when counting sheep doesn’t help you get the sleep you need

Breathing in, breathing out.

In the quiet, I can hear my heart beat as my body is overcome with its need for rest as I lay down. Another coughing fit takes over, and I find myself desperate for my next fresh burst of air.

God, how I need You to intervene.

I am now so weary that unless You show up, I have no passion left to offer. I am sinking more and more into the depths of just get it done.

I want to serve You willingly everywhere I am. But to do so, I desperately need You…

  • Your strength in these weary bones.
  • Your energy to flow through my veins.
  • Your love to spill over in my heart.
  • Your voice, Your presence to captivate my senses.
  • Your rest which You promise Your Beloved, me.

So I lay myself down into Your promises of rest again today.

Come to Me all who are weary and weighed down with burdens. I will give you #rest. (Matthew 11:28)

God gives His beloved #rest. (Psalm 127:2)

Break this heart to fully surrender to what You have for me, the best of rest, deep in my soul.

Just let go let His love wrap around you and hold you close. Get lost in the surrender, breathe it in until your heart breaks then exhale. Exhale. – Plumb

And if You touch my body to help it to get to sleep as You do, this sheep would be most appreciative!

needing-sleep

What three things to do when I need rest?

I am not the Energizer bunny.
But I still try to keep going and going.

My batteries wear out, and need recharging.

Sometimes way earlier than I am aware of, and sometimes the energy completely drains until I collapse.

I am learning to listen to God daily about my day, so it doesn’t fill up just with what I want to do in it, but how He wants me to spend my time.

There are three things on the checklist I now follow to make sure I am getting enough rest.

1.Get honest.

If I am pooped, trying to ignore the early warning signs leads to more serious time off coming down the line. I am no use if I am completely out of commission, so acknowledging if I am getting weary is step one.

Tell people no when I have enough or too much on my plate as it is. I struggle with this one too as I don’t like to say no to work when part of my job is freelance, but my yes needs to be reserved for the best decisions, not all of them.

2. Get enough sleep.

This has become a hard one for me, as my husband’s snoring had become an issue, and driving my daughter to catch the first train on weekday mornings are leaving me more weary than usual as I struggle to find a new normal routine for getting things done and a healthy sleep pattern.  I now have to be in bed earlier than I want, so if it can wait until tomorrow, it may have to if I need sleep.  If I am off and feel tired during the day, I feel no guilt now in taking a nap.

3. Get enough rest.

This refers to my spirit. Taking time to read the Word, worship, walk & listen for His voice, wait & seek His Presence…this brings peace and quiet to me within, which is where I need it most. This is the part of me that needs rest the most. The part that depends on God 100%.

You can always bring peace with you when He lives in you, but you can’t always find it if you look to the world to provide it.

These three things help me find true rest for my soul, and re-energize my hope.

When I filter my day through them, I find I get more accomplished in a week than plugging away in exhaustion and survival mode.

What tips do you have to add more rest to your day?

image

rest a while

Why is rest such a forgotten resource?

I think, simply put, so many of us are too busy to remember to stop to smell the flowers, pet the dog, chat with the neighbor or sit with a book.

I have rediscovered rest after a very hard season a few years ago, where I had a lot on my plate and almost none of it by choice. I had to literally book time to rest in. Even if it was reading for fun while in the bath once a week, I made sure I scheduled it in with pen.

Our bodies are not designed like the Energizer Bunny would suggests, to keep going and going and going without stopping. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to: ( as outlined in: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss)

1. Unsafe driving (can be as bad as drinking and driving)
2. More accidents on the job
3. More sick days
4. Impaired cognitive thinking- a harder time problem solving, paying attention, staying alert
5. Impaired cognitive learning- not getting into healthy sleep patterns helps us lose what we may have learned the day before
6. Serious heart problems: heart attacks, heart disease, heart failure and irregular heartbeat
7. High blood pressure, stroke or diabetes can develop
8. Lower sex drive
9. Depression
10. Loss of collagen, leading to puffy skin and bags under your eyes, leaving your skin to look older
11. Increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone- which can lead to heart problems and diabetes
12. Too little growth hormone being released in youth, which can hinder proper development
13. Increased forgetfulness
14. Increase appetite, which can lead to:
15. Increased weight gain
16. Mood swings- being grouchy, touchy or moody
17. Live a shorter life
18. Impaired judgment. Lack of proper sleep can lead you to misread situations and make snap decisions as a result.

Our bodies actually require us to get enough rest (7-8 hours a night) in order to properly function and keep us well.
Since it is good for us, we need to make more effort to get enough sleep, and have downtime to relax.

But there is another kind of rest that you may need, which can help us relax the most. You may need to give up reminiscing about things that may have happened to you in the past.

No matter how much sleep your body may get, if your mind can’t stop going over your hurts, you can actually still end up ill, as if you weren’t getting enough sleep. Figure out how to let it go, so that it becomes a chapter in your history instead of the title of your life’s story. Allow yourself to move on, and put the hurts to rest.

Rest physically,
Rest emotionally,
Rest deep in your soul.

Off for my Sunday afternoon nap 🙂

image
Photo from:
http://frjamescoles.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/remembering-the-long-lost-art-of-worship-and-rest/

rest a little while…

I am catching on to pacing myself and learning to rest again these past few days.

I have learned the following about myself:

I sometimes forget God is present with me when i am home alone late at night. This leaves me unrested.

Sleep is only one aspect of rest.

Giving over worries and casting out fears rest our mind & soul.

Soaking in His presence, worshipping in song, and/or reading His Word are equally restful for us all.

Taking time to just be helps put me at ease, another kind of rest.

Trusting in God when i cannot see the way is rest for my soul.