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Posts Tagged ‘Sleep’

20140608-144703-53223590.jpgI love music. I love Bach, Johnny Cash, U2, Ella Fitzgerald, Starfield, Elton John, Louis Armstrong, Taylor Swift, Casting Crowns, Ennio Marricone, Coldplay, ABBA, Paolo Nutini, Michael Buble,  TobyMac, Adele, and this list is truly just a tip of my music loves iceberg!

Music speaks to me, it challenges, moves, and teaches me. I love the visuals that can be created in it’s combination of lyrics and music. I love the emotions that a song can bring out. I love how, out of nowhere a song can ‘pop’ into my mind, and be mulled over for hours, as though it was ‘placed’ there, just for me, like a lovingly wrapped gift. I hate songs that speak lies, I love songs that speak truth.

This morning I have had a song in my mind, ‘placed’ there, I am certain.

It is a song called “This is your Life”, by Switchfoot. Some of the lyrics are:

yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
this is your life and today is all you’ve got now
yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
don’t close your eyes
don’t close your eyes

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

yesterday is a kid in the corner
yesterday is dead and over

don’t close your eyes

Now, maybe I awoke with it in my head because I slept miserably last night (‘don’t close your eyes‘).

Or, maybe it is because I recently celebrated a birthday … like three months ago (‘this is your life, are you who you want to be, this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be‘).

Maybe it is because this weekend I was chatting with my eldest daughter about my memories of childhood (‘yesterday is a kid in the corner’ … pretty much sums up my entire childhood, so now you know what I was like as a kid!).

Maybe it’s because today is my last day of classes with students (‘today is all you’ve got now’).

Or maybe it is playing in my mind because I awoke in a rather melancholy mood (this is your life and today is all you’ve got now yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have).

I expect it’s a combination of all of the above, but, today, it might be more of the last. Now today is not all that bad, but with the combination of lack of sleep, end of the school year, thinking of years past, a kind of recent birthday AND melancholy I’m really not excited that today (more this present season of life, than this ‘day’) is all I’ve got, and all I’ll ever have. This season is one of realizing that there are parts of my life that just simply are so far from where I want them to be.

As an obsessive compulsive person when it comes to planning into the future, today my future looks far more fuzzy than I would like. To use more song lyrics, I prefer an outlook where ‘the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades’. And it’s not that it’s an all doom and gloom forecast of the future, it is simply that I cannot see anything. And I’m an ‘inquiring mind, and inquiring minds need to know’ (more indicators of my age).

Maybe the real reason this song is in my mind is that, despite my melancholy mood, despite the lack of sleep, despite my aging body, despite the end of Spring Break, despite the fact that not all childhood memories are sweetness and light, and even despite the fact the promises get broken, and the future is unknown, I’ve been given this day, and if I don’t close my eyes, I might find a bit of wonder laying in my path.

AND, by the way, there are NO wrinkles on this forehead! See, at my age, that is something to wonder about 😉

 

 

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I’d had it!20130725-082213.jpg

At the end of a busy, responsibility-laden week, all I wanted was to come home and go to bed, delighted in the fact that the following day was Saturday … no alarm clocks to set!

… but first, to let the beast out to relieve herself so that we could all sleep in peace.

Ah, good intentions …

Our beast is a bit of a … Houdini … she lives to get free. When she is free from the chains that we good, civilized humans have placed on her, she has the most joyful, wonder-filled look on her face, that radiates to the tip of her tail.

At eleven at night, though, her escaping from my hands before the chain got locked onto her collar was anything but joyful or wonder-filled for me.

Typically, when escape has been achieved, she runs herself ragged, and returns after a couple of hours on the lam. It seemed pointless to go hunt the fugitive down, as it was dark, foggy, and there was little concern that she might drive our sleeping neighbors crazy. It also seemed pointless to go to bed, knowing that she would be scratching at the door in a couple of hours.

