Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life Change Challenge: Sometimes, You Have to Rewind

For the most part, I have been very committed to this Life Change Challenge.  However, I often have to remind myself that this is a sprint; not a marathon.  All things come together in due season. 

Let's start off with the good news.  Dedicating the second 30 minutes of my day to this blog was a very wise decision.  I usually try to work this blog around my life, but then I never get to it.  As a wife and mom, there is always an emergency or higher priority if I allow it.  I'll come up with ideas and write down notes but then the expiration date on the vibrancy of the memory expires and I can't recapture it when I finally find time to write.  So, this devoted 30 minutes is giving me the chance to flesh out ideas when they are freshest in my memory.  I am also able to handle the marketing and networking tasks that I have been delaying due to a lack of time and content.

Okay.  Now, it's time for full disclosure.  I fell off the Early to Bed, Early to Rise wagon some time around week 5.  I have so much on my mind with the residual effects of my husband's unemployment season.  God has proven himself to be Jehovah Jireh, providing for our needs time and time again. For the past three weeks, my husband has been working as a contract accountant which is nothing but a God thing.  Maybe I'll share that story sometime.

Yet, I still find myself laying awake at night when the house is still, waiting to hear that first silent crack of the foundation of our security opening beneath us to suck us down to a point of no return.  God whispers, "I will take care of you," but I often try to drown Him out with the constant clatter of my thoughts and worries rattling around in my head.   I guess I've been working under the false assumption (read as from the enemy) that I can somehow control my circumstances if I just stay up late enough and keep watch.  Silly rabbit....

This healthy sleep pattern thing is a very steep mountain for me, but I am determined to keep climbing.  I am no good to anyone in this house if I don't get enough sleep.  I can't finish or even think properly about this life season's God-given assignments if my brain is not getting sufficient rest.  Maybe that's the point; to distract me from pressing toward the mark.

Challenge Renewed:
This week, I have been focusing on acquiring new habits to help me sleep peacefully.  This means no more caffeine or candy.  I'm thinking this will help my waistline, too.  My goal is to get outside in the morning for at least 30 minutes, with or without the kiddos, to help reset my body clock.  I'm reminded of what the baby books tell new moms about opening curtains during the day to help their newborns develop proper sleep habits. And of course, getting out the door every day for some exercise whether it's gardening, walking, or biking with my kiddos.   Every night (okay, I started last night), I turn off my electronic gadgets: TV, computer, and cell phone.  By 9:30, I start preparing for bed so that I can climb in by 10.

I'm also establishing boundaries.  Last night, ten minutes before my bed time, my sweet husband wanted to talk about finances.  He wanted to discuss some numbers that were running through his head.  Now, here is the problem.. If you read my comments above, you know that this is not a good time to talk to me.  He will go to sleep, content to have gotten it out, and I will stay awake trying to solve our problems.  He loves me, and doesn't realize the potential effect.  So, it was up to me to protect my need to have peaceful rest.  As a result, I took responsibility for the the sanctity of my sleep routine and told him we would have to discuss this at another time much earlier in the day so that I could actually think about what he is saying and remember it.  But, right now, sweetie, I want to protect my bedtime.  He pressed on, and I repeated my request.  Well, the light bulb clicked and he lovingly respected my new boundary.  I love a good man.  Don't you?

Finally, and most importantly,  I have been emptying my mind by presenting my fears and concerns before the Lord and giving them to Him.  I also have a time of confession every evening, reviewing my day and pouring out any areas that need forgiveness or any areas where I need to extend forgiveness.  I end that prayer as my head hits the pillow by asking Him to give me the peaceful sleep He promises in His word.  And, so He does.

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