Friday, October 26, 2012

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

My eyes flew open. My heart... and my thoughts...began to race. So many things to think about, to worry over,  to be anxious for, to plan.  I pressed the display light on my cell phone.

1:36 a.m. Great.

My alarm was set for 4:00, in anticipation of an exceptionally busy day. I closed my eyes and tried to will myself back to sleep. But, as one of my  former television news co-anchors used to say, "I couldn't BUY sleep!" The last time I looked at the clock, it was 3:50. I blinked, it seemed, and the alarm began to blare.

Like a lot of people I know these days, I've been through many changes this year: Graduated from the first leg of my return to higher education. Saw one daughter become married. Sent another off to college.  Worked hard to get a new business on its feet.

It's been intense. 

Sometimes, that intensity makes its way into my subconscious and wreaks havoc on my sleep cycle. Somehow, I'm guessing you can relate.

A few days ago, I decided to devote 2 hours a week to stepping away from the fray, and signed onto a women's study at a local church. The study is authored by Angela Thomas and is called
"Brave. Honest Questions Women Ask."  The title of the first chapter is what sold me: 

"I Am Worn Out."

Lord. Can I get an amen? Seems like a lot of us are tired these days, and much of that fatigue comes from restless nights, tossing and turning as we watch the clock and try to solve all of our problems before the sun comes up. As if.

In today's reading, Ms. Thomas made a statement that jumped right off the pages at me. It was part of her discussion on the need for rest. I've used the same scriptures she quotes in my own talks and writings about God's understanding of our need for rest, and even His directives to do so. Physician, heal thyself! (Or, at least PAY ATTENTION, Drexel!)

The part that lit up like a neon marquee for me had to do with simply closing our eyes and trusting that God is in a much better position than we are to work out our problems.  No amount of tossing and turning,  or fretting and fussing, can outsmart Him.  So, the next time I wake up in the middle of the night, heart and thoughts racing, I'll remember Ms. Thomas's words:

"He can take care of all that I cannot stay awake to worry about."*

I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight. How about you?

*From the book "Brave:Honest Questions Women Ask" by Angela Thomas

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ode to 54

As birthdays go, this one was calm.
A pretty day, it began with a psalm.
"Rejoice!" it instructed. "Burst into song!"
I thought about it...but not for long.
My singing voice is like my skin.
With age, it sags, and is becoming thin.
So, instead of singing, I decided to write
About getting older. It's not such a fright.
Oh, 54, I used to think
That when I caught up with you, my life would stink!
"I'll have no fun!" I feared the worst.
"I'll eat prunes, wear bad shoes, and keep socks in my purse!"
But, 54, you just ain't that bad!
Life is so much better than the fears that I had
Of growing older and losing my youth.
54, listen up and I'll tell you the truth.
"Youth is wasted on the young," once said a sage.
I get it! I understand much more at this age.
I appreciate life, its ups and its downs.
I pay attention, embrace, and laugh more than frown.
I want to learn, and to grow and to travel, and do!
I'm not afraid to say "I don't know" or "teach me"... it's true!
I do understand the quick passage of time,
Which makes every day precious. Give me a mountain to climb!
I understand the importance of holding your children to your heart.
And mending fences that have kept friendships apart.
By the way, I also get that it's harder to lose
The weight I put on when it's ice cream I choose!
My skin is not as firm, there's a droop here and there.
And, my roots are gray. No. Wait! They're not! I swear!
I find myself counting the number of full moons.
How many I've seen.. they come and go much too soon.
But, all in all, I would say 54 is a breeze.
No prunes for my birthday. Nachos, if you please.
So, take that, 54. You are not such a brute.
And, oh, by the way, my shoes are pretty cute!