Last night my baby girl, Elle, couldn’t sleep. She whimpered throughout the night, trying to get comfortable. She was terribly congested. The humidifier didn’t seem to help much except sputtered a loud gurgling every now and then. And the Vicks at the bottoms of her feet didn’t seem to add much needed relief either. She was miserable.
Dan and I tried to go to bed earlier, setting aside a few responsibilities that we really should’ve done-prepping food for the week, washing laundry, folding previous loads of laundry- but decided to let them go for the sake of catching up on our sleep. It was unfortunate that this sickness of Elle’s had something else in mind. We were already working from a sleep debt from the night before. It was that evasive hour of daylight savings that tricked us into believing we had more time available than we truly did. Of course the way Dan and I are, we like to take things to another level so stayed up not only an extra hour but an extra couple of hours. The girls, naturally, didn’t know anything about the time change. Apparently transitioning to that hour makes all the difference in the world. While trying to keep them up, the girls melted down. They ended up waking up right on the dot at seven in the morning. Now, in this case, six. We should’ve known.
First mistake, we shouldn’t have stayed up so late the night before. Second mistake, we chose to neglect how the time change would affect our young daughters. Third mistake, we were thoughtless with Elle’s cold.
Looking back, it’s easy to see all those mistakes. This all brings me up to last night around midnight. I was tired, full of regret for not accomplishing all the things I felt like needed to be done and I was frustrated. After half an hour of rocking, comfort nursing, I placed Elle back in her crib. She settled in, I left and walked back to go to bed. After ten minutes in bed, she woke up again whimpering. It suddenly got louder, crescendoing louder, then even LOUDER. I didn’t want her to wake up Minnie, so I went back again going through the same routine. Rocking, comfort nursing and placed her back in her crib. The same thing happened after forty-five minutes. She awoke screaming. I was angry, and oh so frustrated. I shouldn’t have been, but I was. Emotionally I was already spent, the physical weariness again lowering my inhibitions, lowering my emotional threshold and what I felt like I could stand.
After all this, my dear husband,who was feeling a bit sick himself, was gracious enough to take to Elle downstairs to the swing, put her to sleep and stayed with her for a couple of hours. At around five this morning, he asked me to take her again since he really needed at least an hour to sleep in bed. I should’ve been grateful, but I was resentful. Like I said, emotional threshold much lower than was right or ideal. As I sat rocking Elle again, I tried to alleviate my frustration by thinking through the whole thing logically. It didn’t really help. Then I tried thinking about how miserable my baby was feeling and how much she probably really wanted to sleep herself. This didn’t help either. Like I said with this amount of sleep, I couldn’t think logically and was extremely selfish. What finally did help was remembering my mother taking care of me when I was sick. At five in the morning and being this tired, all I could think about was me. Me, me, me. Like I said, SELFISH. This was the only way I could put myself in Elle’s shoes. I remembered what it was like to feel miserable, not having enough energy to do anything, just wanting to be held and loved by my mother.
This morning, as I was doing my devotional-reading from Yancey’s Grace Notes, the passage was about giving, specifically monetarily. (There are some things here, too, that I believe the Lord is speaking to, convictions that He is forming, which I will save for later.)
At the end of this passage, Yancey says from Money booklet (20-21),
The act of giving best reminds me of my place on earth. All of us live here by the goodness and grace of God-like the birds in the air and the flowers of the field, Jesus said. Those creations do not worry about future security and safety; neither should we. Giving offers me a way to express my faith and confidence that God will care for me just as God cares for the sparrow and lily.
It is never ideal to give to others out of our emotional deficiency. Nevertheless being a mother, we can’t always wait to afford to give out of our abundance. In fact, we are often called to help, to care, to love when we are at our weakest, most broken-which is mainly why being a mother is so difficult. However, even here, Jesus is able to meet us, even if it be through our selfishness, to get us to a place where we’re reminded of His grace. Today I remember my mother’s grace she demonstrated to me through her loving acts of kindness caring for me when I was sick. And I was sick A LOT as a child. I remember the Lord’s grace on me when he ultimately saved me from the “sickness” of sin. I can only pray and hope that, in the future, even when I feel at my weakest, it won’t take me so long to get there- to naturally love and care not only for my daughters but for others as well.