Lessons Learned in the Night

Like I said, this weekend was pretty rough as far as sleeping goes. The girls took turns staying up all night crying. Matt and I hadn’t gone through nights like that since the newborn days (for those of you in the newborn days now…sleep will return!!). In the middle of it all, I acted like a big baby myself, practically stomping and huffing and puffing each time I had to get up.

Seriously, Erin?! You are a mom. Sleep is a luxury, not a necessity in these early years.

When the kids have trouble sleeping, I go through a series of quick, random mood changes. I can go from frustration to anger to tears to compassion to guilt in five minutes. I have zero control over my emotions when the kids mess with my sleep. Anyone else feel like that?

On Saturday, I was moping about how I hadn’t slept and wondering if we would sleep that night when I felt like the Lord smacked me. How selfish was it of me to be dwelling on the lack of sleep when my two precious girls were sick? They were given to me to take care of. They weren’t sleeping because they needed their parents. They were hurting, and I was being a jerk. Not to them directly, but my attitude was childlike.

I happened to be listening to Shane and Shane’s new album (The One You Need…excellent by the way) while moping. Their song “Grace is Sufficient” came on right when I was having my come-to-Jesus meeting with myself (excellent song) and it reminded me of this promise…

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor. 12:9

My grace is sufficient.

Even in the middle of the night when the kids are screaming in pain.

Even when sleep is rare.

Even when I am being a jerk.

Paul counted sleepless nights as one of the many persecutions he endured (2 Cor. 11)…in the same list as being beaten, shipwrecked, without food, etc. While I might not ever experience the type of hardships Paul faced, sleepless nights are counted in that list which means they are hard and unpleasant, and I should rejoice in those (James 1) as times of stretching, learned, sanctification, and grace-filled experiences.

If you have little ones, chances are you have felt the same things I’ve described. Maybe you’ve even been a jerk when your kids needed you from time to time. His grace is sufficient.


  1. Ashley Ramsey says:

    I have been thinking about calling you all day on this very subject! Ava is waking 2-4 times a night and I know it’s time to sleep train (no, I haven’t done that yet). We started last night and it was so hard! We let her cry from 2:20-4. I read yesterday in my What to Expect email that by six months no child actually needs to be eating in the night anymore. But I’ve also read in Healthy Sleep, Happy Child that it’s normal for babies up to 9 months to have 2 night time feedings.

    All that to say, I just needed a little pep talk. This definitely helped and was oh so timely. Maybe we could still chat sometime this week on the details of sleep training. I’d also love to just say hey and hear how you are.

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