Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grace for the Moment

I have a book with the above title on our bookshelf, but haven't picked it up in a while. I think I need to get back to it.

I shared a few months ago about what a struggle it was to figure out whether or not to return to work full time. I had thought that the stress of a stay-at-home job that was mostly commission based would be too much for me, but little did I know that the job I already felt very competent at doing would fee even more difficult.

You see, I've always been a planner... a multi-tasker who could juggle an awful lot at one time with a fair amount of ease. Because of that, and because of such of a lack of peace about other job options for this year, I thought that after an adjustment period that all working moms experience I would be just fine. I would get into a groove, find a routine that worked fairly well, and would be able to just go with it.

The trouble is, I am still waiting for that groove... for a routine that works even moderately well. This is pretty unchartered territory for me. I look around and see so many other working moms who are able to do it, and there's a part of me that sort of feels incompetant that I don't feel like I can... at least not well, or to the level I desire.

Since returning to work, my sleep at night has gotten progressively worse, and at this point, seems to be a full-blown case of chronic insomnia. It started while I was still nursing Eliana, and so my options as far as trying to treat it were fairly limited to things like warm milk, chamomile tea, ear plugs, and an eye mask. I think the lack of sleep caused a sooner-than-desired end to my ability to continue to nurse her, and so my general doctor suggested a few over the counter remedies at that point. These, too, do not seem to work. In fact, Tylenol PM makes me antsy. The trouble isn't so much falling asleep; it's staying asleep, and being able to get back to sleep if I do wake up.

So for more nights than I can count, I have woken up a few times throughout the night. Depending on the time, I may or may not be able to get back to sleep. And for more mornings than I can count, my day has started between 2:30 and 3:30am, followed by 2 or 3 hours of laying in bed, becoming frustrated that I can't fall back asleep, feeling overwhelmed about how much I need to do that day on such a small amount of sleep. I've tried so many things in those hours to get back to sleep, and nothing seems to work.

A few nights ago, as I layed there starting to become frustrated, my mind wandered to: My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness. And then to: Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit says the Lord.

I realized that it may (unfortunately) be a while until this sleep thing is figured out. The soonest the sleep center in our area could fit me in for a consultation is in late December. But, I was reminded of the fact that even though I have no idea how I could accomplish making it through a full day of work, spending time with Eliana, cooking dinner, spending time with Spencer, and completing any other household things that need to be done that day or fulfill other commitments I may have... I just don't need to know. God gently reminded me that He will grant me enough grace for each moment, and I don't need to think 5 or 10... or even 2 steps ahead, wondering how I will be able to take care of things. He will provide the grace, and the strength... and I need to trust Him at His word on that.

I would appreciate your prayers as Spencer and I, along with my doctor and the folks at the sleep center, try to get to the bottom of this. This is a huge unanticipated curve ball. While I expected to have some tired days if Eliana had a rough night (what mom of a baby doesn't?), I didn't expect this. Thank you for praying...


Amy Louise said...

You have my prayers. I still haven't hit that groove and my twins are turning ten. I'm soing homebound instruction and grading papers for a local career school, currently. that seems to help. God will help you find your groove.

The Writer Chic said...

Ugh. Stac, I can relate on so many levels. I will be praying for you dilligently -- most likely when I, too, am up in the middle of the night. Love you.

Anne said...

Please wrap Your Arms around her and hold her very closely. You are Sufficient. You are Provision. You gently lead those who have young. Please reveal, in Your perfect timing, Your perfect Will. We are only dust, Lord. Our arms grow so very weary in our tasks. Make a way. Let her eyes stay fixed on Your Face as the waves roar. May Peace fill to overflowing her precious heart and spill over onto every moment of her days and nights. Show her a clearer and clearer revelation of just how much You delight in and love her. Carry her through this season. Use those around her to help bear her up. In Jesus' precious name we ask for your most abundant blessings over this family. Amen

Michelle Karr said...

Will definitely be praying!

Ann said...

Oh Stacy -

My heart breaks for you and it also sympathizes. I'm the mom of a new baby as well and have been dealing with my own case of chronic insomnia as of late. My reasons are different than yours, but I'm in the same boat of not being able to stay asleep, not being able to fall back asleep if I wake up, and often starting my day at 3:30 a.m. Nothing I've tried has worked all that well for me either - not even prescription strength Ambien! It's been going on for weeks and is really, really hard and frustrating (I've always been such a good sleeper!).

In my case, my doctor thinks my insomnia is related to mild depression. I have been struggling lately with my own feelings of incompetence and not being able to do things to the level I desire, and I think it all just started to get the best of me.

I don't pretend to know what is at the root of your insomnia, but wanted you to know that you're definitely not alone. I'll be thinking of you as I lie awake in the wee hours of the night and hoping we both get to the bottom of our issues soon and that sleep returns.


Nellie said...

You most certainly have my prayers and always will!

Don't ever think that you do not have the working mom thing perfect because none of us do. We just learn to let go of certain things that trigger stress and trudge along in the hopes of getting through the day in time to come home to a joyous baby awaiting you.

I am the ever-planner, to-do list person and since becoming a mom, those things still exist but not in as high of an intensity as it used to be. I've come to realize that some things will not get done exactly as I had planned. It's not easy but with God's grace I am able to manage, even if it's not at 100% to my liking.

