Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
For some months, I have had insomnia, which I can eventually overcome. The most important thing is, I have been discouraged. I have nearly disappeared from this site. I did to seek God in Silence about. I have nearly discontinued my account here.
I just felt completely overwhelmed. I have felt as if I have nothing to offer. Ye all, or a great many of thee, are much more versed or learned than I am. I am merely a mixture of sorts and seeker. I get to feeling discouraged that I have so little to offer any of thee in discussions, or that I may just annoy or otherwise get in the way of others. I have refrained from posting much, due to wisdom teeth and the pain of that, along with night after night of listening to the owls until sunrise: little or no sleep at all for nearly three months.
I hope that I have not offended anyone here. That is not what my aim is at all. I merely seek to offer some small encouragement and to receive it also. Anyone having insomnia, discouragements, and feeling lowly: I have been that way on and off. If any hath any consolations or tender mercies, or kind words, please share them. That is all I wish to say to ye all dear Friends. Maybe thou canst offer some words of kindness or advice. Thank thee one and all!
Friend Timothy, I sympathize with your troubles. Do know that you offer much here. Personally, I find your comments and discussions interesting and enlightening.
On a practical note, as someone who has struggled to sleep enough most of my life, I've found melatonin tablets work pretty well. They're not drugs or addictive, they're just the same chemical that increases when your body gets sleepy. I'd guess a local health food store would have them, or somewhere online. I also find listening to audio books helpful sometimes, in that even if I don't get to sleep, I'm learning and/or enjoying something.
I'm thinking good and healing thoughts for you. I don't know you very well at all, but what I do know is that you are absolutely valuable to the Universe, because God does not make superfluous people. May you be filled with light and love, Friend.
As a newcomer to QuakerQuaker (in the last few months anyway), let me say that your writings have been encouraging and opening to me, and I thank you! I spend much more time reading and learning from the Friends here than I ever feel I need to respond to. I do not feel this is like other blogs where I need to "add my point"...it is more like devotional reading, where I don't need to respond, but I need to absorb. When "familiar" Friends "speak" here, I listen, and ponder. But when Friends are silent, I cherish that, too. I like to believe they are here, like me, listening to where the Spirit may next bring forth Truths to hear.
Peace and Light to thee.
Warmest Greetings Dear Friend Timothy:
I hope you have read the heartfelt words of all spoken here and see that your thoughts, words, pictures and even silence at times are most appreciated and welcomed by all of us.
You spoke the first kind words to me when I joined this site. . I could never forget the value I found in your simple words of welcome. The thought of your not being here, that I would not find your written words here, that would be very sad to me.
Take heart, soon the suffering of your wisdom teeth will be behind you. . and you can read the words spoken here by all of us again, and know that you are appreciated and valued because you are you. . and we would not want you to be any other way. Know also that there is probably not one of us who has not felt as you speak above. So wipe that sad slate clean away. . and begin again. You have much to offer in your gently spoken words. . and even in the silence of the space between those calm words. . . we can find a respite from a chaotic world that is much too noisy most of the time.
I once read the most beautiful words to me many years ago: Amish Quiet; Amish Quilt. . and that was the day I began quilting. I then made my own version by adding: Quaker Quiet; Quaker Quilt. There is much beauty in silence. . . and there is much beauty in carefully chosen words, designed to heal, not to hurt. You never have said anything hurtful. . and such words should never be spoken to you.
So dear friend Timothy, I hope the quietness of these gentle words spoken here by all of us offer you the gift of healing and friendship because you are a part of us. . and we are a part of you.
When you are discouraged, take it to God.
In meeting yesterday, I received the loveliest of messages to give, and I will share it here with you:
All God expects of us is to live into whatever small measure of Light we have. We cannot do any more than that. What difference does it make to God that someone else might have a larger measure? Remember the mustard seed, which grows but has every bit of life necessary to grow contained in that tiny package.
Faith is not an end, but a journey. Live faithfully, and all shall be well with you and God.
