Hooray for Insomnia

I was hoping it was at least 3:00 a.m. It was 1:30. But that was OK actually, and here’s why: I had put my jeans and writing shirt (more on that later) out before bed, right along with my water, Bible, scribble book, journal, pens and highlighers, and devotions. I was ready to sneak into John’s office (where the chairs are comfy and the computer cooperative) and have myself a little time with Jesus. Remember the song? So let us have a little talk with Jesus, let us tell Him all about our troubles . . .

I did have some troubles, as I woke from a disturbing dream and wanted to make sense of it, if sense could be made. But those troubles went away pretty quickly as I prayed and then found great teaching on YouTube.

It took a while to get through 2.5 sermons (I’ve paused in the middle of the third sermon to write this post) because I was taking notes, pausing to pray, pausing to sing scripture to God (I don’t sound all that bad and I know He likes my singing. I just know.) I also paused to pass on a sermon to people I think/hope will be blessed.

And let me admit it. I also passed it on to someone I think needs it. As do I. Especially the parts about remaining strong in such a time as this. How? Via meditating on the Word of God. Again, how? Well, let’s begin by saying it’s not how I recently heard a success guru say he does it–he “meditates” ten minutes.

Psalm 1:1-3 is helpful: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (That’s verses 1 and 2–I’ll leave you to see this man’s reward in verse 3.)

Here’s most of what the Word Wealth in my Bible says–“meditates” hagah (hah-gah; Strong’s #1897: to reflect; to on, to mutter; to ponder; to make a quiet sound such as sighing; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words. Hagah represents something quite unlike the English “meditation,” which may be a mental exercise only. In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions. From this tradition comes a specialized type of Jewish prayer called “davening,” that is, reciting texts, praying intense prayers, or getting lost in communion with God while bowing or rocking back and forth. Evidently this dynamic form of meditation-prayer goes back to David’s time.

This is how we receive the Biblical promise of a renewed mind. I, for one, am in great and continual need of this. I think thoughts and act ways I don’t agree with! They’re not the real me. They’re distortions and deceptions based on the lies of my enemy. But they’re always decreasing in power as God’s power overcomes through Biblical meditation.

I think I won’t call it insomnia, which implies being unable, but wanting, to sleep. I think I’ll call it a wee hours assignation with the Lover of my soul. Hooray for Hagah!

Led, Not Driven in 2018

Great things can happen when you wake up at 2:00 AM. But only if you go with it, getting past the thoughts of the next day’s demands and schedule.  Asking why none of my sleep-ensurers worked is not “going with it”.  I didn’t drink any coffee, I exercised, I accomplished so much, I drank herbal tea and read my Bible before bedtime. Why? 

Giving up on going back to sleep, at 3:20 I got up and read beautiful scriptures from my new Passion Bible, and I prayed and sang psalms and got a drink of water. I made myself a cozy nest on the couch and when my eyes began burning I settled down to try again for sleep, pushing away those nagging thoughts about the 6:00 a.m. alarm.

Didn’t work. “What is it you want, Lord,” I asked.  No writing on the wall in letters of fire, but I did begin thinking of people needing prayer and one by one prayed for them.  And I began remembering the greatness of His love for me, as evidenced by the endless blessings of my life.

Suddenly I went from wishing I could go to sleep to realizing that I could just get up and get ready and be to the coffee shop by the time it opened, at 6:00. I asked God for supernatural restoration of sleep, and quietly got ready to go to town, where I would meet first my lovely daughter at the coffee shop, and later a dear friend at Young’s Vietnamese restaurant for lunch.

Bindle’s Coffee Shop (the above photo was taken at Bev’s coffee shop) in Fort Collins has a little back cozy nook and I snagged it, then made the choice (always a mistake) of ordering decaf. Shoulda gone for the herbal tea. I settled in to read “motivational” books full of great wisdom and powerful ideas, and always there was this nagging thought, this heretical idea that . . . maybe . . . “success” as defined by the experts is for those living on a plebian plane, one those of us who live at the highest place, answering the greatest of callings, must resist.

