Sleep Less Pray More
by Terri Bonin
A few years back I started wearing a cool sports tool called an Up Band. I look to the band for direction in the area of physical health and nutrition. When I’m sedentary, it sends little alarms encouraging me to “take a walk.” When I haven’t slept enough, it alerts me to the dangers of not getting enough rest. It breaks down the foods I eat, so that I know when I’ve overdone it on chocolate. (Like I need a band to tell me that!)
In order for the band to give me direction, it must be charged. The band must spend time away from me plugged into the charger to refuel its battery.
Otherwise, it’s reduced to an accessory on my wrist. My little sports band will not fulfill its complete purpose if it’s not charged.
We moms are much like sports bands. Our families look to us for direction, instruction, and encouragement, but if we don’t unplug from them in order to recharge we’ll be nothing but a cute accessory. Our kids need more than a pretty mom. Our husbands need more than an arm ornament.
When my personal battery flashes red, I lose the ability to…
…listen kindly to a wordy child when I have a million things screaming for my attention. Why I continue to act like “work” is more important than giving my eyes and ears 100% to a child is beyond me, but this is my struggle when my spirit is worn thin.
But certain seasons of life make recharging equal to an Olympic challenge for a busy mom.
This morning at 5:30 am I tiptoed out of my bedroom to sneak in a bit of alone, quiet time. I thought it might be a good idea to move “my time” a little earlier than usual. (As you know) But when I entered the family room in the wee hours of the morning, lively, exercise music greeted me as my very handsome, sweaty husband pounded out pushups (or something similar) on the floor. O-o
“No big deal. I can work around this,” I thought…
Until my (talkative) 11-year-old rounded the corner and headed to the kitchen in order to make cinnamon toast. Words cheerfully tumbled out of his mouth along the way.
“Really? Family!! Doesn’t anyone EVER sleep around here? ”
Apparently NOT! So rather than grabbing a few extra ZZZZ’s in defeat and I seriously felt defeated, and unprepared for so much activity, I laced up my walking shoes and hit the pavement in order to walk and pray.
Prayer (not neglecting bible study) is THE MOST IMPORTANT discipline for a mom who needs to be recharged for parenting. I’ve learned that taking concentrated time to pray for my family recharges ME. Sleeping a little extra does NOT give me the inner substance to parent in love. I NEED GOD! I need His guidance, direction, instruction, and protection. Plugging into the Word and talking to Him completely recharges me and makes me more than an accessory to my family.
Adjusting as life’s season’s morph is the only way to keep stability in a family. Situations change, kids change, and a mom’s hormones are FOREVER changing (at least mine are!), but the one thing that should NOT change is consistent time with our Maker.
Don’t let unsettled waters or new territory bump you out of the race as a powerful prayer warrior for your family. Overcome the obstacles that keep you from getting in the Word and in conversation with God. Seek wisdom in parenting even if it means hitting the walking trail at 5:30 am.
I understand how hard it is. I’m with you! But I believe that when our kids are grown, as moms, we will not regret the fact that we slept less in order to pray more for our families.