Heidi is a wreck when she’s tired.
You would think when her eyes are puffy and red-rimmed from being sleep-deprived, that she would fall asleep easily. Her room is cool and dark (finally bought those blackout liners!).Her bed is soft, comfortable, inviting (inviting to me anyways, haha). The house is quiet and peaceful. We read a couple of books together, cuddled on her bed. I have provided everything she needs to take a step back and rest. But no. She lays there…singing, talking, looking at books, sometimes slipping out of bed as quiet as she can to play in her room, hoping I won’t notice. All this in a short ten minutes time. Then I hear her little voice, “Mom can I be done now?”
Because of her skipping her naps, she’s been waking up multiple times a night, crying and tired and just a mess in general, too tired to get herself back to sleep. (I never understood how you could be too tired to sleep until I had a kid).
It’s a simple solution if you ask me. Stop. Sleep. Rest. Take a break. Still yourself, girl! You’ll feel better when you wake up!
I begin to feel anger towards her. She’s doing this to herself (and not to mention, TO ME). I know what she needs, and it’s hers for the taking. Yet she refuses. She remains stubborn, clinging to her toddler energy, convinced there’s too much to see and do to sleep. Then, after a few days of whining and tantrums and general unhappiness, she crashes. Then the cycle starts again. She doesn’t learn from the first time or the fifth time or the thirty-sixth time. She pushes through, as if she doesn’t have a choice.
As I step back from the situation, the best I can all tired and bleary-eyed and wondering what I’m doing wrong as a mother, I see it. I see me in her. I see my tight fists clinging to worries and stresses as if they were precious to my life instead of destructive. I see my refusal to rest in God, convinced I have no choice but to bear burdens I was never meant to bear. I see my striving, over and over again, convinced I am missing something and that I can be better, making God love me more. I see my running round and round in circles, going over the same things in my head…why is this situation so hard? Why is that situation such a struggle? Why do things never seem to be settled? Why am I such a hot mess? I see my stubbornness, convinced this detail and that detail matters and one wrong step and I’m a goner… when really God is on the throne of all details. And it all matters to Him.
Maybe my marriage isn’t supposed to be, or is ever going to be, perfect. (And maybe all those marriages I see on facebook aren’t so perfect!). Maybe God is using that to change me and make me better and reach for Him and lean on Him. Maybe Heidi is supposed to be a challenge. It is changing me and making me better and I know it’s making me lean on God.
I convince myself my circumstances aren’t ideal, thus implying He doesn’t know my circumstances. If this and this and this were better (if God would just answer my prayers!), then I could be happier. I don’t trust God will use them regardless. I don’t trust He does transfigure dark and ugly into something light and beaut
I often step back sometimes and allow myself to get disgruntled over big picture issues… all the injustice in the world. Why do I have a home and a family and a bed to sleep in at night when some do not even have a shred of clothes on their back or a crumb to eat? Why do some suffer their whole lives and die while others of us seem blessed enough for an entire population of people? You can imagine how these questions often swallow me whole, leaving me disgruntled and uncomfortable with prayer.
Meanwhile, God looks at me and wonders, why does she do this to herself? I have provided everything she needs to rest, to have joy and peace, to be free from worry. Those problems aren’t her problems. They’re mine. And SHE’S MINE. I have provided her My love and My faithfulness, but she won’t receive it. I have offered my help in parenting and my assurance she’s doing her best, but she refuses to believe it. I provide gifts every moment of every day but she often refuses to take notice, convinced the bad and stressful things are worth focusing on. She’d be so much more rested and peaceful if she’d just let Me take over.
Recently I read this:
“My God, why have you forsaken me?…YET you are enthroned as the Holy One, you are the praise of Israel…Trust in the Lord, let the Lord rescue you…” ~Psalm 22
God is God, whether I fret or not. And I think we would all do well to trust Him and allow Him to rescue us daily from unbelief, bitterness, apathy, resentment, anger, gossip, unkindness, etc. These are the things that truly destroy. They destroy our days, our relationships, our marriages, our time and our hearts. God saved us once from death but He longs to brighten our days and lighten our loads by saving us from lives of ungratefulness.
He has given me everything I need, and it’s mine for the taking. Sounds familiar.
If only Heidi would just rest. If only this tired mama would just rest.
Lesson learned. At least until the next time I forget.
“Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yourself with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle? Set all your opinions and speculations aside and ‘abide under the shadow of the Almighty.’ (Psalm 91). Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.” ~Oswald Chambers
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13