So, today I’m sitting in the doorframe of my little one’s room, trying to type quietly as I wait for her to sleep. She is finally quiet after an hour-long struggle. Why—how could this be happening again? A year ago I was doing the same thing and she was eight months old. Now she’s 17 months
and we’re back to to the drawing board.
Thoughts of failure and frustration probe my mind and surround my heart. Did I do something wrong? Am I missing something? Why won’t my girl settle down and rest like she did so easily and soundly before? Teeth! I can hear my mommy friends cry. She’s teething.
I’d like to think that, but she only cries for me. The night before, her “Dada” put her to sleep and walked out of her room like it was another day. Observing this, I had high hopes about today. I rocked, watched her eyes grow sleepy and her ever-active limbs slow down. Then I placed her in her crib, soother firmly in place, cuddly puppy in her arms. She snuggled to the mattress in her trademark pose, and I delightedly walked out the door… only to hear her spring back to a stand and howl. I come back, hoping a quick hug will soothe, but it didn’t. She clings to me and I realize this is about something else.
You know, I’m not sure what it’s about, to be honest. I just want it to end. I don’t want to be here again. I thought we were past this. I’m
tired and just a little bit angry.
As it became clear last week that this wasn’t going to end anytime soon, I found myself growing angry with God. I had been praying for more rest, knowing that’s what He wanted me to do. I had been praying for more time to write. And I had been praying for the ability to rest in His Presence.
Now the only half-hour of free time I had was eaten up (and then some) by my toddler’s baffling behavior. I started to think that God was punishing me for something—that He was taking away the time because I had squandered it somehow. It wasn’t fair, I thought.
But as I lay there beside Kiara’s crib, warring with my anger and disappointment, some other thoughts came to mind: God is good. He’s
not out to get me; His plans for me are for my good – He works all things together for my good, even my sins. So, if that’s the case, where’s the good in this?
What if this was the answer to my prayers? Instead of bombing through all the chores once the girls went to bed, I was literally lying around doing practically nothing. I had a lot of time to think about God and pray—be in His Presence. By the time Kiara fell asleep and I could come out of the room, a lot of the chores I had planned to do were not as important.
The next day, I decided to look at the time with Kiara as a gift, even bringing my laptop up to the hall outside of her bedroom to do some
writing. But, my newfound attitude would be put to the test. This time, sitting outside her open door did not appease my little girl. She howled, cried and threw her comfort items. Although I knew it was in protest, each of her cries pierced my heart because I knew they were for me. But I knew if I went to her, it would just make things worse—I would become the comfort item. Yet, sitting there listening to her cry was torture. I
lifted up each one to God, knowing He shared in my agony.
Finally, with fingers in my ears, I found my resolve slipping. I knew I couldn’t take it anymore. Inwardly, I told God I needed His
strength, I had gone as far as I could on my own. And I decided He would meet me there.
Just a few minutes later, I got the idea to place her comfort items (which she had repeatedly thrown) inside her crib rather than giving them back to her directly. This forced her to sit down, and she immediately lay down in her crib and snuggled quietly.
So, here I am, still in the doorframe while Kiara’s soft, rhythmic breaths indicate success, sharing my experience with you. I know you’ve
been in the same boat. This mother stuff is tough for all of us. And today I accept that there really are situations I can’t handle. This is one of them. The sleep stuff and the crying. Ack. It turns me into a basketcase.
St. Paul wrote something that had me baffled for the longest time. He was asking God to get rid of a certain “thorn” in his side—a weakness that kept tripping him up. God told Him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” and St. Paul said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I have always seen weakness as a bad thing. Lately though, I’ve been learning to accept my weaknesses and I think the key is knowing that God
will show up in them.
In this regard, I think there’s a relationship between confidence and faith. Confidence is knowing what you can do. Faith is knowing that God will help you with what you can’t do.
You can do all things in Christ, too. And today I pray that He will lift you above your circumstances, help you to see where He is, and enable you to rest in His care, knowing He will work it out for sure for your good.