There are times when Alice At Dawn wakes well before dawn. This morning was one of those times. Hello, four AM! It was dark and quiet in our bedroom, but my soul was restless.

I tried unsuccessfully to grab a few more hours of sleep, tossing and turning. After a bit, I sensed the familiar nudge I have come to recognize as an invitation from God.

"Get up, my love. Let's talk."

I pad downstairs, doing my best not to disturb my husband or my dog. Heat up some leftover coffee, turn on one dim lamp and settle onto my favorite corner of the couch. Journal open, books by my side.

And I listen. To the quiet, a mourning dove cooing the sunrise into the sky. My frazzled self, my jangly soul speaks, words pour out onto the blank pages of my journal. God, like a whispering mother, "That's right ... it's ok. Just say it all. I won't judge. I will wait until you get it all out."

Why is writing so healing?

I make a fresh pot of coffee, step out onto the porch, watch the fog roll in. "Gonna' be a hot, humid, Iowa day," I say aloud to myself.

Second mug of coffee steams on the table next to me and I feel prompted to open To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O'Donohue. Oh, that every human on this earth could have access to a book of blessings.

This one was the gift for me today; my reward for rising early.

For Belonging

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be generous enough for your dreams.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart.

May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.

May the sanctuary of your soul never become haunted.

May you know the eternal longing that lives at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

The sun is up now, burning away the fog. The world comes to life, garbage trucks rumble by. I start the morning chores. This will be a weary day, missed hours of sleep piling up by days end. This morning's treasure will carry me through, though.

A pre-dawn, whispered invitation offered and accepted, words pour out, coffee steams, a blessing is given.

More than enough. Way more than enough ...