"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Friday, May 20, 2011


When I look at my own blog, I think, "Wow- I'd like to live there!" It looks like a place where days move from one peaceful scene to the next....

The moments that matter, distilled. A series of the sweetest memories I will ever accumulate.


At the moment, my toddler has drifted off to sleep in my arms, still occasionally sucking, swallowing... the finest nourishment there is.


It's a sharp contrast to last night when this child did. not. sleep. I myself am going on 4 hours in the last 24. Is he sick? No. Is he teething? No.

He just never has been a dependable sleeper.

Sometimes I'm tempted to jealousy of mothers whose youngest little person, you know, sleeps. My Rose and my Johnny just never have allowed me a dependable night's sleep.

I used to hate it- up till 3 am with a wailing, hurting baby I could not comfort. Or up from 3 am to 6 am, only to drag myself out of bed with Isaiah at a fuzzy 7:30.

But in the last year, I've finally gotten it.


My children have big needs which respect no clock. Caring for them from my heart constantly reminds me that when I sacrifice my own wants, even my own needs from time to time, I am merely acknowledging a reality so easy to ignore in a well-ordered life:

I am not in control.

I plan; I scheme; I design. But I have to let God in. To me, it seems sensible and right to go to bed at 10 pm and rise at 6:30. It's what I want.

It rarely happens. I constantly encourage other mothers to stop shortchanging themselves through lack of sleep. I have to practice what I preach. The price of a rested mother is less productivity some days, and a need for steady commitment to simplicity and a schedule that isn't as full as it could be.

Yet what a secret grace, the midnight hours whiled away rocking, singing, and walking, walking, WALKING. Relishing the feeling of a 27 lb baby suddenly, finally, melting into a deep, limp sleep against my chest. Lying awake, nursing and staring at the ceiling in the dark, praying. For this baby, for his future. Some nights too tired to pray in words, but just feeling the night and the closeness of a little person who will grow, too fast, just like the ones before him. The night time tryst is a grace,

A good friend of ours, a priest, quoted a theologian whose name escapes me, during my second pregnancy:
"The midnight cry of the child is to the mother what the midnight bells are to the cloistered nun."

A call to prayer, to service in the Lord.

The days I'm up before 7 am are pure gifts, since they are often rare. I feel an amazing sense of gratitude for the quiet time with God in the morning hours. And on the common day when I am not up before the sun, I try, I do try, to be with God more intensely in the moments I can carve out of the day.

Smooth mornings, noons, and nights are a grace. Rocky, rough, chaotic mornings, noons, and nights are a grace, too.

If only I have eyes to see it.

"Amidst chaos lies opportunity."
-Albert Einstein

I've been inspired by Small Steps Together over at:


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. For the reminder that even those sleepless hours are grace. This brought tears to my eyes. I feel like I haven't had a good night's sleep in a year. :-) You are so right, all of those moments in the dark with a nursing child can be turned into hours of prayer.

  2. our lives look better in snap-shot mode too. but, it's the stuff in between that really shapes us. Thanks for the reminder