Friday, February 7, 2014


I couldn't sleep last night. And that alarmed me.

You see, I love sleep. I can fall asleep anywhere–it's been a party trick of mine since childhood. I remember my first sleepover when I was ten. I fell asleep in the middle of eight obnoxious young girls and woke to find my face smothered with shaving cream as a societal revolt. Let's just say I stopped associating with those hooligans shortly thereafter.

To me sleep has always been sacred. As it should be to any mom whose fought the battle of sleep training and lived to sleep another night.

In recent months, I have found Mr. Sandman calling me most urgently in the middle of cleaning unidentifiable goo off of the high chair for the fifteenth time in a day while my daughter is trying to climb my leg and my son is cramming chips into the couch. Or when the K-cups run out. Or when the morning coffee wears off. Or when...OK. It's not a matter of "when", it's a state of being these days.

So last night when my lifelong ability to hit REM in under ten minutes eluded me, I was furious. I deserve to sleep. I am exhausted. Why can't I shut my mind off? But I knew what the problem was. Anxiety and worry had thrown a brick on my peace-of-mind pedal and I allowed the idol of 'being in control' to overpower God's control. Peeling myself from what I tell my husband is "my favorite part of our house"–my side of the bed– I walked upstairs at nearly midnight and made tea.

Sitting on the couch in eerie silence, I admitted the truth of the last 24-hours. I had sucked at both my jobs. First, a feature I had spent hours creating was sent to the cutting floor without a second glance. My ego was doing calisthenics inside my heart trying to flex and crow it's preeminence; devising ways to prove my indispensableness. In turn, I was short with my kids and didn't show Jesus well to my husband; deciding to be preoccupied with my own self indulgence. I let worldly "failure" define my eternal worth. That was a swing and a miss.

There was only one thing to do as I stared at the clock edging itself closer and closer to imminent zombie-hood come morning. Throw a hail-mary to God and let him reset my heart.

He flipped the breaker on my soul with Philippians 2:3-7.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.

Made himself nothing. Taking the form of a servant.

I know Jesus did this folks. I believe this to be true. I strive to follow His example. Some days are better than others. And what's most amazing, is that on the days where I fall flat on my face–his Spirit within me won't rest until I'm in cahoots with my Creator again. That's love. That's grace. That's what a good parent does. 

He made me aware that I had been strategically fashioning a golden calf out of God-given talents. I had made my own capabilities, mine–instead of His. And when the structure of who He created me became inverted by insecurity and fear, I was jolted. Thrown into a sub-reality where I felt valueless. 

Friends, we are of such value. If we look to the world and our resumes to fill us we will remain discounted; undervalued and restless. If we look to our children and husbands to prove to the world we matter–we'll become tyrants when they don't represent us the way we want them to. 

God came to earth in an average body to a poor family and did nothing that awarded him a big salary and recognition in the upper echelons of society. He came to die. He came to suffer. He came to be hurt. He came to be doubted. He came to be rejected. He came to love like this world has never seen before or since.

He has done what I can never do. 

And then I slept a deep sleep with no color and no sound. Peace knows know greater accomplishment than the emptying of one's self. 

We're in this together,

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