Monday, October 20, 2014

// 20. sleep on it //


Perhaps the greatest piece of advice my dad has ever given me, or anybody, has been these three words: Sleep On It.

There have probably been a hundred times he said that to me when I was trying to make a decision, or feeling anxious about something, or doubting a decision I had already made. I remember looking for jobs, applying to colleges, choosing a college, choosing a major, choosing a different major, every difficult kind of scenario a teenager and young adult might face was first approached with prayer, and then slept on. And after "sleeping on it" I was always able to see the situation more clearly and have peace about whatever I decided to do. Even the time I had a meltdown about my wedding dress.

Shortly after Alex and I got engaged I went wedding dress shopping with my mom and my sister.  My budget was small so we went to a consignment shop. I kind of knew what I was looking for.  I only tried on two dresses, and bought the very first dress I tried on. It wasn't my size, it was actually about 7 sizes too big, but I guess that's normal when you buy a used dress. The ladies at the shop had these big clips that they used to hold the dress onto me so I could see what it would look like after I had it altered. I liked it, bought it (final sale) took it home, and didn't think about. 

Then about 2 months before our wedding I took my dress to the seamstress (is that what they're still called? That sounds so old fashioned.) to get it altered. I put it on for her so she could get the right measurements. And when I saw myself in the mirror in that dress my heart sank.  What had I been thinking? I didn't like this dress, and I definitely didn't want to get married in it! 

I held it together until my mom and I got to the car and then the hot, angry tears fell. I cried all the way home and when my dad saw me I think he must have thought the wedding was off, I was so upset. After he found out what the problem actually was he calmly suggested I sleep on it. And if in the morning I still didn't like my dress I could try to find one I did like. So that's what I did. 

And guess what? I felt so much better in the morning.  I decided I should wait to try it on when the alteration was complete, with my shoes and my veil and then see how I felt about it.  And when I did that, I liked it again. 

It's easy to feel despair and the end of the day. You're tired, you're more irritable, everything's quiet and you have time to think about situations that are worrisome.  I think tiredness breads anxiety and impairs decision making. But there is something about mornings that are so fresh and new that make everything look and feel better.  And that's why "sleep on it" always works. 

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 
-Ps 30:5

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
-Lam 3:22-23


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