Something I need to be reminded of:
God built rest into the very rhythm of creation. Keeping a day of rest made
His top-10 list. And believe it or not, rest serves a purpose -- a divine
purpose. It reminds us that God is in control. What happens when you cannot
finish everything that you think you need to get done and your body is
telling you, "you have to go to sleep"? You are thrown into a situation
in which you must depend on God.

Rest reminds us that there is Someone we can rest in. And our need for
rest is a daily reminder that we are finite creatures and must trust in an
infinite God.

- Mark Earley, Breakpoint 1.16.08

I've always been, as Karl says, a "champion sleeper." If I let my body dictate things, I'd be sleeping for 9 or 10 hours a night... and if I go for too long on less than 7 hours a night, I start to get really grumpy. It's definitely not fun (for me or those around me!).

I read recently about a sleep study done where participants were told to get lots of exposure to natural light, use no artificial means of waking up (i.e. alarm clocks, etc.), and go to sleep and get up as their body demands. The average person ended up sleeping something like 10-11 hours a night for almost three weeks while their body recovered, then they fell into a natural rhythm of 7-8 hours a night. We're just so driven today, and since most of us spend all day in our houses or offices or stores or restaurants or driving from one to the other, we're just not used to matching that day/night rhythm.

In my head I know I should go to bed earlier - the getting up part is pretty inflexible, since I have a job to be at by a certain time - but by the time we're both home from work, dinner is made and eaten and the dishes cleaned up, the time seems so precious. We need that time to either spend together watching a movie or talking, or in "de-stress" mode (him at the computer, me with my book), and after an hour or two it's past ten and time to start the pre-bed rituals. It's hard to find ways to get the sleep we need without shortening that time together too much, or totally ignoring all the little things that pile up around the house to do.

Perhaps thinking about it in terms of trusting God rather than "just a little later" will help... it does put it into perspective.


"When we lack proper time for the simple pleasures of life, for the enjoyment of
eating, drinking, playing, creating, visiting friends, and watching children at
play, then we have missed the purpose of life. Not on bread alone do we live,
but on all these human and heart-hungry luxuries." - Ed Hayes

I like this quote. I've been thinking a lot lately about priorities, where my time goes, and what really matters, and I've come to exactly the same conclusions as Mr. Hayes. It's so easy to get caught up in schedules and goals and projects... or even lose track of the days in laundry and errands and watching TV. "Heart-hungry" is exactly what I feel right now - hungry for dear friends to sit and talk with, hungry for more of a connection to the passing of the seasons than I feel now in my city apartment, hungry for children.

Growing up as an Army brat I've gotten used to moving every few years, and there are many things about that lifestyle I love, like the chance to rearrange furniture and the necessity of regularly purging things you don't want to pack. But the best part was exploring a new place with my family - my brother, Peter, especially was my comrade , and our family ambassador to all the neighbors. (He used to walk house to house to knock on doors and introduce himself, "Hi, my name is Peter and I'm five years old. I just moved into that house over there. Do you have any kids here to play with?" and report back to me where likely playmates lived. My parents were usually known as "Peter's parents" for several weeks before they made their own inroads.) No matter how uncertain the changes were, or how unfamiliar the community, we always had each other. My parents were great about making family the top priority for us, and it affected how I handled each move.

In the Air Force myself, I moved alone - and that was harder. Each new location meant starting completely over again to develop some kind of support network or social group. It helped that I could get involved with a local Bible study, but I still usually had about six months where I ached for someone who really knew me, and loved me. Karl and I lived in separate states for nearly all of our courtship and engagement, and the first four months of our marriage, so he wasn't there to make the moves any easier then. What did help was regular trips home to Colorado, where I could be with family and people who did love me. I went home whenever I could schedule the vacation time.

Married life has given me a best friend to move with, an immediate partner to go to the movies, or out to dinner, or just exploring. Karl is wonderful for this, and I am so glad we were best friends before we fell in love. And being on the east coast has also meant that we're only a couple hours from Karl's family. That's been really wonderful - to be able to drive up to Pennsylvania for the weekend to see his brother, Eric, and his wife Meala, or his mom. We were there when our niece Macey was born last month, and are excited about being able to be close to her as she grows. But as close as we are now to my in-laws, we're farther than I've ever been from my family. And now there's a pull in another direction for holidays or vacations.

I'm not sure yet how I bring back more of a sense of balance to my life... but I know I need to find out. I'm heart-hungry for balance, for those "simple pleasures," for renewed creativity, for a sense of peace and contentment.

"Not on bread alone..." Maybe I'll start in where that phrase began.

Happy 2008!

Well Happy New Year, everyone. I can't believe how fast the time flies between Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve - of course, a few work trips, the birth of our new niece Macey, various social and work obligations and parties didn't slow things down any, either.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to write more often, and I'm hoping this blog will provide an easy way for me to do that. So keep me honest, please.

More to come... for now, I'll leave you with the thought-provoking tidbit that my darling husband has informed me his name can be rearranged to spell several interesting word combinations - his favorites are "Dark Truck Howl" and "Wrath Luck Dork." Hmm. What ever did I do without him?

Happy 2008 - may this next year bring peace, laughter, time with family and friends, emotional, spiritual and physical growth and both long-awaited and unexpected blessings.