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“He who does not see the kingdom of heaven in this life, will never see it in the coming life.”  Kahlil Gibran

This quote really spoke to me tonight. I have been thinking about the enjoyment of this life for several weeks now, and trying to find out exactly what brings me joy and happiness. Of course, my life belongs to the Lord, and whatever I do, I pray that I glorify Him. But I feel that in frequent messages, He has been speaking to me that each day is a gift, and I have ignored the gift, because I let the burdens of life weigh me down, and I forgot that God wants me to see the beauty in each day.

When I went to my counselor this week, I wanted to work on my sleep disorder. Ever since my dad died unexpectedly three years ago, my sleep patterns changed. Those who read my blog regularly know that I take care of my widowed, elderly mom, and though she still lives on her on, she is not well, and there is much to be done for her. My whole nervous system went into shock throughout his illness and subsequent horrible death, and truthfully I’ve never recovered.

His illness and death, the care of my mom, and some hurtful, stressful issues prior to that with my daughter, left me with little time to call my own. And so I forgot to seek enjoyment and beauty for myself. It seemed like I was trying to carry everyone on my sinking shoulders, and my health has reflected that.

So in this counseling session, she asked me what would cause me to be excited about getting up in the morning. It’s funny, but I haven’t thought in a long time about any good reason to get up. Seems like every day was the same, as I struggled to care for everyone, and always fell behind-even with my household chores. It appeared that I was always on my way to run an errand for my mom, or to deal with some crisis at home with my daughter, or in numerous doctors’ offices for myself, or with my mom.

The first thing that came out of my mouth about what would be worth getting up for was–writing. To have time to write without interruptions, or tight time constraints would be wonderful. I had gotten in the habit of sitting up all night writing, and sleeping in the daytime, (when I didn’t have to be somewhere), or just going without sleep at all sometimes. I knew this was horrible for my physical and mental health, but I felt powerless to change it. I have tried, and just can’t seem to conquer my sleep problems.

Then she suggested that because I love thrift stores and bargain shops, perhaps I would like to get up early, and get dressed, and go find some treasures several days a week. Now this really made my face light up. (I had never considered doing anything that I wanted to do, by getting up early in the morning.) I told her that I felt quite like a vampiress, with the habits that I had acquired.

I began to think of going to Hardees for coffee, and taking a breakfast bar, or a boiled egg  or something nutritious (so that I can stay on my diet for diabetes.) I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading the paper there, on the days that I got up early for blood tests, every 3 months. I thought about taking a devotional book with me, or perhaps my Bible, and enjoying some reflective time. And then perhaps I could go to the nearby thrift shops. I could feel something close to anticipation rising from within, and I thought that she had probably hit on something wonderful.

So that is what I intend to do, hopefully, next week. The first night I went to bed early was a night that I tossed and turned continually. But I did not get up or get on my computer. The next night, I stayed up all night again, and was very sorry that I had done that. The following night I was very tired, went to bed, and was sleeping well, but woke up with a sore throat. And for the last 2 nights, I’ve gone to bed at 12:30 a.m. (which is early for me), and I have had vertigo. Can you believe that?  I woke up, and the room was spinning yesterday morning. (I saw my ceiling fan twirl around 5 times, and it wasn’t even on.) Last night I would wake up in the dark, and be exceptionally dizzy. I’ve only had this once before-after having a cold, and getting a secondary sinus infection. This time, I haven’t had a cold, but it feels like sinus pressure. Having been on numerous antibiotics for urinary tract infections in the past few months, I am not eager once again to go on more. So we’ll see.

One thing I know–this is a spiritual battle. All the forces of hell have tried to stop me from getting proper sleep, and having a normal day. But with God’s help, I will conquer this, and I believe my life will change dramatically, with this one significant change. So I am very excited about doing something for me.  Once I have made the early morning rounds, looking for my pretties, I can return home, have lunch, and start my housework. And in a little while-(if Christmas doesn’t come again anytime soon)-I may actually start to get organized. (And that will be quite a  journey, but I am organized by nature, and feel so scattered when things around me are out of place.) It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, with God’s help.

So it is almost 12:15 a.m. and my new early bedtime is 12:30 a.m. (You can only imagine how late I was staying up before the change.) I am a true night-owl, but with my father’s illness and death, (along with the responsibility for my mom) it became pathological. I will start there, and then gradually move it up, until I think it works for me.

So a personal blog tonight-about the changes that I am trying to make in my life, so that I can truly enjoy the beauty of my time here…

Love,  Sleeping Beauty

Please see other articles that I have written here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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