Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pray hard and eat cookies.

She woke-up three times before 2:00AM last night. At 1:45 I stood in the hall and wondered when it would end? 14 months of sleepless nights and I'm tired. To think that women have had triplets and survived is astounding.

It reminds me of my first year of college. Learning to attend classes on-time, study, work, eat, shower, have a social life, and sleep all within 24 hours. Except back then I would have never told you that I was run-down and exhausted.

I'm here to tell you today, that I'm exhausted. No, that is not smeared mascara under my eyes, those are dark circles from the lack of sleep. And yes, that stale smell is me from the lack of time to shower.

The first thing I did after nursing, cuddling, changing a diaper, and using the restroom, was make cookies. My fifteenth batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies this season, and that is not including the numerous plain-jane chocolate chip batches I've baked. My sweet husband will come home from work today and have to stomach yet another cookie that come to find-out he actually doesn't like. Sigh.

Cookies and coffee. They have helped me get through these days of figuring out how to be a mom. That and prayer.

Never in my life have I prayed harder.

A girl friend of mine had her second baby sooner than expected. The only advice I had to give was prayer. Pray hard, I said. And when you think you couldn't pray any more, pray again. Coming from a mom with only one I felt inadequate. But it's all I had. That and a few killer recipes for cookies.

No one can prepare you for motherhood. Each child being different, no one way to do things. My baby walked the day before 10 months. I know other children who took their first steps after a year. It's a season of life that brings unpredictability, the greatest joy, and exhaustion.

The only one thing I have found consistency in is prayer. Being able to scream out for help in the moments that seem like eternity. Moments met with dirty laundry, a barking dog, and dinner that needs to be made. I pray hard. And He always hears me.

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
    and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 NRSV

In the first months of mother-hood I had to completely set myself aside. Not only for my baby, but for God. To set aside any power I thought I had over the new circumstances of life I was encountering. He told me to be still in my anxiety and exhaustion. To be still at 2:00AM when my senses were lost in the darkness. 

Be still and know that I am God.   
Psalm 46:10

And I was. 

From there a wall crumbled. I was able to trust that He would renew my strength each day. 

And He did. 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul...
Psalm 23:1-3 NIV 

I started this post at 8:00AM and it is now noon. In-between books, batches, and her bath I have thought about this post and why it is I wanted to write it. I have come up with but one reason, and that is to remember. To remember how it is I have got through the past 14 months. And that today He is still the same as yesterday, being the One who will renew my strength and refresh my soul, through the sleepless exhaustion I face. 

The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope. Deuteronomy 31:8

Lord God,

Thank you for taking charge in the midst of my exhaustion. Thank you for always listening. Thank you for fresh baked cookies too. And thank you for a husband that eats them simply because he knows they help. And above all, thank you for my precious baby. The gift you have given to bring me closer to You.
I love you,



Carly said...

i have received the same advice lately. it's prayer that will get you through it--no matter what "it" is.

Sarah said...

You're so right. Prayer and cookies, sometimes it's all you can do. Have you read Lisa Jo Baker's blog? I find that it was perfect for late night feedings and exhaustion :)

kELLO! said...

so encouraging!