Its a good thing, I suppose, that it happened on the weekend. But its a bad thing, I suppose, that now its Monday and we feel like we've been hit by a truck. No, not the flu. Not a cold. Not a reason in sight for our sleepless nights here. Just a trial.
We don't know who wakes up whom, but it happens. One voice, then another, calling from the room next to ours. And then its three hours of me calming one - him calming the other. And we exhaust ourselves trying to get little ones to sleep.
Remind me again that it gets better.
Rest is such a precious thing. And precarious. I remember feeling like we would most likely never have a good night of rest again about 3 years ago. I was wrong. Thankfully.
Without rest, we are just shadows of the parents we want to be. Forget trying to be husband and wife, forget trying to be friends, forget trying to keep up with chores and car washing and laundry. Forget trying to keep up with finding time for God. Life requires us to be parents, first. You can say what you want about putting God first - in principle that's true. But on a practical level, you have to squeeze Him in between diaper changes, feedings, tea parties and story times. Seldom does the time to sit in a chair by the window while the morning sun tickles the surfaces and soak in His word happen to parents of little ones.
I squeeze my time in sometime after children are fed breakfast and before Madison's naptime. I try. The quality suffers...but I stubbornly press on. It isn't always restful.
I struggle to see the line between rest and laziness sometimes. When my little ones are actually napping, do I use rest as an excuse to be lazy? I don't need the nap, and I probably don't really need that much of a nap even if I do. But I don't have the fight in me and I take what I can get. I'll sleep as long as I can. I'll linger here in the fleeting quiet until it is gone.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Honestly, I've always been a little annoyed by this passage. Because when I am weary and burdened and I come before the Lord, I do not get the literal rest I seek. I read it and interpret it in a physical form. And through the lense of a parent of tiny people. I miss the real meaning. I expect immediate results.
I expect to have time to be a wife.
I expect to have time to be a friend.
I expect to have time to be a student of the Word.
Little successes in these categories don't feel like progress. I'm always seeing how far I fall short of the mark I have for myself.
I am learning, through much struggle, to find the joy in the journey. For me it seems a journey to rest. I am trying to trust through these hard times when I don't feel like anything else in life is really working to hang on and believe that life will get better...that there will be rest. And even in the struggle for sleep, the nights of trials, the battles in the dark, I am slowly figuring out how to allow my soul the rest I crave.
Even if there is little peace in the body, I feel His firm grip on me moreso than I have at any other time in my life.
I wonder how he can never grow weary of my endless need to learn the same lessons over and over and over.
Look how good you have it.
Others have it much worse.
You begged for these little ones.
The sleeplessness is only for a season.
I will not leave you here alone.
How does he never tire of whispering these truths to me? How can he not just give up even for just a while? How can my calling out to Him and asking immature and repetitive questions not get old?
Because God never sleeps. Because God is never surprised. Because God is never irritated by those who seek Him. Because God is the source of peace. Because God loves. Oh how he loves.
Oh that I were more like Him.
Father, make me more like you.