Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sleep Schedule (yeah, right!)

When Bird was 6 weeks old, he started sleeping through the night. Levi is now 14 weeks old, and I’m still getting up several times each night to feed him. To be honest, I am past ready to sleep for 7 straight uninterrupted hours. To help nudge him towards this sleeping-all-night milestone, I’ve tried to put Levi on a stricter schedule during the day. One popular book suggests feeding the baby every 3 hours and adopting an “eat, play, sleep” schedule for each 3-hour cycle. For the past week, I’ve tried my best to adhere to the “eat, play, sleep” schedule, which (according to the book) produces a content and sweet-slumbering baby.

“How has that worked?” you ask. Well, the majority of the time, the designated “play” time in the schedule looked like this:
Obviously one of us isn’t too keen on schedules. After several days of this, I was distraught. I’m doomed! I’m going to be sleep deprived for the rest of my life! This kid is never going to sleep through the night! Crazy thoughts like these ran through my mind each time Levi deviated from the prescribed “eat, play, sleep” schedule, and gradually my exhaustion and (admittedly dramatic) exasperation threatened to push me over the edge. I cried out to God: I’m doing everything right! Why isn’t he sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time, Lord! I just want a normal night’s sleep! Am I a bad Mom because I can’t get my baby to sleep through the night? And in the midst of my silent whining, a verse came to mind and stilled my bitter and frustrated spirit.

Psalm 37:23-24 says, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” 

This Scripture promises that when my life pleases God, he will direct and establish each step of my life, planning them out in advance, making them firm, and directing them in accordance with His will. And when (not if) I stumble, I won’t fall or fail because the Lord is the one supporting me and sustaining the path underneath my feet. So maybe I shouldn’t sink into total desperation after all. Perhaps our inability to stick to a strict schedule doesn’t spell complete failure. And perhaps someone bigger (and more sovereign) than me is controlling our schedule each day. Since God is ultimately in control, I think I’ll relax a bit, smile more, worry less, and just shrug it off when things don’t go as scheduled. After all, the Lord is even directing Levi’s steps on the path towards sleeping all night. God is the perfect Father, so I should probably trust His schedule instead of mine.

Lord, help me be patient and flexible as I wait. Remind me that you paint a much bigger picture than I can ever see. Help me to trust you joyfully, even on sleepless nights.  

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