Finding rest and inspiration

Martha Popson holds a staff and breviary, both of which support her on her journey of faith. Popson is a member of St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville and a Benedictine oblate with St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Ill.

By Martha Popson

Earlier this week, I could not fall asleep. I have insomnia maybe twice a year and resist it mightily each time, resulting in only more prolonged sleeplessness. 

I moved from bed to front room; the clock kept watch with me, moving on to midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m. Sparky wandered in to see who was up.  That good and faithful canine companion and I tried all sorts of soporific tricks. He fell asleep quickly.  Alas, none worked for me.

I did relaxation exercises, listened to music, even tried a few minutes of “The Christmas Story.” (Praise be to iPods, appreciated anew that dark night.  Further praise for my ear phones, enabling my husband Johnny to sleep on, oblivious to my plight.) The minutes, the hours slipped by, yet the arms of Morpheus did not beckon.

At last, in desperation, I remembered God. Once I let God into the quiet, sleep soon followed. Both dog and I sunk into a long winter’s nap, extending into midmorning.


Today, of my own volition, I got up at 4 a.m. The wee hours before dawn are my favorite part of the day.  Sparky and I have been sitting here in the recliner for a couple of hours now. I’ve had my tea and Sparky, sated with doggy treats, has drifted off again. This time we welcomed the presence of God, best found in the stillness. Good moments of contemplative union were shared. We have started the day.

God, I’m so glad we had this time together.  Amen.

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