Tick Tock

Perspective Check:

What do you think when you hear the words “My Time”? Or phrases like, “I only have this much time”, “I’m going to do XYZ with ‘my time'”, or “I don’t have any time for that.”

Is any time really ours to claim? Do I own a minute, an hour, or a week? Can I control time? Make more of it, less of it, or make it non-existent? No, not really. All I can do it utilize time.

My Time

I’ve been reminded of this recently when I’ve had my own agenda of what I plan to do with “my time”, and then someone calls and needs a last minute favor, or a friend calls and is really down about life, and talk on the phone for a long time.

Needless to say, I don’t end up accomplishing the ever-so-important agenda. But when I stop and think about these things, the truth is, time is not “mine.” All time is God’s time! He is the creator of time, the allocater,The Beginning and the End. I just have the opportunity to choose how I’m going to spend God’s time – do I choose to use it for MY purposes…or His?

Which in the long run is more eternal: to run errands that can be done tomorrow, or watch a friend’s child so that they can do something super important?
To work on paperwork, bills, and other items that can be done in the near future, or give undivided attention to a friend who is low and can use some encouragement and love at that very moment?

This perspective makes it simple! It’s not the gratitude and thanks from others that makes it simple (though it’s always nice to hear!!), it’s the fact that in the end, I used His time wisely and took advantage of the opportunities that He put in front of my path instead of wasting them. THAT my friends, is worth all the time in the world, and in the end, we will be rewarded (or not!) for how we spend His time.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18

” So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (NLT)

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HIMsomnia

insomnia

If I’d never have had experienced it myself, I probably…no…I WOULD be someone that would scoff at people who voice their frustrations of having bouts of insomnia. I mean, seriously – you hear so many people who deal with the opposite, like fatigue and the inability to stay awake when they need to, and then these “insomniacs” can just stay awake all night?! How could that be so bad? Think of how much one could get done with no interruptions during the night hours!

Yeah, well, experience taught me the lesson of humility and empathy.  My first bout with insomnia was when I was a young teenager when a medication gave me the wonderful gift of insomnia as a side-effect. Those long, daunting nights were like cruel and unusual punishment after extended days of going to school, doing homework, and then AGAIN being unable to get the much needed rest that my body (and mind) craved! Needless to say, after a week of that, I refused to put another one of those pills in my mouth!

As an adult, I have had spells where I wake up in night, unable to sleep for a period of time before finally falling back to sleep.  Funny how some of those times I would actually wake up at an exact time, on the dot, every night consecutively. Bizarre.

In addition to being very annoying,  it feels like night will never end – like your mind and body are playing tricks on you. I hate to feel like I lack control — especially that I can’t FORCE myself to go to sleep, even though by all normal standards, I should be tired (and there was never a medical reason).  Oh, and no matter what anyone says, you can count as many sheep as you want, but they don’t put you to sleep 😉

There came a point during one of these bouts that, after much prayer for this to STOP, God gave me a very clear picture of why I was having the insomnia: HE was causing it!

Apparently,  I was so busy and focused on my life, everyday filling my schedule and my thoughts to the brim, that this was the ONLY way He could grab and hold my undivided attention.  Sure, I loved Jesus and tried to follow Him the best I could, prayed and whatever else, but He wanted a closer RELATIONSHIP with me. He wanted me to use that insomnia time to just be still with Him…He wanted me to experience His peace and refreshment that comes from being quiet and listening.  If I wasn’t going to make time during the day, He was going to teach me how to do it…even if at night.

Psalm 63:6  says “I lie awake thinking of You (God), meditating on You through the night.”

The Psalmist could have laid there awake thinking of his troubles, his girlfriend, or even plan his schedule for the next day. But he didn’t – he meditated on God.

