On sleep (or lack thereof)

He says come unto me
All who are weary

And I will give you rest

Bring what hurts

Bring your scars

Bring the load that you carry
And I will give you rest
~ Nicole Mullen,
Come Unto Me

Sleep is one of the ways that you give yourself up as a mother. When you are childless, you sleep until you wish to wake up - or until your alarm rings, but even then you have the freedom to hit the snooze button and actually fall back to sleep! With children in the picture, this is no longer true. Almost every morning, I wake up at someone else's beckoning - the slap of toddler feet on the floor beside the bed, the squeals of the baby beside me, my four-year-old tapping my shoulder, asking for breakfast. Not only am I dragged from the depths of slumber, I must tend to whatever needs these little bodies have when I wake up! Instead of a long, 20-minute shower like I used to enjoy first thing in the morning, I now cook oatmeal, change poopy diapers, or pour milk. Fitting in a five minute shower and a few minutes of reading every morning stretches the limits of possibility!
Which begs the question - why must I give up myself to be a good mother? Why must I give up myself to be a good Christian, for that matter?

Jesus said, "
whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:38-39 ESV) This, then, is my cross - to wake up cheerfully and serve the little bodies God has blessed me with! Today was a particular test of my resolve in this matter. I am ill, and when you are sick, there is nothing you want to do more than lie around and do nothing. This is just not an option when you are at your job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! My kids are on the upswing from our little virus, and were ready for action at 6 a.m., as usual. Even a nap was out of the question, as I couldn't get all four coordinated to sleep at the same time this afternoon. Again, I am going to that Great Throne and begging, "Please, Lord! I have cancer, my thyroid isn't working anymore, I simply physically cannot do this!" And the answer today was, "Yes, you can! Even without a nap!" That's what brought this topic to mind. When I am at my weakest, He is ready to carry me. I am reminded once again that faithfulness in the little things is what counts:

'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. '
Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' (Parable of the Ten Minas, Luke 19:17 NIV)

Giving up self for children. This is one of the many ways I Timothy 2:15 is made real to me every day. "She shall be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."