Friday, December 05, 2008

On recommendation of a blogger friend, I recently read a blog post quoting Martha Peace's opinion of women who claim to be night owls. She describes them as people who "stay up till all hours reading, watching television, or pursuing some sort of interest. The next morning they are too tired to get up and care for their family... these women are not "night people". They are lazy and selfish. Who would not rather stay up late to do whatever they please and sleep late the next day?

I thought this might provoke some interesting conversation for any of you who'd like to chime in on this. But let me preface it by saying that Martha Peace is an excellent resource of a wealth of wisdom for wives. So if you disagree with her on this point, don't assume that she's just a prude. I can't recommend her too highly if you're looking for a godly perspective on your marriage relationship.

Okay, that said, I think that Martha's assessment of "night owls" is fair if they are indeed trading proper care of their families and homes (and even themselves) for nightly self-indulgences such as those she suggested. But my agreement breaks down when this idea is applied carelessly to anyone who considers themselves a night owl. For example, I know several people who are naturally more productive at night, even if they have become so by training rather than by design. And remember those whose jobs require late nights or even sleeping during the day. I can think of many times I've been thankful to have nurses by my child's bedside at 3am...they have homes to manage also (I babysit for a friend, a nurse, who could surely add an amen here!).

And beyond all that, after years of feeling guilty for not enjoying my quiet times early in the morning, I have finally accepted that my most precious times of fellowship with my Savior come in the late hours (burning the midnight oil is, after all, a rather old expression). When I discipline myself to put aside all that remains to be done in my home and spend some time at my Father's feet hours after putting the children to bed, I find Him there waiting just as happily as if I had come to Him in the early hours of morning. I have more to pour out to him, and I feel more desperate for His Word. Then I fall to sleep peacefully, and wake feeling refreshed and securely in His presence. If this supreme fellowship means awaking in the mornings at 7, 8, or even 9 (haha...that's a rare one), then I will happily accept even Martha's judgment of my motives or discipline rather than once again guiltily subjecting myself to ideologies that hamper those times of great refreshing.

Another little side discussion that the other blogger mentioned is that she always has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, but she does it anyway. Well, here we can agree! More often than not, I am sleep deprived, unfortunately. But I challenge you to find a homeschooling mother with a large family and a part-time job who's not! :)

And as for staying up late for a bit of self-indulgence, of course, I've been guilty. More than I care to admit. Does that signify to me that I should hit the sack earlier as a matter of principle? Not if you ask me. Just means I have to consistently sort out my priorities and apply a little more self-discipline while I'm up in the evening, just as some other moms have to do in the early morning. Believe me, I have spent enough time kicking myself for being a "night owl," as well as doing everything I could imagine to change it. But after all, I finally accepted that this is who I am, and God can use me just the same.


*~*Sheila*~* said...

HI Shelly,
I am not certain if you were refering to me (sheila) in your blog today for Friday when you say:
"Another little side discussion that the other blogger mentioned is that she always has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, but she does it anyway"....I was a little hurt because what I really said was that it's hard for me to get up to do to the laundry I dread and had to change my schedule around to not dread this task for my family so much.
My original blog here:
I was also speaking of myself as a night person and that I didn't care for myself that way and after reading that particular article I felt I needed to change for what I read not necessarily for anyone else nor for everyone else just myself. I am not the type of person to change someone else, I was just sharing what I had read and that it inspired me to do something about myself and perhaps others as well might feel the same. Not necessarily those who work 3rd shift or are nurses, doctors or who may be "comfortable" in their routine, I am stating that I was not comfortable in mine and that I needed to change and others may or may not benefit from reading it but, that is where I discovered my inspiration to change me.
No not everyone is programmed exactly the same way thank goodness we need those waiteress at Denny's at 2am, and we need those associates at Walmart in the middle of the night but, for me and my family for me to be productive in taking care of my children properly and properly giving them the education, the homeschool and life I desire for them I saw in myself where I was neglecting them. No it doesn't mean that it applies to everyone including all large families and homeschoolers alike.


Shelley said...

Oh, my goodness, no Sheila. I was speaking of the post you referenced (Night person?)...well, actually, it was a quote from her next post (So about night people...). I agree with you wholeheartedly that her post gave some serious food for thought. I personally was convicted to cut out the extraneous junk I have been doing at night more regularly than I should. Nor did I intend to be negative about her post. I was aiming for what I feel is a more rounded view of the subject than her post allowed in my opinion. In fact, if you read my comment to your blog post which began this whole thought process, I was thoroughly delighted with your take on the subject. I discussed with my hubby that I always schedule things for myself to do in the early mornings that I either do not enjoy or perform better at night. So I'm stealing your idea of enjoying a cup of coffee and maybe a little blogging first thing in the morning! :) But I'm not gonna kick myself for doing my quiet time at 11:30pm or later instead of 6am. If I can discipline myself to do the things that need to be done at night when the kids are decidedly out of the way instead of the morning when they'll wake up at any moment, then I'm comfortable being a night owl. But if instead, I am indeed being lazy and selfish (watching excessive amounts of TV or reading merely for pleasure, etc), then shame on me if I sleep late and neglect the things I ought to be doing. Know what I mean?

Dear, dear friend...if I have a contentious comment to make, I promise you I will share it with you personally, then and there. Not in my blog posts! I can't even imagine you being judgmental anyway! Not that I believe the other woman is either, I just wanted to point out that perhaps her reasoning was not thought all the way through.

Be at peace, Sheila. Your post has done nothing but inspire me to evaluate my own agenda, as well as my motives, carefully. That's a good, good thing, for which I thank you. I'm so very sorry for the confusion!

Can I send you a big hug?

*~*Sheila*~* said...

Oh Thank You so much.
I wasn't sure what your blog was saying and I was confused, for me that night person thing just doesn't work.
I was really bad though staying up really late watching tv and not taking care of my man and getting up waaaaaayyyy to late to function and take care of the kiddos and animals it was crazy and stupid.
I am having it so much easier now easing myself into the day with this new routine and my bible time is so precious and worth it now I believe I am getting somewhere with the Lord (he can hear me).
No defintely don't kick yourself for doing your study or devotions whenver is good for you sometimes a prayer in the bathroom is more to me than any I say in the morning, my time with God.
Or the other night I was so sad and angry and the shower just seemed the perfect place..I was just cried out to him.
aaaahhh!! I get what you mean now it's all clear now. I hear ya and totally agree...I was watching way to much tv excessive amounts and neglecting what was most important in my life and my life's purpose I think that's why it hit home for me, I was being lazy and I saw it and hated it but, didn't know how to change it.
Then I read that blog and it helped it was a ouch but, it helped for me.
Thank you Shelly for not getting upset, for being a true friend to contact me if you have problem with me, and to being honest and kind and understanding.

and thank for that.