It’s no secret that if sleeping were a super-power, I would be a super hero.
So when Jack – my precious, perfect, adorable son whom I love with all my heart and would do anything for (such as strict bedrest for four months) – when he wakes up in the middle of the night, I’m not so happy.
I recall times when my wonderful husband and I would take turns getting up with Jack. Then Jeff had a busy season at work and so I thought I’d be such a nice wife and handle Jack all on my own during the night. Eventually Jack started sleeping through the night again.
Just when my body adjusted to full nights of sleep, Jack started waking up again. He wasn’t sick or getting a tooth. He had no reason to be awake. And yet I hear “Mama mama mama mama mama” from the other room. Reluctantly, I pull myself out of the warm, cozy covers and hold a crying Jack.
After several nights of me consoling Jack back to sleep during the night, I was starting to feel like it was someone else’s turn. I nudged Jeff. Nothing. I elbowed him a few times in the back and said “I think it’s your turn.”
We proceeded to whisper-yell at each other. Are you familiar with this type of conversation? Jack was already crying, but with hopes of him going back to sleep without our intervention, Jeff and I whisper fought about who should get Jack.
He doesn’t want me. He’s saying “Mama.”
Do you remember the days he could only say “Dada” and I still got him??
Eventually Jeff agreed to get Jack. Jeff returned 30 seconds later. “He won’t even let me pick him up. He saw me and buried himself in the corner of the crib and is crying for you.”
So the next morning at Bible study my prayer request wasn’t just that Jack would start sleeping through the night again, but that my attitude would be better. That I would be kind to Jeff and that I would be patient and loving with Jack.
Things didn’t change right away, but I noticed subtle differences that helped. When Jack would cry, I would hold him and pray out loud. It seemed that when I was praying Jack would be quiet. So I didn’t stop praying until I thought he was asleep and then I laid him down. Now that’s what I do: I pray for Jack. I thank God for him and all the fun things we did during the day. I pray for his future, that he would love God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. I pray that Jack would continue to be a blessing to those around him.
Now when I crawl back into bed after consoling Jack, I’m not regretting the bad words I said or thought. Instead I’m grateful for that time to pray for him. I feel peace and confidence that I’m doing what God wants.
I still don’t like when my sleep is disrupted. But I trust that God will give me the rest that I need and that the awake times He gives me are purposeful.