About Me

Florida, United States
I'm a mother of two children, an inspirational and motivational Author and Minister. My greatest joy is to see people gain new insight and understanding about the amazing possibilities that life holds when we put put our faith to action. 'Shoes For The Spirit, is a book filled with real-life stories of people who have walked through great difficulty and have found the right pair of shoes for their personal journey. Whether or not you are a person of faith, there is something uplifting, guiding and compelling in this little book, for everyone. The accompanying CD, 'Songs For the Soul,' is a compliation of original orchestrated tunes, with voice-over verse layered on top of the music. This CD has great encouragement for all who take the time to listen. I hope all of you bloggers will read the new sequel to 'Shoes For The Spirit,' listed in the blog posts below, and if you're so inclined, will purchase my book and CD. You won't be sorry! Be blessed. Love, Tamra

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sleeping Peacefully

I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone oh Lord will keep me safe.
Psalms 4:8

Not long ago there was a movie out with Al Pacino, (one of my favorite actors) titled Insomnia. I was intrigued, but refused to see it...sorry Al. There was no way I was about to risk exacerbating a problem I’ve been battling for years. You know what I’m talking about? When you see an enactment of a difficulty you’re currently facing; it really doesn’t make the problem go away but instead focuses more energy on the issue.
Since I was thirteen years of age, I literally have been plagued with an inability to fall asleep. Imagine my frustration at a teenage sleepover when all the other girls were cutting z’s and I was still up at 4AM watching the latest rerun of ‘I Love Lucy.’
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m perfectly normal and I nod off without a struggle. I feel excited that the problem has abated and I’m somehow free from the imprisonment. But, if a stressful situation arises, or I’m anxious about my children, finances or work-related activities my eyes won’t close for days. I’ve literally gone for seven days straight without sleep. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s the absolute truth.
I’ve read every book about sleep disorders I can get my hot, little hands on (my body temperature seems to rise when I’ve had no sleep). I’ve also researched every holistic method of treatment available. I just love how all these self-help books give wonderful ideals of the perfect solution to my on-going problem. Guess what I discovered? Bananas promote sleepiness. Why didn’t I think of that? Apparently the tryptophan in this luscious fruit has an amino acid that’s linked to healthy slumber. Eating jasmine rice four hours before bedtime is suppose to be a miracle in a grain. Have you ever heard of jasmine rice? Me neither.
Some of them offer a certain amount of relief but no absolute answer has come from any of the sources. Sleeping pills give me a few hours but leave me feeling like a zombie the next day.
And yes, I’ve prayed a lot about it, had others pray for me too and researched every verse pertaining to sleep that I can find. I’ve exhausted the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance! I feel like I don’t have enough faith in this particular area of my life.
Don’t you find that it’s so easy to have faith for someone else’s issue, but so much more difficult to believe for your own? Why would God care about my sleep patterns? He surely has far bigger problems to solve. World hunger or a cure for cancer would certainly take a much higher priority. I feel ridiculous asking the Almighty to help me lay my weary head to rest.
The thing that really gets my goat is how easily my husband can go to sleep. He can sleep anywhere. If he sits down on the couch he can pass out in five minutes- his head cast to one side, his snores coming in a rhythmic tempo of relaxation. I just watch him in amazement. How does he do that? It doesn’t matter what’s going on his life. Wall Street could be crumbling in a twisted heap, a hurricane could be ripping through our city, and the house could be on fire. None of it would matter. Jim would still be sleeping. I really resent him for that. Or maybe I’m just jealous. Either way- it irritates me.
I have to tell you, a short temper is a constant nagging trait of the insomniac. If my son asks me too many questions on a day after several nights of minimal rest I’ll take his head off with a quick slice of the verbal sword. I can hardly believe what comes out of my mouth when I’m sleep deprived. Jordan just looks at me like I’ve lost my mind and should make a very serious attempt to find it. My husband is a smart man and makes a point to steer a wide path around me on those days when he’s heard me wandering the house at all hours of the night. Yes, he wakes up, hears me tripping over furniture in the dark and promptly falls back to sleep.
The side-effects of long term sleep deprivation is something I’m extremely familiar with. Besides the obvious foul temper and the shaky hands, there is also a loss of equilibrium and verbal acuity. But the worst part of it is the forgetfulness. Why am I writing this article?
It’s a good day today- I slept six hours last night. Nearly a record. I’m up for Olympic Gold in the ‘Forty-Winks’ competition. My mind is a little less foggy; my speech isn’t laced with the wrong verb tense and the incorrect adjectives. I’m not slicing heads off with my verbal sword and I’m fairly pleasant. I’d probably remember your name if I met you. God be praised. I’m always so thankful on those days when the night before has awarded me rest.
I’m learning to find peace regardless of my physical struggle, or current situation. Like Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed, or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, and whether or not I get any sleep. (I added that last little sentence to the scripture. I’m sure the Lord won’t mind. )
How do I find peace? I choose to be thankful. And in my thankfulness there is rest, whether I’m fully awake or dying for a lack of sleep. Either way, I have a deep sense of calm and contentment that this life and all its painful struggles can never take away from me. God inhabits the praises of His people and when I’m praising Him, I’m choosing to be appreciative of all His blessings. My mind doesn’t dwell on the negatives, and worry takes a back seat to serenity. That one choice of my sleep-deprived will, can make all the difference on how I get through the day- or the night.

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