Brenda is SO Blessed said...

i have struggled with sleep for most of my life...i soooo understand your frustration. I will be praying for you

Heather said...

Hi Stacy, I hace been reading your blog for some time..I hope you don't mind a stranger following your story!
You definitely have my prayers! I had my son in March of 2009. During my pregnancy I thought it would be no problem to go back to work and work through my 'busy' week each month. However after complications and a NICU stay, I found it to be much harder. Since my husband did not have a job, I had to work (he still stays home). Even with that, I would say it still took me a good six months before I wasn't so anxious to get home and even longer to get that 'groove'.
I pray that you find peace and sleep with whatever decision you make!

Sheila said...

Praying for you. I know that when I am stressed about work, it wreaks havoc on my sleep. I can fall asleep ok b/c I am exhausted but if I get up, I'm up until I am so exhausted I fall back asleep just in time for the alarm. I usually end up reading something (even though they say not to) and then I exhaust myself again.

It may be that until you resolve your work situation and feel peace you won't be at peace while sleeping. I hope you can work everything out, sleep deprivation is the worst.

Amber Paulsen said...

Praying for you, that our Great Physician will heal you of not being able to sleep. Hear is a good verse to say over and over in your mind when you can't sleep: "I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe." ~ Psalm 4:8

I struggled with insomnia many years ago and mostly am healed of it now. Another verse that is powerful is "I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me, freeing me from ALL my fears." ~ Psalm 34:4

God bless you!
~ Amber

Sonya said...

I hope that you get this figured out. Being sleept deprived is no fun at all.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Praying for you, my friend. And, I need to share with you that you are most definitely not alone on several counts. I have never been one of those working moms that find the groove. I, too, would look around at all the other moms who seemed to juggle it all with ease and feel incompetent...lacking. What was wrong with my that I couldn't do this? Even several years later of working full time, I still feel like I haven't found my groove. I am a fish out of water, and have had to accept less than my best in several areas of my life...knowing I cannot achieve all of those things anymore. I have remained a stay-at-home mom at heart. But, many days I feel very stretched and have had to embrace wholeheartedly that God gives us grace for each moment...trusting Him to guide my steps, order my priorities, equip me to accomplish the day's tasks. Some days I remember to do that better than others. Some days, I try to do too much on my own and fail. Again...His grace is enough.

I have also struggled with the sleep issues. Just as you described, in fact. Waking up between 2 and 3. Not being able to get back to sleep. It is a little better now, but I still have seasons like that. I spent many nights praying through it. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Many exhausted days. It was the worst while adjusting to working full time, while also grieving the death of my mom. I'm not sure which reason was causing it...or if it was both. But, I have been there. And, sometimes still....I am there. Thankfully, most nights are not that way anymore.

Praying for you as you seek rest...

Mommato2miracles said...

Praying! And so sorry you are going through all this. I too have tough time sleeping when things are stressful in my life. I have taken that time and turned it into prayer time. It is so amazing what using that peaceful quiet time to seek God does for me. I pray that you get some really wonderful sleep soon, but if not spend time with God while you are awake, and let him fill you with the rest that you need, whether it is through sleep or not.

Amee said...

hi stacy...i am devon's sister-in-law and have been following your story since before you had your precious isaac.

i just had my colton in june and have been back to work for about two months now and am comforted by your words and knowing i am not the only working mom who felt like she would get in a groove and has yet to get there...praying for you as you navigate your way through...

praying for you as you celebrate this thanksgiving with your ellie in your arms and your isaac in jesus's...may you feel his loving arms around you today and always...

Heather said...

There are many days and many nights I think I wrote this post in my head. I wish that I could offer you some pearls of wisdom or some comforting words for either feeling the groove, or for getting to sleep. I can only offer you the comfort of knowing you aren't the only one, and if, at the end of the day the 3 of you are healthy, then it's really a successful day.

Tammy On the Go said...

Hey Stacey,
I recently went through this and found that God was opening up a whole new level of my prayer life- intercession...deep intercession. and it took my sleep.

It my not be spiritual...but I pray that if it is, God will reveal himself to you in this very soon.


The Sloterbeeks said...

Dear Stacy,
You don't know me. The first time I visited your blog was the night before your son was born. As I recall the post I left was actually early on his birthday (couldn't sleep). My son Joshua was born March 9,2007. His diagnosis was LBWC. I actually came across your blog again tonight from another blog related to LBWC and wanted to ask if you would mind if I put a link to your blog on mine (you have done a beautiful job of honestly portraying the trials and joys of carrying to term with an adverse prenatal diagnosis).
Regarding the sleep issue, I wanted to share with you something that an older friend of mine from church shared about when she had difficulty sleeping (peri-menopause related). She said that when she had difficulty sleeping she would pray for whoever came into her mind. I have found that this works for me as well.
Hope this may help you as well or at least help you pass the time until morning,

Joannie said...

Hi Stacey - I am catching up on your blog because, ironically, I can't sleep! It is 12:30 AM, and I often have the same issue as you - fall asleep for a few hours and then wake up with my mind racing. Sometimes I come downstairs and catch up on email, or make lists to get some stuff off my mind. I loved the verse you cited, it is one my favorites, too, and I too believe that God gives us all the grace we need to get through everything in our lives. I loved coming across your post tonight - or this morning, actually :(

See you soon, Joannie