For your light has come!
And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
When you rise from your bed, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes and the tangles out of your disheveled hair, how many minutes does it take before you can truly shine?
Oh, dear. That long.
Might I have just two of those precious minutes each morning?
Two minutes to whisper a gentle word of encouragement, to brush a feather across your funny bone, to prove how beautiful and valuable you are to God.
Say yes, sis.
The most important part will be our first few seconds together, as you drink in the living water of God’s Word. My own simple words will follow, closing with a prayer from my heart to yours. Only two or three pages, then you can put Rise and Shine aside and reach for your morning coffee.
Like the varied images that greet you in the morning, the tone and subject of each day’s message will be quite different—some are playful, some inspiring, others more serious. Promise me you’ll only read one chapter a day, or you might suffer from spiritual whiplash!
You’ll find occasional references to surveys or quotes from, say, “Nancy from New York.” For years I gathered information and stories from readers, and so they’re quoted here. Just think of them as friends you haven’t met yet.
If you’ve already read several of my early nonfiction titles, from Does Dinner in a Bucket Count? to “While Shepherds Washed Their Flocks” and Other Funny Things Kids Say and Do, or some of my articles in Today's Christian Woman, then—bless your generous, supportive heart!—this may not be all-new material for you. But if you and I have met only recently across the printed page, then Rise and Shine will be the perfect way for us to catch up with one another.
Perhaps you are doing more than rising from the comfort of your bed. You may be rising from the depths of a disastrous lifestyle or a painful relationship, determined to start fresh. Arise, beloved sister. Strong hands await to hold you steady.
Perhaps you fear you’ve lost your shine. The glow of good health, the sparkle of young love, the shimmer of a new mother’s tears—all have faded into a gray sort of daily grind. Fear not. Turn with me toward the radiant One and let his light be reflected in your countenance like the dawn of a summer day.
Two minutes. No calories, no squat thrusts, I promise.
Rise, sister mine. And shine.
Lord, what an honor it will be to start the day with you.
Give me the strength to lift my head,
the courage to lift my heart,
the joy to lift my spirits,
and the confidence to lift my eyes and see you
rising and shining in me.