My teenage son has a peculiar morning routine of waking early, showering, and going back to bed. Sometimes it’s an hour or more before the alarm. I’m onto him. He doesn’t want me to wake him up. He’d rather sacrifice an hour of morning sleep, the best kind of sleep, than to have the first sound he hears be my voice. It’s not that he hates me. He just hates my voice. Because he’s sixteen. Hey, when I was sixteen I was rather offended if my mother committed the heinous crime of looking in my direction. I get it.

From time to time, the exhaustion of avoiding his mother catches up to him and he actually sleeps until his alarm wakes him. That’s like a teen boy mom’s call to arms… I get to go check on him! This is not for the faint of heart. I approach that bedroom door with much trepidation. There is all kinds of nastiness in there: putrid dirty football clothes, socks on the floor, whatever he ate for supper and the millions of snacks that followed, and him. “Him” could be a sleeping dragon or an awakened warlock. And “him” usually groans or lets out a grouchy, “WHAT?”. 

This morning, I woke him up. I asked him if he had set his alarm and he said it already went off. “What are you going to do when I’m out of town in February and you have to get yourself up??” His reply, “I was enjoying ignoring it while I can.”

Talk about hitting me in all the feels. He was enjoying needing me. At sixteen, he still counts on me to be his backup. I also immediately felt all the mom guilt for planning a trip to Africa and leaving him to fend for himself. His brother will be with him but I’m certain his wakeup call will not be as gentle as a needed mom’s.

An alarm isn’t pleasant no matter how twinkly the wake up tone is set to. It calls you to switch gears without retreat. Snoozing can only put off reality for so long. For me, it’s startling. I associate an alarm with anxiety, something I struggle a great deal with. When I let anxiety get the best of me, everything is an alarm. I overreact, I shut down, I worry, I can’t shake it. There’s something alarming happening and there’s nothing I can do about it. You know what that really is? It’s a control problem. If I can’t control my surroundings or situations, I have a problem. I need to yield to the Father and, yes yield, to His peace. I need to enjoy ignoring it. I don’t mean being inactive. Quite the opposite really, I need to be proactive in preparation for an alarming occurrence. That comes from living in the Spirit, His word, prayer, faith. The times I “yield to peace” are often the most valuable lessons of His love…His gentle wakeup call for me to enjoy ignoring it.

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