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!

What I Did on My Corona Vacation

Over the past several months, I have frequently pondered the possibilities for the closet in my foyer (once used as a little office by children now grown and gone).  When a speaker at my church started talking about the marvels of having a Prayer Closet, I began to scratch that itch, one I didn’t even know was there.

Could the foyer closet work?  Maybe, but shouldn’t a Prayer Closet be quiet, rather than in the flow of traffic?  And it was a bit small – would the fetal position actually be conducive to hearing from God?  That, I knew, was what I wanted.  I wanted to pray Holy Spirit-led prayers, to be changed, and a conduit of change.  I wanted to commune with God.

I dared to dreamUninterrupted.  Private.  Whenever I wanted or needed to get alone. A place for all my stuff, my prayer and praise “paraphernalia”.  Mine.  So I could be more His.

And there it was – the room attached to the side of my utility room, functioning as linen closet, gift wrapping station, sewing/ironing spot, storage for kites, puzzles, paint, defunct pillows, lawn chairs, and Christmas decorations, revealed to me its true purpose.  I rolled up my sleeves.

Where to begin?  First came organization of the back shelves, which included large piles for both Goodwill and the trash, along with condensation of Christmas decorations.  Curtains were hung over the shelves, and the much needed deep cleaning began.  A good bit of elbow grease and five tubes of caulk later, it was painting time.  I chose a very pale yellow green for it all, but it was too much.  Toning it down was as easy as painting the ceiling, door and window trim white (with the palest ever peachy/pink tint).

Now for the fun parts.  For several days I found and added treasures to enhance my space.  It was as I hung my window treatment that I realized this room was originally supposed to be a bathroom.  Why else would it have an opaque bathroom-sized window?  I smiled as I wondered and whispered, “God, I think you stopped the bathroom construction because you thought, ‘Someday Bev will need a prayer room.’”

Finally, after about a week’s work, I sat down to engage.  The first day I got a straight-from-Heaven word.  I’d been praying about certain people, with a troubled and weary heart, and I asked God for “a word”.  I randomly opened the Bible to Jeremiah where my eyes went directly to a verse that emphatically answered my heart’s cry.

Day Two I got another powerful word, which developed during the next several hours and into the following day, and it set me free from a thirteen-year relationship struggle.

On the third day I filled my journal, writing as quickly as possible so as not to forget anything, with new and freeing revelations.  Since then I wander into my Prayer Closet early and late, as well as between times.  I enter knowing I have a need of something, and I come out with something to meet the needs of others.  Sometimes meeting the needs of those who love me most is just a matter of getting my joy back, and passing it on with a smile.

Pehaps you’re wondering whatever happened to the closet in the foyer, and what did I do with my linens, ironing board, etc?  The foyer closet is now my sewing station.  The ironing board and iron rest in my bedroom closet.  This is very handy for John and me, as we can step right out of the bathroom, do our ironing, and dress right then and there (I haven’t quite worked out that wrapping station bit, but I will, and quite likely as I’m sitting and dreaming in my lovely new Prayer Closet).  As to the linens, I have a new and improved setup.  It’s two cleared shelves in the utility room (they were in great need of clearing) and I had the most fun and felt ever so elegant and superior throwing out ratty linens, and folding the remaining items with perfect symmetry.

Symmetry.  That’s the word for what a prayer closet can do to your spiritual life.  Plus, it’s just so much fun!