Monday, March 23, 2015


Mr. Alarm Clock.

He and I have had a complicated relationship through the years.

I can remember the blissful years before I met him.  I didn't even know about his existence.  You see, I didn't need him in my life.  I had my dad.

Oh yes, my dad – a true *morning person* if there ever was one.

He loved mornings.

Loved getting up and taking a brisk shower first thing.  Loved breakfast – (Dad, the guy who always said, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day") – loved his morning cup of coffee, loved having his family with him at the breakfast table.


Let's just say that the understatement of the century is that I am NOT a morning person.

So, for many years, Dad woke us all up.

His preferred method?

Raising the blind, or pulling the curtains wide open while singing, "Oh, it's fun to get up in the morning!" or "Rise and shine, rise and shine, that's what makes our bottoms shine!"  (Mornings were bad enough without music, just sayin'...)

You can imagine how horrific this cheerfulness was to me.

Like Dracula, I shunned the morning sun like poison.  I shrieked in pain, whipped my blanket "cloak" over my batty eyes, and burrowed deeper into the abyss that was my pillow.

This was not acceptable behavior to my dad.

He'd leave, but if you weren't at the table within 5 minutes, he came back.  And usually, Round Two involved whipping off all the blankets so you were left lying there startled and shivering.

Needless to say, this tactic usually succeeded in getting Dracula to the table.

Then of course, we were forced to eat.

Let me tell you, if you don't like mornings, you don't like breakfast.

Dad had his hearty meal, while I tried to choke down a bowl of Trix.

Oh, and Dad was a big tease, too.  So he'd enjoy putting a spoonful of coffee into my milk.  He thought that was hysterical – I thought it was akin to child abuse.  And of course you had to drink it…all.  It's a miracle to me that I like coffee now – although, truth be told, I didn't develop a taste for it until I was 45!  (Truth!)

Somewhere in my teens I met Mr. Alarm Clock.

He was a far sight better than Dad.  But still.

I knew in my heart that he was a necessary evil, like root canals and taxes, but I hated him.  His glowing little face, and his blaring voice, and his insistence upon being heard…annoying.

Now, I have to admit, as much as I despised Mr. Alarm Clock, I did have a love affair with his cousin, Mr. Snooze Button.

Oh the joys of prolonging the moment of truth!

I was sorta notorious for setting my alarm anywhere up to an hour before I actually had to get up!  I know, seems silly…but, for me it was a restful reprieve I cherished.

OK, fast forward to now.

I am fortunate enough to not have to work.

So I don't really need an alarm clock anymore – except for appointments and church.  But, I still like to set one so I don't sleep in too late.  You see, I still enjoy sleeping, and I am still not a morning person – but I have no desire to be known as Mrs. Rip Van Winkle – or Winky, as "The Hub" likes to (affectionately??) call me.

In this age of technological advances, I no longer need Mr. Alarm Clock.

Now I've hired his torturous brother, Mr. Klaxon Bell.

These days I use my phone, and ironically, my phone names the sound I use, *Alarm* – which is like calling the sound of an earthquake, *Movement.*  "Alarm" is more accurately the emotion that floods my senses when that thing goes off.  It sounds like the warning sound on a submarine – "Incoming Depth Charges!  Dive, dive, dive!!"

OK, so yes, to answer your question, I still set my alarm early – now about 45 minutes before I want to get up.  This way I can enjoy Mr. Klaxon Bell about 5 times before actually arising.

The challenge with Mr. Klaxon Bell is remembering to turn him off if you reset him to a later time.  If you forget, this oversight can lead to great embarrassment – like that one time I forgot and a really terrific Sunday sermon was interrupted by a lively rendition of "Dive, dive, dive…"  (You can read about that here).

So, where is all this frivolity leading?

Well, today I want to talk about those times when I wake up before the alarm clock goes off.  Those times when I wake and know it's morning, but that it's still early morning.

There is a blessed lighthearted (and lightheaded??) feeling that overtakes me.  The sense that I have no worries or agenda or chores or tasks knocking at my door yet.  It's hush-quiet, and nature-silent, and peaceful.  It's a wonderful time.

