Do you ever have one of those days….in the middle of the night? I had that lovely experience a few nights ago.
I was tired. Really, I wasn’t just tired; I was exhausted. We had spent one day walking around the Dayton Air Force Museum and the next day walking around the outlet mall. For hours. Hours and hours of walking for two days straight. I was thankful for my soft bed when we decided to turn in a little earlier than usual.
LITTLE DID I KNOW….
About half an hour after I fell asleep, I was startled out of bed by the screeching of our smoke alarm. I quickly woke my husband (I think that man could sleep through an actual fire engine rolling into our bedroom), but the alarm stopped before our feet hit the floor.
We walked through the house searching and sniffing, only to discover that it was a false alarm. (Actually, I think it was caused by our dryer that stopped working the following day. No more going to bed with the dryer running!) I went back to my covers and finally settled down enough to fall asleep.
But an hour later I was staring into the face of my daughter as she shook me from my sleep a second time. She had a bad dream. It felt like I was in a bad dream, but I walked her back up to her room. I prayed out loud with her and then silently for her as I rubbed her back. I finally kissed her head, walked quietly out of her room, and returned to the sheets that were calling my name. At last.
This time my slumber lasted about an hour and a half. Riley woke up and needed me. He just didn’t “feel right”. And his head hurt. A dose of medicine, a drink of water, and a trip to the bathroom later, and he was tucked back into his bed. We prayed, and I left him to go to sleep on his own.
I crawled back into bed and hoped and prayed for some uninterrupted sleep. Miraculously, I got it. I slept the rest of the night and woke up feeling….less than refreshed.
A TIME TO LOVE
It was not what I had envisioned when I put my head to the pillow that evening. It certainly wasn’t what I wanted. But somewhere along the way (I think it happened while I was stroking Mackenzie’s back), I realized that I had been given a unique opportunity.
At that moment, I was meeting my child’s needs in a way that no one else could. I was showing my girl that I loved her more than I loved sleep. I was teaching her that I’m there for her when she needs me, day or night.
Now, in all honesty, I think I could have gone without being wakened that last time, but obviously God wanted to give me a little more practice in selfless love. I had forgotten how much my attitude can affect my late-night mothering. I had forgotten that “the teaching of kindness” sometimes takes place at all hours.
I know my measly interruptions are nothing compared to the night after night that many spend walking the floor with a crying baby or soothing a sleepless toddler. I’ve been there and done that, and my heart goes out to you.
But let’s not forget that both our days and our nights are ordained by God. Let’s keep in mind that serving and giving matter to God and matter to the little ones He so graciously gives us. Let’s try to be thankful for those moments of blessing that God reserves only for us. Let’s hope our treasured children will always remember that we love them enough to be there for them, whenever they need us.
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers.