He Slept Through the Night!

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This is a headline every new mom wants to publish, but my announcement is even more gratifying because it came as an answer to a Bible promise I claimed two weeks ago. You see, two Sundays ago I sat down and wrote a blog post about lack of sleep that I never published…because I got too busy to polish and then too tired to post it. (As I’ve written more than once, sleep deprivation is one of the biggest drains on new mothers.) But now I can publish that post with a happy ending.

Two weeks ago…

In a recent post I wrote that I was having trouble with my God time, so I fasted from secular books and TV last week. The fast is over, and it was a blessing, but I also realized it’s not enough to fast. You also have to refill what you’ve taken away. As if mothers have a need to fill any more time! This is where it takes a conscious effort to include God in your day.

My husband took Sam for the afternoon, and I was tempted to take a nap. However, after lunch and a delicious lactation smoothie I’m trying this week [after two weeks it sadly hasn’t helped much], I was revived enough to sit down and talk to God. I told him that I was frustrated. It’s hard for me to focus on the Bible right now. The Bible seems too vast, plus, unrelated to my daily mommy mire. I told him I wished there were a Bible, or a gospel, specifically for mothers of young children. Sometimes I don’t want to sift through the biblical language to find a personal application.

I asked God what he would have me do. He told me he wasn’t asking me to be a Bible scholar, just to be faithful with the time I have. I was impressed to continue reading through the Psalms like I’ve been doing, and to memorize at least one verse from my reading each week.

In the past, the Psalms have spoken to me even when I had little mental energy for Bible study. The themes are simple—God is in control; the righteous prosper, the wicked die; God created me and cares for me intimately; God is the creator of everything—but beautiful and reassuring. Just like they were good for a frazzled first-year teacher six years ago, they are good for a tired mommy today. And you know what? As I looked over the Psalms I read last week, searching for one verse to memorize, one jumped out.

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8). My Bible commentary told me this section pertained to when David fled from Absalom and feared for his life. The fact that he can lie down and sleep shows absolute trust in God.

As far as I can tell, my life is not in danger; but with a two-month-old, I crave to sleep in peace. It occurred to me that I could claim this verse for myself. I can trust God that he will help me sleep in peace, because he provides for my needs, just like he provided for David. I know it’s a somewhat silly comparison, but this verse made me feel loved by God.

I recited that verse several times a day for over a week…and within two weeks, Sam, eleven weeks old, slept 9 ½ hours two nights ago and then 7 hours last night. I was able to sleep in peace. God came through!

I am so thankful to serve a God who meets me where I am—even when that is a pathetically sleep deprived and droopy state. May he help me to continue honoring him with my time. If Sam keeps this up, it looks like I’ll be getting some quiet morning hours back—and I will do my best to spend them with God.

 

The Pregnant Post

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This is the picture we sent to our family members to break the news, but it took our seventeen-year-old niece to get it. Everyone else thought we were making a statement about what we were cooking that night!

I myself don’t like pregnant posts—which is why I won’t keep you in suspense. Yes. I am. A post about pregnancy is okay, as long as it doesn’t resort to clichés, so I’ll opt away from discussing the obvious facts of my developing condition.

I do like irony, so I’ll point out that just a few weeks ago when I posted I May Be Childless (At Least my House is Messy), I really wasn’t. But best of all, I love answered prayers, so I’ll give you these lines from my prayer journal on March 31st:

“I know I should be happy in whatever circumstance I’m in—but I guess I’d like to ask for a breakthrough of some sort: a pregnancy, a job, an acceptance letter. I feel like you work through breakthroughs, and events. You also work through hard times and drought. So any of the above could happen, or not.”

When I wrote that, I was just getting back from my Minnesota visit, and my mother-in-law had asked me if I was glad to be back, and I had lied and said yes.

Truth was, I wasn’t excited about coming back to a house that was empty most hours of the day.

I also wrote that I’d figured out why I was having such an aversion to doing housework lately: It was added “alone time” to my “already lone occupation of writing.” It used to be “alone time after people time.” Now it was “more alone time after alone time.”

At the end of that entry, I recorded that I’d gotten on my knees and heard God say, “You are worried and troubled about many things, but only one thing is needful.” So I decided to rededicate myself to the Lord, again (you’ll notice I have to do that a lot—like, daily), trusting that He’d work out the rest of the details.

Over the next few weeks, I recorded hearing God direct me to write…to write about some frustrations I’d been having in certain relationships…write to be an agent of change…use my swirling emotions as fuel…and I did…until I discovered I had a solid draft of that book I’ve been wanting to publish before thirty.

As to my hatred of housework, I heard God telling me I needed an attitude adjustment. He told me I needed to “plan to stay,” as in Jeremiah 23. I needed to trust that God had put me here, to nest, with or without children. Needed to get over my looking backwards to my past. If there wasn’t going to be children, I still needed to get my house ready…for friends and others we can minister to in our home.

Next to family time, the best memories I have in my home are those times when we held our small group Bible study and our Straight 2 the Heart prayer group. God reminded me that my ministry to others (and the growing of relationships) wasn’t done. I’d been blessed with a beautiful home, and no matter the status of our fertility, the house would be used, if I didn’t get in the way.

In a nutshell, God told me, “Write, and be at home. Get comfortable at home.”

That was also the period when He opened my eyes to see all the Friends in High Places I’ve had all along.

When I realized, on May 4, that I was guilty of the sin of ungratefulness (and a bad attitude), I prayed this verse I found in Micah 7:9—“I will be patient as the Lord punishes me, for I have sinned against Him. [My punishment, I felt, was extreme feelings of guilt and uncertainty that were literally upsetting my stomach—maybe it had something to do with pregnancy, too.] But after that He will take up my case and punish my enemies for all the evil they have done to me. The Lord will bring me out of my darkness into the light, and I will see His righteousness.”

I did write. I did get more comfortable at home during those weeks. I decided, “I can do this.” And then, when I wasn’t even looking for it, last week I got the unexpected news: “You’re pregnant.”

Yes, God works both through breakthroughs, and through wilderness experiences. And even though it’s easy to say when things are going well, I’d still like to quote the Apostle Paul to say this: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil. 4:11). If you’re going through a dark situation today, remember it’s temporary—and the morning light may be just about to break!