Sleep = Joy. Pretty much.
I know I’ve blogged quite a bit about the hardships in life, and I don’t mean to be a downer with my writing. I guess I’m so busy surviving the chaotic stage of raising littles that when I do get a few moments to myself, I just want to be real. And if we can’t be real with one another, then what’s the point in life?
Add the fact that I tend to be a pretty serious person, it’s kind of no surprise that my writings tend to be more on the serious side. And John would likely testify that I take life, and myself, a little too seriously sometimes. And he’s right. It’s what makes me grateful ten times over for his humor and laid back self. He is my daily dose of grace with his understanding heart and his propensity to chuckle at so much in life, including my too-serious of ways.
So today’s post is going to be on the more positive side (yay!), and it’s a good one.
We’ve been parents now for 6 years to 3 kids, and it’s been pretty much interrupted sleep for most, if not all of those six years. And through those six years we have yearned for the day for uninterrupted sleep. While I usually take the night shift (I get up with the kid[s] in the middle of the night) and John takes the morning shift (praise Jesus), John and the kids have to deal with the repercussions of a sleep-deprived wife and mother. So as much as I have been longing for the day our kiddos would sleep through the night, John has too because he would like The Hulk to disappear and his wife to reappear more often.
And guess what guys? WE HAVE ENTERED THAT GLORIOUS STAGE. And we didn’t even realize it!
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I guess I was expecting to enter that new sweet season of life with a bit of fanfare and heads-up and celebration. Like, this is a huge deal!
But like so many things in life, the very things we yearn for so badly (ie: to make more money, get more sleep, have a happy family, etc) tend to sneak up on us without us even noticing. It’s a little annoying because after how hard you work to survive life and make the most of it, it would be nice to get a little pre-warning message alerting us to the goodness that is headed our way.
Rather, we find ourselves in the midst of that goodness before we sometimes even notice it.
And that’s exactly what happened to us with this whole sleeping-through-the-night-thing-after-six-long-years.
This is HUGE. I mean, can you all please celebrate with me? I could cry as I sit here and write this because going several nights without adequate sleep, much less years, is enough to make one feel literally crazy.
I remember holding Eden (our middle child) as a baby in our bed, and as I was looking at our bedroom wall, I kept thinking about how good it would feel to smash my head into that wall repeatedly. I was so sleep-deprived that harming myself sounded like it would bring me relief.
And yet’s that completely normal.
Talk to any sleep-deprived parent and you’ll hear the craziest words come out of their mouth.
It’s no wonder sleep-deprivation is used as a form of torture – it truly is tortuous.
But guess what guys? We ain’t there no longer. Praise Jesus, Hallelujah!
We’re actually getting some sleep. I can’t even tell you how big of a deal this is.
Mind you, our two oldest still take on average 2 hours before they actually fall asleep, which translates into them coming downstairs for some last-minute made-up need (their latest ‘need’ after we’ve put them to bed is coming downstairs to request a cough drop), their beds becoming trampolines, and their books becoming towers-to-knock-over.
So that’s why this sweet spot was so easily missed. Because we put the kids to bed, only to keep putting them to bed for another two hours (Lord, help me). Or even if we do manage to ‘ignore’ the chaos we hear upstairs, we still can’t fully relax because we’re always on edge that they’re going to wake baby (I know, he’s 18 months old and technically not a baby anymore, but c’mon, he’s my baby). So the stress of bedtime distracted us from the glory of our uninterrupted sleep.
But no more, I say! We WILL celebrate. Starting today… and the next day and the next.
Because THAT’S how we cultivate happiness. That’s how we live lives of joy.
By noticing small victories like these and celebrating them even in the midst of other life stresses.
Life will never be stress-free. Life will never be completely easy.
So we put on our perspectacles and we celebrate every little thing we can find.
They say gratitude leads to happiness, so if you’re feeling down and out, will you join me in finding little things to be grateful for?
I’ll go first:
- I’m grateful for finally being able to sleep through the night again (can’t say this enough!)
- I’m grateful for my daughters’ ability to forgive me for my outburts every single time I ask for their forgiveness
- I’m grateful for our (annoying) cat who’s caught three mice this year
- I’m grateful to see green grass blades poking through the soil after a long season of cold and dark
How about you? What are some things you are grateful for? Like, truly grateful? Even if they’re tiny things. I’d love to hear them and celebrate with you.