Morning by Morning: New Mercies

This morning I walked in the bright sunshine after days of frigid rain had washed the earth, making everything clean and new. The pansies that line the walkway were trapped in a thin layer of ice, but their purple and yellows peeking through were enough to remind me that spring is in sight. How glad I was that I’d layered up in the 28 degrees to start the day with a walk and witness the newness of the morning.

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Truth is, I’ve always been a morning person– so getting out, first thing, even in the cold, isn’t a stretch for me. I credit part of my love of the early hours to my childhood growing up on a farm. In the summer, we’d get up before sunrise to work either on our farm, or a neighbor’s, ‘barning’ tobacco– or harvesting the ripe green leaves and curing them in the tobacco barns. While I didn’t always get out of bed readily, Mama calling me several times– probably because I was up too late the night before, there was a bit of excitement in anticipating the day ahead. The fun part of working in tobacco, was you never knew who’d show up to help– meaning, what boys would be working that day.

But besides that girl-looking-for-boy pull, I did like watching how the rising sun changed the appearance and the tone of everything. There was always fresh energy as we approached our task– knowing it would be a long day working outside in the heat and humidity of North Carolina– the July weather the South is known for. By mid-day, the sun beating down would bleach everything out, and my energy would be spent, the heat and bright light replacing the magical unfolding hues of early morning. By that time, I just wanted to go home but there would be hours of finishing that day’s work before we could leave.

I find that my spirit is more open and hopeful at the beginning of the day. I’m drawn to Bible verses that highlight the morning. One of my favorites has become a prayer for those early walks:

“Morning by Morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by Morning

I lay my requests before you

and Wait

in Expectation.”

Psalm 5:3 NIV

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That just seems like the perfect way to start the day.

When I was in the process of Indie publishing my memoir, I had to come up with a name for my company. After trying out many to see if they’d already been taken as a business name, I was able to use Morning by Morning Publishing; seemed right for me. Those early strolls often influence what I’ll write later.

Another favorite Psalm that speaks of the hope of morning is Psalm 143:8 NIV:

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul.”

For me, this verse means the most after a long night. Whether it’s a ‘dark night of the soul’ spent in miserable sleeplessness, working through something that won’t let you go, or a night of listening to the breath of a dear one who is hanging onto life– the fact that you made it to sunrise is a sign of God’s love. Making it ’til morning feels like evidence that God was present during a night you thought you wouldn’t survive. Sunrise brings another chance at hope, that things may change in the clear light of a new day.

During my years of taking solo journeys, I’ve brought back fond memories of early mornings in new places, making discoveries of that area and of myself in the freshness of the day. I took my solo journey to Jekyll Island, GA the year I turned fifty. My first morning there was filled with splendor on that semi-tropical island. I wrote about it in my memoir, He Heard My Voice on p. 76 of Ch. 4, Child’s Play:

“I rode my bike to the north end of the island where the path made a half-mile loop through the marsh. It was amazing to be the only one riding in that early morning wonderland of egrets hunting for food and turtles sunning on driftwood. The air was ripe with the smell of salt water and sludge. The tide was out as the water level was low, and tiny crabs scurried against the muddy bottom. I stood on a footbridge and looked at a bare tree with a huge crow sitting on one of the limbs, an occasional caw-caw interrupted by the playful sound of a nearby gull.”

Later a hymn came to me:

“I walked slowly along the path, feeling thankful that such an amazing place was there for me. I started running, and then the words of a favorite old hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” floated to the surface.”

I sang that hymn and witnessed the grandeur of creation stretching out before me. In the quiet of that place, in the unfolding morning light, I felt the words of the chorus:

“Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me”

(written by Thomas O. Chisholm and William Runyon)

On that trip, at that moment, I felt the mercy of a journey that would bring healing and wholeness. Now, almost sixteen years later, I still see those mercies in the morning light better than after the day wears me down. When my body is rested, my eyes fully open, and my heart is expectant, then anything is possible that day.

Great is God’s faithfulness to me, and to you. May you find new mercies for your journey.

Blessings to you.

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My memoir is filled with accounts of the morning. It’s available through Amazon in paperback and Ebook.

9 thoughts on “Morning by Morning: New Mercies

  1. Pingback: Weekly Round-Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  2. You never fail me in having thoughts of the Real Connie. The Connie that I read each week may be what you wish us to know but there is a Connie that lurks beneath the surface that you may wish to reveal. Not a suggestion, just a gnawing thought that haunts me. There is much to be done this next week. Blessing and love to you.

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    • Hey John,
      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.
      Yes, there are times when I only tell the surface level on this public domain. We all keep things in that are either too private or we’re not ready to reveal. I also know my reader’s will project onto what they read their own meaning– what matters to them, what fits with their life.
      Wishing you the best in whatever you have to do in the week ahead.
      Connie

      Like

  3. Although I am not a morning person, I do appreciate the beauty and promise of early mornings. I love the ‘Morning by morning’ Psalm, it sounds so different in English (I quickly read the version in my Afrikaans Bible!) – so much more like a song. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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    • Good Morning, Zelmare,
      It’s 7:30 on Monday morning here and I’m about to take my walk (it’s 34 degrees). Yes– I like the way you say the “promise of early mornings.” It does feel like a promise that is kept.
      So interesting that verse sounds different in English. I love readers’ giving me a cultural, geographic perspective. So interesting to hear
      points of view from different parts of the globe. That is one of the things I like the most about being connected on this world wide web.
      I wish you the best for this day, Zelmare– the promise of blessings for this day and for the week ahead. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
      Connie

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing. I love the Psalms you’ve mentioned and the hymn Great is your Faithfulness too. I love the thought that morning is a sign of God’s faithfulness. Thank you! X

    Liked by 1 person

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