Nocturnal Notions


Punching her pillow into a more comfortable form, Martha turned to her right, then she rolled back over to her other side. A few minutes later, Martha lay flat on her back staring at the ceiling. Since I can’t get rest I might as well get some work done.

Bone tired, Martha grabbed her terry robe and cinched it around her waist. She quietly gathered a couple of books. Very carefully, very quietly, Martha left the bedroom where her husband’s light snores made her glance back at him in frustration. It was your snoring that woke me….and kept me awake…do you realize that, Martha mouthed silently. Entering their all seasons porch, Martha flipped on the light, sat down heavily and made herself comfortable.

Looking down at the book she held in her hands, Martha sighed. What an unlikely chore to be tackling before dawn. Thumbing through the white compilation of data made Martha want to cry. All these numbers, and I can’t focus on a one, she lamented. I need sleep, more of it, more often. How many times in the past several months have I resorted to angry tears as my only release from this exhausting no-win situation?

If only Tom would get some help…then maybe I wouldn’t find myself living on the short-end of sleep all the time. I’m the one who’s constantly…and abruptly woken up every night with his snoring. All this dry air isn’t helping matters either. How many mornings has Tom gotten up with a dry, irritated throat? I tell him it’s all that open-mouth breathing he does!

Setting her work aside, Martha’s eyes glazed over as she watched the faintest shadow of light appear over the red rocks surrounding her line of vision. Sun’s coming up, Martha realized. Turn off the light, something inside her urged. Flicking the off switch, Martha turned back around and was awed by the slowing emerging kaleidoscope of colors. A veritable rainbow was spreading across the sky…beautiful.

In quiet reverence, Martha studied the contrast of shapes and colors with now avid interest. With a slowly awakening sense of consciousness…and gratefulness for having witnessed this showy invigorating display of nature, Martha’s eyes filled. Not with sorrow or from lack of sleep, but from somewhere deep within her soul. It was her heart’s way of thanking God for the reminder.

“While I was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer came to Thee,
Into Thy holy temple.”
Jonah 2: 7

Dear Lord,

I am worn out. Through and through, I’m pretty well spent. And you know it better than anyone, correct? I spend enough of my time silently ranting about my lack of sleep don’t I? Blaming it for my ill-tempered behavior. Lord, I am running on empty…have been for  quite some time now. I don’t see any respite coming either. I am attempting to solve the problem as best I can, but when issues involve the cooperation of others, it’s not always within my power to rush in and playing the conquering fix-it role.

Yet I cannot go on in this same vein. I must find a workable solution that will allow me time for much needed rest. I pray now that you would assist me as I work to find a way through this dilemma. Help my loved one to understand that he does need medical intervention. Give me the wisdom to speak words of encouragement and to be calm when I broach the subject yet another time.

Lord, I am at my wits’ end. But I understand that you are with me, enabling me to fulfill my responsibilities. I ask that your strength would continue to provide me with all I require for this day. Let me not look ahead and despair…but count upon the grace needed for today alone. Thank you for your abundant love toward me. I see it in the most unlikely places. Even this morning, I never expected to be treated to such a spellbinding scene of nature. Yet you knew I needed to see the splendorous world’s awakening. Thank you for the soul food you offered my way. It was gratefully accepted.


“Forgive me if this sounds too simplistic, but the only thing worth doing is usually the last thing we try doing – turning it over to God, the Specialist, who has never yet been handed an impossibility He couldn’t handle. Grab that problem by the throat and thrust is skyward!”   Charles R. Swindoll in Strengthening Your Grip

Copyright 2009 Michele Howe


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