I came to realize that I didn’t always have control over going to sleep, but I did have the CHOICE to use my insomnia for Him, instead of loathing and ‘wasting’ it. I actually began enjoying this personal time along with Him, and seeing it as a gift. In fact, I coined a new phrase: “HIMsomnia” (well, at least with myself, haha!) I didn’t focus on the lack of sleep or the annoyance factor anymore…I focused on Him and listened to Him. Talk about a way to grow and get to know Him!  There have been times when He has had brought a specific person or situation to mind and I’ve been able to spend time in prayer for those. It was pretty neat, and I now count it as a gift that my Creator and the Maker of the universe wants to spend time with ME. While I usually do take time during the day to spend with Him now-a-days, there’s still something different about the dark, void of distraction, wide-awake quiet time with Him that I miss a bit…though don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing for a chronic problem of HIMsomnia 😉

Disclaimer: There are many reasons for insomnia, some of them medical/emotional/physical and I in no way am trying to diagnose, treat, cure, or downplay insomnia in any way. I’m only sharing with you my personal experience, and perhaps offering a way to simply enrich your life, if you should ever go through something like this.

 

How to relate with God

Can you think back on a day in your childhood when you were really sick? Maybe you remember being stuck in bed, coughing and sneezing (or barfing) all over the place, and how vulnerable that felt? Do you recall what you longed for more than anything in the world…maybe even MORE than getting well…?

Oftentimes it’s the comfort of a parent that a child craves during a sick spell.  Maybe your Mom, Dad, Grandparent, or whoever raised you would hold you tight, stroke your hair, take your temperature, make you chicken noodle soup (whoever made that into a ‘healthy’ comfort food I’d like to know!) and stay with you until you drifted asleep.  You needed that presence of comfort and safety. To know that you were cared for, and that everything would be “all right”.

Quite a few years have passed for me since I’ve experienced that kind of longing for my Mom to cuddle me as I lie there sick and debilitated.  I’m grateful to God that I rarely do get sick, and thankful that He uses the Reliv products in my life to help keep my immune system strong, but this past week was an exception to the norm. I was REALLY sick: high fever, chills, cough, head throbbing, pain pulsating through my body; you get the idea.  It caught me by surprise that I was taken back to that feeling of being a child again, longing for my mom, or someone, to hold me. To take care of me. To assure me that ‘everything is going to be OK.’

As a grown woman with two kiddos and a husband to refrain from transferring this awful virus to, I had to forgo the hugs and cuddles that sounded like sweet medicine to my soul.

And I survived.

Sadly enough, as I type this sitting at the foot of my youngest’s bed, she is sleeping soundly due to a high fever. She  was awake in the night with a headache and stayed home from school (I’m PRAYING she doesn’t experience all that I had to!)
She’s also rarely ill and so I haven’t experienced the role of being ‘nurse mom’ to a sick child all that often, but it was a special revelation for me today.

She wanted breakfast in bed…she got it 🙂  To see her face light up to the simple raw-honey-smothered whole grain toast and her chocolate Reliv NOW for Kids shake (complete with a pink straw, I might add), it made me feel good inside. Furthermore, she hasn’t asked much of me at all, but she desires my presence. She looks up at me with those sweet eyes and pale sad face and says, “Mommy, please don’t leave.”

And I haven’t.

I’ve folded laundry in here, done some work, and now here I sit, typing away.  Sure I’m uncomfortable as I occupy the only small empty space on her bed  as her long body sprawls out all over the place, and yes, my days plans are severely disrupted, but I WANT to care for her and provide all she needs to be healthy and happy!

It has really made me think….isn’t this what God has given to us as a  small example of how He wants to care for us?

Jesus picks up a child and tells us in tells us in Matthew 18:2-5 that, “unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.”  He also tells us to come to Him when we are weary and carry heavy burdens and He will give us rest…that He is humble and gentle at heart and we will find rest for our souls in Him (Matthew 11:28,29.)

Well…Many other reminders come to mind of how Jesus wants to be the one we long for and run to in all circumstances (not just when we are sick or feeling on death’s door,) BUT…….my daughter has awakened and is asking for an orange.

I’m far from God the Father – I’m just a human mom – but I’m very thankful for the reminder of how to better relate with my God.  He is The Father and we can choose to become His children. And that loving parent/child relationship is a way that we can begin to relate with Him.

OK, I  must go now! 🙂

(Maybe I’ll post more in the comments later, and I invite you to do so, too!)