I inhale slowly, opening my eyes slightly. A dawn sky gently filters through the bedroom window, whispering a greeting in the silence. I close my eyes and push away waking up a few more moments. My pillows are soft, and the blankets warm.

Whatever stressors the day will bring can wait.

Sleep had nearly returned when my iPhone alarm went off, reminding me loudly in song to rise up for the glory of God. I resist a groan and fumble with the small piece of technology for its snooze button. I like that song when I’m fully awake, but now, in a half-awake state, it’s rather annoying. As Beth Moore would say, not a blessing.

Silence settled back over the room.

I relax a little again.

My mind is going at a different pace now, though. It’s reminding me of everything I might’ve forgotten during last night’s reset.

Shopping to do. Work items I have to complete. What I need to do around the house. What I should do, but won’t be able to because of lack of time. What will be expected of me in the coming days. What I’m responsible for. What will need to be put off for next week’s list. Over and over.

A never-ending, exhaustive list.

I grit my teeth, relaxation gone by the third rotation of the thoughts.

Tears push at my eyes. I push them back.

I refuse to be over-whelmed like a six-year-old before I even crawl out of bed! Come ON! I scold myself, You don’t even have a husband or a kid to be adding to that list! What’s your problem? Look at all the great career women, mothers, ladies that surround you: I bet they don’t cry when they look at their “To-Do” Lists! They just get moving and do it.

I turn over in bed, frustrated, pulling the covers up over my head. I can tell the tenseness has returned. It’s a little bit harder to breathe, my neck muscles are tightening, and my head starts to hurt in that small area above my spine.

What’s wrong with me?

The desire to cry hasn’t left. I don’t want to get out of bed. Not now. Maybe not ever. My conclusion most mornings is the same: I’m such a baby. I’m so weak. I balk at the sight of a simple day’s adventure. I cringe at the lists, at the people, and at the energy drain. I don’t know why. And I don’t know how to make it better. I just don’t know.

Hey, He says, drawing close, effectively breaking through my mental and emotional forest that is growing up around me.

I cling to His voice like a lifeline. I don’t whimper out loud, but I’m so glad He’s near, I’m sure I reached out to Him in another way. His warmth calms my heart, calms the storm surrounding my soul.

Hey, belay that. He says, his voice a whisper within me.

I smile, acknowledging His use of one of my favorite ways to say “stop that.” I begin to breathe easier, my lists fading away quickly.

I’m with you. I will help you. I feel His kindness and empathy, His amusement and care, when He says, I love you.

I sigh in relief. I finally speak out loud, my first, cracked words of the day. “I’m so glad.”


-Keviana Elliot

belay that

by Keviana Elliot time to read: 3 min