Thursday, February 11, 2016

Willing but Weak

I'm pretty attached to sleeping. Wait, let me clarify: I'm pretty attached to feeling rested. I tend to stay up late because my mind clears as those dependent on me for care fall asleep, and I will absolutely get up early for a worthy adventure - but in terms of the norm, I'd like to get about 6-8 hours, uninterrupted, every night. If that doesn't happen, or I'm sick or extra-tired for some reason, I'm not averse to a nap.

Except that I now have two children under the age of three, and at least one of them wakes up needing comfort, assistance, or sustenance at least once every night. And during the brief overlap of their naps during the day, there are too many other things that I need to do (and that I'd like to do) to get a nap very often.

You would think that two and a half years of this would have resigned me to it - rather, it's made me crankier and more entitled. I bid the covers a very fond farewell each morning until I've rushed through the evening's tasks and can return to their warm embrace. While I recognize sleep and rest as necessary to human function, this has become unhealthy.

So this year for Lent, I'm giving up sleep. Not that I plan to sleep any less than I already do, but to reframe the time I wish I was asleep as an offering, instead of reporting it as a robbery. I'm going to spend that time praying - first and foremost, for Syrian refugees (there's a Lenten prayer guide, produced by We Welcome Refugees, here if you'd like to join in that effort) because I strongly believe that's something I should be praying about, and then about whoever and whatever comes to mind after that.

It's a double discipline - shifting from frustration to gratitude, then redeeming the time in prayer - but I hope for change as a result, change that extends past this season and into the years to come.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray." And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little further He fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping... {Matthew 26:36-40}
2399. Ines helping me pray in Spanish (and not thinking I was silly for wanting to)
2400. Brooklyn at least telling me that she'd had contraband, so I wasn't caught off guard by the ill effects
2401. Unexpected dinner out as a family (and Brooklyn and Tobin both happily eating refried black beans)
2402. A restorative Ash Wednesday service at church
2403. Adam staying with Brooklyn and Tobin so I could go alone
2404. Space to begin an organizing project

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