Playdates: Super Moon

Life is full and this is good, and didn’t I just tell a friend today that I never could have dreamed it all to happen this way? When I was a girl I dreamed having a career. I dreamed of being a wife. I dreamed of being a mother. I dreamed of life and thought I knew what it should look like.

But it never looked like this. 
I read those paperback romances and pictures on the covers were like starry nights—oh, so big and…out there. Oh, yes, life and love is that. But it is also a load of white socks—which takes all afternoon to match up. And even then there are some left over.
I get so tired. 
There is so much I want, so much I want to do, so much I want to understand, so much I’m looking for. Some days I get up at 5 am and search for it until midnight. And then I toss and turn in bed because I can’t stop thinking about it. I lull myself to sleep with the Words and the next thing I know it’s 5 am again.
I get so tired. 
I had just gotten done telling God all the stuff I was going to do during Lent. The stuff I’m giving up and the stuff I’m taking on. Mostly I promised not to sleep. If I look at it objectively, that’s the long and the short of it.
In college I had a history professor who used to always kid the students, When are you going to wean yourself from this silly weakness called sleep? Don’t you know there are things that need doing?
I thought I might take on his advice at this time in life. Yet, in the midst of this, I am reminded…man will make his plans…
I went to a CE course on Depression and Bipolar Disorder last week and the instructor spent a large part of the lecture talking about sleep.
Go figure. 
He said that we get most of our slow wave sleep—that’s the deep restorative sleep, stage 3 and stage 4—during the first half of the night. More than half of our REM sleep—that’s the Rapid Eye Movement sleep in which most dreams occur—takes place in the second half of the night. For those suffering from Depression, this gets all out of whack.  They enter REM sleep much earlier and spend a longer time there than non-depressed people. The thing is, during REM sleep, the body stops making some valuable neurotransmitters—serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine.  Most antidepressant medications suppress REM sleep, thus enabling the body to catch up on these valuable mood-sustaining substances.
One of the treatment recommendations the instructor spoke about was a partial sleep deprivation technique. Basically, the person is awakened after four hours—after the bulk of the slow-wave sleep and before the majority of REM—and goes about his or her business.  The trick is to time the awakening during REM sleep, because this is when the brain is most prepared for wakefulness. The significant anti-depressant benefits of this technique last about six days. 
There are other things we can do. Exercise and whatnot. I prefer this to sleep deprivation.
Anyway. To make a long story short, I felt God whispering to me about the quality of my sleep. Rest, he said to me. 
Who am I to argue with God? 
So all my Lenten plans went out the window.  I love how God does that. It keeps me on my toes.
Every night, before I go to bed, I tell the Lord: Lord, you know what I need. I need you. I need rest. If it is good, wake me early tomorrow, so that I might meet with you. But if it is better, let me sleep just a wee bit longer. 
And God has been so good. Some days I sleep in a little. Some days he wakes me. It’s not a perfect system.
But it seems to be working for me. 
The other night I was dreaming. I dreamt that I went into the preschool restroom at church—I knew it was the preschool restroom because when I entered the stall I could see over the top. The stalls for the kids are kid-sized after all. Anyway, after I entered the diminutive stall, someone else came in the restroom. I looked over the stall wall and saw that it was one of our church grandmothers—a lady that I have tremendous respect for. She approached the stall and spoke to me. We had a conversation over the stall partition the way neighbors do over the backyard fence.
Laura, she said, what’s happening between you and Jesus?
Even in my dream-state the question struck me as rather bold. But these elder gentleladies can get away with such things, so I answered over the stall-fence.
What’s happened between me and Jesus? I echoed stall-ing (pun intended) for time. Why, a lot of things are happening, Elizabeth.
And right then I opened my eyes. It was 5am.
My first thought was, How kind of you, Lord, to wake me during REM sleep.
I got up and padded down the stairs, heading to the place we normally meet. But, as God often does, he changed my plans. On the way down the stairs, I caught a glimpse of the moon through the French doors.
And I knew that was what He woke me up to see. 
Isn’t God romantic? 
I spent an hour in the cool mist on our deck trying to capture beauty with my hands. 
I wasn’t very successful, but I tried. They called it a super moon because the full moon was at its closest point to earth during its orbit around this marbled orb. Scientists say that when the moon is closer in this way, its pull can affect the tides somewhat. But the pull I felt was more than a gravitational thing. 
How’s that for a play date?

