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How to Put Your Mind to Rest at Bedtime

How to Put Your Mind to Rest at Bedtime

I’m convinced that my thoughts sleep during the day so they’ll have abundant energy to run laps at night.

Not so long ago, I went to bed at 9, or at least the body went down for the count. My mind, however, buzzed. I usually stay in the bed, hoping to fall asleep, but this time, I got up and pulled out a journal. It was midnight. After a brain dump, it became apparent that all the thoughts pointed back to one subject, which started to unfold with the first line:

 

Lord, I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope in so many ways these days.

 

Following the first line:

  • specific ways I felt tension between the thoughts I am thinking and those I want to think.
  • recent disappointments that weighed heavier than I realized.
  • lies I knew were from the enemy (nothing crushes Satan’s lies like being exposed to light!).
  • Psalm 139:23, 34 (Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.) I often start my Psalm 46:10 time with God using this verse. Only He knows what true motives lurk behind good intentions, often unbeknownst to me. I trust Him to reveal what thoughts need repentance and forgiveness.
  • After writing out the Psalm 139 verses, I jotted down questions for God, revealing places in my heart where I’d sought validation in someone other than Jesus.

I ended the entry after 1 a.m., asking Him to help me be who I can’t be without Him, to refresh my mind and soul, and to breathe life into the empty places. I returned to bed and fell right asleep.

But more importantly, the revelation of misguided validations began a sweet conversation with the Lord that still continues today. The Holy Spirit alerts my spirit when I start to lean in the wrong places, gently nudging me back into His arms.

 

Sometimes what keeps us awake points us back to one thing.

Other times, multiple thoughts twist as tightly as a tornado.

 

Whatever the reason for our restless thoughts, finding ways to tuck them in for the night is sure to help us move the needle in the right direction.

Lately, I’ve started spending 5-10 minutes just before bedtime, jotting down every thought swirling around in my brain. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. Thoughts like what I need to do the next day, the one thing left off the grocery list, or wondering if what I said to someone earlier that day came out as intended.

 

Some other ways that help put the mind to rest at bedtime include:

 

  • Know my caffeine cut-off time.
  • Turn off social media an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Try to resolve any lingering issues with others before bedtime. Even if it’s a quick text to a friend saying you’d like to catch up with her tomorrow. That one simple step helps to topple the pressure off the heaviest of hearts.
  • Pray aloud. Hearing the words we speak to God, along with Holy Spirit silence sandwiched in between, adds a layer of peace even the warmest of blankets can’t provide.
  • Read a scripture verse out loud and pray it back to the Lord. For instance, Proverbs 3:24 says, When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” There’s no right or wrong way to pray the verse back, but one way might be, Lord, thank You that I don’t need to be afraid when I lie down tonight. Your faithfulness and love hold me fast and my sleep will be sweet tonight. I praise You and thank You.
  • Keep a “jot-it-down” journal by your bed, along with a pen, to add anything to your list that resists the command to flee! (If you subscribe to the Creative Pauses from The Tiny House on the Hill monthly letters, prepare for a blessed inbox today. You’ll find a monthly calendar of bedtime scripture verses and a bedtime “giveaway”.)
  • If the thoughts that keep you awake center around a particular issue, consider reaching out to a trusted friend or Christian counselor for prayer and a listening ear.

 

Do you also struggle to put your mind to rest at bedtime? What are some thoughts that keep you up at night? I welcome the opportunity to pray for you, as I pray for myself, at bedtime. If you’d like, please share your name in the comments.

 

Do you know someone else who struggles to put their mind at rest at bedtime? Feel free to share this post with others!

 

Maybe you spotted our current gift for new subscribers, What to Pray for Room-by-Room? Together, we’ll walk through the rooms of your home as I share ideas on ways to pray for you, your family, guests, and even strangers. You’ll find the new subscriber box at the top of the sidebar. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time, but we hope you’ll feel right at home here in The Tiny House on the Hill.

 

 

What I Should Have Said From the Get-Go (And a Dayspring Giveaway!)

This is not what I’d planned.

Today was supposed to be about sharing numerous ways to use our prayer journals, but something my pastor’s wife, Emily, shares in an upcoming post made me re-think the premise of this post.

So, what did she say? 

It went something like this, and I should’ve said it from the get-go.

While having a regular time with the Father is a holy, beautiful privilege⎯our  salvation, His love for us, His acceptance of us⎯is not dependent on it.

As we bring the Drawing Close to the Father series to a close I want us to embrace grace and freedom through Christ, rather than finding another way to do something. Please don’t hear me say that journaling (or using any other tool) should be shunned — no way! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have my own well-worn journals lining the shelves, nor would I be giving away one of the most beautiful journals I’ve come across in a long time.

This month, we learned valuable insights from friends who graciously allowed us to get a glimpse of their personal times with the Lord. Thank you Marcia, Lori, and Dee Dee. Although the series is coming to a close, the glimpses will continue every first Saturday in 2016. In February, Edie Melson will be our guest. You will not want to miss it!

If you’ve followed my blog for long you know I love to share a little treat (my grandfather always referred to this type of treat as a “sercy”) at the end of every monthly series. So, last week I came across this Dayspring journal. While tempted to keep it for my own {just keeping it real!} I knew it had a bigger purpose. I pray this sercy will bless one of you during your time with the Father. And I love the saying on the front cover: When God speaks, take good notes.

To enter the drawing, you simply need to answer this random question in the comment section. (If you have trouble leaving a comment for some reason, please private message me on Facebook.)

So here’s the question: What book are you currently reading OR what’s the next book you plan to read?

Me? I’m currently reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Love it!

Oh! In case you’re wondering about our February series you need wonder no more. Check out the image below. (Loving my new camera, thanks to the hubster! The snowy day did its part, too.)

 Beginning Monday, February 1st…

 

Breathing New Life Into Our Time With God

Are you a creature of habit?

Confession: I use the same coffee mug for my morning brew (it’s 10 years old), enjoy almond butter toast every day by 7:30 a.m. and I use purple pens only for poetry. I also have the propensity to stick with the same routine when it comes to spending time with my Maker. 

The good thing about habits is that they provide predictability. 
The bad thing about habits is that they provide predictability.

On the one hand certainty brings stability, which inherently leads to comfort. We know what to expect and when to expect it. (I feel comforted already.) 

On the other hand some things can become so ordinary, so predictable, that its uniqueness wanders and wanes—including our time with God—if we’re brutally honest with ourselves. (My comfort level is quickly dwindling.) 

Time with God can look different for everyone, as well it should. As for me, I’ve done the same thing for many years (surprise!), including journaling, reading His Word, praying aloud, and studying. In recent years, however, I’ve sensed a need to kick predictability to the proverbial curb by trying fresh ways to connect with my heavenly Father, such as: 

  • Taking a walk around my backyard, thanking Him for even the slightest hint of creative handiwork. 
  • Singing to Him. 
  • Journaling with instrumental music playing in background.
  • Releasing the “doing” part of the time (studying, journaling, etc.) and simply “receiving” what He reveals to me in His Word.

Most recently, I signed up with Christ Notes to receive a randomly selected daily verse. I write it in my journal along with answers to the following questions:

  • What word or phrase speaks to me? 
  • What do I need to hear today? 
  • How do I respond?

You may want to give it a try! It’s not what I’ll use every day, but varying my time with God breathes life in to the routine and renews an appreciation for the fact that He didn’t create us to be robots, but rather, His children. 

And children are rarely predictable. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be
called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world
does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

How about you? Have you tried something new during your quiet time? Please share in the comment section! 

 

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