I am grateful

For the ladies in my monday morning bible study.

I asked for prayer this morning as Ben hasn't been sleeping at all well (think getting up to him 8-15 times a night, crying jags that go on for nearly 2 hours in the depth of the darkness) recently, or settling well, and I (and hubby of course!) are exhausted.

Firstly, the other ladies suggested reasons as to the lack of sleep, such as enough food during the day, do I feed him in the night, teething, and the one that I think is the most likely, is that his brain is developing faster than his physical abilities, and thus while he needs the rest because he is fast growing, his brain activity is keeping him awake. He is not doing enough physical activity to balance things out. I think I perhaps need to take him swimming more!

I also said that I was feeling like God takes the night off and doesn't work the hours of darkness. He never seems to answer the 'please make him sleep' prayer. Our bible study leader gently suggested that perhaps we are praying the wrong prayer, that if we pray that prayer and it Ben doesn't sleep, we feel even worse because then we feel abandoned by God and that he doesn't care, when of course he does care, and is ever present and knows our struggles. Perhaps there is something he wants to teach us in those dark hours. Our leader also suggested that if we prayed for grace for the moment and grace to deal with the night, then things would be easier, and we would feel more at peace than otherwise we do at the moment. All fabulous advice that I am happy to try to implement, if only to make the nighttime hours peaceful within our hearts, as at the moment, they are stressful, angry and not at all peaceful!!

One of the other ladies in the group suggested that perhaps we are given these situations to deal with to chip the sharp edges off us, to make us more empathic with other people. When you have one child who sleeps perfectly from an early age tends to make you think that other people whose children do not sleep as well must be doing something wrong, whether or not you say anything. The judgemental attitude is still there. It certainly was with me. Now I have a child who is going through a not-good-sleeping phase despite me doing EVERYTHING the same as we did with Ruth just goes to show me that each child is different and sometimes kids just don't go as the text book says. I will never be so judgemental again, however quietly I was. My heart wasn't right, and I think God is using this situation to chip that bit off, as it were. Also, by going through this set of circumstances now enables me to get alongside someone else in the future who might also be going through the same thing, in a way that I couldn't had I not gone through it myself.

I am so blessed to be a part of this group, who point me to God, who teach me, who get alongside me. I hope that I am in some small way a blessing to them.