Yours in God's love, Paula
Friend Timothy, I am sorry to hear of thy troubles and doubts. It is very hard to deal with insomnia AND pain; both really beat a person down and cause confusion and distraction. I have dealt with both, and it can be extremely difficult. Lately I have gotten into lazy habits that distress me: my insomnia is worsening, so I'm not going to bed before 2 or even 3 am, and that means that my husband and I are sleeping in until 10, with my feeling very tired and apt to not do things I plan to. It's a spiral that disturbs me, and I am having trouble reversing/altering it. OTOH, to my great joy (and relief), I seem to be coming out of a fallow period of not being able to write--just since Christmas, I've done 3 short stories, sent two more chapters of my novel to my beta, and began slogging through a long-overdue hew blog post, besides working on a new song for a St. Patrick's Day program (and possibly my CD).
Timothy, let me remind thee that George Fox was not a "learned man" by many standards, of his day or ours, being a workman, but he was wise in the spirit, as I think thou art. Please do not doubt that of God in thyself, or that thee reflects it to others! Sometimes it is difficult to believe it, but surely the comments replying to thy post indicate that thy perception of having little to offer here, or that it is offensive, is awry.
Please by patient with thyself...and us! And thank thee for thy query, helping me reflect on this.
Thy Friend, Barra
Warm greetings Timothy and Barra:
If I may offer some helpful thoughts on insomnia. . first and foremost we are nature and need to live close to that in order to always feel our best. As the sun is rising and day is dawning, we also should rise with energy for the entire day. As the sun sets, darkness falls, we naturally re-tire to rest and rejuvenate our bodies for the next day. This pattern helps to keep us vital even into old age.
To that end, make breakfast and lunch your large meals of the day, if you have a large meal each day. Your dinner meal should be very small, very light and preferably raw and fresh vegetable salad or something like that and taken preferably before 7:00 p.m. if possible. Let your digestion rest after that - - take no other food (or drinks if possible, including water, so you will retrain your body to sleep thru the night) after 7 p.m. You will find this will help to once again re-establish your circadian rythym. Your body will naturally begin to relax as is it is not having to break down a late meal. Cleansing occurs while sleeping, as it should, and you'll begin to awaken early, when the birds sing you awake to greet the new day. (4:30 - 5:00 a.m.)
Some people may not be hungry for breakfast - - but doing this, I find I have a healthy appetite for breakfast and lunch. . and maybe only have a cup of tea and some cut up fresh vegetables for dinner. I easily fall asleep by 10 or 11 at the latest. . and rise daily at 4:30 or 5 a.m. (365 days per year) It would be a rare day I'd ever sleep until 6. Its very harmonious and healing for your body to get the rest it needs and if this sounds suitable for you I hope you will try it and find it to benefit you greatly.
I wish you both peaceful rest and retreat,
Barra Jacob-McDowell added:
my insomnia is worsening, so I'm not going to bed before 2 or even 3 am, and that means that my husband and I are sleeping in until 10, with my feeling very tired and apt to not do things I plan to.
Sorry I have not replied to thee or any of ye, dear Friends, but I was getting prepared for the oral surgeon today. My wisdom teeth had to be cut out. They have on and off vexed me since 2000. So, now I have tremendous pain, but I can manage that. :):)
I wish to say quickly, for now as it is 2:33 am, thank ye all for your responses. I have been unable to reply until now. I am sorry this is short. I shall, Lord Willing, reply further later on today!! :):)
I need to reread thy replies better. Pray, understand this: I am much encouraged, though not fully recovered, but making progress. Thy encouragement is like nuances ~ little bits of differences!! Ye all are making little bits of differences. I must say, Adieu for now.
Until later on. Thy humble Friend in Christ Jesus,
This is to add my encouragement to the messages others have sent you. Perhaps we can come your way for a visit in the spring!
In Christian friendship,
Bill (and Darlene) Rushby
Dear Timothy, In a valley, so to speak? These times shape us and make our joys all the sweeter! Allow this time to bring you closer to the Lord. Fellowship with the Rushbys? What a blessing! So much wisdom and faith lies in that fellowship!
