I think Ephraim is either going through a growth spurt or cutting his first tooth or both. Either way the last few nights have been difficult resulting in me having to get up at least once to feed him (something I have not done since he was 12 weeks old). He is averaging between 11-12 hours of sleep at night now, so Michael and I have both grown accustomed to some uninterrupted sleep again. Last night (friday) he went down at 8:00 pm and awoke at 4:45 starving. Since I am food for him, I got up.
I am very blessed that my husband is very hands on with E. From day one he has helped with all the late-night feedings and like last night, he stays awake while I fed until I came back to bed. Michael is what I consider to be very blessed in that he can easily fall asleep and back to sleep and stay asleep. I am not as fortunate. I have struggled with my sleep for the past 10 years. It started shortly after we were married and has affected me ever since. Michael does snore, so that could be part of it. I have to wear ear plugs at night, but event that doesn’t help with the main issue.
My problem is that I can fall asleep, but I wake easily and then have trouble going back to sleep. I have taken everything from Tylenol PM to Calcium to Ambien CR. Only the Ambien has been truly effective, but it is not compatible with nursing. It is incredibley frustrating and especially difficult with a newborn in the house. So when E woke us up and I got up, I knew I might not be able to go back to sleep. Sure enough, I climbed back in bed by 5:00 am and there I laid … Awake.
My mind was a whirlwind that could not be stopped. I started thinking about the Pilates reformer that was just delivered and sitting in our living room. I thought about rearranging the office to accomadate it and where the overflow of furniture would need to be stored. Pretty soon I had mentally rearranged the whole house, refinished and old dresser and bought new accessories for a sofa table I want to put in the den. Whew! Then I moved onto myself … those stubborn last pounds of baby weight, the new clothes I want to get and how to decorate my Christmas tree this year. At that point I thought, “This is ridiculous!”
I could feel the anxiousness in my bones. A mixture of excitement and stress and the need to control the uncontrollable. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. in that moment I felt the gentleness of the Lord say to me, “What do you really need Rachael?” and the only answer was “You God.”
I don’t need a bigger house, a nicer car or clothes. The room arrangments in my home are fine as is and so are the furnishings. None of the things I was accomplishing in my mind have any bearing on my current circumstance. What I need and need to long for is God.
I need a Father… a Father whose lap I can crawl into at the end of the day and rest. Real and true rest. I need someone to comfort and encourage me. I need help and endurance and grace.
I need Jesus … a friend and a bridegroom. Someone who loves my life more than his own and shows me that everyday. Someone to turn to who is fully human, but fully God so gets the me that I am now and the one that I will be in eternity. I need to see myself through his eyes and not my own. To look beyond my past, leave it there and walk away for good into the “wastefulness of grace.” (a Shack reference)
I need the Holy Spirit … a companion and mentor. A counselor and leader. Someone to show me how to tap into the immense power and authority that is mine through Christ and show me how to use it for His glory. I need a teacher and a guide, to speak a languauge that is not my own but one of heaven, to bring that kingdom into this one on earth.
As I prayed this I began to feel the anxiousness and restlessness lift. Slowly, slowly I was able to drift back to sleep until Ephraim woke at his normal wake time. Once he was fed, changed and played with we placed him back in his crib for his first nap. It was then that I felt drawn to share this experience and embrace the breakthrough God has given me. To call out in my need and have Him answer. It is a beautiful thing.
As I drifted off to sleep I silently worshipped along with the soundtrack in my mind. It was Misty Edwards and the song was “I Am Yours.” She sings …
For when I heard your voice, and when you said my name
When I heard Your voice my heart it yearned
In the middle of the night, In the middle of the night my heart it yearns
And though you far away
Still I’m here to say I am yours