I call this time The Twilight Zone.

Sometimes I go back to sleep, but most of the time I just float along in a half-conscious, pleasant daze.  Neither here nor there.  

Do you know that this time seems to be when I feel closest to the Lord?

I do.

And I've been contemplating why that might be.  And what He might want to teach me about that.

First of all, I have this sense that there's no one else in the whole wide world except He and I.  It's like I sense our spirits interlocked like no other time.  There's an intimacy that comes, a unity, a joining of my natural with His supernatural.

A time when I know that I am indeed His beloved child.

It's precious.

"For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children." (Romans 8:16, NLT)

Secondly, I think this is a sweet time with the Lord because I am not off-and-running on my busy day yet.  I have an "excuse" to linger and talk with Him.  My mind is free of distractions, and I listen to Him better, for I'm listening in a different way than when I'm fully awake.  It's like my floating mind is open to what He might want to say.

This is a time when I feel especially attuned to God, eager to hear.

It reminds me of that scene in 1 Samuel:

"So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel!  Samuel!'  Then Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'" (1 Samuel 3:9-10, NIV)

I also love this time because it’s *free* time – bonus time, if you will.

It reminds me of the first day of summer vacation when I was young. When I woke up expecting Mr. Alarm Clock to go off at any second, and then gloriously remembering that school was over!!  No homework, or tests, or term papers.  Only fun!

It's a time when in my hazy, semi-conscious moments I feel what can best be described as JOY!  A sense of being given a reprieve, an official pardon, a release from responsibility.

Doesn't that sound like GRACE?!

That tangible sense of a great weight, an expectation of punishment being lifted off your shoulders – and instead, you're offered freedom in its place!

A sigh of relief in my soul.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1, NIV)

And finally, I love this time because it's a time when I feel uniquely secure. Tightly wrapped in warmth and softness.

Usually this time of year in the mountains I need about 3-4 blankets to get through the night – (two of them are lamby, fleecelike blankies!).  And early morning is usually when it's the coldest.  So, I love that delicious feeling when I realize that I do not have to brave the coldness that permeates the house.  I'll often turn over, pull the blankets up close to my head, and close my eyes again.  

This is a moment of unmitigated peace.

And it's a good reminder of the warm and snug security that comes because of my relationship to the Father.  

"The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27, ESV)

So, though I am (still) not a morning person, and though I (still) dread getting up – though I (still) have a complicated relationship with Mr. Alarm Clock (or more often, his brother, Mr. Klaxon Bell) – I am rather enraptured with The Twilight Zone.

A time when the Lord and I sorta *float* along together, a time when intimacy and security is acutely felt, a time when I hear Him especially clear, a time when I cherish the freedom from distractions, responsibilities, and daily worries.

A time when life takes a backseat to wonder and peace and stillness.

What might God want to teach me about that?

I think it's this…

I think He wants me to realize that I can have this time, this special time, at ANY time.  I can experience this unique, quiet communion with Him, even in the MIDDLE of waking busyness.

It just takes a conscious effort to enter into a place where I remove myself from the urgency and insistency of *regular life.*

Might we all be better off if we took the time during our days to find Him in this way?

(Helpful hint: The answer is YES!)

Maybe we all ought to take a few moments and lie down on our beds, gently rest our heads on our pillows, pull up a blanket (or more), and close our eyes.

Might we find this time to whisper quietly to Him:

"Speak, for your servant is listening."

And might we take these moments to really wait for Him to say something.  

Might we take these moments to reflect upon the Truth that we have been granted grace – and we are released from condemnation and pardoned from punishment.  

Might we take these moments to thank Him that we are free.  

Might we take these moments to feel the security of belonging to Him, the warmth of being His child.

Might we take the TIME…

…to remember.

has made everything
in its time.

