It seems that in all the busyness of the days lately, the nights haven't slowed down much either. I'm talking middle-of-the-nights, when everyone should be asleep. You'd think that with so much happening, the whole family would zonk out and not open an eye until morning.
But Brody has begun this crazy habit of either waking up in the middle of the night or waking up super early. Coaxing him back to sleep is not an easy task.
Maybe I should hand that job off to Emma or Addie who are sometimes up around the same time. It seems they plan it out, and alternate nights to have bad dreams or restless sleeps.
Or maybe it's a good job for Gary since he's up anyway. He's having a hard time sleeping lately. He'll wake up stressed out or thinking about all he has to do. Usually it just means he goes to work far earlier than normal (by HOURS).
So rocking Brody back to sleep or lying awake in bed while I let him cry it out for awhile is left to me. And that just gives me time to think.
There have been so many big things happening in our family lately. Brody just turned one, Emma started kindergarten, Addie's about to start preschool, Gary's kicking off another busy school year, Emma has started playing soccer... and I'm adjusting to all of these big changes. More often than not, I end up thinking back to where I was this time last year... or the year before... or the year before... and noting how life just keeps on going.
Last year at this time, Emma had just lost her first tooth. She was about to start preschool. Addie had just busted her eye open and narrowly escaped stitches. Brody had just been born and we were all adjusting to being a family of five. Life was good and beautiful - just like now. But isn't it funny how every season of life being "good" is always different than all "goods" before?
Two years ago at this time, I was blissfully unaware of all I'd experience by the month's end. I was finally feeling good in my pregnancy after 18 long weeks of morning sickness, we were celebrating the fact that we were expecting a boy, and I was hoarding all Rice Krispie Treats in sight. I didn't realize that within a few weeks, we'd lose that baby. Our Joshua.
When I think about Joshua in the middle of the night, I'm struck with a sadness that I still can't articulate. He's in my thoughts more than I thought he would be by now. But at the same time, I feel a sense of awe that God trusted me with Joshua all the days of his life. A sense of awe that I got to hold and cuddle such a tiny, fragile baby. I wonder how I made it through and remember that inexplicable peace that the Lord gave me new each day. I remember how I drew nearer to God than ever before, and how he comforted me and gave me the strength to move from one day to the next. I can't think about Joshua without realizing what a gift that time was. It turns out, that season of life was hard, but very good.
And so in the middle of the night, when the house is quiet except for the tired cries of baby Brody, my mind often wanders back to those often dark days. God didn't let me dwell in those dark days too long, and he certainly didn't let me come out of them without a deeper understanding of who he is or a stronger desire for him. And in those quiet midnight hours, I think about that desperate passion and need for him that I had in those days and weeks after Josh died... and wonder how it faded. It's not that I've lost it, it's just that it isn't as urgent as it once was. I love the Lord and depend on Him daily, but I think I've reverted back to relying on my own strength too often these days - strength that I didn't even possess back then. Sometimes I begin to pray that God would take it from me and replace it with the desperation and intense need that I had two years ago...
But then I stop.
Because that's too scary.
Because God answers prayers.
And do I really want to go through that kind of pain again? What if he answers my prayers that way? What if it's not that way, but some harder, scarier way? Who wants that?
But what if it's not like that? What if I ask God to light that fire under me again, to show me how to lean on him without looking back, to realize once and for all that it's his will not mine... and he just... does. What if, without some heart-wrenching situation, God just reveals himself to me in a more real way than ever before? Would he do that?
And so, thinking about these things, chickening out and not finishing my prayer, I drift off to sleep. And sometimes I wake up in the morning, realizing that I'm in for another day of mediocrity until I ask God for more.