Thursday, February 2, 2017

Spiritual Journey (First) Thursday: Rise

It's the first Thursday of the month and a fine time to rise and write with friends about our spiritual journeys.  I'm delighted to join with friends to write about Leigh Ann's OLW, rise.   To read more Spiritual Journey stop by Leigh Ann's blog, Turn.

I have fond memories of a dad who sang us out of bed with the words to "I Can't Get 'Em Up" always followed by the three words "rise and shine."  He loved morning, and I've inherited that propensity.  I have a son who is also a morning person.  I love it when he comes to visit.  When I come downstairs, he's already in the family room, ready to chat with his mama.

And last night, I had the unique opportunity to rise in the middle of the night.  It was grandson Jack's first night home from the hospital.  And he needed Grandma to sing to him.  We sang hymns, lullabies, and made up songs about the blue elephant and the brown bear on his changing table.  We actually named them, an elephant named Brown and a bear named Blue.   You can get pretty silly at two in the morning!  And I felt the presence of my own Mama who came to me when my two were born and was available for those middle of the night handoffs.

Right now, I'm watching Jack sleep.  There's nothing better than watching that gentle rise and fall of a  sleeping baby's chest.

I'm reading posts from my Spiritual Journey friends and thinking about a Christmas song that came to mind this morning, "Rise Up Shepherd and Follow."  Here's a quartet rendition of the song that I found on YouTube:

I read the history of this song and learned that the first publication of it appeared in a short story with the text only.  The slaves on a Louisiana plantation were at a Christmas celebration hosted by their owner family.  During a dance, two of the slaves sang this spiritual and invited those present to join in on the refrain:

Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Rise, O sinner, rise and follow,
Follow the Savior of Bethlehem.

My OLW for this year is nourish.  One of the best ways to nourish myself spiritually is to make time for daily scripture study.  For me, the best time to do this is first thing in the morning.  It's so easy to get distracted and let other concerns take the place of my valuable study time with the word of God.  Maybe my new morning mantra should be RRP - rise, read, and pray!


  1. RRP-great new mantra for a morning practice, Ramona. Grandma's love is evident in your post. Thanks for the backstory of the song. Ready to rise and follow after this post.

  2. What a wonderful reason to rise at 2:00 a.m.! I love all the ideas for Rising that you've included in your post. (It's interesting how four of the posts have included a reference to black history. They are a people that bring RISE to life!)

  3. A baby to hold and sing to makes my heart happy. I so look forward to being a grandmother. My oldest is getting married in March. She's 32, so she won't be waiting very long. whenever I read your posts, I feel like I'm listening to a friend.

  4. RRP... and this happy happy Rise Up Shepherd... and the image of you and baby Jack with that blue bear and brown elephant... love! Thank you, Ramona, for being YOU... you make me think what a beautiful world this is... and you've got me thinking of my father, too. xo

  5. I have a new grandson nearby, too. Though I haven't been up in the middle of the night, I do love lifting that little one into my arms. I love Blue and Bear and all your made up songs. Though I've never been a morning person, I am married to one. We have learned to rise together. ;)

  6. I remember my mother coming and staying with me when both of my children were born. She always took the night shift so I could sleep! And you are right - there is nothing like watching a baby sleep! I love the RRP - it certainly would not hurt me to start my day with that too. Thank you for writing about one little word this month.

  7. In my post, I mentioned how my dad did a similar thing as yours... must have had a kindred spirit. Though I didn't begin life as a morning person, I've become one through the years out of necessity and am now out of preference. I love your RRP mantra, Ramona; definitely "nourishment" for life.