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Sleep = Dependence At Its Finest

Updated: Jan 20

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8


"Sometimes, the most holy thing you can do is take a nap."

I heard this in college - it seemed like a somewhat funny saying that carried some truth. A nice quip to share with students once I was working in campus ministry and teaching them how to rest and take a Sabbath.

And then, I became a mom and my world turned upside down. As my firstborn entered the scene, I resisted sleep. I wanted to maintain what I had pre-kids - free time, time with my husband, a clean home and a workout routine. And so whenever my baby slept, I remained wide-eyed, frantically trying to finish the tasks I so desperately wanted to complete.

And I was left drained, sleep-deprived, desperate for control. I was a shell of myself and a "mom-bie" if there ever was one.

I am realizing even as I write this that my sleep strike originated in stubbornness and pride. I was refusing to submit to the season of life that the Lord had me in, resisting His will and His way. And so, I suffered for it - physically, relationally, spiritually - because I was beyond tired for months at a time, if not years.

With each baby I've done a little bit better - taking naps, going to bed early, realizing that the need for sleep is innate and relinquishing my fight against God's design of our bodies. My sleep journey has been one of learning dependence - day by day learning to surrender my schedule for the sake of rest, for the sake of remaining healthy and living in the shalom God intended for me.

"Sometimes, the most holy thing you can do is take a nap." I can now declare: this statement is true. It is revolutionary and life-changing as a mom.

The choice to sleep can be total surrender, a sacrifice offered to God. This is what the decision to sleep communicates to God: "I am dependent on you, God. I cease my working and my striving. I choose to live within my limits - this body that binds me and needs to rest. I release my burdens and worries, leaving my life to You while I sleep."

Sleep is dependence at its finest - complete and total surrender.

In a culture where we crave control, where we pride ourselves on our productivity, we must resist the idols of independence and self-sufficiency. We must shut down our devices, shut our eyes, and shut out the world - this can be the most holy and humble choice of all. Will you join me in depending on God with your sleep schedule today?

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