In Need Of Sleep

 

 

F I N A L L Y.

I slide into the embrace of sheets

Sigh, Exhale deeply.

Eyelids close.

Day is done.

 

Almost asleep

consciousness floating

dreams alighting.

Breathing.

Deeply.

 

A cry.

Suddenly alert

eyes wide.

Thoughts flitting

I know she ate enough.

Will she go back to sleep?

Will I?

 

Unbidden

I remember an intended task undone,

a promise unfulfilled

to do list comes into focus, in the dark.

Guilt settles in

sleep flies.

 

My beloved’s rhythmic sounds of sleep,

a child’s hand on my arm, mommy, I’m afraid

familiar regular cramping returns

hot flashes follow

reminding me again;

I am woman.

 

My Maker, my Lord,

you know

when I sit down and when I rise up;

you see me here, in this bed,

needing sleep for the work you have given me.

You know my path and my lying down

and are acquainted with all my ways.*

 

Lord, You are

the same yesterday today and forever.*

It is I who change,

Your constancy is my need.

Give me grace

to adjust to undesired frequent sleep interruptions,

to know Your peace because mine is insufficient.

 

Help me surrender

to these small momentary trials,

because You are with me.

Here. Now.

And,

what if,

a thousand sleepless nights

is what it takes to know you’re near?**

To know Your nearness…ah…

yes, satisfy me with Your Presence.

 

Jesus my Shepherd

Lead me, keep me, feed me

give me

rest, in You.

Amen.

*Psalm 139:3, Hebrews 13:8

**Laura Story lyrics

Interrupted sleep has been a companion of mine for most of my married years. And it is true for most women of all ages and stages of life.

I have been angry that my husband can sleep through anything, but I learned anger only made falling sleep even more difficult. I’ve memorized verses to repeat when I’m awake at night. Though there is great value in memorizing Scripture, repeating many words never seemed to keep my mind from wandering to other things once my brain neurons were firing. Another tactic I’ve tried is to sing praise songs to turn my mind away from its tendency to worry and work in those sleepless hours. It is a good discipline, but not a guaranteed off-switch for wakefulness.

I have found no solution other than this: give thanks in all things and talk to God. If this is a dilemma for you too, ask God to make the minutes or hours count as you trust Him, waiting for sleep to arrive. All of life is learning to trust and rest in Him as a child.

Knowing God is with me as I lie awake, remembering He sees and knows and understands is a great comfort and gives me peace.

One day this small struggle will be no more for He promises us all eternal rest. However, I doubt I will be catching up on sleep in heaven, for there will be no night there, and there will be so much to discover I won’t want to sleep!

May you learn with me to rest in His presence, giving thanks in all things.

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21 thoughts on “In Need Of Sleep”

  1. I have not known an uninterrupted, peaceful night of sleep in so long, I have forgotten how that feels. My husband likes to go to bed with the tv/movies running with violent, loud, shooting or bones grinding movies. The light alone keeps me awake, but the noise is WORSE! Add to that, I think my hubby may be slightly hard of hearing, (he just turned 57 and I am 60). He has his office in our room and his brother calls him(he works for his brother) and they have “meetings” until 3 or 5 am. I also recently got a Boxer puppy who is my responsibility for taking him outside and he sleeps with me. I get up about 3-4 times a night. I attend school (now) three nights (Tues, Weds, Thurs) and fixing to go into my externship for Medical Billing and Coding, so I will be working days and need my sleep. We don’t have the room for me to sleep elsewhere, I don’t have that luxury, nor did I get married to sleep alone! But this is affecting my health and I need 7-8 hours to sleep, so I can run on all cylinders in my work.
    I have prayed about this issue. But I am walking around “sleep deprived” and talking like a blithering idiot. If you have any suggestions, please tell me.

    1. Deborah,

      I’m grateful the post on sleep spoke to you. It’s a very common dilemma for way too many of us women. But it’s also both a signal that things need to change and a call from our Father to turn to Him.

      You mentioned your husband’s habits of TV and officing in your bedroom as contributors. I’d strongly suggest you talk about this (which you probably have already) again, praying that God will give him ears to hear your need for sleep. Decades ago in our marriage we had a tv in our bedroom. Even watching the news at 10pm was disruptive to my sleep. My husband can turn off his brain in seconds. And most men are like him. It takes a while, sometimes a long while, for them to begin to understand how different we are as women and to want to change to make life easier for us. We removed the tv from our room and dedicated our bedroom to our marriage and to a place of rest and retreat. If you have the space elsewhere it would be best if your husband officed elsewhere. I’d say the same to a woman who did her work in the bedroom. It’s making decisions that favor your marriage over all else.

      So pray that God will work in this area of your marriage and perhaps ask others to pray with you. Then work toward making your marriage a priority over all else by eliminating all the distractions in your space.

      Hope this helps.
      Barbara

  2. Because we always want to be in control, thank God he shows us how to use the quiet time of sleeplessness to draw closer to Him. Yield and be blessed dear sisters in Christ.