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

Grab the Playdates button from the sidebar!

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

On In Around button

Comments

  1. says

    I, too, have wrestled with sleep or, with the not having of it. Missing it makes it so much sweeter when it does come. Gorgeous moon pics. Don’t you love it when God lifts your head just to show you something beautiful? Just to remind you, “I’m here.”

  2. says

    Beautiful!!

    I, too sat out watching the super moon….soaking in GODS presence as it inched its way through the sky. I need HIM today more than ever before.

    Blessings, andrea

  3. says

    Love your dream … and your awakening.

    I stood outside in the wind on Saturday to see the super moon. My camera was hanging from my neck, and I leaned against the barn. Hoping, hoping …

    But it was too cloudy. No moon … Sigh. Thanks for sharing yours.

  4. says

    What beautiful araisng God gave you to the moon before the sunrise.
    I love it.
    I fight for sleep all the time. It isnt fun but when the Lord presents such beauty or shows you what you ahve been praying about it is so worth the prize and the gift.
    Blessings

  5. says

    smiles. wakes you to the moon…funny we were justtalking about sleep last night at small group and the way wwe have extended our days beyond the natural rhythms…

  6. says

    The moon was simply incredible. We arrived in MA and got off the airplane and into my parents car, and as we headed north on the highway to their house, we saw the moon rising over the trees — and it was huge and orange and awesome.

    I am hoping to get some much-needed rest on this vacation (so far, though, my dad has been snoring in the next room and keeping me awake — I will buy a pair of earplugs today!).

  7. says

    this was fascinating for me to read .. restorative sleep from such a giving place and a gift of the moon in the quiet as day begins .. i like it so Laura

  8. says

    I love your dream and how dreams can be funny and profound at the same time.

    I watched the moon rise, a big yellow balloon in slow motion, peeking through the trees until it broke free of their tangled arms and floated unhindered into a purple velvet sky.

    Yes, God is romantic. Oh the gifts he gives.

    Love to you.

  9. says

    I love these Playdate posts. I read them at least twice to take it all in. So good.
    Tired? yes with a sigh. The sleep info is fascinating. When I read James Bryan Smith’s book The Good and Beautiful God his very first suggested soul training exercise was Sleep!
    It’s beautiful the way God’s whispers lullabied you to welcome sleep and gently awakened you as well.

  10. says

    Laura, you make my heart glad – in every possible way.
    I stood outside in my nightgown and robe trying desperately to get a decent picture of that amazing orb. Not much success. I’m sure it’s the camera!

  11. says

    First. I always come back and read people who take the time to comment on my blog – because that’s really nice – commenting – and nice deserves nice. But I never do it right away because I worry that the person will then feel indebted to comment again and it’s a whole deal. Know what I mean?

    But for some reason I did it here. Hmmmm.

    And double hmmm after reading you.

    So where was I? Oh, second.

    So second – You match your white socks???? I’m not worthy.

    Third – it rained here in St. Louis that night – so I covet your Super moon.

    Fourth – all this stuff on sleep. On my twin site – that’s where my Thankful list for today is – and today I thanked Him for my thorn in the side – and my thorn…

    … is that I have had little to no restorative sleep in more than a decade…

    So I read these words – and I know them – really know them. And your story – pulled me right in. I have God playtimes all the time. Hmmm.

    I’m really glad I read this today – that I read YOU. Thank you.

    Sorry the comment was so long. 🙂 I’ll never comment this long again:)

    God Bless and keep you and yours.

  12. says

    I love your moon pictures, Laura. You must have an extravagant camera! Mine can barely reproduce a pinprick of a delightful moon.

    It was too cloudy here to see the moon in its role as queen of the night sky. sigh. But I can enjoy it via your photos.

    I wouldn’t ever be able to see sleep-deprivation as a good thing; I need more sleep than most people, and can be seriously ill all day if I don’t get it. But I also sometimes wake up in the night, too hungry to go back to sleep, and enjoy a 2 am snack in a quiet house. (Sometimes I even finish washing dishes or read the Bible always open on my table, or even glue on a few pebbles or dried grasses or other oddments to start another art project. But not for long, and then I’m back to bed, and hopefully, eventually to sleep. But I can talk to God and enjoy his company during the interim.

