"The Lord works in mysterious ways." I'm sure there's plenty of truth to that statement, that way we try to explain what is un-explainable, but I find that God works in a fairly obvious way in my life. He frequently follows the same pattern, perhaps hoping that I will eventually remember and take note of what is going on.
PJ and I have started a course at our church called Spiritual Parenting, which, among other things, has reminded me that it is very, very important for me to be in the Word every single day. I found an app for that (haha...) and a blog, and patted myself on the back for a job well done. Which is something I like to do.
I mentioned a week or so ago that I was feeling very content, and I was. Contentment is a good thing. But I was also feeling a little smug, if I'm honest. I had everything under control. I was doing it all. And I was pretty proud of myself for it. "Job well done, Jess!"
God laughs at that because He knows what's up with me. He knows I like to control things and do it my way, and essentially, be my own god. He also knows that I'm really, really bad at that. So when I get to that smug, prideful place, He has to open my eyes to the truth. Last week, he opened them by breaking me, showing me my weakness, and then rebuilding me. The usual method.
Colin had a really hard time sleeping last week. I have no idea why, but he started waking up and staying awake for an hour or so several times in the middle of the night and refusing to nap during the day. I had really started to count on his long naps to do what I wanted to do. What a perfect thing for God to take away for a little while. I spent several hours each day holding him and rocking him because that was the only way he would take his naps. You would think that no mother in her right mind would be bothered by holding and rocking her baby, but I was exhausted from the night wakings, and it's hard to nap in a rocking chair. On top of that, Colin was quite a bit unhappy when he was awake too. There was a lot of crying going on at my house from both of us. The worst moment was when I was trying to make dinner one night. Colin was crying in his bouncy seat just a few feet away from me while I tried to throw something together that might be edible. On the other side of me, Cara was saying, "Mommy, Colin needs you" over and over, with increasing volume and urgency. Tough stuff.
I was exhausted, physically and emotionally, and broken. I felt weak and ineffective and even a little (or a lot) angry. But this was where God needed me. He had to break me down to show me my own weakness, that I can do nothing without Him. He spoke so clearly to me through my daily devotions, which I had plenty of time to do while I sat rocking my napping baby. He used those short readings to begin to build me back up, reminding me that He never leaves my side; I just sometimes choose to ignore Him. He used my husband to build me back up. That man is so patient and supportive and always willing to walk a crying baby up and down the hall at 4 am. Even when I was irrational and yelling and crying, he never once walked away or lost his temper. And now, on the other side, when I joke about how "crazy" I was, he stops me and says "it was a hard, hard week." But God knew that I had a physical need to be met, and God doesn't leave His children hanging. He sent me to bed at 8 o'clock Friday night. (I know this was God; I had other ideas about how I was going to spend my Friday night. Clearly, my ideas are terrible.) Colin didn't wake up at his usual 11 pm and 1 am feeding times. He slept until 3 am. Seven hours of continuous sleep for mom. Thank you, Lord.
My point here is that I am grateful. For the three hour nap my son just took, for the two hour nap that I just took, for my God who knows what I need and never lets me fall alone.