Whatever God does,
it endures

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)

" not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8, ESV)

"For God says, 'At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you.'  Indeed, the "right time" is now.  Today is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2, NLT)

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16, NASB)

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." (Psalm 90:12, NLT)

" for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, 'You are my God.'  My times are in Your hand..." (Psalm 31:14-15, NASB)

"[Jesus] said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.'" (Acts 1:7, ESV)

"God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.  And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth." (Ephesians 1:9-10, NLT)

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD.  'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" 
(Jeremiah 29:11, NLT)

"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23:6, NLT)

"...the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever." (Daniel 7:18,  Holman CSB)

"And they will reign forever and ever." (Revelation 22:5, NLT)

Are you a morning person?

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BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon, I have always been a morning person but there are many days Mr. Snooze and I are great friends. I feel so much better when I can just wake up on my own and not to the alarm, although that's not always the case with a work schedule. I love how you connected it with our spiritual lives. Wishing you many moments of unmitigated peace my friend.

  2. Sharon, I think your dad and my dad were separated at birth. And, oddly enough, I do love mornings, and breakfast, but I don't enjoy rising early, except when I do (which is quite often now), I realize it is the best part of the day.. I know. Sounds totally contradictary, but there you have it.

  3. Are you a morning person?

    NOT AT ALL (nor a coffee drinker) for most of my life, but in this last decade or so, God decided to call me to be His early riser, against my natural tendencies, inclinations and desires completely, even before the sun (Son) does ... so no need for either of your delightful personifications because whenever I might choose to snooze, God also blessed me with my own real life 2: Mr. Chimi and his cohort, Lucky ... natural early risers and very insistent until I respond!

    Ahh Sharon, once again, kindred spirits and how I really enjoyed the excellence of this piece of "The Twilight Zone" with our inspirational insights throughout as well as your sweet sense of humor and fond memories of your dear dad!

    Always appreciate your vulnerability and spiritual applications. This is another keeper for me. I personally can relate to so much of this (except the new techie stuff and that I never really liked to use an alarm clock and most often have not) ... must be our age, huh? I'm so thankful that I too am afforded this season of not having to rise and shine for work so that I can listen to His heart in the early hours and enjoy the coo of the morning doves outside (much better than the one from Chimi --- like right now once again --- his nature calls).

    I so appreciate your GRACE point! Are you sure that your "one word" and mine are not interchanged because you are expressing so well so much about mine while I am working on "healing"? I need all the answers you shared about what God is teaching us and so much of your heartfelt sentiments.

    Peace and love in His Grace,

    1. once again typo correction... who knows where the "y" went after "Twilight Zone" should be "your" not our ... and at first I was feebly attempting to respond henpecking letter by letter on my Smart TV realizing it was an impossible task, I switched over to laptop. I so wanted to say how I love this or that which stood out to me however I am trying to remove the use of "love" so frivolously yet I really do like this from top to bottom with photo and verses. I use to be a late nighter but not anymore, I am now an "early to bed and early to rise" individual without any success at going back to sleep as I so often would like to do, Winky (how sweet your Hubs is with endearing names) ... thanks for brightening my morning, Sharon!

  4. I love your writing and I love not having to wake up to an alarm clock!

  5. I am most definitely a morning person. I am up at 4 and don't even (except on very rare occasions) use the snooze. Always have been. I am running on 3 hours sleep over the past 35+ hours. A 2:00 phone call got me up and kept me up. Not sure what 8:00 will bring. LOL

  6. I am a morning person :) but my husband is not :( He's the one that would have had to be dragged out of bed and then not feel like eating. I like that twlight zone of yours, Sharon. I get it sometimes in the middle of the night if I can't sleep and if I start praying or thinking of Bible verses instead of stewing about things. A very sweet time indeed! I had to laugh about your alarm. Those cell phone ones can be so annoying and obnoxious!


  7. I am a morning person and i do not need an alarm unless I need to get up before 7. My alarm clock is my hubby's voice. Nice. I love my quiet visits with Jesus, too.