Well, she did scratch on the prison door … about five in the morning, and less than an hour after I had fallen asleep! As soon as I stumbled, like the middle-aged warden I am, to the door, and she saw me … off she went for round number two!

If you had been in my kitchen you would have heard.

“I hate you!” coming from my pursed lips.

Her ‘game’ was repeated about a half hour later.

I was not impressed!

Finally, I decided to go search for her, in the fog of the dawn. Every time I got close, she sprinted off.

Around nine in the morning, I awoke our daughter, as she has ‘dog whisperer’ tendencies (and because I was just about in tears … not with sorrow, but anger).

I opted for a warm shower, while the dog whisperer did her thing (thanks, in part to the lab next door that she used as bait).

It was there, with the warmth of the water coursing that I had my pity party …

the rough week
the plans that were not going as planned
the struggles in the everyday of life

It was there, in the midst of my pity party, that I blubbered,

“God, you know I can stay positive if I get enough sleep, why did you allow me to lose what I needed most?”

No answer …

Dog found.

Just an hour and a half, after my pity party, I sat in a small church sanctuary, with family and mostly teen friends, of a good friend of my daughter. We were there to witness two young women make their public statement of faith, in following God, through the act of baptism.

To that point, it was the highlight of my twenty-nine hour day!

As the first girl read her testimony (her life story), I got my answer to that blubbery question.

She said, “I need to rely on Jesus more than anything … more than … (pause, as if she didn’t know what to say next) … sleep …”

… more than sleep …

It sort of changed my day, my week, my outlook, my anger. It sort of reminded me of that hymn that says :

“I love thee because
Thou first loved me
And purchased my pardon
On Calvary’s tree”

Maybe the dog should start listening to hymns!

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Since my first memories being a wife and mother were the two constant goals of my life. By the age of twenty-three (and a half) I had been married for three years, and was holding our baby daughter. Now, at age forty-three, I have three earthly, and five heavenly children … be careful what you wish for!

As a girl I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to dress my babies in pretty clothes (I guess they were always girl babies), I wanted to feed them, I wanted to take them for a walk and lay them gently in their bed at night …

As a teenager, I had two personalities. The one wanted a good job, and independence. The other wanted to have babies, who I imagined rocking to sleep, and teaching to walk, and sharing giggles, and lay them gently in their bed at night …

… and watch them sleep.

When each of my children were babies, there was no sweeter thing than to hold their sleeping body in my arms and just … watch them sleep (well except for daughter number two, who never slept).

When they were each toddlers, who spent every second that they were awake in motion, there was nothing better than to sneak into their rooms at night, and watch how that child of terrible two (or blood thirsty three) suddenly became a little angel.

When they were each starting kindergarten, all so eager for this step towards independence, I would sneak into their room the night before the big day, and try to remember every last memory of that moment, for it was the last time that they would be mommy’s little girl or boy.

When they had their first fight with a friend, at school or home, with words or fists, I would sit beside their beds at night and wish that I could take the inevitable hurts from their lives.

When I would yell or make a big mistake, and have to apologize that day to them for my error, that night I would kneel by their beds and pray that God would teach me to forgive, as they always forgave me.

When their dreams were coming true, and life was going splendid for them, I would come into their rooms, bend over and whisper, “I always knew you could do it.”

When I cannot sleep at night,
When my heart is aching from a fight,
When I just need to hold you with all my might,
I will watch you when you sleep,
To a mom, it is the sweetest sight.

Thanks to my kids, for making my dream of being Mom a reality.
May your dreams come true too … I’ve always known you could do it!

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With our anniversary just last week, I’ve had marriage on my brain.

After twenty-two years we have had a spat or two. We have had our struggles with co-existing together. We have had times when it has seemed that we have had more differences than similarities.

A few years back I found something that may just have saved our marriage from complete and utter ruin. It is something that is so simple, and is available to all. It is also a cure without any cost (except for those who do not have this at their disposal).

