I've been up with my Little Miss several times over the last few nights. She's fine, overall, but let's just say she's required frequent bathroom trips. The disturbed sleep patterns had me groaning with fatigue, frustration and self pity as I finally dropped into bed the other night. Just before drifting off to sleep (sleep that would be disturbed throughout the night) I moaned, "It's like having a newborn again!"
This morning I woke up and looked at the clock, startled. It was already 7:00. I had slept through the night! And I felt, once again, the way I felt seven, nine, eleven and fourteen years ago when my precious babes finally made it through the night without squawking me out of my blissful slumber.
I was a new woman.
I propped myself up in bed and did something I hadn't done in days. I cracked open my Bible and journal and began to read, write and pray. Looking back over my journal, I saw that it had been several days since my last entry. My instinct was to be hard on myself, as though I had somehow failed. Tsk, tsk.
But then I thought of my newborn baby years. And I thought of my friends who are still in the phase that demands that they survive on very little sleep. And I remembered how easy -- and sometimes necessary -- it is to fall into survival mode. Survival mode drops everything extra. And that's okay; it's only for a season.
I was dropping the "extras" left and right. The quiet mornings of solitude? I slept instead. That final hour was too precious. I stopped exercising. Walk? No sirree. That would require effort. I began to eat like my children. Peanut butter and jelly? Why sure. Mac n cheese? Bring it. Whatever is fast and easy and doesn't require me to think.
My body started to rebel, but I reminded myself it was only for a season.
So it was with great relief that I opened my Bible this morning, refreshed after a good night's sleep. I was eager. I was hungry. And, as is always the case when my heart is yearning, I felt the Lord draw me to Himself. And you know what? He wasn't angry with me. He wasn't looking at the date on my journal. He wasn't raising His eyebrows over the hot dog I ate at Costco. He knew I was tired. He knew that I had a terrible kink in my neck. And He loved me. He loved me so very much.
My eyes landed on 2 Chronicles 24:13, and I was filled with hope: "They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it." I knew that my own temple was operating at a mere fraction of its potential. I also knew that its original design had nothing to do with me. It was God's work. Which meant that He would continue to build according to its original design. Furthermore, He would reinforce this temple. I just needed to let go and let Him work. It was time to move out of this season, brief as it was.
And so I asked the Lord to help me do some reinforcing, that I might begin to live out the purpose for which I have been made. A purpose which was mapped out long ago when my Savior walked this earth and began to beckon to the weary, "Follow me."
The children woke up and the house became a whirlwind of activity. By noon I was dragging, but I took a deep breath and put on my walking shoes anyway. I headed out the front door and hustled my little temple around the neighborhood. It was invigorating and uplifting. Squirrels scampered across the lawns, paws clutching precious treasures. Crows shouted violently from the treetops. Leaves began to dance across the crisp, almost-autumn breeze as I gradually increased my speed. It was just what I needed.
As I headed toward home, I thought of the diversity and beauty of seasons. Each season brings change, and with change comes growth. At times the seasons are dark. Certain seasons require creativity and extra effort just to get by. And that's okay. Because as long as I continue to follow my Savior, each season will bring my temple closer to its original design.
One day the design will be complete and astonishing and perfect as I gaze fully at the Creator. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be.