I am a medium morning person. I don’t tremble when there is a “5” in the hour of my alarm clock, but I do when there is a “4.”

I have started a routine where when I wake, I head downstairs and pick a rosary from my meaningful collection to spend some time with Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord.

As the seasons and daylight savings change, so does my attitude toward morning prayer – especially during the transition from fall to winter. It is more difficult to get out of bed when it’s dark outside.  It is, dare I say, easy to pray as the sun rises, turning my backyard orange or when the sun comes in the spring to burn off the morning fog. But let me tell you about Wisconsin winters. They are gray and dark, and seem to last forever!

I am also blessed with a chicken coop in my backyard for the love of eggs. We have 10 birds we raised from chicks. My oldest daughter fell in LOVE with Cocoa Puff, and well, “she” turned out to be a he… And he is lucky he is sweet to our Katie, or we would turn Cocoa Puff into soup. What does this have to do with morning prayer? Well, when I turn on the lamp by my prayer chair, enough light travels to the coop. And Cocoa Puff feels the need to alert his surroundings with the loudest “cock-a-doodle-doo” that should be impossible for a bird that size. It really throws off the quiet morning, peaceful vibe…

This morning, however, I didn’t turn on my lamp. I turned on the string of soft Christmas lights, left past their season, that drape around the faux foliage on our mantle. I embraced the dark. While my fingers slid across the stone beads of my favorite rosary, I found myself also counting my blessings. Beyond the normal blessings that I find myself counting such as my family, a warm house, food in the fridge, being able to breathe through my nose – I found myself being thankful for my ability to read and write, a connectedness to the Lord, the blessing of intercessory prayer, and particularly grateful for the little white Christmas lights that did not rouse the rooster.

How often I dread the dark  – both the physical darkness and the mental/emotional/spiritual dark periods of prayer, health, or financial unsureness. What is the Lord teaching me in this darkness with His soft light? What other blessings will He bring to the front of my mind that are harder to see in the bright light that I think I need? 

If you are in a period of darkness, I pray that you find the soft light of Jesus. It is in the soft light that we can see things differently, especially when we long for the bright lights that alert the rooster.