God highjacks our happenstances

My marriage was recently revolutionized when I made a simple choice for the betterment of our children's sleep. For years, Aaron has assured me that my late nights don't disrupt our marriage at all. So I've taken him at his word, and stayed up to accomplish most of my housework and schoolwork during my peak energy hours, 10 p.m. to midnight. But the hustle and bustle - and even the clicking of the computer keys - seemed to be disrupting Caleb's circadian rhythm, and I made the difficult choice to attempt to accomplish things during the children's nap instead of after they were put to bed. The difficulty arose mostly from the fact that I really enjoy a nap with my children, usually several times a week. However, perhaps that nap is why I don't feel tired when the rest of the family does, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.!

So we embarked on this change of schedule on Sunday night, after much discussion between Aaron and I about the pros and cons of such a choice. The change of schedule involved me going to bed with Aaron at 10 p.m. Doing school and housework during the day, not at night. Little did I know how much joy I was missing, falling asleep in my husband's arms each night.

I don't believe there is a Scripture that directly supports the choice to go to bed together every night as "Biblical". However, there is a verse in Psalms that has been of note to me for years: It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2) This taught me two things: a) don't eat the bread of anxious toil; and b) if you suffer insomnia, be in prayer constantly so that you can again be blessed by the sleep He gifts his beloved. It did not, however, teach me that I needed to go to bed at a certain appointed hour that is more "Christian" than my midnight bedtime. In fact, I have lived years according to what I learned from the great wife of scripture, the Proverbs 31 woman: She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. (verses 15, 18 & 27; to read the entire monumental passage, click here)

Yet, in this busy season of illness and pain and recovery, rest is high on my to-do list. Soaking up my children and finding the joy in them is near the top (God and husband still trump kids; if you feel that is wrong or even controversial, please read why here). Finding joy in my kids is pretty darn easy when I am well rested. Caleb's constant night wakings of late have lessened that rest and therefore my joy. Thus, an earlier bedtime seemed an obvious choice for all.

What I love about this whole process is how it illustrates the fact that freedom in Christ is exactly that: free! I was free to stay up when I felt it was God's will for me to do so, now I am free to go to bed, abandoning work at a certain hour, because right now that is God's will for me. He uses the circumstances and happenstances (so some would call them) of my life to reveal His glory and His infinite, extravagant love for me and mine. I love that marriage is an organic, ever-changing, ever-beautiful relationship, always with something new to learn and enjoy. Really, this entire post is about praise for how God has moved in my life of late to bless me and keep me. As my mother oft quoted, Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. (Psalm 68:19)

A wonderful, fellow Christian blogger & homeschool mother, much older in her faith than I, recently wrote about her love journey with her husband. I found it inspiring and encouraging. I hope you do, too:

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/01/how-to-really-fall-in-love-all-over.html

...wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart. He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about. When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (from Psalm 104, ESV)