Every once in a great while I still hear that cry in the night and make my way down the hall to sooth a sweet baby. (FYI… I will call them babies as long as I want, it doesn’t matter that they are 4 and nearly 3, they are my babies and always will be. So there.)
However, it is a rarity these days to be woken and needed, but when this happened last week I realized something so precious about this time with my little ones.
It is a sacred time I get to spend with my babes. When I was in the throws of it and literally bouncing back and forth, like a ping pong ball, between the doors in the hall, I could barely see the beauty.
But oh how I tried.
I tried to cherish the snuggles.
I tried to cherish the bonding.
It was so hard and I could barely keep my eyes open since it had been night after night for months of ping-ponging.
But when my sweet girl needed me last week it was different. I wasn’t totally and completely exhausted. I wasn’t begging God to help her fall back to sleep. (Don’t act like you haven’t pleaded for some intervention from the Creator of the universe in the dead of night.) Instead, I was fully present with her. I snuggled her until she fell back to sleep in my arms. I noticed her breathing, smelled her hair and rubbed her back.
However, something else happened that night.
I found myself in deep thought and communication with God.
This was place I hadn’t been in a long while.
That night I realized during that awful “up all night, every night” season I was in deeper conversation with my Maker than I had ever been before. I was desperate for Him, for His help, and His comfort. The middle of the night conversation flowed so freely from gratitude, fears, concerns, hopes and dreams.
Last week I found myself wondering when was the last time I was this in sync with God? When was the last time I poured it all out? When was the last time “we” caught up?
This time I spent with my girl nuzzled into my chest was eye-opening. I want that intimate relationship back. Let me be clear… I do NOT want to go back to the “up all nights” but I am determined to be more intentional about connecting with my God.
I have mentioned before that I try to get up before the kids each morning and have my quiet time. I try to read, pray and sip coffee as quietly as possible in preparation for the day ahead. But guys, if I’m being honest… I have gotten pretty lazy with my mornings. Sometimes I get sucked into the Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest vortex, sometimes I just want to sleep a little more, sometimes there is an invader (Rosie is the worst of the bunch), and sometimes I just don’t feel like it.
Whatever the reason or excuse for my lack of focus… in MaryGrace’s dark room and in that still silence, I felt God calling me back.
I felt Him gently remind me of His presence.
I felt Him call me toward Him.
I want to do better.
I want to be more intimate with my God.
I want that tender relationship back.
I am a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend when I keep this cart on the rails.
Although that sleepless season was so very painful, I am happy to realize it was also life-giving and a time of growth. It can be hard to see the light in the darkness but I am grateful for that trying time, I am grateful for the snuggles and intimate moments, and I am so very grateful for the gentle reminder last week.
**This article originally appeared on ChristenSpratt.com. Used with permission.