A few weeks ago, when my mom came to visit, she brought a few pieces of paper which she had found in the piano bench at her house. As I began to read them, the events within became vivid memories of a time long ago. It described a trip which I had taken to Greece & Turkey, with my aunt when I was in college, just before Rodney & I were married. As I continued reading there was one theme that stood out above all else…….My need for sleep!
For a lifetime one word could consistently sum up how I have felt……Tired! Over the years I’ve grown to dislike that characteristic, and even more so, the curt responses of others…”Oh, you’re always tired!”
There are many stories which family and friends enjoy telling which “highlight” my fatigue. One of which was a bus ride from Tennessee to New York. Not only did I sleep the entire bus ride, but upon checking into the hotel, I returned to sleep until the next morning (24 hours total). High School & College vacations were always inaugurated with a sleeping binge. I have slept in countless major cities all over the globe. Once the girls were born, sleep became ever fleeting & their first few months of life was always a blur. Our family has even coined the phrase “airplane mode” which refers to the head tilted back-mouth gaping open sleep that only comes after a day of hard airline travel with a restless toddler. (It is usually only enjoyed 30 minutes prior to the landing of the final day’s flight.) The year after starting the Hope House I became so weak and tired that there were days on end where I literally could not get out of bed. Eventually I recovered and began to feel more healthy and strong. But like always my faithful friend did not stay at large for very long. Recently I hear him knocking on my door. Oh- how I do NOT want to answer his call. I don’t want to sleep my life away! There are so many things to do, needs to meet, people to help….
So God and I have had some long talks lately and He has been working in my heart……He has been talking to me about thankfulness.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 the Apostle Paul encourages us….to be thankful in ALL circumstances…..he even says that this is God’s will for us.
Wow that is not easy!
It doesn’t seem to be in our nature to be thankful when everything is going smoothly, let alone when things are not going as we would like. So I guess that this in and of itself is the true test, not only giving thanks when life is easy, but also giving thanks during the difficult times.
So during this season, I have decided to have a different outlook…a different attitude. I have decided to not only be thankful, but to cultivate thankfulness in my heart!
Did you know that fatigue has benefits?
It gives us that much needed push to cut away all the extra business and really focus on the truly important things. It also makes us so much more appreciative of health and energy when we have it. It makes us sensitive to the weaknesses of others and truly aware that life is fragile and miraculous. Fatigue helps cultivate compassion in those around me. It creates a longing within us to spend time in God’s Presence and reminds me that The Lord is my strength.
So on days like today when my pillow is calling my name I have determined to cultivate thankfulness. And today I am especially thankful for being reminded of the words Jesus spoke to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness,” to which Paul replies, “therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness……For when I am weak, I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)