Snow falling and falling and falling outside and the wood floor is extra cold on my feet in the early early morning hours. Weariness of the day added to a nocturnal schedule of a newborn make my legs feel weak and my head awfully fuzzy. Baby is so uncomfortable and the only comfort he finds is with the loud buzz of the overhead oven fan and a bounce walk of his mom or dad. This morning, I am bounce walking and thinking that I hope this season goes faster as my patience and strength is running thinner than it ever has before.
It’s only a few short hours away from when the rest of the crew awakens and the chaos unfolds. When baby is finally asleep, there’s anxiousness felt in my heart as I think of my soft and warm fleece sheets and my fluffy pillow. I lay the baby down and hear a noise on the other side of the wall. It’s a familiar noise, but a noise that makes my heart race every.single.time…it’s the sound of #3 having a seizure. I wake my husband and we run into his room. He is frustrated, disoriented and crying. I hear baby waking from the hub bub in the other room. #3 is calling for his dad so I leave to attend to baby…again. As I rock in the chair and pat baby’s back, I hear #3 crying and crying. After 45 minutes of parent settling and no sleeping for 4/6 of the family members, in runs #2 whimpering about his shoulder and ribs hurting. I shush him so he doesn’t wake the baby, but it’s too late. Night time leaves #2 illogical, unreasonable, and dramatic. I tell him to lay on his other side and his shoulders droop as he drags his feet out of my door only to stand in front of #3′s door sobbing for his dad. He’s hoping his dad has a better answer.
After another 45 minutes, #2 is back in bed, my husband is on the floor in #3′s room and #3 is wide awake. I am still soothing baby who has been disturbed one too many times and is overly tired. ”I feel your pain, baby.” My husband saunters in with exhaustion written all over his face. He kneels beside me to share his rundown and find out mine. He leaves for the couch as he has a cough and doesn’t want to wake the baby. A few minutes after his disappearance, in runs #2 again, this time with fear that someone is walking around our house outside. Sigh. This time, the sigh is not just of weariness, but it’s of frustration. It’s an emotional release of stress from the challenges of life and the fear of health for #3.
Fast forward that morning to when it’s time to get ready for school. The buzz of the fan is off and is now replaced with a louder commotion of 6 people in a tiny house trying to wake themselves, prepare for the day and interact on little sleep. My oldest says he heard it all going on last night so there’s not a one person in our house that is rested. #1 and #2 argue and fight. #2 is so tired that it wouldn’t take much to set him off. He yells and #1 laughs. #2 yells louder and cries as he’s being laughed at. Baby cries from the loudness and #3 fusses in his seat because he doesn’t like his breakfast. (#3 has had another seizure this morning.) Husband scurries as he is late for work. We say nothing. I take a deep breath as I notice aches in my body. I seem to be fighting off the sickness we’ve shared in our family. Without rest, my body fails me. Dark circles under my eyes, tears welling and I am overwhelmed. I am barely surviving.
Do you ever feel like that? Barely surviving? Has your world ever seemed like it’s spinning so fast, it’s leaving you dizzy and running and stumbling after it? I start to shame myself for my lack. I start to guilt myself for not wanting to take care of anyone any more. ”God, have mercy on me.”
I’ve found so often in my life that my expectations and experience have a large gap in between them leaving me frustrated. I pray for things to get better (including my attitude), but instead of things getting better, I realize I am going deeper. Deeper in an understanding of of peace. Deeper in an understanding of lasting joy.
I pick up baby and as he catches my eye, he gives me a full face smile followed by a soft, gentle “coo.” My heart feels something. I pick him up and he snuggles his face into my shoulder. My heart starts to melt. This time I sigh not because I’m tired or because I’m frustrated…I sigh because I let go of the chaos and receive peace in that moment. I took breath in and felt the love of baby thanking me for holding him all night and adoringly wanting my affection. I breathe in love and breathe out stress. Joy that comes from being someone’s everything.
#1 and #2 leave with their dad for school. #3 has turned on his dancing music. Baby lies on a soft blanket on the floor taking in the joyful dance of his big brother. #3 dances for joy, baby giggles with glee. The night is washed away because joy came this morning.
It doesn’t make circumstances easier, but it makes the load lighter to know that I may not have the best of everything, but God is making the best out of everything. That’s a promise. It helps me to find joy in the moment and receive peace as I trust.
Here’s both our soul and body challenge for today.