I love to read. I always have.
But for the past few years, my book reading has declined drastically. (Which, I understand is hilarious because I write books for my job. Sheesh.)
Wheras I used to be the girl who felt my wrist give way under the weight of a heavy book as I fell asleep, I am now the girl who gets cranked in the forehead by my iPhone if I dose off while still scrolling or searching or watching or pinning.
Whereas I used to be the girl who would maneuver around while drying my hair to make sure a book stayed open so I could somehow keep reading, I now blow-dry with one hand and text with the other.
I’ve been more tired lately, more tired than I’ve ever known. And being that I am single with no children, I really have no other human to give credit to my tiredness. But I think I’m tired because I never get off the hamster wheel that is the world wide web.
I keep wondering why.
Why am I so tired? And why have I quit reading?
I keep wondering if they are connected.
I miss reading books. I miss choosing quiet moments with characters on pages because I can’t walk away from the characters on Twitter. I regret how I’ve chosen to use my time — caring more about being connected than giving my brain some Sabbath and feeling the rest that comes with the turning of a page.
I’m exhausted because I’m taking no time to exhale and somewhere deep in me, I don’t put down my phone until my eyelids close because the quiet will make me think and feel and for some reason, I’m avoiding that.
I’m unpacking this right along with you, figuring out my own fear and my own way of dealing, and how what I thought was protecting me is actually wearing me down.
Jesus didn’t intend for me to live this way. This isn’t the abundant life from John 10:10. I don’t think Jesus is anti-Instagram or a hater of social media, but I promise you He is anti-self-inflicted-exhaustion. And He can’t be a big fan of me avoiding quiet.
So I said some words in prayer about all of this and then I made a plan.
I moved my phone across the room and I kicked all other technology out of my room. I grabbed a few books I have long been meaning to read and the last two issues of Real Simple magazine. As I laid down to read last night, my skin crawled and I wondered what was happening on Facebook and I thought, “I should just check one more time” (but I didn’t) and then I realized . . . I really have a problem.
So I said some more words in prayer, asking Jesus to make new the broken places and to give me the courage to face whatever the things are that I am not willing to look at by the light of a bedside table.
I went to bed without checking my phone, and I slept better than I have in a really long time.
Here’s to a healthier heart and a more rested mind.