As I sit in a coffee shop amid the smells of various aromatic coffee blends lingering in the air, I am tempted to eat the chocolate covered peanuts sitting on my plate. You’re probably thinking “hey- you’re in a coffee shop so those are probably chocolate covered espresso beans”. As I pop the chocolately beans into my mouth, I realize that they’re espresso beans and it’s past four o’clock in the afternoon. Oops. Ironically, the speakers above my head are blasting the song “Up All Night” by the Talking Heads.
And that’s what I’m going to be…. up all night. I’m not like that person in your three o’clock Civics class in college who can nod off in public at the drop of a hat even after they’ve had a gallon of Mellow Yellow. You know that guy- he studies the night before the final, pulls an “all-nighter” and aces it. That’s not me.
Sleep has been an issue for me for most of my adult years. When most people are asleep, my brain is going non-stop sometimes. It’s usually when I’m troubled (or have eaten a chocolate covered espresso beans) that I have a hard time getting to sleep. In the world we live in, there are many things to be troubled about. Have you read or seen the news lately? Things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. Murder, war, sex trafficking, injustice, senseless violence and oppression against innocent children and adults alike. How do we come to terms with all the bad things that are going on right now? Is lying awake at night worrying the answer?
Prayer is one of the main things that I do when I can’t sleep. Prayer is my way of asking God to help me because I am in desperate need of his help. It’s the cry in the night that comes from a place of desperation. Not many things are as humbling as a week of sleeplessness, my friends. Trust me- it’s not fun when you start to see things that aren’t there or your emotions are so raw that everything seems amplified. But what else do you do when you’re out of bed at four a.m. and wide awake? Besides prayer and journaling, reading a book is really helpful when you find yourself sleep deprived.
Reading a book is one of the pleasures in life that everyone can enjoy- there are e- books, audio books and free books to be had. Reading a good book can take you to another world and inspire you to think differently about the people around you. Even if you don’t enjoy reading- you can play an audio book in your car on your way to work.
And there are free books at Revive Thrift Shop! Yes- I know the library offers free books, but not everyone can remember that their book is due- am I right? Library fees do add up. People are often surprised that we offer free books. Just last week a customer said to me “ I see the sign for free books, but is it okay for me to take this book?” I love it! Another customer told me that she was a retired teacher and was
taking some books to a young man who is learning to read at eighteen. She is helping him get through the classics. She’s another reason why I love volunteering at Revive.
Now I wonder what book I’ll be reading at three am thanks to those espresso beans? There are so many to chose from at Revive I can’t decide. But after all, I’ll be up all night so I have lots of time to choose.
Revive Thrift Shop Volunteer