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...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Long overdue...

They say better late than never, right? So while lots of other moms got their cute Halloween pictures up, we were busy fighting a vicious stomach bug in our house. Little Ellie was hit pretty hard, but thankfully is on the mend. Anyhow, a few pictures of our little bumblebee...

Despite her costume's cuteness, she wasn't a huge fan. The puffy tummy of the costume made it hard for her to sit and crawl... she just couldn't figure it out. Truthfully, her frustrated attempts were sort of cute to watch. :) Needless to say, she only wore the costume for a little over an hour as we attended a neighbor's Halloween party, but it was fun while it lasted!
Just a few days later, Eliana turned 8 months old! She's crawling like crazy, loves to pull herself up, and has started to walk while holding on to a push toy. She "talks" up a storm, and uses "dadada" and "mama" appropriately. I know the other moms out their can relate to how wonderful it is to finally hear "mama".

I just love Eliana's fun, spirited personality. She's outgoing, loves to laugh, and is so proud of herself when she accomplishes something new. She's curious... often seeing in things little details that I easily miss. She is such a treasure.
With the fun of Halloween having passed, fall tends to take a turn and begins to focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admittedly, October through New Years tends to be a difficult time for me. I am sure that many who have gone through the grief of losing a loved one, particularly a child, would agree that the holidays are hard. Of course, the bittersweet dynamic of our family with having one child here and one waiting for us in Heaven is there. It's in day-to-day life sorts of things, like the fact that Eliana's pictures grace the mantle in some one's home, yet Isaac's picture is nowhere to be found.
But the holidays... it's like missing magnified. While I shop for mega blocks and a big stuffed chair for Eliana, I wonder what "Santa" would be bringing Isaac this year. While our family will sit and hold hands around the Thanksgiving table sharing what we're grateful for, I'll be holding one of my children's hands but not the other. I'll be giving thanks for Eliana's good health, and wishing the same had been true for my son.
I suppose all this is to say that many of our days, and much of each day, is filled with a lot of laughter and joy; but, the heart of a mom who is missing her son does just that: misses her son... notices his absence, and longs for him to be here.
If you are reading and have also lost a child, I am sure that rings true for you, too. And if you are reading and know someone who is doing the missing, I would encourage you to find ways to sensitively remember their child this holiday season. For me, it does my heart good to know that Isaac is talked about, remembered, and has not been forgotten.