It’s 12:24am and I’m not asleep.
But I haven’t slept for days.
It takes me approx 30 minutes (depending on how tired I am) to go from eyes open, head on pillow, full consciousness to REM sleep. In that 30 minutes I will turn probably 3 times to finally end up on my left side. I will put on way to many blankets but end up with my feet uncovered. I will think. And tonight, I will probably cry.

It’s not the unnecessary turning or the routine blanket process I am weary of, it’s the thinking. I want to skip that process. I’m too tired to cater to my analytical mind and too awake to fall quickly asleep unaware of its presence.

I’ll think about the children’s hostile in Mae Sot. I’ll think about waking up at 5:30am to join the kids and sing “I love the mountains.” I love that song but not as much as I love how it sounded coming out of their mouths. They sang it in unison. The sweet harmony and the peaceful words that lifted from their lips, in between emerging yawns, found their way outside of the tin roofed building and into the brown field. Their synchronization and small voices woke up the birds; they woke up the nearby pigs, and the stray dogs. They woke up the widowed grandma sleeping nearby and, simultaneously, they woke up my heart. Their song was beautiful but not like pretty polished rehearsed beautiful. It was hopeful abandoned passionate praise beautiful. I sang it too. I closed my eyes and pulled my blanket close. I forgot about the bugs, the concrete floor, and the brisk air for those moments.

I love the mountains
I love the waterfalls
I love the blue skies
I love the flowers
Thank you God for making them
I love you God
I love you God
I love you God

He is not so far from us.
For the Bible and my parents and my youth pastors and my friends tell me so.
But with all my “knowing” that He is close I wanted to understand too. (Job 42)

He is close, so close. I know because He showed me that time in Pattaya when I was speaking with the woman at the bar and she told me she hopes the love of her life will come rescue her from this lifestyle. He showed me when the woman in prison grabbed my hand after I prayed for her and she sat there and cried and nodded her head. When the little girl in Mae Sot came up to me and adorned my head with the flower crown she made. She hugged me and said, “You are wonderful. Very very beautiful.”

I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.

So if I go to sleep right now I’ll think. I’ll wish I could feel Him again, even though He spoke to me and told me I won’t always feel His presence. I won’t always see clearly – not on this earth.

Although, I’m not so focused. And as long as I’m being so honest (thanks sleep depravation) I might as well say that in that 30 minutes I’d think about me too. How unlovely. I’d think about how I have to get a job as soon as I get back to the Springs. I’d think about how I’m supposed to figure out what career I need to pursue and how I thought going to Australia and Thailand would give me more clarity – but it only opened more doors. It’s not options I’m after here – I need more paths, less options. But then I’d think about not being worried about that because He has always been faithful loving – and those 2 characteristics together are brilliant, unfailing. Then I’d think about boys…mmm, more like the boy. I’ll think about the 5 lbs I gained in Australia. And then I’d just pray before I entered some kind of mid life crisis. I’d doze off in prayer to Him.
Tonight, His character is my lullaby.

So that is why I can’t sleep. It’s my mind. It’s high maintenance.

“Behind all your tears, there’s a smile.
You mean everything to me.”
-Ben Harper-