Today had amazing potential to go right into the toilet from the word "Go!" Actually, it started as one of those nights that left no clear division from the day before. Musical beds, kids up and down, me watching the clock, hoping that I wasn't really only getting 2 to 3 hours at a shot of sleep. I could do this fine when I had babies who weren't really supposed to be sleeping all night anyway. Somehow it is harder to take now. And, after a long sleepless night, everyone in the house was up by 5:45 a.m. This girl has gotten used to her coffee and devo time from 5:30-6:30, so to have my quiet time derailed was really not sitting well.
Then, like a fuzzy lightbulb, a thought flashed through my head. I should probably pray for help today because I am sure I will not do well on my own. I prayed sincerely for God's love to fill me to overflowing, so that when I got bumped today, it would only be love spilling out. I prayed for grace, admitting my tendency to like things "just so", and that I would not fly off the handle when they didn't go that way. I prayed for mercy, to both give and receive it, showing kindness to others when they don't deserve it, and that God would have mercy on this tired, irritable woman who also doesn't deserve it.
God really answered my prayers. My kids weren't like all the sudden extra good. I was just able to handle it. It wasn't like the saccharine-sweet feeling when you are trying your best to be nice because you're supposed to and you really don't feel like it. You know, like when other people's kids act up and you really want to scold them, but you smile and say "Oh, mine act like that too." I didn't feel like that at all. Just calm. I really enjoyed my time with them, and they acted calmer because I wasn't a raving lunatic. The whole day seemed to go better than expected, and it was even my turn in the kindergarten classroom. A couple of times the normal me started to creep in, and it was like the Holy Spirit whispered, "You have the tools for this."
Here's the kicker, though: things were a little ornery on the marriage front. I thought about not fixing his lunch for tomorrow because he was a little ugly with me. BAM! Immediate conviction. Who am I, an obvious recipient of God's grace and mercy, to withhold the same from someone else?
So, even if I get sleep tonight, I will still pray the same tomorrow morning. I don't know why it takes me so long to take my own advice sometimes.