he was making the last fire of the season. “i want the best of you,” trent said in a quiet way and i wanted to feel warm. “i don’t want the leftover, tired emily. i want the fresh, alive emily.”

i sat in my flannels, the kids asleep and i’d forgotten friday night was date night. every evening i work, because i’ve got these deadlines and my days are full of reading Frog and Toad and burning grilled cheese and hanging laundry on the line and begging the boys to put their underwear on as they run around naked. so i’ve got these deadlines and this husband who wants me, and i’ve been married to the other.

but i’m cold. so he makes this fire and i try to listen. and meanwhile God is talking too, and it’s a very busy night with all of these conversations. God is telling me “first-fruits.” and i think of how he wants the best of us too, and how he always just gets the tired flip of scripture at the end of a long night right before i yawn my prayers and fall sleep. i think of cain and abel and abel giving the best of what he had. i think of the widow giving all she had.

and i plan a date night for saturday.

sunday’s sermon is about charles’ and john’s mother, suzannah wesley, who raised 17 children and somehow spent an hour every day in prayer, alone.


and then on tuesday it arrives in my inbox, my verse of the day: honour the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. (NLT)
proverbs 3:9-10

i want to give him my best. i do. but sleep is so important to me. and i don’t want to get legalistic. i want it all to be pure and graceful, like a dance between me and my Lord. i never want to lose the dance.

so i tell God, if he really wants me to get up and spend an hour in prayer with him each morning, from 6-7, he needs to wake me. i won’t be setting an alarm. and one more thing. aiden is an awful sleeper. he rises 5-8 times each night because he’s scared of the dark. so i rise about that many times each night too (give or take). so one more thing, God. if you want me to lose sleep over this, please double my rest. make me refreshed when i wake, no matter how many hours it’s been.

tuesday night i don’t fall asleep until 1. but then i sleep hard, and i wake feeling so rested i think i’ve slept through God’s wake-up call. then i look at the clock and it is 6 o’clock. exactly.

not 6:01. not 5:59. but 6:00.

i rise. and i pray. because what else can a girl do when God is at her door, with a bouquet of daisies and a cupful of coffee and a sunrise that looks like a woodstove fire?

(sharing this with the gypsy mama, whose word today is “perspective”)

*posts we’re highlighting this week from the imperfect link-up*

a broken will


how to know your heart

my birthday girl

someone’s knocking at the door, somebody’s ringing the bell

dad’s driving