On Always Asking for Wisdom

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Since my first born arrived sleep became a big deal to me.  Sleep for the babies and children and mommies and daddies alike.  I don’t often mess around when it comes to sleep and, honestly, that’s largely out of fear.  Healthy fear.  Because if we deviate from the sleep rhythm the whole healthy cycle is thrown off for at least a day and this mommy goes crazy fast.

Well, Myles was a nap conundrum.  The boy simply would not sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time and it was quietly driving me crazy, especially during the days that he got grumpy as a result. Instead of relying on my own or anyone else’s ideas (though I certainly did ask around and experiment on my own) I took it before the Lord in prayer during my nightly prayer time with Maisy.  Not regularly, but intermittently (yup, you guessed it, usually after a particularly exhausting Myles day).  Well, this last time my prayer was that the Lord would ease Myles’ body into sleep, that he teach his body what it means to take real naps, and that he give me the wisdom and understanding to know what he needs to make it happen.

When the Lord hears us ask for wisdom and understanding, His answer is always yes and I love that so much about Him.

Myles made it obvious that he wanted to nurse before falling sleep.  This made me nervous because this can turn into an impossible battle in which a baby can only stay asleep on the breast.  So, I did my best to nail his sweet spot:  the irrevocably drowsy stage of nursing where I could lay him down and he would open his eyes… but they would immediately slow close again.  I also noticed that he seemed to want to be swaddled for naps, not just bed time; if he has access to his arms he can’t stop playing and/or he flinches in his sleep and accidentally rouses himself in doing so.

Well, as of yesterday I’ve not only received some real naps out of him (an hour or two at a time) but he’s also fallen asleep on his own!  Yes, he still wants to eat before he falls asleep but sometimes he’s still awake at the end of nursing.  Just for kicks, because I honestly thought I’d have to go right back in his room the minute I stepped out, I laid him down in the crib swaddled and fed and completely awake and he fell asleep without a fuss!  To say I’m excited is an understatement, I’m overjoyed and my cup overflows with thankfulness to the Lord for providing me with the wisdom and understanding to know what Myles needed in order to get good sleep.  This good change may not last forever or even for the long term but I certainly know that in my next season of sleep confusion that I will be taking it before the Lord in the form of asking for wisdom and understanding.

My dose of inspiration for my new way of conversing with God throughout the day, both in asking for help and saying thank you (often out loud when I’m alone) came from the book The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers.  The main character does such a thing throughout the book.  Honestly, I often felt like this kind of thing was over religious or old school, for the old ladies of the world.  You know, “bless his heart” and things like that.  Maybe I thought it wasn’t “cool” enough for me.  But the longer I read the book the more I realized the beauty of this manner of communing with God and was surprised at myself for having not seen it that way before.  I challenge you to turn your ponderings and cries of the heart into actual prayers.  Simple stuff like a “Lord help me” as en exhale when you’re frustrated.  Or, “thank you Jesus” when he’s graced your life with goodness in a way you shouldn’t ignore.  Or, “God you are good” when he’s filled you with peace and joy.

Now I’m on to tackle the night time conundrum as the boy has moved away from his beautiful one waking per night and onto waking every 2 – 3 hours and remaining awake for 40 minutes.

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Sick and Tired but Soaking up the Snuggles

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First I read this whole Bible to Penny.  Then she climbed up to the top of the couch and read it to me.

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Being sick stinks, no doubt about it.  I’ve had the stomach flu for three days and couldn’t keep anything down for half that time.  Add in nursing our 3 month old boy every hour and caring for our four year old and two year old and I had an impossible task on my hands.  On days like these, I can’t help but thank God for movies and snuggling and cereal to feed the kids for lunch.

This time around it still stinks big time, but I’m also finding it so sweet.  Josh rallied the kids this morning and as I lay in bed I got to listen to him talk about the things we want to keep in our hearts and the things we want to throw in the trash.  He brought Maisy to school and I spent the morning snuggling with Penny on the couch watching a movie while Myles took one of his once-in-a-blue-moon real naps (anything longer than 30 minutes counts for him).  During the girl’s nap time I snuggled with Myles in bed and snuck a 30 minute nap for both of us out of him.  And the afternoon was spent watching another movie and snuggling.

