Father God, I come to you today, praising your Holy Name! God, you alone are holy! you alone are worthy! you alone are Most High, awesome God!
Well, last night was a bit "rough". Abigail has gotten into a bad habit of waking up a least once (sometimes twice) in the middle of the night around 1AM or 2AM. Now, I can handle anything past 3:30 and will usually get up with her if it is that "late." But, 1 and then again up at 4 has been HARD! And, I have to say, I have been encouraging her because I have been giving her bottle in the middle of the night when she awakens. It is much easier to go downstairs, make a bottle, pop it in her mouth, and go back to bed than to deal with her waking up. The alternative is letting her cry and get OUT of the routine of having a snack at 2 AM. (Now she is 11 months old and has been sleeping through the night for months, so she doesn't NEED this bottle.) So, Brian and I, on the same team, decided last night that we were NOT going to succumb to the crying, but were going to make her go back to sleep without the bottle.
Oh, boy! She woke up at 1 AM, called out to us, "baa baa" and expected to get her bottle and snuggle. But, we weren't going to falter! We let her cry for awhile (about 30 minutes) and then Brian got up. He told her it was time for bed and she had to go back to sleep. He laid her back down (she was standing in her crib) as she tried to climb up his arm and to freedom. Her wails got louder as she became really mad! She was not getting her way and she wanted us to know it! She would quiet down for a few minutes and then start to cry again. I got up to close our bedroom door so the rest of the kids wouldn't wake up. I, too, went to her crib, told her it was bedtime, and snuggled her a bit. I held her while I sang her a song. But the minute I put her back down, the wailing and screaming began! Finally she fell asleep around 3:30 AM.
As I was listening to the crying with the covers over my head, trying desperately not to get up and go to Abigail, I thought about how stubborn she was and it made me think about how stubborn I am! It was really hard to let Abby cry, but I knew it was the best thing for the family in the long run. It was not good for her, Brian, or me to continue to lose sleep in the middle of the night. It made me a tired mommy the next day. It was a bad habit for Abigail to continue. She needed to have better sleep routines. So, even though I knew it was for the best, it was so hard, as a parent, to let Abigail "hurt" and cry and be angry. But, oh, how stubborn she was being! She wanted things done HER way!
It made me realize that I am so like that crying baby- I want things done my way! I want God to bring me my bottle in the middle of the night, regardless if it is the best thing for me or not! And, I thought about how "painful" it must be for God at times when He has to "let me cry." He listens as we are wailing and He loves us and mourns with us, but there are times He knows what is best, and it "ain't what we want!" And, I wonder, God, am I THAT stubborn??????
Last night, as I was praying and pondering, I was reminded of Hebrews 12:11.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. (And, I would even wonder- painful to God as He watches and listens.....) Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
I know that Abigail will be much happier (and mom and dad) as she sleeps through the night. I definitely know there will be a harvest of PEACE! I know that training Abigail to sleep when she should will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.
God, I ask you to show me areas where I am being stubborn. I can think of one area in particular- my eating. Leaning on God, resisting the temptation of NOT eating when I want to, but am not hungry, is "painful." I want to do what I want to do! But, God knows what is best for my body. And, I know that as I am being trained to obey God's leading in this area, I will reap a reward- there will be a harvest of righteousness and peace!
Father God, I thank you that when you discipline me, you are treating me like your child (Hebrews 12:7). Thank you, Father that you know what is best for me and that you care so much for me that you are going to make sure I am disciplined. Thank you that you don't ignore the problems, but that you deal with them, no matter how "painful" it may feel at the time. Father, "strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for our feet so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." (Heb. 12:12) Hallelujah! Glory to God! In Jesus' precious name we pray. Amen!