I'm the type of person that needs my sleep. Let me reiterate: NEED! There are people that sleep 6-8 hours, wake up, and go on about there day. And then there's me. It's not a result of lack of exercise or poor diet; it's biology - I've always been this way.
So, rewind a bit, and imagine when I decided I wanted children. My first thought was not dreaming of the bouncy blonde curls that would adorn the sweet head of my first child; it was dreading the lack of sleep.
Fast forward: My first child was born.
I was a young mother, lacking patience. Rarely did I have the knowledge to tend to my own home, let alone raise a child. Still yet, Nine months before, I started cramming in unmerited advice, read all the mommy-to-be-books, scanned the information pamphlets, and scrolled endlessly through the parent centered websites. When the day came and my giant 9 pound 2 ounce baby came, I lay there in the hospital, only hours in, realizing all the information was wrong. Who writes these things anyway? No one can prepare you for a baby. You hear of all the fabulous, glorious, wondrous and amazing things about having a baby -leaving out all the I'm-not-even-sure-what-is-smeared-all-over-my-shirt- type of moments.
Just as you have settled into the schedule of regular, nightly every-hour-on-the-hour diaper changes, feedings, and "I'm awake just because I thought it would be fun to look at the ceiling" stage; and long after the memory of a full night, uninterrupted night's sleep has faded, you come to the realization that you have just merely ended on phase one: They finally sleep (if you're lucky.) And then you can't sleep because the thoughts of fear come, "Why are they sleeping so soundly?", "Are they still breathing?", "What if I fall asleep and don't hear him crying?"
(I mean, come on, I know I'm not the only one. Why do we worry so much as parents?!)
Then, phase three: toddlers.
"bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce.... " is basically the only way I can describe having a toddler. They don't stop. So, it's hard to get them to fall asleep and just as you do they are bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed and ready to wake before the rooster crows!
(For those of you that aren't parents yet, Don't worry, I'm getting to the good part. Don't get discouraged yet. )
I think you get the point now. Sleep is no longer a word I'm able to use to describe my life. The funny thing is, after being so very much deprived of something I love and need so very much after my first child: I had two more over the years. With all the crazy, up-side-down-insane moments, the demanding and overbearing attention these little bundles of energy require; the insane amount of unknowing and worrying over whether we are even doing this whole parenting thing correct -it's all worth it.
It's called dedication.
In the absolute instance I knew there was a real life growing inside of me, my heart felt more full than I could ever even imagine. I saw the world differently. My motives in life changed. My purpose in life was no longer centered around me, it was around my children. The love that I feel for my children completely dampers out any sort of discomfort or tribulations that ever occur in my life -including sleep deprivation. Dedication and commitment was defined the moment my children were placed into my life.
There are a lot of things I don't understand about the bible, but there's one thing I do know: the undying, ever growing love I have for my children. Therefore, I know the love God has for us.
I want the absolute best for my children. They rarely take the path that I want for them, but they are finding their own way. They are learning lessons by real-life experience rather than listening to my wisdom (Sound familiar?). I want my children to learn their own way - to an extent. I need them to listen to my wisdom and wisdom from those before them. I don't want them to make the same mistakes that have already been written in history.
I feel like just as I want that for my children, God wants that for his children: us. I feel like it's important that we have dedication toward God. We need stop trying to figure out everything for ourselves and take advice from someone know already knows. Make a commitment and allow for God's help in your life.
As I stand offering help, my toddler continues to smear a thin layer of milk across my kitchen floor. She looks at me with wet, milk covered clothes, and the realization that she probably should have allowed me to help clean up the tiny puddle of milk, just as she bent over and continued to pour the remains of her little cup across the floor. If we just ask for help, our mess would be so much smaller and more manageable. And eventually you learn to stop spilling the milk altogether.
Will you make the commitment today to ask for help? Stop putting off or taking tiny little steps toward God. Make a full commitment and go all out!