white space includes sleep

Do you ever fall into bed and wonder why you didn't climb in between the sheets earlier? Every single night?

I don’t know why God made us with a sleep cycle that rolls around every night when the stars come out, but He did. Actually, I have an inkling there is wisdom in our zzzzz's, and it has to do with trust.

So why do we think we resist sleep?
Because we think we might get more done? Because what we do is too important to take a break? Because our schedules are jam packed? Because we got interrupted too many times to finish today's work? Because we might miss something?

I can see that our resistance starts way before all those justifications. When I am with my grandson Crosby, aka the Blueberry, and I sense he's tired, you would never know it by the look of things; the way his eyes are wide open, he is turning his little head around surveying the room, standing up in my lap, twisting this way and that. The only sign besides the time of day is the intermittent rubbing of those those blueberry eyes. Until the very moment his Charlie Brown noggin falls to my shoulder, he fights sleep. Even at six months old, does he suspects he might miss something while he sleeps?

If only Crosby knew how I watch over that little cherub while he sleeps.

I need to remember that God does not sleep. I can rest peacefully knowing he has the night watch, but it will take surrender and T R U S T. If done right, these are two tough cookies. Practice will reveal to us the process from surrender (different than giving up) to trust in the One who holds the stars.

I knew that God’s eye was always on the sparrow, but I did not learn it was ALWAYS on the sparrow until the high schoolers I was discipling learned it. I was almost 30 and expecting my second child! It has been comforting to me ever since.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep. 
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life; 
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

If I trust Him, that means I can rest securely knowing He is awake. God is my Night Watchman and yours too. Let Psalm 121 be your night time prayer.

Just like white space, sleep is not blank space. Stuff happens while we sleep. Dreams. Ideas. Poetry. Breakthroughs. Restoration. God speaking to us in the night.

Ask these guys about stuff happening while they slept: Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, Peter, Nebuchadnezzar or the boy Samuel.

It might seem such a small thing, but I have decided to embrace a good night’s sleep as part of my soul keeping and not skimp on it. I am surrendering to God's idea of sleep and that actually takes a certain amount of purpose and determination. I have to start the going-to-bed process earlier than I thought just to really be in bed on time.

I like to clean the dinner dishes, pick up the dog's bowl, start the dishwasher and do a bit of tidying up from the day. I like to set the coffee maker, so all I have to do when I tiptoe down the stairs in the early morning is push BREW!

Some of our work is creating the opportunity for white space a little later.

Here are a few tiny things that I do to make it easier to climb into bed for sweet sleep.

Set up my little coffee spot the night before.

Find my favorite PJ’s.

Smooth out my favorite sheets.

Set a restful mood.

Fill my bedside table with great books and a lavender sachet handmade by my friend Clare. (My bedside table is not usually this tidy.)

Have fun nesting a cozy spot for yourself in your bedroom.

Just do one tiny thing to accept the rest your body requires. Embrace the white space designed by God called sleep. If you can, at least nap without an ounce of guilt if the baby or a sick child kept you up last night.

See you in the morning, sunshine.