Wow. I haven’t posted in a while. A LONG while. But it’s not because I’ve been lazy. Promise. A lot has happened. Among other things, we moved back to “our” mountain in VA.
Back to the post.
Sleep. Yup. Sleep. It’s that thing where you close your eyes and hold still for a long, long time and your body repairs itself and your brain waves chill out. Sometimes it lasts a long, long time, like more than four hours! I know. It’s hard to believe a person could stay still that long, breathing deeply and possibly dreaming. But it’s true.
I used to sleep for up to (and sometimes beyond) 16 hours a day when I was on medication. Now that I’m off all medications, my body is figuring out how to function without their interference. I’ve been waking up about every hour or two all night. It’s annoying. Especially annoying, now that I’m getting a “normal” night’s sleep of 6-9 hours every night. But the sleep is just not that deep right now because I keep waking up. This just started happening since Christmas. We traveled between different places in GA and VA and lived out of a suitcase for over a month. I keep thinking about what’s supposed to happen next. I’m having trouble shutting off that part of my brain.
Maybe you can relate somewhat? Someone, somewhere relates somewhat because he or she drew the cartoon below.
I think it’s mostly because I’ve been so stressed lately. I mean moving, financial issues, major home renovations (before we could unpack), leaving “my” kids (I was tutoring other homeschoolers), our daughter leaving her just-acquired friends (for the third time in a year), health issues (sometimes significant) for every person and animal in our family, coming off some difficult medications… Other…stuff. Then, other…stuff has happened since returning to VA: interpersonal, organizational, everything-onal. You get the picture.
So when I brought this issue up a couple nights ago my husband (bless him) says, “Well just think about something else.”
“Like what?” I ask.
“Like something calming.”
“Like what?” I ask again
“Anything that will relax you.”
Now, this is not typical. My husband usually has several near-perfect answers for my problems. A bouquet of solutions is only a question away for me when Dr. Answers is around. Truth. Not sarcasm. It’s one of the reasons we fit together so well, and one of the many things I love about him. But on this one thing, he was totally stumped.
“How about _______?”
“Well, that makes me think about _______, which makes me think about _______, which makes me remember how much stuff I have to do before (insert day of the week) gets here. And then I start making a to-do list in my head, which makes me also run a parallel shopping list in my head because we just moved and I don’t have many supplies. And then I have to figure out when I’m going into town next because we need to consolidate trips to save on gas. But before I know when I can consolidate trips, I have to know when your doctor’s appointment is, and I haven’t gotten the chance to make one for you because…”
“Kami. Calm down.” My husband is the only one who can command and sooth at the same time. It’s a gift, I tell ya.
And he rubbed my hand and head until I fell asleep. He’s a good man.
But the roiling thoughts are what has been going on in my head at night. When I wake up an hour later, it might or might not come back. And it’s not worry. It’s planning. It’s not the what-ifs that plague me, it’s the I-still-need-tos. A friend said that when the house is put together, I’ll feel more relaxed. She’s probably right. I already feel more relaxed now that we have our bedroom furniture all set up, and our daughter’s stuff mostly organized in her room. Last night I only awoke three times. All these prove that this is a temporary state of affairs, and that’s encouraging. It is getting some better.
But it finally hit me today. Settling in and organization are not the real issues.
Just because it’s not technically worry doesn’t mean I’m absolved from the command of the Lord to, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Today I went on my first walk since moving back. The mountains, the snow, and the wind spoke, whispered, and howled the glory of God and His care for me. He knew each little bitty snow flake I walked upon, and formed it himself. He knew how the light would play in the clouds of gust-driven flurries when I gazed at them crossing the valley toward me. He knows. And He was begging me to be still so that I could know Him and who He is. And I’m beginning to know again.
There’s something Aslan-magical about nature. It sings back to its Maker.
I want to sing back that way too.
Kinda makes scheduling and getting dog hair off the floor take a back seat. Funny how glimpsing God can do that to a person’s priorities. Maybe I WILL sleep better tonight.