Tag Archive: Rest

Sleepless in Soquel

Baby Paigey

Baby Paigey

I know I know, it’s a tired take on a delightful movie.

Pain has been stalking me, making it hard to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. I approach the bed where Don is sound asleep, only to see Paigey, our white and red Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, lying across my pillow. I’d like to think it is her great affection for me that causes her to lie in my spot ’til I come to bed. However, it’s probably the electric blanket she’s cozying up to.

I crawl into bed and Don pulls me close. He always wakens when I come to bed. Actually I don’t think he sleeps soundly until I’m there beside him. We complete each other. I lie in his arms with my head on his shoulder, feeling cherished, when Paigey emits a long, loud snore. Long. Loud. And Don and I both chuckle. I roll over onto my left side for about 5 minutes until the pain insists I get off that hip.

Pulling the pillow under me, I roll onto my tummy, hoping I can sleep in that position.

Snore … snort … snore … snort … snore … I’m hearing a duet. My husband is on one side, snoring because he’s fatigued. And Paige snores between us. It’s the perfect storm. I laugh quietly. After a few minutes of this cacophany of sounds, I ask Don to turn his head. He does, and the duet becomes a solo.

I know what it is to lose a husband, to wish he were still beside me sawing logs. And so now I’m glad, because this my husband is HERE beside me TO snore. And for that I thank God, even when the duet starts up again.

post by carolnl | | Closed

Dealing with Anxiety

“Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith begins.” George Mueller

I laughed when I saw this blog topic. It was a night when I felt anxious…overwhelmed. My mind’s gears were grinding, but without oil, there was no synchronization. Just a series of clogged wheels grinding, shredding each other and casting out steel threads this way and that.

Anxiety arises from a variety of situations, both internal and external, such as:

  • perfectionism
  • life changes such as a wedding, birth, death or divorce
  • parenting challenges or wayward children
  • depleted financial, time, or energy resources to deal with interruptions, emergencies, monetary demands
  • conflict
  • lack of boundary-setting for our own restoration and renewal or
  • chemical imbalances, requiring medication just as a diabetic needs insulin

Anxiety is common among us humans. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect one in eight children; and are the most common mental illness in the US. They impact eighteen percent—almost one in five–of Americans over eighteen, or 40 million adults. http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

AnxietySo, how shall we deal with our anxiety?

Peter tells us to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

When I feel that inner disquiet, I’m encouraged to go to God first, asking for his peace and wisdom as I seek the root of my turmoil. Too often I go to God as a last resort, rather than the first.

Asking God for wisdom and insight, I ask myself several questions:

  1. Is a physical problem impacting my mood? I’ve suffered from severe allergies. I may need to avoid sugar, or stay off the grass, to reduce my chemically-caused anxiety.
  2. Am I fatigued? Psychotherapist Arch Hart describes asking depressed patients to add 15 minutes of sleep a night for 5-7 days, then 30 minutes, adding until they feel no extra benefit. After a few weeks of increased sleep their anxiety is often gone. (The Hidden Link between Adrenalin & Stress, Dr. Archibald D. Hart, 1988)
  3. Have I started, or stopped, a prescription? I may need to ask my doctor to change or adjust the medication.
  4. Is this a spiritual issue? Am I disobeying something I feel God is directing me to/not to do?
  5. What am I feeding my mind? Does what I read or watch draw me closer to God or create dissatisfaction with my life? I’ve been convicted about a TV show I liked. This morning I removed it from my recording list because the show is filled with interactions, goals and desires that are not pleasing to my Father.
  6. Is there conflict I need to resolve? Have I done all I can to try to achieve reconciliation? If I have, do I need to release the brokenness? A long-time friend became upset with something I did and, even after I asked forgiveness, no longer wanted to be my friend. I’ve had to leave the outcome to God and trust him to deal with it in his time and way. Otherwise it will fester and cause anxiety in me.
  7. Is the problem or threat too big for me to even begin to solve? Is it simply beyond me? Do I need outside assistance, i.e. physicians, a financial consultant, a trusted friend, pastor or counselor? Or do I need to humbly yield to the circumstance and trust my Heavenly Father? When my first husband was terminally ill, I could not fix it, cure him, or make things right. I was there with and for him, and advocated for him where needed. Apart from that, I had to submit and trust God’s larger purpose and plan.

These steps usually help me deal with the anxiety that is part of life. What has helped you?

Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19 Living Bible (TLB)

“Were We Snoring?”

SONY DSC

     “Were we snoring?”

     “One of you was.”

     Driving through part of Spain as we traveled to Cordoba, Don and I slept. We didn’t just doze. We slept deeply. Our Mercedes bus was comfortable, and our seat backs just tall enough to rest our heads with ease.

     Between naps we watched the lush countryside pass by.

     

 

 

 

Thousands upon thousands of olive trees.SONY DSC

Old Windmills. 

Lush, fertile farmland. 

Sheep grazing, their shepherd and his dog ever watchful.

And we slept. It strikes me how wise and gracious God was in building into our DNA the need for sleep and restoration. He could have created us to keep going–think how much more we could accomplish for the kingdom. But I am glad He didn’t. He created us with a need for regular, renewing sleep.

SONY DSC

I’m usually a good sleeper. Sometimes, however, my mind whirls through all the topics taking up real estate in my brain … where we will go tomorrow, what we will see, whether I have out all I need, whether I’ve thought of all I needed to complete before going on this trip.

Will Mom remain well?

Are our dogs ok?

Did we pay all the bills?

Sometimes I get up, knowing sleep is beyond me. It’s often my most productive time. After several hours’ of work, I’m very happy to fall asleep, to rest. I need, and want, that renewal God wants to grant.

“He gives to his beloved sleep.”

Speaking of which, I think it’s time for a nap!