I was utterly exhausted. Our toddler, Jackson, had been waking up in the middle of the night for weeks, and my system was totally out of whack. When we tried to let Jax “cry it out,” even for just two minutes, he got so upset that he actually threw up.
Talk about frustrating! I tried putting music in his room, giving him a teddy bear, even sleeping with him–nothing seemed to work.
Whatever the reasons, he got into the habit of “night-waking.” He wasn’t my first child, but I was at the end of my rope. There wasn’t even a pinhole of light at the end of my tunnel.
I didn’t know what to do.
One day, after very few hours of sleep, I got the two of us ready for a moms’ support group at our church, where there was free childcare (Hallelujah!). During the meeting, I mustered up the nerve to confess the problem I was having. Then another member asked me in a haughty tone, “So what’s the problem? I’d let him throw up. I like my sleep!”
After I got over the shock, I calmly said, “How interesting.” But I was seething. In my mind, I stood up, leaned over Mom-zilla and said, “I don’t want my baby to choke on his puke, woman! And I like my sleep, too. That’s the WHOLE STINKING POINT.”
I’ve gotten over the incident nicely, as you can tell.
Then one night during that period of time, as I was rocking the little guy to sleep, I inserted his name into “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and sang, “Jesus loves the little Jacksons, all the Jacksons of the world…” I had done the same with my now-seven year-old. Like all children, they loved hearing their names.
On this particular night, Jackson began asking me to insert other names into the song, like his cousin Molly’s, or his brother Jordan’s. And then he asked me to put my name in the song. And of course, to him my name is “Mommy.” So, to please him, I sang, “Jesus loves the little mommies, all the mommies of the world…”
And I begin to think, “Yes, that’s right! Jesus loves all the mommies, like me.” I smiled as I remembered that in my fatigue and discouragement, Jesus loved me the same as He always had.
I continued singing, “Every color, every race,” and I thought of all the moms across the world rocking their babies and singing to them at that very moment. I realized once again what a privilege it was to be in the mommy-hood, even when it meant getting up at all hours. (At least I knew there were mommies in other time zones that were awake when I was!)
Looking at my baby, I felt a new kinship with my heavenly Father as He reminded me of Zephaniah 3:17: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
What an awesome thought! He knows how we love our children and pour ourselves out for them, because He loves us even more—and He poured Himself out for us on the cross.
As I finished the song by singing, “All are covered by His grace,” I prayed, Thank you, Jesus, for loving mommies. Thank you for Your love that surrounds us when we are scared, Your grace that covers us when we make mistakes, and Your strength that sustains us when we are weak.
I put my child to bed (at least for a few hours) as a final thought crossed my mind: just like moms, God is always “on call.”
Now that’s a comforting thought!
©2009, Dena Dyer