Amanda Barber

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My Very Early Christmas Morning

26 December 2013

This is what I wrote, early yesterday morning:

It is 5:12 AM, precisely. I’ve been awake since about 2:39. A certain individual in my house who snores has become an eruption of thunder since a cold set in yesterday. I laid on my cot in the living room with my mom sleeping soundly in the recliner chair and the aforementioned person thundering on the couch until 4:30. With a great deal of internal grumbling, I finally just got up and decided to write. Wouldn’t you know it, but now that I’m fully awake, the snoring has ceased and the house is as quiet as can be. It appears that I’ll be running on approximately three and a half hours of sleep. Merry Christmas.

I am annoyed and tired. And unspiritual. I’ve been thinking all night long about how little things like losing sleep are so much harder to deal with than large calamities. At least for me they are. Medical emergencies in the family? I can deal with those pretty calmly. It’s that one minor health issue that keeps popping up over and over again that drives me to distraction. Someone gets in my face and starts yelling? (This doesn’t happen often, just so you know.) I can bite my tongue and write it off. But it’s that one person’s habit of speaking to me that makes my blood boil. One day of intense pain that ends is so much easier to bear graciously than the neck ache I’ve had for a week.

For me, the annoying circumstance has been intermittent insomnia for the last month. Last night, I was so tired I actually fell asleep right away. Oh, the irony! To fall asleep right away only to be awakened by snoring. I was so irritated, and the thought came to my mind, “Lord, would it really be too much to ask for a full night of uninterrupted sleep maybe four or five nights a week?” I began to feel that God was not being quite fair. And that was when I decided it was time to redirect my thoughts. To remind myself that God doesn’t really owe me a good night’s sleep but that I owe Him everything.

I’m pretty sure my spiritual progress depends upon how I respond to these small, but very irritating inconveniences, discomforts, fatigues, people problems…you name it. They are so very hard to respond well to. Right now, I’m so tired, I’m having a hard time formulating sentences and I know I’m going to be tempted to be grumpy today. But if I can’t respond well to this, this training ground for harder things to come, than when something does hit that’s harder, I won’t have any stamina. I won’t have the practice and the habit of going to Christ with my troubles, yes even my sleepless night, and I’ll have to learn it all in one shot.

So, here goes. I have no idea if what I just wrote is nothing but a jumbled up mess of nonsense or not. I hope it helps someone.

Again, Merry Christmas!

I’m going to go find some coffee.