Saturday, June 27, 2009

Learning to Rest

I realize that I am up when I'm supposed to be sleeping, but I woke up for a specific reason and I decided to go ahead and write my blog. Those of you who know me well, know that I struggle with NOT resting. I go and go and go until I crash. The older I get, the harder that becomes on my body.

God is working with me.

Just like with my writing, I go through seasons of working on a specific task such as POV, description, layering in sensory details, etc. Right now, God is trying to teach me to rest. It's another season He has brought me to.

I started having trouble with my eyes. Too much time on the computer was irritating them in addition to developing an allergy to my contact lens solution. The lens solution we changed and that has helped. But I'm having to learn when to give my eyes a break. This means getting off the computer and writing later. I'm stubborn so I end up hand writing some of my manuscript on a notepad, the old-fashioned way. That way I'm still working on my book, but my eyes are not suffering from the back light of the computer, which I've learned to turn down--and that helps as well.

One thing I've noticed during this struggle is that when my eyes are most tired, the rest of me is tired. I've started going to bed earlier and I can get up earlier. I'm fresh and I do my best writing in the mornings. My body is starting to demand 8 hours of sleep instead of the 6 or 7 hours I used to get by with. I don't know why this change is happening to me, except the other day after I spent some time with God, I heard Him whisper to my heart, "I'm teaching you to rest."

My husband used to complain that I didn't know how to rest. Perhaps he's prayed about this situation on my behalf. All I know, is that it's starting to work. I go to bed and I sleep--deeply. It's like my body is making up for all those years I was afraid to sleep, worried that my daughter would have another seizure and stop breathing. Another reason I couldn't sleep was for my characters and all the scenes happening in my head, and the fear that they would disappear before I got it all down on paper or in my computer. Now my characters are such a part of me, in my planning process, that I don't lose them or forget where they are going and what they are going to do next. It's all written down in my trusty little plotting plan.

With those fears gone. It's as if God is saying, "Rest. You have plenty of time to write those stories. Life won't pass you by before you finish. You won't miss opportunities with editors. When you are ready, when your manuscript is ready, they will be ready. It's all in My perfect timing."


  1. My husband often tells me, I'm not too good at resting & relaxing either. Wonder if he's praying, too!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. I used to be someone that had to get it all done yesterday but my health made me turn it over to God and do what I can, the rest will be there tomorrow if I am hear and if God called me home then it really don't matter to me anyway.


  3. You definitely need and deserve to rest, Jenn. Aside from the physical benefits, our brains need that time to process everything we've taken in throughout the day.

    Lately, I seem to be sleeping harder than usual. Boy it feels good :-)

  4. Beautifully said, Jenn.

    I'm the same way. I used to write regularly until about 2 or 3 a.m. Then up again at 6:30 for getting kids off to school. I can't believe how many times I went on to school and lectured on 4 hours of sleep.

    But I just can't do that any more now that I'm older. I usually get about 6 hours now. And this summer, I've been trying to get 7. And I feel much better!