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  I received a response yesterday to my post “Tears in the Closet”.   My friend reminded me of the “extreme separation”, which are the words...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011
One of Michael's favorite scriptures, which he quoted to me and the children all of the time, was Hebrews 12:11.  He would remind the children of it over schoolwork, sports, music practice, getting up in the morning, doing chores, and more.  In fact, we had it printed with his picture on the handout that was available at the visitation.  It reads, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."  His life was about discipline.  Discipline of character, discipline of time, discipline of thoughts, discipline of maintaining relationships, discipline of using his gifts, discipline of work, discipline of keeping commitments, and the discipline of prayer and praise.

This morning I thought of him and this scripture, as I was trying to wake myself up while sitting on the edge of the bed.  It took him a few minutes to step away from the bed in the mornings.  He would sit on the edge of the bed with his hands resting on the mattress, on either side of his legs. He would then push back his unruly curls with both hands and look up to stretch his neck. Next came putting on his stylish glasses, and then he would stand up to begin his morning routine.  Because he consistently did this for our entire marriage, I always thought he was a morning person. One morning, a few weeks before his accident, we were talking about his habit of setting his alarm about 15 to 30 minutes before the time he wanted to rise.  It did not always wake me up from a deep sleep, but sometimes it would.  I set my alarm for the time that I need to get out of bed.  It makes me move out knowing that there is no margin.  He, on the other hand, told me that he was not a morning person either, and it took him that long to get to a point where he could sit up and begin to move.  He said, "Babe, you don't know how hard it is for me to get out of bed in the morning."     I assumed that because he could get up so early to pray, read his Bible, praise, exercise, and the walk the dog, that it was easy for him to do it.  I was shocked.  I realized that he had been doing it because of his belief in the truths that lie within this scripture..... discipline reaps a harvest and the harvest was worth it to him.

 I have never been a morning person, but I can be if necessary. This morning was my first morning that there was not another adult in the house to help get things going.  Julia and Michael Anthony are taking Stanford Achievement Tests this week and need to be out the door at 7:15.  I have begun to be able to sleep more in the early morning hours, so waking was not as easy today.  Knowing that I was solely responsible to make things happen for them was a great awakening.  It was still dark outside as I sat on the edge of the bed, as Michael did all those years.  My thoughts immediately went to him.  I pictured him just sitting there, gearing himself up, as I was now doing.  I thought.... what amazing discipline he had, how did he fool me into thinking this was easy for him?  I was proud of his discipline at that moment and in awe of his steadfastness.  I suddenly realized that this was a new beginning for me. In the past,  I had always risen before the children to have my tea and prayer time in my bedroom.  By then, Michael was stepping into the shower and we were discussing our day or sharing our thoughts from our prayers.  I am now going to need more time than what was required before.  I will need more time in the still of the day for my thoughts and prayers to fill me with continual strength. I will need even more discipline than I have ever had.  I have great discipline in most all areas of my life, but some of it pales in comparison to Michael's. His discipline produced a great harvest..... mine, too, is producing a harvest, I am just overwhelmed with this truth and how he lived it out each day.... like a good soldier.


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