Resistance is required to rise above a drive to “success” and unto a call to world-building. I am not here to “reach my destiny” or to “make use of my talents.”  Not even in pursuit of God’s call on my life.  I am not here to be driven, by my thankless self, to performance.  I am here to be led in Love to love.

And so, as I hear these voices telling me what I should do, how I should go for my dreams, how I must be passionate, something seems amiss. How bizarre to think you can manufacture passion for that about which you have no passion!

“To whom much has been given, much is required.” OK.  But might it be that those two muches aren’t the same?  Much has been given to me in many areas.  But the Much required of me is faith – the faith to simply follow, simply be led, simply get on board with God and go wherever He says, without any regard whatsoever to what it looks like to other people.

So, while the programming, the ever-insidious programming, says that the kids are raised and it’s time to do something else, circumstances say otherwise. I am still the Queen of the Castle, and there are still residents of the castle, and residents without the castle, who need my time and my attention.

I am daily made aware of yet another person who covets my prayers, who appreciates my listening ear, who wears an invisible sign reading: PLEASE MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I MEAN SOMETHING TO YOU.

Even as I write these words, I am reminded of someone who awaits my call; I am troubled by news of a friend’s child who has lost his way, and is trying to make everyone else feel as awful about him as does he himself. Pray.

The conversations around me in the coffee shop pierce my heart – a mother crying out to a friend for advice and help regarding her very unhappy little girl, who comes home from school more and more withdrawn, harder and harder to reach and to understand. Stories from both moms about untenable situations at school, about teachers with harmful attitudes, about the difficulties for introverts, etc.

I wanted to talk to them about homeschooling, but there was no opening or leading. And it seems to me that the Holy Spirit is telling me to hone in with laser focus on those closest to me.  The queen must not lose her inner circle in looking over the heads and hearts of those right in front of her.

I teach a class at church with an attendance of one. One special person entrusted to me via the Holy Spirit’s leading of my pastor and his wife.  I do a radio show once a week to an audience of I know not how many or how few.  What I know is God put the show in my lap, he put this one special young woman in my class, and most of all, he gave me a Queendom of husband and children.  Family.

It is pride, it is insecurity, IT IS FEAR, it is grief to God, for me to be driven to go after more, at the expense of all parties.

I have a husband and children and grandchildren who need prayer and love and a listening ear and an attentive heart. I have friends and the children of friends who seek my support and love.  There and beloved neighbors and friends who know they’re loved via my hospitality.  My church family is full of brave and uncomplaining souls whose smiles hide a multitude of troubles, whose hearts cry out for true fellowship.  There is an entire radio audience in need of prayer, and of wisdom from God via my lips.

Also, I have myself to nurture and rest and refresh. But again, the programming.  Deep down when it comes right down to it, I am “just” a homemaker.  John Seymour says in Forgotten Household Crafts, “In the great ages of the world the home was held sacred and so it must be again or we have no future on this earth.”  I know this is true, and yet . . .

Perhaps all those great motivators, all those quotes from the rich and famous about success, are for those who haven’t already been put in the highest and most eternally effective place and calling of all, daily living out battle upon battle, always ultimately victorious. When He’s the author of my life.

Led, not driven. Free to love, not enslaved by a lack consciousness.  On an adventure with my Maker, not worrying about “wasting” time doing things that don’t get me to “my goals.”

His unforced rhythms of grace rather than my stumbling steps to goals I “should” be persuing.

This is a new year. This is a new day.  Let our beginnings and endings be His.  Let every single day be full of Love surprises, adventures, and scary escapades in faith.

Thanks for joining me,

Bev

P.S.  IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS, AT 2:00 PM MOUNTAIN TIME, YOU CAN ALSO JOIN ME ON THE HOMEFRONT SHOW.  SIMPLY GO TO:  WWW.1360AM.CO AND THANKS AGAIN!