Daily Grat: Sleeping Late

I probably don’t get enough sleep most of the time. I know this. It’s an issue. I’m not alone.

But often, if there’s nothing to do on a Saturday, I get the chance to sleep late. This morning, it was until 9:30…which will seem pretty late to some, and still pretty early to others. It was perfect for today.

First, let me acknowledge that I know not everybody gets this little grace. Lots of folks have lives where they *never* get to “sleep in.” Because of of jobs where there’s never a morning off, because of the need to care for small kids, teenagers with insane schedules, older parents, etc, etc…

I know just how rare this “daily gratitude” is for some people. Which only makes me all the more grateful.

Today, it felt like just enough to get “caught up” for the week.

I know, I know, experts will tell you “You never catch up…”

So why does it always feel like I do?

Sometimes, if I can just get that final hour or two on a Saturday morning, it wipes away all the too-short nights of the week. Wipes them clean.

I’ve had to work very very hard in life not to get too wound up that I can’t sleep. The brain often wants to keep working, even when the body wants to rest. Playing guitar often helps. (that”Prayer and Meditation” effect I mentioned the other day…)

Reminding myself that there’s often nothing else I can do, right at that moment, helps. Breathing helps. Trusting and surrendering helps. It takes a trust in your body, a trust in the rhythm of life, a trust that it comes around every 24-hours, to allow yourself to sleep well.

In a sense, sleep is about accepting our limitations and learning to love them. Sleep really is like a small, nightly death. Maybe that’s why, even as little babies, we resist it so much. There’s always a potential finality there that scares us.

The beauty is, like death, we always wake up.

Maybe that’s what sleep is trying to teach us.

I am so grateful for sleep.
And so thankful for a life where late Saturdays are possible.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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