“And when they sleep, they will wake up refreshed.” Jeremiah 31:26
LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING . . . are you getting enough sleep?
Probably not, if you’re like most women today.
Millions of people who live in this fast-paced world get six or fewer hours of sleep each night—and that is not enough, according to Dr. James B. Maas, author of Power Sleep (HarperCollins, 1999).
It seems that Americans have become too busy to sleep, and we’re suffering the consequences. Deprivation of sleep can cause many problems, including: daytime drowsiness; mood shifts; depression; increased irritability; loss of sense of humor; stress anxiety; loss of coping skills; loss of interest in socializing with others; feelings of being chilled; reduced immunity to disease and viral infection; feelings of lethargy; reduced productivity; reduced ability to concentrate; reduced ability to remember; reduced ability to handle complex tasks; reduced ability to think logically; decreased ability to assimilate and analyze new information; reduced ability to think critically; reduced decision-making skills; decreased vocabulary and communication skills; reduced creativity; reduced motor skills and coordination; decreased perceptual skills, and weight gain.
Yes, weight gain.
Ever pulled an all-nighter to complete a paper, help your child with a homework assignment, or finish wallpapering a room, and find yourself elbow-deep in a potato chip bag about 2 a.m.? Well, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that when you’re sleepy, you’re 50 percent more likely to experience powerful cravings for carbs. (I can personally attest to that, having pulled many all-nighters over the course of my career in order to hit deadlines, and devouring bags and bags of Peanut M&M’s to make it through, haha!)
Bottom line: We need sleep. It affects every aspect of our day-to-day living. In fact, it’s as important to our overall well- being as healthy eating and exercising.
Not only do we need to make physical rest a priority, but we also need to make spiritual rest a priority. Psalm 23 says: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength”.
So, how long has it been since you’ve rested in green meadows? My guess is—too long! Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, says that he has to have a few minutes in his recliner each day to simply meditate on the goodness of God. Without those minutes of just sitting before God, he feels out of balance.
I can relate; how about you?
If we don’t take time to just sit before God and meditate on His goodness and His promises, we might spin our wheels all day long and accomplish nothing.
But you say, “Michelle, I have my daily devotional time each morning. I read one chapter of the Bible, along with a devotional entry, and I pray for fifteen minutes. I’m doing fine!” My response is this—you are doing great! Those things are very important, but if your prayer life is like mine, I spend most of my time praying for everyone on my prayer list, thanking God for loving me, and then call it good. I rarely just sit in His presence and rest in Him.
We need that green meadow time. Make a conscious decision today to rest in Him. Find a few minutes to bask in His glory. Pencil in “green meadow” time in your daily planner, and stick to it. God is waiting . . . (P.S.: Sneak in a nap today, too, if you can!)
Father, I am so thankful that I can rest in You, both physically and spiritually. Help me not to stress out over things that I shouldn’t, and help me learn to cast my anxieties on You. I trust You, Lord. In the Mighty Name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.
WORK YOUR WORDS
I rest in You, Lord, both physically and spiritually. Thank You for sweet sleep.
If you can squeeze in a nap, try to do so before lunch so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep schedule at night. Also, limit your nap to no more than thirty minutes. Power naps are awesome! You’ll wake up rejuvenated and ready for the rest of the day.
Making good, healthy choices isn’t always easy. Sometimes you need someone special, a best friend, to help and guide you through the surplus of diet and exercise options and with you through the journey. Michelle’s 52 devotions and accompanying Scriptures are power packed and uniquely designed to help keep you on track and move you toward your ultimate goal. Love & Care For The One And Only You will keep you moving forward and remind you how valuable you are to God and to yourself.
One of the biggest obstacles that women have to achieving better fitness is discouragement. The enemy’s lies are constant, sharp and persuasive. All too often those lies aren’t rebuked instead they’re embraced. Michelle Medlock Adams words aren’t just suave for a wounded or tired heart they are spiritual nutrients well blended to stimulate your faith endorphins. If you want more energy physically and spiritually, the first diet and exercise changes need to happen in your mind and spirit. Michelle’s book gives you encouragement rich with joy to consume daily and Biblical wisdom that will stretch and strengthen your spirit with God’s grace and power. –Brad Bloom, Publisher, Faith & Fitness Magazine