kitchen, they inevitably awoke. To solve the problem, Ryan picked up a fabulous tip from one of the many educational tapes (it was the 80's!) he has always listened to.
He heard about a couple who wanted to pray for their children and started to set a coffee maker on a timer for early in the morning. Voila! Problem solved! We simply adapted this idea to our bedroom. Since that day we have diligently made our coffee in our bedroom at night, set the timer, and woken to the inimitable aroma of a fresh morning brew. When I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding I kept a kettle and herbal tea there. When I gave caffeine up for 6 months in a noble but foolish gesture, I kept a kettle with rooibos tea up here. Then I went to Cuba, had to try some of the best coffee in the world (although maybe it just tasted that way because I hadn't had it for 6 months), and the rest is history.
We drank our coffee weak and black in our Montreal days. We now drink it bold and organic with organic cream, which we place in a thermos on our balcony every night. Our teenaged and young adult children have outgrown their wake-up radar, of course, but we have not outgrown our coffee mornings. We go to bed eagerly anticipating the time we will spend together at the start of our next new day. We read our Bibles, coordinate our calendars, check our email, talk, pray, and often just sit together silently before the fire. I highly recommend this to new parents and grandparents, young couples and old.
When I was a very young wife, I prayed often that God would make me into a morning person. I loved to sleep in (an activity which sadly disappeared with the birth of our first child, never to return). Truly, God answered my prayer with the idea He planted in my husband, and of course the gift of coffeeJ. The young girl dancing in the early morning sunbeams was reborn in spirit, though obviously there is now nothing young about my body. How wonderful that I was able to recapture that true essence of who I am, a beautiful, unexpected side-effect of putting my marriage and the God who gifted it to me, first in my day.