The summer after I graduated from college, I began a long term addiction—sleeping with a fan. I began this to drown out the sounds of my roomates so I could sleep anytime, anywhere. Everywhere I go I have to have some white noise whether it be a real fan (my favorite) or the white noise app on my phone. If I do not have it, I do not sleep well.
When you marry, you pull people into your addictions. Greg totally puts all the blame on me for his addiction now. His favorite story is when both of our cars were rammed by a drunk driver directly below our bedroom window in our first year of marriage. We did not hear a thing! Mass destruction and the fan kept us in blissful sleep.
Now, Jack has joined in on the family addiction. A book I read talked about how white noise helped replicate the sound of the womb and would help your baby sleep better. Baby sleep better? Sign me up. The sound machine in Jack’s room plus the fan in our room helps us to hear important sounds instead of every little sigh and grunt on the monitor. You may be appalled, but we are all quite happy with the arrangement. I prefer to freak out only when a real freak out is called for–not the adrenaline rush of reacting to every sound my loud sleeper makes.
As I was spending time examining my heart this afternoon, I realized that the last few months have been filled with white noise in my life. Adjusting to being a parent, increased responsibility, decreased sleep, increased stress, my heart has not been very attuned to all the changes. I have been surviving–with white noise in the background–feeding and taking care of Jack, TV in the background, conversations that are not neccessarily life giving, schedules, prepping our house to put it on the market, having a “good put together” face to present–surviving. I have been content living with white noise covering up the deep places in my heart. White noise deadens us to be able to sleep instead of being aware.
Several people have asked me how my heart has been–I have responded “pretty good.” That was not me lying–it was just what the white noise let me see. I have not made much room to dig really deep. Part of this is probably a reaction to how intensely I struggled in the first month of being a mom–depression, angst, darkness. I felt so desperately then that I could take a break from intense feelings for awhile. Also, I have been lazy. I have had the time to spend time studying and journaling, but I have chosen chores and to dos before the Father. They have been a white noise covering the real cries of my heart. That leaves a dry parched heart that looks a lot like our backyard with lots of brown and sprigs of green.
I have called this Melancholy Monday–Crossroad is starting back which signals that summer is over and the craziness of Fall begins. This will be a new crazy with a little one. However, God has used the melancholy attitude of my heart today to draw me to deeper water. He does not let me use white noise forever to mask and deaden. I asked Him to keep whispering the Gospel to me—that He died and was punished for the ways that I try to cover up my heart, He died for all the ways I do not love Him wholly, He lived a righteous life fully obedient and that is my righteousness. I have merely to confess my heart’s idols of the comfort of white noise and cling to the Truth that He is my hope, my life. I thank Him that I do not have to “make up” for my lack of study and dedication this summer–that is a Gospel of works. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
“Oh to Grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be, Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”
I sit on my back porch now with the best temperature and breeze that I have felt since early May. It is a reminder of the freshness of His Gospel every day–the freshness of His love. He sings over me, and I am thankful. I sit longing to choose to engage God’s heart with my heart as the fall begins and as Jack grows. I have a big fall–supporting and loving Greg, shepherding Jack, ministry, caring for others. In September, we add another service on Sundays that will affect our family in a great way–I have to fight for the engagement of my heart instead of simply searching for mindless comfort. Otherwise, I will awake years from now with a numb heart that has missed the riches of knowing Him and making Him known fully.