By Jean Boonstra

I'm more of a late-adopter than an early-adopter of this new technology, but I love my new toy.

About the Author

Jean Boonstra is the Associate Speaker for the Voice of Prophecy. She is the author of several books, including eight in the Adventist Girl series.

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My purple-banded Fitbit is now my constant companion. It tracks my steps and my active minutes, and would even track my calories and water intake levels if I bothered to input them. I love the fact that my new friend buzzes my wrist when it is time to get up from my desk and walk around, and cheers for me when I reach my step goals. The silent alarm is probably a marriage-saver for this morning person married to a night owl.

I thought I'd love the sleep statistics that this watch provides. I knew that I hadn't been sleeping as well in recent years as I once did, but I wasn't really worried. At least not until my Fitbit showed me the reality of my sleep patterns and not the fanciful story I'd been telling myself. 

The first night I wore my watch to sleep, I woke up eager to read the report. The stats told me that I'd slept for six hours and 58 mins—pretty good. The details told the entire story. During those nearly eight hours, I woke up four times, was restless 18 times, and spent 42 total minutes awake. For an insomniac like my husband, that would've been a great report. For me, it was an eye-opener.

I reflected back over the night. I remembered waking up a couple of times and thinking about some problems going on at work. I'd thought about the issues, come up with brilliant solutions, and drifted back off to sleep. I must've repeated that process more times than I'd realized. In the face of the cold, hard statistics, I wondered how many nights I followed that pattern. I let the reality finally sink in—it'd been this way for a few years. I'd somehow developed the habit of letting my worries creep in during the night, but because I usually came up with solutions during those middle-of-the-night intensives, I wasn't concerned. Nearly seven hours of sleep in a night isn't exactly cause for alarm.

As I tracked my sleep over the coming nights, the reality of the pattern bothered me. I was once the kind of person who slept through fire alarms, vespers services, loud TV commercials and even occasionally my own babies crying! Was it just my age? Is deep sleep the luxury of youth?

As I struggled to digest the statistics, I happened one day to be working on a radio script and in my research turned to one of my favorite verses: Psalm 37:5.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5

This verse has served as a beacon of hope during several difficult journeys for me. I continued reading.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:6-8

As I read those verses, I understood the reason for my restless sleep. I had learned to trust in Him, to commit my way to Him, but I'd forgotten to rest in Him. Each of my mid-night worries were invariably about situations and people I'd encountered throughout the day. I thought I was doing myself a service by resolving these situations in the quiet of the night. In reality, I'd forgotten to wait patiently for Him.

I'll admit, many of my brilliant middle-of-the-night solutions pale in the light of the day. My restless worry not only breaks my sleep pattern, but also prevents me from hearing His solution the next day.

The sleep stats my Fitbit spits out every morning are still not consistently rest-filled, but the pattern is improving. Seeing the numbers is a fresh reminder each day to rest in Him, because fret only causes me harm. As I type this, I'm standing with my laptop perched on a footstool which is on top of credenza—all because my watch just buzzed. My purple-banded friend is a great companion.