I was woken up at 5:38am by the call of my son.  He wanted out of his crib.  I slowly opened my eyes, stumbled out of bed and made my way over to him.  Looking out the window it was still so dark, and COLD.  For a moment I grumbled to myself about how early it was, how cold I was, and how I just wanted to snuggle up under my covers and sleep some more.

I looked at the clock again: 5:38am.  My husband had already been at work for 8 minutes, which means he left our house about 38 minutes ago, which means he was awake about 1 hour and 8 minutes ago.

Suddenly I stopped grumbling!

My dear, devoted husband woke up long before the sunrise, in the bitter cold (some days the snow, some days the rain) to head out to work while his wife continues snoring in bed.

Sure, my sweet slumber (and very bizarre dream about the rapture) was temporarily interrupted, but after all, I was headed back to bed with my boy anyway, to snuggle back under the blanket and drift back off to sleep.

My husband’s time of sleep was long gone, and would not be returning for another 18 hours as he works a double shift on Saturday.

Day in and day out, without complaining, without grumbling, he dutifully and joyfully rises long before his family in order to provide for us.  Some nights he returns home long after the munchkins (and sometimes his wife) are fast asleep…all so that I can be at home with our children.  All so that daycare is a concept our children will never know.  All so that WE can raise our children, and not outsource them to someone else.

Sure, he leaves his socks in the bathroom in the morning, and his work clothes sometimes hang from the stair railings.  I could easily allow such small inconveniences to create bitterness in my heart.  But when I place those little things next to the BIG things he self-sacrifically does for our family day by day, those little things lose all importance.

My 5:38am wake up call reminded me of one important reality in my life…I’ve got a good one!