  8. My husband tells me, "If you love your bed so much, how about coming to bed early instead of staying up so late." I am not a morning person, although for years I tended to the alarm clock to get him off to work, and later for me also. When we were empty nesters, I went back to work and usually got up early, Then I retired, and Hubby allows me to sleep in. If he needs me up, he comes in and touches my toes gently. We use the alarm when we have early appointments. In fact my alarm button just broke, so I purchased a small radio alarm and haven't installed it yet. Thank you for sharing your story and verses on time with us here at Tell me a Story. God is so time conscious for a God who lives where time is not. (He lives in eternity already)

  9. I'm right there with you, dear friend. I do not do well in the morning! Our hours are so unconventional these days, and we seldom need an alarm clock, either. What a blessing! God speaks to us in these still moments...this post is so precious and sweet....thinking of those times alone with Him makes me want to go pray. He is a faithful, loving Father, Who tenderly cares for us. We are precious in His sight. Thank you so much for your dear reminders here and for sharing what He places upon your heart. You are such a blessing. :) Much love to you.

  10. Love your story and it reminds me that I was the wake up call for my oldest son while he lived at home and you and he would have gotten along very well. He also loved Mr. Snooze and took full advantage.

    There is nothing like an intentional time set aside just for God. A time without interruptions, a time without your agenda, and a time to be solely focused on Him. Thank you for the reminder today! Blessings!

  11. Amazing how much there is to write about concerning an alarm clock, your talent shines on this one. I too am not a morning person...but I also delight in waking early and using it as my free time. Good writing Sharon.,

  12. Looks very much like our old digital alarm clock. My husband and I are both morning people and love getting up early and cooking a big breakfast together. Due to his work, we have to be up at 5:00 sharp and we never need an alarm. It is automatic with us, we just wake right up on our own.
    As always, enjoyed your post, Sharon.

  13. I have always been a morning person...even when I was a little girl. I guess you could say I'm an evening person too since I don't go to bed til 11PM. My body clock gets me up almost every morning without fail at 5 AM...never needing an alarm. It's my favorite time of the day. Like you, it does seem like the time of day when I feel the closest to God and I sometimes wish the quietness of the hour would just last all day. This was a super post, my friend! Blessings! :)

  14. You're not going t believe this, but for the longest time, I had an alarm clock exactly (same brand & everything) as the one in your picture. Weird. And our sleeping habits are so alike it's scary. I, too, set my phone alarm to wake me up long before I really have to get up, lol. The alarm app I use has this wonderful feature called "smart rise" which gentle lulls you awake. Love it!

    And your take-away was spot on! Although I'm not a morning person either, I love the peaceful solitude of morning time spent with our Lord. Great post, Sharon!

    And now a favor, I could not find any way to contact you except through the comments. Would you email me, friend? I have something I'd like to share with you. Thank you.

  15. You're really hilarious, Sharon. I loved this story and your voice in it and felt wrapped up in the peace and coziness you expressed in this twilight zone. I love this time, too...

  16. Sharon, love your sweet descriptions on your Twilight Zone with Jesus...precious ❤️

  17. Sharon, I, too, am a morning person. I never quite thought of the early hours as The Twilight Zone, however. Your words always make me smile.

  18. I am a morning person too but the flip side of that is after 9pm you shouldn't discuss anything important because I' gone. Very uplifting post. I'v had my share of Twilight Zone moments with God too. Thanks for sharing !!!

  19. I am most definitely not a morning person so I can relate. This post was so funny! I do agree that those early morning moments with Him are so precious, though. And being a stay-at-home mom, they're really the only moments of quiet I get. Thanks for sharing this. It was fun being neighbors at Meredith's today.

  20. While I am very much a morning person, I do so relate to needing to take time to meet with Him throughout our day. "Speak, for your servant is listening."
    Lately, I find myself needing that time a lot. How wonderful that He's always there.
    Much love to you, friend.

  21. I am a morning person..never an alarm and I do have to get up and going for school and work, but I have this time also and cherish it. Before my feet hit the floor and if, yes if, I will linger and allow the balm of that time settle in my soul, then my day is better. Good post...

  22. I'm not really a morning person. It takes me awhile to wake up and get going. But once I'm there, I like to be going. :) I also prefer to wake up without an alarm, but, well, you know, life ... :) Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  23. "Bonus time" - that's a great attitude, Sharon. That's grace. Thanks for always keeping it real and inspiring.

