Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Watching TV Is a Wise Use of Time

Cranberry Tea Time: When Watching TV Is a Wise Use of Time

I've been quiet on my blog a lot lately. My body has been extra tired, and my brain was needing a break. I like to be productive. I like to do as much as I can. I try to keep up with life, but when I try to do too much it all tends to come crashing in on me.

A couple of weeks ago I was making an effort to pay more careful attention to how I spend my time. Because I am so limited in what I can do, I want to make sure that I use my precious energy wisely. My body is usually ready to lie down for the night by 8pm. I can't actually fall asleep until around midnight, though, which leaves me with 4 hours of time where I am confined to bed, but awake. During those 4 hours in bed I typically read and/or watch tv.

Two weeks ago I decided to use more of that evening time reading and studying the Bible. For three days it was great! Television gets really boring, but there is an endless depth to God's Word, and I really enjoyed reading and studying it more. After a few days, though, my brain fog came in thick and didn't want to go away. My head was fuzzy. I didn't go on facebook. I didn't blog. My inbox piled up, and I didn't respond to emails. I didn't call anyone on the phone. I couldn't concentrate well enough to read a simple novel. I could barely carry on a conversation with Will.

That's when I realized that my body and brain aren't made to think and study for 2 or 3 hours a day. I could do that, and more, back in my Bible college days, but not anymore. Just as my body needs rest, my brain needs a lot of rest too.

After the brain fog got bad, I had several days of lots of sleep, no reading at all, and more tv than I care for. My brain was able to pull out of the thick fog, and I have returned to life as normal for me.

I'm able to think more clearly again now. I have discovered that thirty minutes to an hour of Bible study is my limit on an average day. In order to be able to think clearly enough to read my Bible, I have to have enough rest time for my brain each day. In order to serve my family to the best of my ability, I have to have enough rest time for my body and brain each day. In order to blog, talk to my friends, or do anything productive, I have to have enough rest time. Rest is important, and my body demands a lot of it.

Sometimes watching television is the best use of my time. And so each evening you will find me watching tv as I rest my body and brain (unless there is nothing on tv, in which case I lie in bed very bored as I stare at my four walls!). It's a good way for me to use my time so that I have the ability to read the Bible later. This is my life with a chronic illness, and I watch television to the glory of God!


  1. Good for you! I will pray for lots of really good shows for you to rest with!

  2. Rachel, thank you for talking about this. As women and mothers it can be very easy to compare ourselves and judge either ourselves or each other by some outside criteria, instead of by the heart (1 Sam 16:7). What you say has wide application in my life, to include homemaking, child rearing, how I dress, makeup, ministry involvement, ANY area of life. You have encouraged me today, and my heart praises God that HE sees my heart and knows me!

  3. Hi Rachel! You've encouraged me this morning! I struggle a lot with this too. I really want to do things and keep myself occupied but I.just.can't. I love how you said "my body wasn't made that way" a great perspective, one I need to work on. I really struggle with boredom, I think I want to do things, then I try them, and instantly feel horrible. I ended up spending a ton of time just laying flat and stir crazy, I really don't know what to do with myself or my mind bc I'm filled with boredom and end up pushing myself too far everyday. Sometimes I think it pushes me back further there are only so many shows that are interesting and audiobooks keep me captive only a little
    bit. I have yet to find a comfortable balance

  4. Bonjour Rachel,

    I was wondering what had happened to you. I'm touched that you remembered my daughter Lisa. At first the cardiologist did not know what the diagnosis was. I have to say that now that my husband is back from his long overseas assignment she feels better. She is getting stronger every day. She still has moments of faintness but has not lost consciousness yet. So I'm crossing my fingers on that one. My other daugter who is 22 has had diabetes since she was 18 months. It has taken its toll on her body. She has difficulty coping with full days. There are weeks she just stays in bed for ever. Its sad but there is nothing I can do. I hope your kids are all healthy and I hope that one day they will find some type of cure for you. You are as beautiful as you are kind. Bless you for writing back.

    Anne-Marie with a dash

  5. We're all capable of overdoing it! But it's awesome that you've identified your overdoing it triggers - not everyone figures it out.

  6. I'm glad you've found the right balance for your needs :)

  7. I've been reading your blog for quite sometime. I have a daughter with dysautonomia. Just wondering what you treatment protocol is at this time. Perhaps you could email me.


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