so one thing i KNOW but keep forgetting...
is that it is so much easier for me to agree with the Holy Spirit when i am well rested and have exercised that day.
first, let me cover the more “pleasant” of the two things that i KNOW (and i will cover the second part tomorrow).
PART ONE: i need rest. and lots of it. i KNOW that. but i don’t act like i KNOW it...
i am addicted to sleep. more and more so as i get “more mature” (in the greek that is translated as “OLDER”). i crave it with the intensity that i think might be obsessive (we will let some therapist sort that out someday). i operate best on NINE hours of sleep a night. and when i don’t get that NINE hours for couple of nights (which happens every week by wednesday or thursday), i get mean. and weepy. and i have to go around quoting Scripture in my head. passages about being loved by God and how not to repay evil for evil or embitter my children and the entire love chapter from corinthians. over and over so that i don’t say things or do things that would grieve the Spirit... and perhaps get me arrested.
while i love the fact that being so cranky drives me to His word...that it reminds me that i am at best and worst “a sinner saved by Grace alone” i would also love to be able to get through a day without crying in the shower for no reason whatsoever except “i am tired”.
i wasn’t always like this (i used to be so much more sane. oh, those were the good years. let’s take a moment and remember those energetic years). those were the YEARS when i had boundless energy all day and half way through the night. i taught two or more Bible studies at the same time. i was amazing. i had hours of time for research after the kids were in bed. i could translate dozens of words into hebrew and greek (with the help of lifeway.com). i was up earlier than the sun and ran 5 miles every morning. ooh, so sweaty and sporty. i volunteered in each kids class and taught preschool two days a week. mom o’the year! i made my own granola and sewed my own clothes (just kidding on the granola part) but i did do more sewing. sew great of me. and i did it all with joy. lots of energetic joyfulness, leaping tall buildings in a single bound...
except that it made me proud. and self-righteous. and judgmental of anyone who wasn’t doing all of those “good” things. and i felt like super woman. self-righteous super woman.
this is a new season in my life. and there are days, weeks, months where i am barely holding on to my life by a thread. for some reason i don’t have that same “pep in my step”. i need more sleep. maybe just for this season. maybe forever. maybe because it is teaching me not to be so proud. so self-righteous. so judgmental. so “super” in myself. as i crawl through the basement of tall buildings and barely make it to the other side.
it is teaching me that in my weakness He is strong. that i have to narrow my focus to only what He wants me to do. not what everyone else wants me to do. to learn to say “no”. to humble myself and tell people that i am not superwoman. that maybe i am stupor woman and that i am just too tired. i am learning to disappoint everyone. learning that the god of approval is a false idol. daily He is teaching me that i have an audience of One and that He loves me the same on good days and bad. His mercy doesn’t run dry though i keep going to Him over and over and over. in fact He bids me to come. and find my rest in Him alone.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
i am trying to see that these limits are for my GOOD. i swear that if i only needed 6 hours of sleep a night i could take over the world. really, i could. well, i could have a really organized home and a much better blog (i could be the pioneer woman minus the cows) and have read many more books and made lots more cute things on the computer...
but that extra three hours of sleep mean that things get left undone. i have to prioritize. make choices about what is important and what is just urgent. and not stress over some smaller things that would be nice to do, but aren’t necessary. i have to “mary” the time, not “martha” it...
luke 10:41- 42
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
i have to choose the things that will not be taken away from me. choose the eternal. my need for sleep makes me so excited for heaven. i found this verse in my Bible study last week that really spoke to me...
provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out,
a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted...
“a treasure that will not be exhausted”. i could really relate to the joy of not being exhausted. for an eternity. sounds like heaven to me. ha.
another one of my favorite verses about sleep is this one...
in vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—
for He grants sleep to those He loves.
He allows me to sleep because He loves me. not as a curse (as i sometimes see my excessive need for sleep) but as a blessing. this season of exhaustion is a blessing. it is teaching me things. it is for my good. it will not be in vain.
i read this little thought from pete wilson last week and i was glad to know that i am not the only one with this battle...
“Amazing how much I battle insecurity,
spin off worst case scenarios,
and am consumed with self centered thoughts when I get really tired.
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is get sleep.”
“Learn to limit yourself;
to content yourself with some definite work;
dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.”
off to get some rest... because i KNOW that i need it.