I have slacked. And it is not cause I have not had anything to say. The end of September through mid October proved to be some of the hardest weeks of my short parenting career. It felt never ending. I cried a lot. And did not communicate well. And was selfish and impatient. And not thankful enough. And I decided that the baby and I would never get over our colds and that she would never sleep through the night again. Amazing how fatigue can utterly collapse any sort of character that I had managed to think I had in one short sleepless night. Turn that into a week and a half straight of getting up every hour, with a sick baby while I am also sick... Meet momzilla. I was quite confident that I would not survive. Now it is November, we are both healthy and she has been sleeping great for several weeks. Silly me.
In the middle of a sleepless week, the baby once again woke up after 30 minutes and began to cry. And I put her back into bed after 10 minuted of unsuccessful soothing. I stood by her door praying for wisdom over what to do. "Lord should I just let her cry it out? Will that help? Do I just need to hold her all night? Will that train her to be dependent on me for sleep?" I was sure that she needed to learn to fall asleep by herself. She was fed and clean, and she needed sleep to get better. But her cries became frightened as no one seemed to be coming for her and I realized Crying is not helping. So I picked her back up. Again. And sat in my chair crying with her feeling utterly sorry for myself. "I am sick too! We both need sleep to get better and you won't just sleep! You silly child, everything is ok! Rest! Oh my gosh, she has cried every night for a week and I can not handle this any more." Then something scary happened. I began to question the efficacy of my prayers. "Why is God ignoring me? He is not listening, clearly. Why should I continue to cry out when He obviously is not caring?" I actually questioned God because I was not getting what I wanted and thought I needed. Yep. The second I realized what I had done I knew I was on a dangerous path. The pity party needed to end and I needed to be quiet and learn something.
Here is the short version (I promise, it really is the short one) of what I have begun to learn lately.
1. When I pray and ask God to speak to me and teach me about Himself through my experiences as a mother, I need to listen to His answers. He is talking in those late night hours and I need to stop complaining, feeling sorry for myself and start paying attention.
2. I, like my baby, have no real comprehension of what I need. We know what we want, but when we don't get it, we fall apart. God knows what I need. And I needed to learn how to trust that God actually knows how to take care of me. I needed to learn that I can handle all things because of Christ Who strengthens me. His strength is what I needed. Not physical rest. I needed to learn how to rest in Him and find my peace in His strength, regardless of physical rest.
3. My baby needed to be held. She needed to know that when she cried, my arms would keep her safe and warm . She needed comfort and patience as long as she cried. Her little self was afraid and did not understand why she felt so exhausted and could not breathe easy. THAT was what I needed to do. God was showing me what was best for her, not ignoring my prayers for sleep.
4. I was exhausted, confused and worried. I was upset and tearful and felt utterly helpless. I felt all by myself as time after time I got out of bed to comfort my baby. But I was not alone. God was there tenderly speaking the whole time. The moment I realized that I was not listening, I knew exactly what He had been trying to show me. It was almost audible. "I never put you down when you cry, Ruth." He was there the whole time, holding me, as I held her. When I learned that my baby needed to be held, I learned that I was being held too. It made me cry all over again. Yeah. I can cry a lot. About completely different things with two opposite emotions in the span of 60 seconds.
5. I continue to realize how utterly blessed I am. There is no room for complaint. I am trying to learn how to give thanks in everything, but I have learned I need to give thanks for everything. Even if they do not seem to be positive. I need to know that God is good even when things don't appear to be.
And that is some of them. There is so much more, and if I had of been more diligent about recording things as they came... there would have been much more ramble recorded... bummer right?
Red, orange and yellow!
Fuzzy brown baby jacket with bear ears!
Also, I apologize for the lack of variance in the words need and learn. I too am annoyed by their repetition throughout this ramble.