Am I Really a Wimp?

Girl Jumping on BedThere was a time in my life when my ex-husband and I would joke about our lack of sleep. Our little saying was, “Sleep is for wimps.”

I’m here to say….I’M A WIMP!!!

I want sleep so badly…so very badly. I can’t remember the last time I got a really truly good night’s sleep. I even tried to take sleep aids one night and it made me jittery instead of drowsy…I ask you, how fair is that?

When my husband left I didn’t get sleep because I was a wreck all the way around. Sleep just wasn’t really an option.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest. Psalm 55:4-8

When I became a full-time working single mom sleep was difficult because there was simply so much to do.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30


And now that I’ve been a single mom for more than 4 years, I’m still finding sleep a challenge.

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household… Proverbs 31:15

Not to sound cliché, but it just seems if it’s not one thing it’s another.

I’ve had a lot of friends tell me that I have to get some sleep…I know, believe me, I know. I just can’t figure out how.

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed… 1 Corinthians 15:51***

Small children have middle of the night bad dreams or itchy bug bites. Big children want to have late night conversations (and so do I). Friends would like to catch up (and so would I). Websites have deadlines. Thoughts continue even with my head on the pillow – decisions loom, concerns about my kids, and issues, issues, issues…Prayers are uttered continually as I seek guidance, hope and peace.

Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

I’ve spent the evening looking at scripture about rest and sleep. The first one is in Genesis, “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man…” (2:21) Deep sleep…ahhhh….bliss. I might pray for that deep sleep tonight! But there are many other verses that absolutely inspire me…verses that remind me God is the author and provider of true rest, and of how gracious God is to take care of me even throughout my sleeplessness.

Graciousness is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple, when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:5-7

Maybe part of my problem isn’t lack of rest, but lack of trust. I’ve had moments of forgetfulness… I’ve forgotten how gracious God was to me…how He took care of me and my children…how He continues to take care of us. He has dealt bountifully with us, truly.

And maybe all those issues, issues, issues I talked about, maybe those are things that I shouldn’t be worrying about so much.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

A friend once shared with me the idea that Jesus teaches us to pray about our daily bread not about tomorrow’s bread. How do I know what tomorrow will bring…or, honestly, if there will even be a tomorrow? So why do I spend today’s precious moments worrying about tomorrow’s unknowns? I could maybe take some of those thoughts captive and not go there. I could just stay here…here in TODAY.

I think staying “in” today might enable me to sleep tonight.

Today is almost over – and not to sound like Scarlet O’Hara, but TOMORROW I’m going to try to be in the day…enjoy the day as the blessing it is…keep my eyes open for things to be thankful for…and maybe let go of some worry about the day after tomorrow…because God’s got it…He always has it.

I’m taking a deep breath as I write…and I’m thinking that tonight I’m going to try to go to bed early, ask my Heavenly Father for some lovely deep sleep, thank Him for the day, and give the next to Him to handle and then I’m gonna snuggle under the covers, close my eyes, and rest in the knowledge that my Father loves me more than I can imagine. No “wimpiness” in that!

The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23

***That verse was totally taken out of context…using it just for fun! I know God has a sense of humor and He gets my jokes even if no one else does !

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2 Comments

  1. Sue,

    I want to encourage you that you are on a path, a very dark path, not darkness as in gloom, and foreboding, but God’s kind of darkness. 2 Sam 22:7-20 (don’t miss verses 10, and 12), It is repeated in Ps 18:3-19. The interesting thing is that not seeing the next step, can indicate the nearness of God. Ps 73:28 speaks of the nearness of God being our good. Sometimes the price for that nearness is darkness. What we can see doesn’t look good, in fact, it may look worse than yesterday. In one translation, I think I remember seeing that when Moses had climbed to mountain to go up to God, that the mountain was shrouded in darkness. It may have been in a translation different than I am reading now, or maybe I can’t find it quickly, but a number of places God meeting with people also includes the mention of darkness (Deut 4:11, Heb 12:18) and I thought to myself, Moses must have gone mountain climbing in the dark. I imagined loose rock, crevasses, and other mountain hazards. So the dark path, is still a good path when God is calling.

    Just so that you don’t think that this is pie in the sky, by and by, I know what you mean about sleep. My wife left me when our son was 3. He slept in a nighttime diaper until around 4, but he was a large child, and so if I didn’t change him in the middle of the night, I would have a child awake in the early morning because of a wet bed, and bedding to change and wash (at a laundromat). So I set my alarm every night for over a year for the middle of the night. I also went from a very sound sleeper to a very light sleeper, so I could hear the indications of a bad dream, or the early signs of a cold, where a vaporizer might help. As he grew, sleeping light never went away. Now some of that might be due to 2 sleep disorders that I now have, completely unrelated to my son, but not unrelated to the path.

    It looks like you have one key piece of walking with Jesus, even in darkness, down. Being real. I think that this blog and your Facebook are real gifts to yourself as well as to others. You can connect with others. And I can relate to every thing that you talk about. The other thing that is a gift is that you go to Jesus with everything. An acquaintance of mine who is a Christian men’s author, has an expression “A real man is a man who is real.” It is so easy to be a poser when everything goes wrong. I applaud your courage at being real. Keep it up, it is how you stay close to God on the path.

    Another good piece is to recognize all of the voices in your head, and from your friends. Compare Ps 55 that you mentioned with Ps 11, it starts with ‘In the LORD I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain;’ Notice the “you”. Who is David talking to. I found that some of my discouragement, and the sources that drew my attention to all the bad things happening were not me, and they weren’t God either. So I had to sort out the other voices.

    With men, men like to fix things, and men also like to see progress. I had some really good friends who kept asking how I was. These guys were great. A good percentage of men got more and more distant during the 18 month in-house separation. Another group seemed to stop being as close about 6 months after we separated. But a few guys hung in there. I could see my discouragement sweep to one of my best friends one evening when we talked. He had asked me “How are you doing?” And I was being real.

    But as I saw that it was registering that things were going from bad to worse, I felt afraid that I would lose him too. “What can I do Lord?” I asked. The Lord gave me an answer sometime later. I was coming back from my Wednesday evening trip to the laundromat. It was December. And it was about 11:00pm. And I was whining, to no one in particular. No one was there.

    “Not that long ago, I could do laundry in the basement.” “I didn’t have to use a laundromat where I had to learn which dryers wouldn’t burn/melt clothes.” “Laundry takes up the only evening of the week that Dan is with his mom” We had an odd schedule for custody, where time was defined for 2 week chunks 8 days with Dan’s mom, 6 days with me. This was so that our custody wasn’t joint custody, but it provided a lot of time with each of us. So we alternated every day of the week, except Wednesday.

    In any case, I could see a lot more things that were wrong that those that I mentioned, and I suddenly became aware of the presence of the Lord. He asked me “How are you doing?” I had been real in my whining. As I continued to walk with clothes on hangers, and a duffel of clean clothes, I cam around to where the security lights were. They were on a motion sensor, and suddenly came on. I hadn’t even been aware of the lightly falling snow. But there were the brilliant, beautiful, fluttery flakes, lightly falling. Then the Lord said “How am I doing?” He let it sink in. He knew how He could touch my heart with beauty. The flakes fell at His command. I didn’t see the flakes in the dark. And they were so light (and so common, I live in Rochester, NY), that I hadn’t noticed. Suddenly, I was aware of the beauty of one tiny corner of His plan. Because of His love and wisdom (and omnipotence), I knew that His plan was going great. So with that night, I ended up with a new place to focus, and a new answer for the question of “How are you doing?’ Now, I want you to know that with my new answer, I started to apply it *every time* I was asked. That wasn’t the Lord’s will for it. The Hebrew word usually translated comfort has a meaning “to call to one’s side”. Sometimes God calls us to His side through Godly friends. So I needed to discern when to focus on how the Lord was doing, and when to grieve, and be comforted.

    Lastly, the world reveres strength. And there is value in strength. But there is also value in weakness. And you don’t have to be ashamed or afraid of weakness. There are lots of verses there 2 Cor 12:9, Is 40:29, Phl 4:12-13. First, a lot of things indicate that what some view as weakness, God sees as need. Think of how you view your little ones (or the bigger needs of your bigger ones). You are glad that they ask. You are happy to meet their needs. Sometimes you do beyond what they can ask for (and sometimes they don’t understand it.) May the richness of Eph 3:14-21 be yours, beloved daughter of the Most High God, and may you bring Him glory all the days of your life.

  2. One inaccuracy, I commented on the Hebrew word for “comfort”, I meant the Greek word for comfort which happens to be paraklēsis. As I checked on my correction (so I wouldn’t have to correct it again), I thought cool, this is really close to the Greek word paraklēt, often used for the Holy Spirit. Which again, all makes sense, when I finally see it.

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