    Becky

  3. This post was a blessing to me this morning as my youngest 12 months old son, who still wakes 3-4 times a night, was up almost every hour due to a tooth (?), That and In addition to my 3 year old son deciding to wake up for no apparent reason turn his lights on and start singing at 3am thinking it was morning. The lord is my strengt to not give in self pity as my husband sleeps soundly next to me. I feel like a zombie and want to focus on getting little guy to sleep through the night. The other night, I prayed that the Lord would give me wisdom in this and set my mind on hard core sleep training but aquired a bout of mastitis out of the the blue before I could do it. I guess that’s my sign but this reminded me that the Lord will provide what I need as I Meet the needs of my beloved boy.

    1. bless you and yes focus on getting your little man to sleep longer! He can do it and you need it!
      It is a challenge.

    2. I’m in the same boat with a teething 11 month old and his older brothers who visit my side of the bed frequently… This blog post was such a blessing. Reminding me God sees me in this rocker and knows how tired I am. I need to lean on Him and ask for His grace.
      Blessings to you. And I pray your mastitis heals quickly and does not return.

  4. This has been my battle as well. I do the same things, sing (quietly in my heart), pray, thank God for drawing me close to him in those times. I see I’m not alone in this! Thank you for sharing. It’s encouraging to hear.

  5. Found a journal entry in my Bible awhile ago, thanking God for the 10 years of sleeplessness due to a medical issue. Have been sleeping like a babe now for several years (I’m 60 now), but those sleepless years became a precious time alone with the LORD, worshipping, praying, questioning, pleading, crying,…God drew me closer under His wing and had me in the front seat so I would learn more deeply Who He is and who I am in Him. No regret, though certainly, it was a long haul!!! Thank-you for today’s post!!! Such a beautiful reminder that when God has us in a time of weary suffering, He’s using it to weave Himself more deeply into our hearts. I pray for courage, strength, and abundant blessings to all of you sisters of sleepless nights. Christ be with you dear ones!!!

  6. My mind racing about the stress of my business & those who seek to see me less blessed. I have grown children and so t have grandkids (yet6 to keep me up at night. In fact, sometimes, it’s nothing in particular! Last night I read Psalm 142 and awoke with my bible on my chest. It works to rest in Him.

  7. I have been struggling with sleepless nights for awhile now, and I too, struggle to accept and rest. My sleepless nights seem to affect my days unfortunately. Your message seems to be directed right at me today, thank you for a different perspective! Thank you for this post.

  8. Yes! I know exactly what you mean! I have had, and still have hundreds of no sleep nights and I know it is time for me to continue to communicate with God, through His word,songs, bringing other people to His throne room of grace, and simply adoring His presence with me.
    Thank you for this post of what I am so intimately familiar with. Thank you, sweet sister in Christ!

  9. I have so much trouble shutting off my brain & going to sleep. Wake up often & cannot go back to sleep. Tried essential oils & now sleep MD’s
    Suggestions? My brain is too busy at nite.

    1. We can probably all relate to too much on our minds to go to sleep. Maybe try listening to soft worship music and/or praying. It has helped me many times. :)

  10. I admit I was drawn to this post in my email today. Our two boys are now 4 years old (as of last week) and 6 years old (about to be 7 in3 weeks), and even now as I sit here we still experience sleepless nights. Such was the case last night when I was awakened around 3:15am by the cry of our youngest, who, very apparently when I rushed out into our hallway had just embarked on his first bout of the stomach flu. These awakenings, bed-stripping, and PJ’s changing came regularly about every 45 minutes until the morning. BUT! I was struck by the fact that over an over again, I would wake, help my son, and return to bed with unusual calm and ability that I definitely know came not from my flesh but by the Holy Spirit. How do I know this? Because old me would have been very frustrated and angered after the first wakening or two and focused on my lack of sleep, and how would I take care of my boys the following morning, and what if they both got sick, and what if I got sick, etc… Not only did that not happen but in the morning, I was able to surrender ‘my’ schedule to the Lord, realizing that I was not going to get my usual quiet devotion time with the Lord that I so need and cherish, but invited Him to direct our time and day together. Shortly after, my little sick one came down and told me he wanted to spend some quiet time with me and Jesus. And so we did. I surrendered my study on Romans and picked up a devotional to read with him instead and do you know what the title & reading was for today’s date? “Overcoming Life’s Ups and Downs,” Philippians 4:10-13(Dr. Charles Stanley). Through God’s Word, I was encouraged and strengthened to be reminded of Paul’s struggles and his attitude in spite of his circumstances and also by the Lord’s promise that indeed I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13). Again it was like a hug straight from the Lord, and my Father’s loving eyes and hand upon me saying, I see, I know, I am here. The last lines of the devotional echoed the Word and said, “In ourselves, there is no way we can muster contentment in every situation. But once we understand that God works through our trials to make us more like His Son and that our union with Christ strengthens us to endure and even rejoice, we have a strong foundation for contentment no matter what is going on around us.”As I closed with reading my son those words, he got up, laid his head on me and we embraced. Jesus was in the middle of it all with us and was leading the way to rejoice right where we were.

    1. That is beautiful, and such a wonderful example of God working in us and through our circumstances whatever they may be. We must remember to trust Him to guide and direct us. Thank you for sharing!

      1. You are absolutely right Roz! I love how He can take anything and use it for something good that we could never imagine. He really is amazing!

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