I am a sheep. This fact may make you wonder about my mental state, but it is true. Jesus Christ is Lord of my life and He is the Good Shepherd. The Bible tells me in Psalm 100:3, “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” And then John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” When I hear Him speak, I have to write it down. To hear from the Creator of the Universe is not a light matter. And this gets me to the next point.
God gifted me with a desire and ability to write. I am a good writer. I am a persistent writer and my office reveals my passion. I have two bookcases filled with forty years of handwritten journals. There are five double drawer file cabinets full of curriculum I’ve created. They also hold articles written for Facebook or other internet sites. There is a stack of mimeographed newsletters I sent out to my family when our family was young and growing. In another box, poetry, teaching notes and transcribed sermons fill manila file folders. On a shelf in my closet are colorful labeled folders with class notes. There are binders full of handwritten book notes, transcribed notes from other speakers, and handwritten pages of study I’ve done. More binders carry all the messages I’ve preached or taught. And on, and on, and on.
Whew I’m thinking I may need a bigger office soon. LOL
I love to write. To go anywhere without a pen, to me is going undressed. Without a way to write, I am not at my best. Writing is a must. I have to write. It’s a DNA requirement.
I am a note taker and a list maker. I write on napkins, backs of grocery receipts, bank deposit slips, gum wrappers–anything. There is a tablet or a notebook on my bedside table, always. I can’t go to sleep without having paper and pen available. Often, in the middle of the night, God speaks to me, or creativity comes, reminders of actions to take, or dreams. To remember these later, I must write them down. Now that I am writing a book with life memories, there are even more prompts that jar me awake.
My passion to hear God and to write, often interrupt my sleep. My need to write things down doesn’t turn off when the lights go out at night. Getting to sleep is normally pretty easy, unless I drink caffeine after the noon hour or focus on technology before going to bed.
Before putting my head on the pillow, I need to unplug at least a half hour from Facebook, emails, YouTube, TV, or Smartphone. Unplugging is a must. If I don’t, whatever I was focused on continues to replay in my activated mind.
While getting to sleep may be accomplished, going back to sleep after hearing from God isn’t easy. If God wakes me up with something, a dream or words, usually scriptures follow, or song lyrics. There are times when I am propelled out of bed to search bookshelves rummage through boxes of old photos for the subject He is highlighting. When He wakes me in the middle of the night with a song, I’ve been known to get out of bed, turn on my PC and track down the rest of the lyrics.
When I can still the urge to get up and stay in bed, I must write down what I’ve seen or heard. I need to pick up my pen and jot things down. If I don’t, I lose the idea or information. So, I am turning over to jot one more thing, then one more, then two more, and trying not to wake up my husband in the process.
At times, what I am seeing or hearing seems so amazing that I am sure I won’t forget it. But, if I don’t write it down, and roll over and go back to sleep– it’s gone or I am only able to remember bits and pieces. So, yes, I have to write it down. (Later however, there are times I could use an Cryptologist to translate the hieroglyphics. Because, I’ve scribbled in the dark, without my glasses.)
The thing that bugs me is, once my mind activates, it’s as if what I scribbled on the page opens a water gate of information. Other voices in the earth realm come to life. “Remember what sister_____said today? How are you going to process that information?”
“You forgot the strawberries when you went to the grocery store. What are you going to put in your smoothie in the morning? You made a vow to stick to this program, right?”
“You forgot to send out the email about the monthly potluck. Add that to your list.”
But often in the midst, I hear my Shepherd say something like this, “Rest in My love. No need to worry about it now.”
“Oh, my goodness, Abba, are You listening to all this? Rest, yes, that is the operative word. Give me Your grace to set all this aside and roll over and rest in Your love.”
Many nights this kind of prayer works. Other nights I lay there for an hour or more, before giving up, getting up, and heading to my office. The need to write and or research, won’t quit. This sheep has writing and researching mechanisms in her DNA. They refuse to lie dormant. So, sleep is a treasure I am not always able to access.
Write or sleep? Write and then sleep? (Confession: Sometimes I do get up and spend several hours writing and praying. When the sun comes up, I tuck myself back into bed for a morning nap. It’s nighttime somewhere, right?)
Thank You, Abba for the gift of writing. I trust You to order my days and give Your Beloved sleep as needed. (Psalm 127:2)
Baaaa–Where to next, Shepherd? What is on Your agenda today?