Sunday, October 6, 2013

beauty{full}: an overflow

 My cup runneth over.
Psalm 23:5b

I am in the middle of a bedtime show down with the boys, and I will just honestly say it is breaking my heart. I know I wrote last month about how our bedtime routine had been rearranged somewhat due to Littles missing the Man, how I have been sitting between the boys' beds as they fall asleep instead of kissing them good night after our night time routine is completed and then going about with my evening. And while I won't pretend that it's been the most comfortable thing (this belly doesn't like getting up from the floor), in my heart I have loved the coziness with the boys and the knowledge that I was doing the best I could to mommy them through this time.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this has been that Tiny has completely lost the ability to self-soothe. Now, when he wakes up in the night, instead of quickly and easily putting him back in bed and letting him fall back asleep by himself, we are having three to four hours of wake time while I try to coax him back to dreamland and he protests pathetically. Last night I got four hours of sleep (not consecutive) and I doubt he got much more. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of nights I have gotten six or more consecutive hours of sleep since the Man left. This does not a good mommy make.

Tonight, I am doing what I can on the front end to change that because I love my kids and I want them to have the real me parenting them, not the zombie me. It is hard, hard, to listen to the boys crying for Daddy and not give in to their pleas to just come sit with them. Everything in me wants to be in there. But I am contenting myself with checking on them every five to ten minutes and doling out hugs and kisses each time. It is difficult having to teach my three year old that our emotions do not determine our actions. Just because you miss Daddy doesn't mean you don't have to go to sleep.

One beautiful inheritance asleep on top of
two more beautiful inheritances.
Stacking the sleep deprived.
In the heat of this battle, I sat down and read this article. And my mama heart broke from the beauty of it. Immediately, I wanted to respond out of mom-guilt and go snuggle my boys til they fell asleep, and God had to graciously remind me that what I am doing tonight is not less loving than what this incredible woman did for her children. It is a different time and a different circumstance and a different family. But it did bring me to what I was hoping to write about this evening.

One of my favourite verses can be found in Psalm 16. It says, "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a beautiful inheritance!" I have been thinking about that a lot the last few weeks as I have been sleep-deprived and sometimes overwhelmed. I know that when Lori looked at her children they were the most incredible gift she could've been given as she went through an incredibly difficult time--and that is beautiful. So I ask myself, when I look at Tiny am I frustrated by how he has kept me up or do I see him as my beautiful inheritance from the Lord? When I see Littles am I overwhelmed by my inability to keep him from missing the Man or do I rejoice in my beautiful inheritance? When I look at my rapidly growing belly, is it just stretch marks and aching ribs and ill-fitting maternity shirts or is it my beautiful inheritance?

The truth is that part of finding beauty is discovering what is already there to rejoice in. God has already laid out those boundary lines for me, and I can be frustrated by them or I can learn to find them pleasant, thereby recognizing the gifts that have already been generously given. But it takes courage to find satisfaction in our limitations. It takes courage to find beauty in the uncomfortable and discomfiting, in the disappointing and demanding.

The perfectly wonderful and literal truth is that I am currently full of beauty as these lovely twins grow within me. My cup is running over. And so is my belly. I am in overflow. With Tiny draped across one half of me and Littles across the other, there is so much beauty surrounding me that I cannot fit it in. But do I recognize it? Do I live in the reality of it? I can rejoice in the two footed "boundary lines" that wake me up in the middle of the night and steal my sleep or I can throw my overflowing cup on the floor and scream, "What You gave me is not good enough. I want something different!"

There is beauty to be found here, beauty pressed down and over flowing, if only I have the courage to look for it. I do so want the courage to look for it.

The boys are stretched out in their beds, long limbs framing the closed eyes and parted lips of sleep. I have no guarantee that I will not be up with Tiny again from one til four, but this is a start. In the meantime, I can look at their faces and rejoice in the inheritance that God has given me, the inheritance that is so very full of beauty.

Yes, even if one of those "darling angels" head butted me in the nose this week and made me look like a prize fighter. Make up is my friend...

{If you're looking for the rest of this series, all the links can be found here. Thank you so much for joining with me this month.}


  1. Beautiful article. Very apropos for this tired mom, especially as I think about how gracefully you are handling a situation much more difficult than the one I face. I pray for you daily, sister.

  2. It's also extraordinarily beautiful that your boys miss their daddy that much.