Peace Unto you,
I must say, dear Friends, I am moved Within my Innermost soul as I read over each of the comments, thoughts, and encouraging advice! I must admit, I never posted this to draw undo attention to myself. I just posted how I was feeling at the time.
I have still an on and off problem with insomnia. It has gotten some better though, and it has been gradually and slowly getting going away. I do take advice well. I do take refreshing chamomile tea or if I do not have that at my fingertips, I will take Valerian, Melatonin, Lavender Flower, Hops, Multiple Amino Acids which contains L-Tryptophan, which is good for aiding in relaxing and resting, so my wife knows a lot about herbal supplements and such. This has helped.
The pain I was having and experiencing, from the oral surgery, directly during the bout of despondency and insomnia, was nearly overwhelming dear Friends. I felt like quitting and just remaining off of this site. So I thank God and His Christ, even though I'm in some pain, but not too much, for each one of thy posts of kindness. This has greatly helped me in coming back to this site. The pain has slowly started to diminish notably today.
Also, I have tried to help my little family to join, sign in, set up their pages, and the like. With taking three different pain relievers, I hope I did not make errors within their information or about me walls. I have been very drowsy and have been prone to errors from blurred vision. If I have made any errors, I plead all of thy pardons! I do not mean to deliberately make errors, friends, but it happens.
So, I thought I'd try to update ye all on what has been occurring. I'm slowly returning. I am a bit shy now, in contributing in discussions, but I'm sure that will gradually shrink away in time. To do as an old hymn I have found says, "Accept my talents great or small. . ." I think all of thy comments has been like an ointment. Far more than what ye may know. I am not lifting up mankind beyond measure or above God and His Christ, but I do sincerely and genuinely thank you each also! Yet, "All Praise and thanks to God. . ." ~~ "Nun danket alle Gott. . ." !!! :):)
Thy humble Friend in Christ's Light,
I'm so glad that thee's feeling better!
Really, I doubt that anyone thought thee was trying to get undue attention, but surely it is right for friends to support and encourage each other when someone in a community is feeling unwell. I think we tend to underestimate the power pain has when it's absent, or to feel as if we can master it by will, that if we don't, it's a reflection on our character. Yet isn't that pride? God gave us the ability to sense pain so we would know something is amiss and in need of care. Pain is like emotions, not subject to logic, just a state of being. Prolonged pain can be very exhausting.
My husband has diabetes, so far controllable by a medication other than insulin and diet. Every day I help him check his feet, to be sure that there are no problems with them; we don't want to let something go that could develop into a much more serious problem down the road, and diabetics can get into such a bad case from denial and neglect that in time they have to have amputations. We hope to avoid that!
When I was a little girl, when I told my father that I was sick or hurt, his immediate reaction was to scold me for trying to get attention, I was being a hypochonidriac. It was years before I understood that he couldn't bear the idea of my suffering, because he loved me so much. I do tend to let things go now until they become serious, although I'm trying to do better.
Right now, I'm feeling a bit despondant too, because I am having vertigo from an inner-ear problem that is triggered by a cold. The medication masks the nausea, but leaves me very sleepy (a contrast to my usual insomnia!) and limp; I am getting a bare minimum of tasks done; had to cancel a rehearsal with my duo partner at her house today, because I reluctantly concluded it would not be safe to drive half an hour each way to get there and back. I know it' was the right and safe decision, but I was anticipating it a lot. It's vexing to be unsteady and do so little! OTOH, when I recover, I know I'll be so thankful that I can move around and bend forward without fearing I'll fall, and I'll be so happy to have more energy--but right now, it's hard to see that....
Being unwell is difficult. What I see as I get older is the truth of two quotations I read in Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity, a collection of quotations gathered by Catherine Whitmire:
"Out of our brokenness make us a blessing." --Judith L. Bruiz, 1980, and
"God does not shelter us from misfortune,
but God does help us endure it,
and so suffering above all else
can become the point of encounter with God." --Diana Lampen, 1966
I hope these may be of help to thee!