I’m addicted to productivity and this often gets in the way of enjoying mellow moments with my kids.  I’m not one to be found sitting on the couch.  If I do sit, it’s in my desk chair to work.  But that’s what’s so wonderful about forced moments of sickness or postpartum recovery.  I simply do what I can to avoid getting up, and the kids love snuggling with me, playing with me while I sit there, reading with me, and, of course, watching movies with me.

I guess I’ve found a way to be thankful even in the midst of the struggle.  And for that, I’m thankful too.

A Letter to Maisy: Our Days of Sneaky Spelling are Over

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Dear Maisy,

A few nights ago we were sitting around the table, me, you, Mimi, Papa, and Penny.  Papa made you girls some tea.  I ask him, “Papa, did you put some H O N E Y in their tea?”  And before Papa could answer you chime in, “Mama, did you say honey to Papa?”  We all laughed so hard!  And suddenly the days of getting away with secrets via spelling are over!  You smart girl, you.

Love,

Mommy

A Letter to Maisy: Making Friends

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Dear Maisy,

When you were a baby I started fiercely praying that you would have a best friend and that your friend would be good for you not just for fun but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Growing up I was not so lucky in friendship.  In fact, I didn’t have someone I could call my best friend until I met your daddy.  I’d always longed for that relationship for myself so it seems natural I longed for that for you too.

However, I have not found the same heart’s cry present when I pray for Penny.  I’ve come to realize that even in my prayer life my heart is discerning the difference between my two girls and what you both will need and what you may not get without my prayerful intersession.

Turns out, my prayer for you wasn’t simply out of a fear of friendlessness from my background but from a discerning heart that knows you need a little extra help in the friend-making department for some reason.  I know my sweet girl is amazing, you’re so giving, sweet, thoughtful and compassionate so I don’t know why I feel so compelled to pray for friends for you, but I know now that in the past couple weeks I’ve been close to tears at the obvious love your school friends bestow on you daily.  You’ve been coming home with little gifts and pieces of art from these friends of yours:  Hazel, Tenley, Tabitha, Tina, Grant, and Rory.

Yesterday you were home sick with a stomach bug.  Today when I dropped you off Hazel, Tina, and Tabitha stormed the door and swarmed you with hugs.  I could have cried for thankfulness right there.

I’m so thankful to the Lord for loving us and answering my prayer to give you sweet friends.  I won’t forget this prayer Maisy because you’re only four and have a lifetime of friend-making and friend-keeping to go, but I feel so encouraged in your friendship adventures so far.

I’m even taking it a little more seriously now than before too because I was reminded earlier this week that my three best friends were made in kindergarten and first grade.  You’re just shy of that age so who’s to say some of these friends you’ve made in preschool don’t stand the test of time?  I fully intend to encourage these friendships even if they aren’t in the same elementary school as you.

I love you sweet girl,

Mommy

Our Countdown to Christmas

Last year I bought our family an advent calendar.  I opted for one with pockets so I could fill them with slips of paper indicating our family activity for the day.  This year the calendar was easily filled as built in events like Maisy’s preschool concert are give-ins.  Some of my favorite things on the calendar are Christmas cookie decorating with friends, Christmas lights drive with cocoa and popcorn, picture in front of the Christmas tree (this year we have our first real tree and I’m so in love), and see The Nutcracker at the Woodstock Opera House.  What I love about my tempered approach this year, is that every day gets to be a little extra special and it encourages me to spend a little extra quality time with my girls.  Yesterday we made our gingerbread house together and I loved watching my girls create as I helped with the frosting.  We munched on candy and really enjoyed ourselves!  Can’t wait to snuggle up in our Christmas PJS with movies several times this month too (our Christmas modified Sunday Sabbath where we spoil ourselves with homemade pizza and a movie after church and naps).

How do you like to celebrate the Christmas season?  What are some of your favorite family traditions and/or things you have planned for the family this year?

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Our “picture in front of the Christmas tree” isn’t perfect.  I’m mommed up for the day, sporting a pony tail, jeans and no make up.  Myles was on the verge of a fit due to a rumbly tummy.  And the only place our tree fits in our compact living room is wedged in the corner between the couches.  But it’s us and I know I’ll look back on these annual photos with joy.  My favorite parts of this picture:  I think this is my favorite Maisy smile I’ve captured on camera of her 4-year-old self and I LOVE our real Christmas tree!