We call it Operation Enduring Sleep. My husband and I, the two-member coalition in this war on sleep-deprivation, take our assignment very seriously. The mission: to transfer our sleeping toddler, Jordan, from his car seat to his bed without waking him.
After we deploy ourselves, our first step is to unhook the buckle on his restraining device. Jordan sighs, and we freeze. Our lips purse, our foreheads crease, and we both wonder if we’ll make it.
After unhooking our little soldier, we give silent instructions to one another. Carey mouths, “You get him, I’ll get the door.” I nod in agreement.
Holding my breath, I slip Jordan’s carseat strap over his head. So far, so good. Now the most dangerous part: the hoist. I carefully bring my son’s heavy arms up over my shoulders, wrap one arm around his waist and cover his head—so as not to bump it on the car door and accidentally end the operation.
The whole operation has me thinking—sometimes, I am the toddler who won’t stay asleep in my Father’s arms. God has given me (and you!) so many precious promises, and He has offered His peace to me whenever I feel anxious.
When I say my prayers, and give the Lord my troubles, I go to sleep. But in the next few minutes, I wake up by listening to the lies Satan whispers in my ear, such as God isn’t interested in your little problems or What if the money never comes?
Instead of worrying, I need to remember who’s in charge of my battles, and let Him fight for me. I like what God told Moses in Exodus 33:14–“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
But back to our war story: my brave husband holds the door for me, and I walk past him. Trooper that he is, Carey has already been on a stealth mission in our son’s bedroom. We both know that any miscalculation or stumble on my part would prove fatal to our plan, so Hubby has pulled the bedcovers back, darkened the room and conducted a ground search for stray objects in Jordan’s room.
As I reach the target, Jordan stirs a bit. I hesitate, re-calculate, and start humming a lullaby. Carey follows stealthily behind me, whispering encouragement. “Almost there,” he says.
Then ever so gently, I place Jordan on his bed, take off his shoes and cover his body with a blanket. I tiptoe away, giving Carey the thumbs-up sign. Mission accomplished.
“Mommy,” I hear. Carey groans quietly. My heart starts to race. No, I think. We’ve come too far to fail now! And I need a nap, too. I decide to walk away slowly, ignore my child and hope he’s not really awake.
“Mommy!” Jordan cries, louder this time. I grimace at Carey. He shrugs, and turn back around. Our son is sitting up in bed, rubbing his eyes. “I’m not tired now.”
”You need more rest,” I whisper. “Go back to sleep.”
Jordan hops off his bed, runs to my side and raises his arms. “I want to hold you!” he says.
And so the mission is aborted. Sneaky kid, I think. He knows my weak spots, and he isn’t afraid to exploit them.
As I take Jordan in my arms, I inhale his scent—a strange but comforting mixture of sweat, graham crackers and baby soap. “Oh, well,” I say to Carey. My hubby smiles and puts his arm around me, and we exit the nursery together.
Sometimes, losing the battle isn’t such a bad deal.
©2009, Dena Dyer