Tag Archives: insomnia

today: flowers out

“The water soaks into the earth and I watch it go. Water in, flowers out, miracle there on the porch.”
Ann Voskamp p79, One Thousand Gifts

Last night, two overtired bodies, we went to dinner and the store. Food for that moment and the next day, required duties at hand. We ate; we bought. We returned to my apartment, and he helped me put groceries away. We didn’t even walk the dog, and by 9 o’clock, we sat down to pray. I hunched my elbows over my knees and dropped my head. He draped one arm around my shoulder, using his other arm to prop his head. We did something I am learning to do, thanks to Ann in the masterpiece quoted at the top of this post. We thanked God for the gift of restful sleep- a gift insomnia robs me of often and him of recently- and then we asked God to grant us each a full night’s sleep.

Ann feels like a friend as I’m working my way through her book, rereading chapters and underlining nearly a third of the content. She says thanks always precedes a miracle, over and over again. She refers to Jesus feeding the 5000. Jesus gave thanks and broke the bread and then the multitudes were fed. He does the same thing at the Last Supper, gives thanks and then breaks bread. And then he goes to that cross and dies, to be resurrected. Water in; flowers out.

We thanked God for the gift of restful sleep, and after that he went home to iron his shirt for work and to try to sleep. And then he slept. All night. I did too.

It’s not that Ann writes a formula in her book when she says thanks always precedes the miraculous- even when there’s nothing to make something out of. It’s that she writes to cultivate a thankful heart; she coaches her reader on how to see. This may seem simple, but it is utterly revolutionizing me. That’s not even an exaggeration. I so, so, so need and want and hunger to see. Thankfully.


today: morning

In case you were wondering (which you probably weren’t), I still get terrible insomnia some nights (not nearly as many as before), hence the 530 occasion for writing down some words. I ought to be sleeping. I’d rather be sleeping. The past month or so has been busy, endlessly busy, and that makes insomnia something more than inconvenient.

I used to ask God about my insomnia and for help with it, and it seemed like an area He wasn’t reaching into and changing. I think maybe I got frustrated and quit asking. Tonight I am wondering if maybe He seemed or seems uninvolved because (in typical human behavior?) I forget or refuse to let go of things that ought not occupy the space in my brain or heart. They are meant to be filled with life-giving and good things. I am so ridiculously easy to distract. Oh dear.

How good it is to know that we are given new grace and mercy for each new day. God does not have unrealistic expectations of people. Not at all. He knows we are easily distracted. He knows I can’t sleep. He is not surprised. When Eugene Peterson interpreted the author of Hebrews in the Good Book, he penned some of the words about Jesus to recommend this when considering his story: “take the mercy, accept the help.

Maybe it’s time (again? seemingly ever.) to regroup a little. Help requires some open hands that once unclenched just might be in a better position to receive much needed mercy and help. And if received, it can in turn be given away. And that just might (I suspect it is) be the sweet spot for doing life in a way that is life-giving and good. And when all is as it should be, sleep comes easy (maybe?).

This, both a confession and hope. Yes.

tonight: ohsillysleeplessnight

“Insomnia is my greatest inspiration.”
-Jon Stewart

oh silly sleepless night,
how easily i cut you down to size
with quick consideration of the world dancing around
my head spinning around
for you i just haven’t got time
insistent you are to rob my mind
and maybe all of life
of the quiet joy that settles all these cries
for peace
for you i just haven’t go the time
not one little bit of time
so good night sillysleeplessnight
good night

tonight: insomnia

“Many things–such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly–are done worst when we try hardest to do them.”
-C.S. Lewis

oh insomnia, if you’re going to insist on being mine
you will not be allowed the best of me
the world offers too many books to read and questions to consider
and dreams to believe
and so with heavy eyes arguing with one stubborn mind
refusing to guzzle that calm stream sleep
words spill onto pages and sort out these mazes
that confuse and hinder and slow
the curl of a body at rest
and though, insomnia, you frustrate,
what you never steal is peace
ha, take that you silly little fiend

tonight: insomnia

returned: old enemy
not missed
not wanted
here nonetheless
and one sleepy headed me
throws up my hands in exasperation
at least i’ll catch up
on my ever-growing reading list

today: and then there was the wall to hit

“My conscious self is an idealized reflection of who I am…”
-Peter Rollins

Um, ouch, Peter Rollins, but how accurately you describe, well, me anyways.

Yesterday during a photo session, my eye started burning. I regretted my choice to wearing contacts rather than glasses and let the wind dry the continual stream of tears my left eye produced for the duration of the session. By the time I got home after dinner, my eye was puffy and sore. I took my contacts out, flushed my eye with water and blinked back lopsided tears for the rest of the night. Even after I went to bed, my eye remained sore, like something was irritating it. I kept getting up and looking in the mirror to see if I could see anything. That made my eye hurt more, so I flushed it with more water. I did this for several hours.

I blame my left eye for the return of my insomnia last night, because at 3 am I was leaning over my bathroom sink, crying with frustration (ah, symmetrical tears now) at my still-sore eye. Insomnia and I have history, him being a frequent and unfortunate bed-mate for the last five years or so. For the last few months, though, I’ve had reprieve. Until last night. I woke up this morning restless, grumpy and wanting to stay in bed. My coffee ritual did little to improve my spirits, and my run felt forced even though the sun foretold spring’s imminence. I edited photos and listened to music I love and tried to regroup. I failed.

By midday, I concluded (was finally honest with myself?) that it was not the insomnia that kicked my ass today. Ladies and gentlemen, I have hit a wall.

It was bound to happen after spending half of this year so far traveling, which energizes me independent of being with good company. But I’ve spent half of the year so far traveling to be with the people who remind me of who I am when I’ve forgotten. They know me through and through.

DFW and home and routine and mundane… these things are a struggle for me sometimes, and after so much away time in January and February, well, I’m struggling a bit. And I don’t really want to talk to God about it. And I don’t really want to deal with it at the moment. It’s not that I want to wallow in self-pity. I recognize the page I am on. I am owning it. Hopefully that’s the start of repentance as a reality as opposed to an empty religious term. I need to turn around.

Meghan, my sister and roommie told me the other day that my blog seemed really happy for someone who was so restless and being so crappy, so here’s me and my messy self. I know that life here is the context I’m called to for now. I believe it’s possible to live hopefully and joyfully in it. I just don’t feel those things today.

My eye had stopped throbbing by the time I woke up this morning. And in spite of me, the sun still foretold spring’s imminence today, so tomorrow’s forecast is hopeful, independent of my emotional state.

I will lace up my shoes and go for a run. It’s the best I can do, a literal movement of my feet to pick myself up after slamming into this wall. I can’t go through it. Turning around is the way out.