Sleep deprivation is crazy-making. Asher is a relatively good sleeper for a two-week-old, but I am still up for hours in the night, catching sleep in bursts whenever I can. The lack of rest makes me fragile and cranky.
Dave and I were chatting in the car the other night about how we are doing and what we need. Sleep was a theme. He asked me this question: what if you were to look at it as a kind of fast?
I hate fasting. It brings out the ugliest in me. When my body is deprived, it feels that there’s not enough of me left to be all the things I want to be – kind, considerate, aware of the needs of others. Dave talked about how he pays attention to those things when he fasts – how fasting helps him realize his own brokenness. “Maybe I’m not as nice as I think I am.”
So I’ve been paying attention the last few days. What are the things coming up within me now that my body is deprived of a basic necessity? Fear. Resentment. Anger. Feelings of scarcity. How often those things lurk under the surface, where I am able to hide them when I’m well-fed and rested. Now that they are exposed, what am I to do with them?
For right now, I need a practice that is very simple, something I can do in the middle of the night when these things tend to surface. For right now, it will be this prayer:
God, I am feeling ______. I offer my ______ to you. Please give me eyes to see your _______.
God, I am feeling fear. I offer my fear to you. Please give me eyes to see your provision.
God, I am feeling resentment and anger. I offer my resentment and anger to you. Please give me eyes to see your forgiveness and grace.
God, I am feeling scarcity. I am afraid there won’t be enough – enough sleep, enough time, enough of me for both of my children. I offer my feelings of scarcity to you. Please give me eyes to see your abundance.