My cure has made such a profound change in our marriage, that I am actually thinking of finding a publisher who would jump at the chance to publish and sell this idea to the public. I am convinced that it could top the New York Times Best Seller list. I am convinced that the title alone is one that Oprah would publish.

Now, you may be wondering when I might be telling you the secret, and the title, of this marriage enriching, life changing book … but, I am a little hesitant to tell you too quickly. I fear that you will read the title of my book, laugh hysterically, and then click off my blog post to look for a more ‘serious’ approach to marriage enhancement. This is a serious topic, and this approach did seriously improve my marriage … particularly in bed!

Okay, if you promise, in your heart (like, cross your heart, hope to die, stick a finger in your eye … kind of promise) to not click off my post until you read to the end, then I will share my secret with you … yes? Okay then, here it goes … the title of my best selling (well, in the future) book is … “How Moving a Television into our Bedroom Saved our Marriage.”

D O N ‘ T go to another blog, or Facebook, or Tetris … keep reading … it might save your marriage too!

You see, hubby and I, we are certainly a study in contrasts. Sometimes I think that the only thing we have in common is our three kids! He likes salty, I like sweet. He likes road trips, I like airplanes. He likes going to sporting events, I like going for a walk. He is a night hawk, I am a morning person.

It is in the last set of contrasts that our marriage was suffering. We almost never went to bed together! I am ready almost any night, any time after 8pm to crash my head onto my pillow … hubby is usually not ready until closer to 11pm. So, one day I (yes, I, not hubby) suggested we move a small television into our bedroom. And we did.

This meant that, finally, we would climb beneath the sheets at the same time. I lay my head on my pillow and start snoring (so hubby says), and he watches every news and sports highlight program available. And we can be together 🙂 Sometimes we even climb in bed and talk about our days, or have visits from one of the kids, or sleep, or don’t sleep …

Whatever it is we do once we get into bed, we get to spend the time there together … it is so much better than climbing into bed alone.

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It’s a weird thing, getting ready to celebrate my daughter’s 14th birthday, but not getting to celebrate it with her … except on Skype … a poor substitute!

You were a long awaited answer to prayer, after agonizing losses, and, finally acceptance that you might never come to be. Man, we should have known that you would not be any easier after birth, than the waiting before.

You came to us (via the stork, of course, what 14 year old wants to accept that there could be any other way … gross? AND what mother, who gave birth, wants to be reminded of the birthing process?) on an beautiful spring, warm and sunny day, with magnolia trees in full bloom just outside the hospital walls … how idyllic … today it is raining, and pouring!

Your birth was quick and natural (aka … hum, sin is natural … enough said), and you slept through the first night … and that was the only night you slept through for two years!

Your hair was the color of a shiny copper penny, and it covered, not just your head, but your back, and even on the sides of your face (we called you our monkey … and now, when you have friends over, we realize that monkeys attract each other).

We took you home to your sister who so desperately wanted you (to have someone to boss around).

And now you are 14, and so much more aware of the world. As a child you amazed me, at how you could find a playmate in anyone; no difference was a barrier. You played with anyone, no matter their age, where they were from, or gender.

You still can find a playmate in anyone, but you now see that there are differences … growing up can mean you lose beautiful innocence.

There is something I desperately do not want you to lose, and I see it fading …

Don’t stop dancing. There is freedom in dancing, there is dreaming in dancing, there is uniqueness and creativity in dancing, there is worship in dancing. All of that, just from dancing … alone … by you, for you, for your Creator.

My most beautiful memory of you is that hot summer day, when, on the cusp of … changes, you played dress-up, felt the cool of the shaded grass between your toes, and you danced all over the back garden. And I stopped and watched, and drank in that moment of innocence, and freedom … and thanked God, that you finally sleep through the night that He prompted me to pick up the camera to keep this memory of you for all time.

I HOPE YOU DANCE

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

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