Last week was spent off-grid in a town outside Boston. I have thoughts about the time spent at L’Abri, but they haven’t coalesced into anything that makes sense yet. (I think last year’s visit took multiple months, and this year’s study was much less focused than last, so we’ll see.) For now, all I have is this:

Sleep is important.

Feel free to go back to Facebook or Instagram or email or whatever you were doing… this feels like a dumb post to share, but I decided I’d post every Thursday and this is all I have. It’s mostly notes to myself: L’Abri trips need to be slightly longer to account for travel recovery time.

I flew about 20 hours there Sunday before last, arrived Monday morning, had a full day to stay awake. It took until about Friday or Saturday to recover from what ended up a 36-hour day punctuated with three 1-hour naps, then Saturday night, I went to bed with a 2:30 am alarm, woke and traveled for 25 hours. As I write, it’s Wednesday and I’m nothing like functional.

I learned almost exactly two years ago that my body doesn’t take kindly to being ignored. If I choose to push past her demands for sleep, eventually she’ll just refuse to cooperate. I never want to be in the adrenal fatigue place again. I don’t have time for that crap.

So I sleep. Instead of my morning routine of gym or pool followed by quiet work time, I have been starting the day way behind, stumbling out of bed when my children require me, fumbling for coffee, muttering incoherently at my people while my brain struggles to come online. Usually I’m pretty functional about 10 minutes into a workout, which is nearly three hours before my children need me to have words and thoughts and directions for them. Not so much this week. I’m kinda dying to get back to my regular life, but for now, I’ll honor my own humanity and rest.

Resting when I would rather not is an exercise in finiteness. God doesn’t sleep, but I’m not Him. I may be made in His image, but I’m also made with some distinct limitations. When I choose to skip the gym out of a genuine need to recuperate, when I nap when I “should” be doing laundry, it’s a declaration to myself and my family that I have the same limits we all do. Where I would once would have berated myself for laziness, there’s a quiet agreement that His design is good regardless of my to-do list.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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