(confession: this is a blog post i was working on and hadn't completed. so i kind of cheated and made it fit my theme for the month. because I WORKED ALL DAY PEOPLE! my first day of substitute teaching. and no one died. several kids wanted to die. but no one was actually killed on my watch. which is a win and a paycheck for me... so on with the blog post.)
one of my favorite people that i don't know in real life is jon acuff. his brother married a girl that i know. well, to be honest, sort of know. i am facebook friends with her. does that count? anywho he doesn't know me at all. but i love the way he writes and thinks and i read his blog consistently. and buy his books on kindle.
many of his blog posts have comforted me. inspired me. made me think differently. he makes fun of things that we should make fun of as Christians. things even God makes fun of...
but i have this one thing against him...
his new 5 am club.
he puts photos of his alarm clock and the time he wakes up on instagram (I KNOW THAT I COULD CLICK TO UNFOLLOW HIM BUT I LIKE HIM SO MUCH.) always followed with #punchtuesdayintheface (if it is tuesday) because he says that to "seize the day" (taking it newsies style) one has to rise early. to get the worm. like the early bird.
and i am a big fan of rising early. it was my new year's resolution a few years ago. heck i have a mug about rising early. and a newsies "seize the day" mug. TWO MUGS ABOUT RISING EARLY. so big deal, jon started a 5am club. i had one too for years. being that i am a hipster and was getting up at 5am wayyyy before jon acuff and his little club. though i was the only member of my 5am club. me and my Bible. i guess technically God was a member of my club. and i am sure He is a member of jon's club also. but i am His favorite.
but jon posting all these early rising alarm times was making me SO MAD AT HIM. i was a bit bitter at my virtual friend jon acuff.
because i just can't get up early these days. i rise between 5:30 and 6:00 because i know exactly how long it will take me to 1) empty the dishwasher. 2) make a pot of coffee for millie and hot water for maxx and i to have our honey cinnamon water. 3) make breakfasts. 4) make lunches. 5) be awake and alert when maxx comes out to breakfast and when i hand grumpy morning hater millie her coffee.
my high schoolers have to leave at 7 to be at school on time. that is WAY too early for high schoolers to be at school but the school district didn't consult me about my sleep needs.
i don't rise early to "work on my dream" jon acuff style. i rise in just enough time to accomplish my to do list. and on the weekends... FORGET ABOUT IT. there are enough saturdays with early cross country practices. soccer games. when i don't have to get up before 8 on a weekend day... it is a holy day.
i used to get up sunday and have lunch in the crock pot before sunday school. now i am late to sunday school regularly. if i make it at all. besides being late to sunday school means you can find a parking place just when the senior citizens leave from early church. i have a system and i work that system like a BOSS. a BOSS with pillow creases still on her face as she rushes into sunday school.
i was irrationally bitter about my friend jon and his 5am club. everytime i saw him posting a clock and punching a day in the face i wanted to punch something in the face... until i thought about jon's life and mine...
i have teenagers.
WHICH IS WHY I AM WRITING A BLOG A DAY IN MAY ABOUT LIFE WITH THREE TEENAGERS. he has young children. young children go to bed earlier than teenagers. which is why he is writing about his 5am club. and punching the day in the face.
he has a wife getting up and making coffee. breakfast. lunches. beds. i have a husband who makes nothing but grunting noises as he exits our house around 8. my husband is not.a.morning.person. to the extremes. it took me a full decade of marriage before i stopped expecting him to talk to me in the morning. now it is totally normal for him to leave the house without a word to me. even though he walked past me several times.
same with millie. morning and millie may start with the same letter. but the similarities end there. maxx says a coherent sentence or two. however rosie is a good little morning friend. of course her day doesn't start until 8am and she is in bed by 10 the night before. her sleep needs are about like mine. i also might love her the most.
jon acuff also has a wife who may put the kids to bed. i don't know what time he goes to bed to be able to get up that early. he doesn't show his "punching the pillow" time in instagrams. i like to think either a) because it is embarrassingly early or b) because he is so tired from that 4am punching the day in the face wake time that the thought of pushing two buttons on his phone simultaneously to take a photo requires too much energy.
i used to use a sleep app to judge my sleeping skills. it started to be too much work to answer the questions about my day before i went to bed. i just want to fall into bed and not have to answer questions about my day right before i go to bed. i understand how taking a photo might be too much for youngster jon at the end of the day. i am with you bro. power to the pillow.
i also don't know how much sleep jon needs. he is younger than me. about a decade younger. he isn't a woman "of a certain age" (euphemism for menopausal age for those of you who have NO clue what that means.) and he simply may be able to get by and be kind to everyone on 5 hours of sleep.
but au contraire mon frere for my sleep needs... less than 7 hours of sleep a night and there will be police blotters that mention my name. bloody crime sprees that rival last week's csi episode. except you will all know "whodunit". the lady who went to bed at 12 and was up at 6 did it.
less than 8 hours of sleep and i tend to "speak my mind" a lot and ignore that maxim to "speak the truth in love."
9 hours is a perfect sleep night for me. and that rarely happens (even friday or saturday nights usually are less since teens come in late and sports and church happen early.)
and i have to stay up later at this stage of my life.
my husband arrives home from work between 7-8 most nights. he doesn't really start talking until 10pm. which is about the time i like to shut down. millie is the same way. she likes to stay up late talking. some nights i can sneak off to bed before 10. most nights i am planning to do that. but life gets in the way. dishes left to go into the dishwasher. one more load of clothes to fold while listening to adam talk. or i go to tell rosie good night and end up snuggling with her and kodie for a while. i go to stick my head in millie's room and SHE ISN'T ON THE PHONE AND IT IS A MIRACLE FROM THE LORD and so i chat with her for a few minutes. maxx asks me about something and we look it up on google because i have no clue what the answer might be. life happens later than 10pm these days.
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.”
(from a 1943 letter from c.s.lewis)
staying up late is a part of my REAL life. needing a lot of sleep is a part of it also. this is not the season for me to be a club member in the 5am club. but don't take away my membership card yet. i may be back someday. right about the time jon acuff has teenagers who stay up late and then i can taunt him with my 5am club. hee hee hee.
revenge is a dish best served cold. and at 5am.
to everything there is a season. a time to punch tuesday in the face and a time to embrace your family with your presence and your pleasant disposition on a tuesday evening. which only happens when i get a bit of sleep.
john piper is a mentor to me in this area of sleep. i love his thoughts on sleep and trusting God...
Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. Once a day God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day.
Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere men. God handles the world quite nicely while a hemisphere sleeps. Sleep is like a broken record that comes around with the same message every day: Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Don’t let the lesson be lost on you. God wants to be trusted as the great worker who never tires and never sleeps. He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps.
I am emotionally less resilient when I lose sleep. There were early days when I would work without regard to sleep and feel energized and motivated. In the last seven or eight years my threshold for despondency is much lower. For me, adequate sleep is not a matter of staying healthy. It is a matter of staying in the ministry. It is irrational that my future should look bleaker when I get four or five hours sleep several nights in a row. But that is irrelevant. Those are the facts. And I must live within the limits of facts. I commend sufficient sleep to you, for the sake of your proper assessment of God and his promises.
he also tweeted this once. and it was encouraging...
Adequate sleep was not merely a matter of staying in health, it was a matter of surviving emotionally in the ministry.
my ministry right now is mainly my family. to survive emotionally i need to sleep. for the proper assessment of God and His promises...