Crying, Sleep, & God

One of the hardest things about being a mommy is listening to Jones cry, knowing that if I went in his room and scooped him up, he would stop — but he most certainly would not sleep.

Today has been a long day for him. His second nap was supposed to be taken in a car seat, sitting in the midst of loud choruses and unfamiliar, micro-phoned voices at Zion. We also ate out for lunch, which meant nap #3 was in the car seat, too. (Needless to say, he rarely sleeps well on Sunday mornings.)

I know he’s really tired. I know he needs to sleep. I know that he’d stay up for hours if we never put him in his crib. I know what’s best for him, because I’m his mommy. Unfortunately, getting Jones to sleep under these conditions usually equals a lengthy bout of crying — he cries as I change his diaper; he cries when I try to give him his pacifier; he cries when he spits it out accidentally; he cries as I swaddle him; he cries as I pick him up; he cries as I rock him and attempt to calm him down; he cries as I lay him in his crib; he cries as I leave the room.

I know this paints a very sad and lonely picture. I hate doing this. It is absolutely my least favorite part of parenting. But I know that it’s necessary. There is plenty of advice out there telling me to do it differently, and I often question whether this is really the best thing for Jones or not — should I really let him cry? I just want to do what’s best for him — I just want him to feel safe, secure, and loved. But when he cries because he’s tired, my arms are not his greatest need.

As I’ve thought of this, I’ve been reminded of the difficulties the LORD has allowed in my life in order to cultivate obedience in my heart. I can see an inch — His field of vision is never-ending. I think He’s left me out-to-dry — He knows the result of every trial. I am eager for the end product, yet unwilling to experience the pain of letting go of my selfishness and supposed ‘rights’. He is refining me, a process I don’t always enjoy.

In hindsight, I gain perspective from the harsh storms of life, which allows me to know and understand the LORD in ways I never imagined. But were it up to me, I would always want to be under an umbrella.

And were it up to Jones, I think he would never sleep more than 45 minutes.

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3 thoughts on “Crying, Sleep, & God

  1. You and Bryan are absolutely doing the right thing, and one of the assurances of that is that it is also a *hard* thing. The easy way out for all of you (in the short run) would be to bow down to Jones’ every whim. Of course, and thankfully, this is not how God relates to us. We don’t really know what’s best for us any more than little Jonesy does. If God were to give us exactly what we wanted, when we wanted it, we would absolutely destroy ourselves.

    Someday Jones will appreciate what you’ve done for him.

  2. Beautiful post, and so true. The parent/child and God/self illustrations will continue to pour in. I’m humbled these days by God’s grace and patience to me when I sin… If only I was that way when Liv is being disciplined!

    Letting your child cry himself to sleep is SOOO hard. I remember having to leave the house at times because I felt so conflicted about it. However, now Liv has great sleep habits and those days are a distant memory.

    Love your blog!
    RT

  3. Jamie this is such good insight. I love reading your blog in case, Lord willing, I ever have babies of my own. I’ll call you one day and say, “whhhhhy can’t i pick him/her up?” and you’ll laugh. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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