    I rejoice with you that you are one of those who seeks with close intent the beauty from God in everything.

  13. says

    Absolutely gorgeous photos.

    Beautiful words.

    I love how He pulled you from your sleep. What a romantic date.

    I didn’t hook up this week. My post didn’t turn out so playful.

    P.S. Those of us who would like to lose a few pounds need to get our sleep as well.

  14. says

    I have had many similar moments – surprise “dates” and impromptu meetings, well rested or not so much. Yes, if you’re even half aware He says “I AM HERE, I AM” like he did with me as i watched and took pics of that glorious moon.
    Your words are inspired and inspiring. Please keep them coming.
    May God shine blessings upon your head like (super) moonbeams.
    Len

  15. says

    I love when the Lord has a special surprise for me! Sometimes I miss it, though, because I’m not as tuned in as I need to be.
    Your super moon photos are great! Enjoyed them, especially as I missed taking any.
    And that sleep thing–it’s the real deal. If I run on little sleep for any length of time, I do seem to be more depressed–and cranky!
    Glad your household is as mad as ours over March craziness.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  16. says

    Oh Laura, I loved everything about this…of course. That Jesus-woman you are and I missed playdates this week for a REAL,LIVE OVERNIGHT DATE with my hubby:) and when the sun was setting and I was led to write something in the sand, it was I (heart) Jesus and I laughed b/c my husband was right there. But, he said, that was the first thing that drew me to you–you’re a Jesus-girl/woman:) how’s that? and I love Him waking you sometimes and sometimes letting you sleep…I will be trying this and letting you know.

  17. says

    Funny you should be focusing on “sleep”. I have been having some not-so-good dreams lately and so I say a prayer before I attempt to sleep…..”Dear Holy Spirit, you know all about my conscience and my sub-conscience. Protect me from those images and events which would try to torment my sleep.” And He does 🙂 Thank you for your uplifting post, Laura:)

  18. says

    I missed the Super Moon, but thanks to you, I can now see it.
    And I identify with promising God I will be more spiritual and just not sleep. And He is gentle and invites me to rest.
    This is an issue I am praying through in regard to my summer schedule. So far all my solutions to how-to-work-with-the-kids-home add up to Forego Sleep.
    I think not.

  19. says

    What a lovely post. Sleep. Ah, yes. Some time back, I found that I really needed sleep. If I didn’t get enough, I was cranky, I ate too much and even found myself being sick more. Then I found that sleep, simple, God created, sleep, seemed to eliminate most of those uninvited “icks”. Sleep is good. 🙂

  20. says

    So interesting, beautiful, and amazing! Love your playdates! Thank you for sharing them with us!

    I did not get to see the moon that night either. Would have loved to! It was raining here.

    You minister in very creative ways, my friend. My admiration continually grows for you!

    Love you,
    Cheri

  21. says

    I LOVED this blog…. first time reader… I struggle with sleep issues, and know that I was drawn to this blog for a reason! thank you for blessing me, and I would love to follow! Blessings and rest to you!

  22. says

    I loved this blog! I believe I was sent here to be encouraged… as I like to call it a GOD THING! Thank you for blessing me with your message. I struggle with sleep issues, and you have framed it in such a prayerful postitive light… I will follow your blog! Thank you for blessing me

  23. says

    Well, I don’t sleep, not really; REM or otherwise. As of late, I’m happy if I have a couple of hours of solid sleep. Once I’m awake, I drift in and out of thoughts…

    I don’t know when I’ll ever know a good night’s sleep again; in many ways my body is used to it now. I wish I had more ambition to get up and take a peek at the moon, but most of the time, I just stare at the ceiling. Perhaps, I’ll try something new; you’ve inspired me.

    peace~elaine

  24. says

    Laura, as always, your words hit home. 🙂 I just found out I have a sleep disorder and have gotten a C-ap machine. It’s helping me sleep deeply (and yes, dream weirdly!) for the first time in many years. I am wondering how much of my depression over the past couple of decades was just sleep-deprivation! (at least it made the depression worse, whether or not it was the cause)

    Thanks for showing the pictures you took. Gorgeous–like you!

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