A Better Night’s Sleep

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Yesterday screeched to a halt for me—body and soul. I woke up with a mind numbing headache. No wonder. My mind had refused to be tucked in the night before and the several nights before that.

After a few hours of trying to sleep, I did what any one of you creative types would have done. I engaged.  I entered into a late night party full of wonder. I wondered whether I had the right clothes for an upcoming speaking engagement. I lingered over my nephew’s wondering when he called earlier in the evening. “Aunt Robin, I was wondering  . . . will you please come to my baptism?” I said yes. I wondered what in the world I would say if I couldn’t come after all. Then I wondered, “How in the world will I get to Ohio?” I wondered about needing a new publisher for one of my clients. I wondered why I couldn’t fall asleep. I wondered whether I would need a nap in the morning.

I even wondered what I could write about my late night wonderings.

I needed sleep. I needed help.

I needed to release my wondering to the Lord. Oh, good to know. (Insert smiley face.)

Sometimes in writing or in the dance of a conversation, I’ll imitate my partner’s voice until I find my own. Last night I wrote out a prayer I’d received. I began to read it aloud, very slowly. It didn’t take long for my shoulders to drop and my jaw to realign. My breathing steadied.

Sleep seemed to come faster than usual. Good sleep. An all night sleep.

While it’s a little late tonight, I’m ready to read the prayer again. You’re welcome to look over my shoulder. Take your time. Let the words ease from your lips. Release the tension of your day through the extension of your open hands. Give the Lord your wonderings. Listen in the quiet for His peace to settle in your soul. You’ll begin to find a better rhythm for your rest.

Dear Lord,

The day is done.
I lay down my work and I enter into rest.
O God, remove all distraction.
Help me turn off my mind which races with details of things that ultimately, matter not.
I want to be held in this space,
this quiet place of deep breathing and Your stayed presence,
this sacred space where I draw near to You.
And I exhale.
And offer my thanksgivings to You.
And confess my shortcomings.
And smile to hear You speak gently to my weary soul.
This night, I let go of my day and find respite in You
This is life with You and I am grateful for it. Amen.

                                                 *From Renovare USA.

Consider how God might be inviting you to care for yourself—body and soul–by entering regularly into His sweet, refueling rest. If it’s something you already do, what helps have been effective? If it’s something you struggle with, tell us in the comments. We’re gathering here to serve each other, pray for each other. We’re better that way.

7 responses to “A Better Night’s Sleep

  1. Sweet sleep used to be normal but now often eludes me as my mind’s wonderings keep me up or cause me to catnap through the night. Tonight I’ll pray this prayer. Thank you for writing this piece that resonates in my soul that I’m not alone and there is hope.

    • Goodness, Cynthia, the elusion of sleep can stalk us, can’t it. I’m glad for the resonance. You encouraged me too. Last night I wanted to keep going when I hit a snag trying to order more business cards. But the Lord reminded me to lay down my work. I slept like a rock for a few hours before waking up briefly. Then for another couple hours afterward. This is good. I pray you, too, can string together a few hours of uninterrupted rest. Glad you’re here with us, by the way. I love that you came.

  2. Beautiful writing Robin. I love this prayer and will keep it by my nightstand and refer to it often. Thank you.

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