  24. I enjoyed this post so much! To read your reflections of what mornings mean to you brought much joy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  25. Don't hate me okay? ...I love mornings. Love, love them. Your dad wouldn't have to call me twice for breakfast and coffee. I like cold mornings too. What a weirdo, huh? I laughed so hard when I read Mr. Klaxon Bell went off in church...Dive, dive, dive. It happened to me recently to the tune of "Old Time Rock n Roll" (my favorite song.) My pastor didn't skip a beat. What a pro he is.

    So glad you have this special part of your day carved out with the Lord. It is really sweet to wake up to Him like that. What a gift He has given you.

  26. I am a night owl, and that is the best time for me to be alone with God. I wish I was a morning person like you though. So that I do not get too tired before I go to bed to spend time with God, I try to take a break in whatever I am doing around 10 p.m. That always seems to be helpful. I am your neighbor at Fellowship Friday.

  27. You described that perfectly!!! That awakening to thank our Father and ask for His direction and guidance in a barely conscious state is like being on a cloud and being just a little closer to Him.

    When and where we wake He is there. "Whom shall I fear?"

  28. Sometimes your post give me such a chuckle. I know what you mean. Sometimes I sense such a deep joy when I make a right and good choice, like God is smiling. I am a morning person. I can't even sleep through to an alarm anymore. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  29. Your dad is my husband and I am you! My husband is way too cheerful in the AM right of the bat. I need a slow warm up.

  30. I am came in the house one day and my oldest son was stretched out in the middle of the floor - He said he was "soaking - just soaking up God" - and it sounds like what was happening in your twilight zone. BTW - I sing my boys awake, too - and it's like fingers on a chalk board to them. What they don't realize is that I'm just like you - I want to sleep in, I don't want anyone talking to me until I'm ready - and, heaven forbid - someone singing to me! LOL Maybe that's the benefit of being first up! LOL

  31. This was such an entertaining post to read!
    The irony of it for me though was that I chose this morning to read it while waiting in the clinic waiting room while my husband had a procedure done...It was very early, and I am not friends with the morning either...I could not get coffee before we left, and was just drinking my first little cup as I read...I must've looked ridiculous sitting there giggling and yawning...alternating between the two!
    I just wanted a pillow and fleece lined blankie of my own then...It was so cold out at 5:45 am this morning in Michigan!!!

  32. My (very early) morning daddy always said, "If I'm up everyone's up." We visited him this week and I said it to him (even though he was up, showered and waiting for breakfast). Morning time with my Heavenly Father is so sweet. And He's always up! You're posts always gives me thought fodder!

  33. I love coming here and reading your posts. My husband is a morning person and used to wake us all up with a very loud CD on "Onward Christian Soldiers". My 19 year old son to this day don't like that hymn. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings.

  34. How wonderful to feel so blessed and so close to God in the morning. I find myself talking with him the most at bedtime when I'm trying to fall asleep. I always wake up before my alarm goes off and I'm not a snooze button person.

  35. First off, my mom must have attended the same class for "how to wake your kids up in the morning" as your dad. I kid you not, she would do the exact same thing... UGH!

    That beautiful, hazy, yet brilliant time you mentioned I have frequently too! I wake up and I'm semi-awake... and I begin to pray to the Lord and I drift in and out of consciousness as I speak to Him... and it's divine. I love it, I cherish it, and it's the best way to start the day.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely week!

  36. As a fellow not-morning person (who's now being forced to be a morning person for the sake of her children), I can so identify with this post! You're spot-on when you point out that we can have that blessed awareness of God's presence ANY time. It reminds me of a favorite book: The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I'm glad you linked this up with us at Grace & Truth!

  37. I am not a morning person at all, friend, so I totally get you! I really appreciate you bringing to attention the Twilight Zone. Currently, I'm chatting with my server for the SDG website because something is wrong and I could really use some of that sweet twilight time.

  38. Early, early morning is my favorite time of day for exactly the reasons you share--it is a special time of just God and me. I can hear His voice, I can see into my soul, I can understand better what changes I need to make, and I can discern more clearly the path I need to follow for the rest of the day. Great post, Sharon! Thank you for sharing God. . . :)


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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