In honor of finally doing the hard task of sleep training my third baby these past seven days, this week's Move-Over Monday is a little reminder of when my oldest was a little, crib-sleeping baby. I have learned so much since these days mentioned below, but still find such strength knowing that God knows and cares for me. Please enjoy (and share ;)).
Twenty-one Sleepy Shuffles
My determined march is only 23 feet, 5 inches long. My sacrificial stroll is the same difference from my computer to the fridge.
So why is this walk so hard to happily hike?
Not to be over dramatic, but these 21 shuffles often require more from me than my 45 minute cardio workout. Perhaps it’s because this nightly jaunt is not completed per my own request, but rather by the needy cries of another. As any young mom knows, midnight feedings, 3am feedings, or 5am feedings are probably the hardest part of serving a small being weighing in only slightly more than a bag a potatoes. It’s a constant reminder that my nights (and days, for that matter) aren’t my own. My eating habits, to-do lists, shopping trips, and priorities have shifted greater than any other time in life…and all for the purpose of one.
My brain has now been trained to filter every detail of our family’s life around the needs of our half-pint. Do we have a diaper bag packed? Have the warm pajamas been washed yet? Will the restaurant have a high chair? Are baby noises accepted at this gathering? Did I remember to change my shirt covered in kid-ooze? Yadda, yadda.
So why is this march so tough to complete without complaint?
All theatrics aside, it’s hard because my will is not my own. My time is not my own. My sleep is not even my own anymore. (Geez, this sounds so self-centered…) As a mom, you give up your right to be #1. You are now serving another. Ephesians 6:7 says to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Truthfully though, this is not something I wanted to be reminded of at 3:37 in the morning when abruptly awakened and summoned crib-side. I remember many nightly walks pausing only momentarily to take a deep breath and whisper a quick, life-sustaining prayer as my feet hit the floor, when turning down the roaring baby monitor so my husband could keep sleeping or as I opened my bedroom door to cross the hall.
During these nights, I am obviously thankful that Jesus knows my name (John 10:3). But I always find more comfort in the fact that my God is so tuned into the details of my life that he thought to remind us that “he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11). Did you catch that? In the middle of our sacred scriptures, is a short, powerful, loving, tender passage reminding us that he fuels the fueler. He resources the source. He guides the guide. He nurtures the nurturers. He leads the leader. He tends to each one of his flock. Even me, as I make the sleepy shuffle only 23 ½ feet from my bed. Even me, as I pick up my tiny one and hold my breath when my sit down in the cold rocking chair knowing the chill will only last a short moment. Even me, as I fight not to fall asleep while feeding the baby in hopes that I won’t get a permanently crooked neck. Even me, as I gently lay my bundle of joy back in bed in deep slumber and silently cheer that I might get a few more hours of precious sleep. Yes, God cares about me and my slow surrender to another. God cares about me as I learn to submit myself to the needs of someone else. Absolutely, God cares that I am tired and must continue to plod on. I’m just so glad God cares.
Thankfully, my little spud sack is sleeping longer these days…
Only slightly more rested,