Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's Hard to be Holy When You're Sleep-Deprived

A blast from the past for a friend who has been sleep-deprived for far longer than anyone I know, and for all who have been there (or are there)...

September 9, 2009

11:10am – Wednesday 

The car is all packed up to go to Lake Bryan.  It’s raining outside and I’m waiting for the baby to wake up.  I’m tired and don’t feel like going, but I think it will help me “chill out” some, and Brett is out there w/ his guys today running the boats.  I feel like I’m being pecked to death by my baby chickens (Brayton and Walker)…fix this knot, my train track is broken, where are my logs?, Brayton pushed me, Walker called me stupid, find me in my fort – no not through that hole, this hole…The baby is still getting up twice a night and it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to hunger, as he sometimes wakes up earlier after he eats a big meal before bed.  I can’t figure it out and it is really starting to affect my patience level during the day. 

I have been reading about being resigned to God’s will for my life.  Is God’s will for my life for me to be sleep deprived?  I vacillate between wanting to wean the baby entirely (not that I could do it quickly – I’ve been trying to get him to take a bottle for months) and giving him God’s best by breastfeeding him – as much and as often as he wants. 

I am beginning to wonder if it would be easier to suffer pain/sickness, as the suffering is coming from within rather than without.  I am always at the mercy of other people.  I am trying to give thanks in all circumstances, as written in Thessalonians.  However, as my sleep deprivation grows and my patience shortens, it becomes more difficult with each interruption/demand.  I thank God for my three healthy, beautiful children.  I thank God my legs work, so I can tend to them.  I thank God I don’t have to work and entrust my kids to someone else’s care (even if it would be better than what I can offer some days).  I thank God I am able to breastfeed (as this was my fervent prayer when pregnant with Wyatt).  I thank God Brett has a good job.  I thank God we can pay our bills without receiving utility disconnect notices or foreclosure notices.  I thank God I have parents who love me.  I thank God He loves me.  I thank God for Jesus – I am believing more and more all the time my own weakness and incapability to do much on my own.  I thank God for the consolations of Wyatt’s smiles, and him reaching out to touch my face, and the boys’ laughter.  I thank God for “Mom, you’re my best.”  I am reading Teresa of Avila’s biography.  I can relate to her about so many things.  It took 40 years for her to develop/recognize her holiness.  I hope it doesn’t take that long for me.


September 13, 2009

Sunday – 1:29pm 

I just wanted to write before I forget how great it feels to be well-rested.  We started to wean Wyatt from his night feedings a few days ago.  The first night he cried for 32 minutes.  The next night about 35.  The following night for about 10 minutes (according to Brett – I was so desperate for sleep and couldn’t bear listening to him cry again for so long, so I slept on the couch with ear plugs in and the fan going).  It was probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had since Wyatt was born.  Last night he only woke up once around 3am and cried for a minute or so, and didn’t wake up until almost 7:30am.  Thanks be to God!  The sleep deprivation was really starting to get to me.  I’ve been extremely crabby and impatient.  You know something needs to change when Brayton says, “Mommy, why are you so crabby all the time?” and Walker says one morning, “Mommy, did you not wake up crabby this morning?” (That was the first morning after I got decent sleep).  I pray I don’t forget what a blessing it is to sleep without interruption.  I want to be at my best for my kids and my husband. 

Note:  Please see my next post for a more objective view of how sleep-deprivation and all other emotionally and physically painful things might fit into a much bigger picture, and the best way to endure. 

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for sleep and for sleep-deprivation, if it drives us closer to You.  Thank you for children who grow up and no longer need us in the middle of the night.  Thank you for notes kept that bring it all right back, when it is helpful for another.  Thank you for You.  Please draw near to all those who are suffering from insomnia, those who tend to others in the middle of the night, and all others who are simply tired from the pressures of daily living.  If it is not outside Your Will, please restore restful sleep to those who are most in need.  Amen. 


  1. Oh my goodness, I have finally found someone who has been through exactly what I am going through. Your post is exactly what I described to you in my email, only more beautifully written. I definitely feel like my kids are pecking at me, what a perfect analogy. Thank you for your story, thank you for your prayers, and thank you for giving me hope!

    1. I remember that feeling so well, Stephanie. I just looked at the length of time between the 2 journal entries from above. They are only 4 days apart. On this earth, nothing lasts forever, except love.

  2. I always knew I was having a rough week when I wrote in my journal more than once a week! My Mom got me a beautiful "Mother's journal" as a gift with my first baby, and the first page is roses and sunshine, and every other page after is just worries and prayers intermixed all throughout! (um, and lots of venting). I try to be mindful of what I write in case I might type out some entries for someone else's benefit one day. Thank you Heidi for doing exactly that!