I have three boys: a 7yo, a 6yo, and one that’s almost-23 months. None of those is a newborn. None an infant. So please tell me: WHY is my toddler sleeping like he did when he was 3-months old?!?
Nearly every morning for the last three weeks I have struggled not to curse the beginning of a new day. I love the birds singing outside of my window, and I love the sunshine and that it’s up earlier now that it’s spring. But good grief. I just want to sleep! My little one is so cute, and it’s a good thing, or I’d like to toss him out. We’re still trying to discern the root issue of his frequent night wakings, but it’s driving me mad.
I’ve had to start talking to myself more in the mornings from the moment my feet hit the floor to go turn off the alarm that’s 10 steps away. I’m exhausted, and if it weren’t for the fact that my husband has obligations first thing every morning, I’d sleep until the noise from the boys was too much to let me sleep longer. I’m so fortunate to have a house full of early risers. Ugh.
So why do I talk to myself? Honestly, as soon as I wake to the alarm my grumbling and complaining begins. I wasn’t ready to wake up, and I certainly wasn’t ready to get out of my comfy bed. I don’t want to begin another day knowing that I’ll be just as exhausted as the day before. After waking up like this several times and becoming aware of how grumpy I was straight out of bed, I knew I’d have to focus my thoughts and my heart immediately upon rising or each day would be a life of misery for those around me.
If you’ve spent any time at all reading my posts, you’ll know that I love my Jesus lots. For as much as He loves me and sacrificed Himself for me, I yearn for a heart of gratitude. I know that however the heart overflows will determine how I behave (Proverbs 4:23), and if I’m truly grateful for all that Christ has done in my past and knowing that He will continue to be abundantly gracious in the future, my life ought to demonstrate utmost thankfulness. So I talk to myself. A lot, actually.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy…
(Psalm 16: 2, 7-9, 11a ESV, emphasis added)
That last part struck me so hard when I read it a couple of weeks ago. I’m always in the presence of the Lord because as someone who has trusted in Him for salvation He lives in my heart, right? So if I’m always in the presence of the Lord, then there should always be fullness of joy, right? Of course, to be in someone’s presence doesn’t seem to be just about being in the same room as them. I can totally be in the same room with my kids but not pay a lick of attention to them despite how many times they poke me in the arm and call my name (who is this Momma they speak of??). Now, I’m no scholar, but based upon the context of this passage I believe that I can conclude that to enjoy that fullness of joy in God’s presence is to be paying attention to Him all the time, to be in communion with Him all the time.
Yeah, right. Easier said and imagined then done. All the distractions around me take my mind from His presence at least a hundred times a day. So in talking to myself, especially right outta bed, I’m trying really hard to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) That’s super difficult. So hard. Especially when you’re exhausted, am I right? I’m not gonna lie: I don’t always manage my time well by going to bed early, so part of my fatigue is my own fault. I get this second-wind after my kids go to bed, and I just wanna get moving!
What do I say when I talk to myself? Well, it’s exhausting to train your mind, I have to say, but I am seeing some fruit already, at least from the inside looking out. Mostly I’ve been focusing on memorizing a few verses to keep my mouth in check (back to that overflow issue again). I was so convicted in my spirit when I read Psalm 34 that I wanted to meditate on it often. Here’s the first part:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt His name together!
I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
(Psalm 34:1-4 ESV, emphasis added)
I want to have a heart that is graious and flooding over with gratitude, not a grumbling, whining, complaining, make-everyone-around-me-miserable-because-I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself heart. This is really hard when I just want everything to go how I want it, but it’s all the opposite. So, I’ll just keep talking to myself. Speaking the truths of God’s Word to myself and praying to the One who inspired them.