Known

I dropped Isaiah off at preschool this morning.  And he was crying when I left.

And then I got in the car to come home.  And I was crying while I drove.

We’re still in the process of trying to figure out what’s going on in our little boy’s heart, but for the past 2 weeks, Isaiah has decided that he doesn’t like preschool anymore and doesn’t want to go.  Now it’s overflowed into Sunday morning church and Wednesday night “Buddies”, as well.  All things that he always loved and looked forward to.  Now he dreads them once we get to the door.  And we haven’t quite figured out why.

Though 85% of the time, my 4 year old is compliant, ultra sweet, sensitive, intuitive, and easy to reason with, he can also be extremely strong-willed, irrational, and stubborn.  I’ve studied my boy for the past 4+ years, so these characteristics are not a surprise to me.  Even as a baby, they defined him.  Still, we’re once again in the process of praying for wisdom and doing our best to figure out and train our little boy.

Admittedly, my mind automatically goes toward how someone else would handle the situation or what someone else did or what the “experts” would say.

And it’s hard.

This past week, Toby just came out of a week and half long sleep funk (or “regression”, as the “sleep specialists” call it).  He suddenly wasn’t sleeping well, though we had no idea why or what to do to fix it.  I researched.  I cried.  I asked for advice.  I prayed.  And I was terribly frustrated.

And I automatically assumed it was my fault and put unnecessary guilt on myself no matter what decisions I made.

As babies, neither of my boys have been ideal sleepers.  They have their quirks and don’t necessarily go “by the book” no matter how hard I tried to fit them into that mold.  Toby is 7 months old and though he rolls over and gets himself out when he wants to be, I still swaddle him to initially go to sleep.  Without it, he’s a little maniac and won’t relax.  He also takes a pacifier, which I some times have to replace in the middle of the night.  Oh, and lately I’ve enjoyed snuggling him and rocking him to sleep.

Three HUGE no-no’s in the world of “get your baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible”.

Add to that the sometimes insensitive opinions of other moms…

“You just need to let him cry it out.  My baby always puts himself to sleep.”

“He definitely doesn’t still need that 5 a.m. feeding.  My baby’s been sleeping a 12 hour stretch since he was 2 months old.”

“My baby just has to adjust to my schedule and sleep whenever and wherever.  I’d hate to be tied down like you are.”  

And insert HUGE amounts of guilt and self-questioning on my part.  I often wonder if everything I’m doing is wrong and everything every other mom is doing is right.  It’s wise to seek good counsel, but it’s foolish to obsess over what’s “best” if there’s really no such thing.

I really wish I naturally didn’t care.  I really wish I was more “go with the flow”.  But I’m not.  And I stressed myself out.

Then I finally wised up and stopped googling and decided to do what I felt like was best for MY baby and MYself.  I prayed and trusted my gut…and my God…and stopped worry about what everyone else thought or what everyone else was doing.

And I felt such incredible…

PEACE.

FREEDOM.

JOY.

As I held and rocked my drowsy little bundle of energy the other day, studying his chubby face, taking in his smell, and memorizing the sound of his breathing and the way his pacifier jiggled in his mouth, I felt a wave of relief wash over me as God gently reminded me to simply know my boy and do what I felt He, as my Father, was leading me to do.

Another wave of peace came over me as He also reminded me of how well He knows me.  

Only unlike me with my sons, God doesn’t have to study me or figure me out through trial and error.

He knows my heart because He made it.

He knows my personality because He created it.

He knows my gifts because He gave them.

How comforting the thought!

I was also reminded that my Father also knows my weaknesses.

He knows my desire for control…and He uses my role as a mom to constantly challenge me to relinquish that…

I can do everything “right’ and Toby still may not sleep.

I can discipline and communicate and affirm Isaiah and he still may choose to disobey.

I am called to train my sons.  But I can’t control them.

And that will probably be a struggle for me all of my days.  But God’s using it to refine me and I need to continue to seek His guidance and stop wasting time looking around at everyone else.

God gently called to mind a story at the end of the book of John that He’s had to remind me of often in many different areas of my life.  In John 21, after Jesus’ resurrection, He was having breakfast with men that He certainly knew very well.  Jesus gives Peter some insight as to what will happen to him as he follows Him…and even reveals what kind of death Peter would glorify God through (John 21:18-19).

Too often I’ve heard myself in Peter’s response…

Peter turned and saw John following them…and said, “Lord, what about this man?”

– John 21:21

Jesus’ response in a nutshell?

Stop looking around at everyone else.  Don’t concern yourself with how I’m dealing with them.  YOU follow me.

Oh.

So the answers to my own questions…

Why am I not wired more like that mom?

YOU follow me.

Why doesn’t my baby sleep like hers does?

YOU follow me.

What did I do wrong to make Isaiah act like this?

YOU follow me.

Why are You making me go through this?  Can’t I learn this lesson a different way?

YOU follow me.

That answer sounds so simple.  Why do I make it so difficult?

Even more than I’ve studied my children’s faces, their cries, and their laughs, my Father knows me…He created me…and loves me deeply just as I am…

“For You formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you…In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me…”

– Psalm 139: 13-16

Even more than I’m figuring out my sons’ quirks and tendencies and struggles, my Father knows my heart and knows my weaknesses…

“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”

– Psalm 103:14

Even more than I’ve set up my babies’ schedules and routines, my Father knows what I’ll face today…and the next day…and the next day…

“It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you…”

-Deuteronomy 31:8

How comforting to know that I am intimately KNOWN…and am simply asked to FOLLOW the  One who already knows where I’ve been and where I’m going…as well as the best way to get me there.

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

– Job 23:10

One of the sweet faces I’m learning to know…

…and the other.

“Known”
Audrey Assad

As the dew falls on the blade
You have touched all this fragile frame
And as a mother knows her baby’s face
You know me, You know me
As the summer air within my chest
I have breathed You deep down into my breast
And as You know the hairs upon my head
Every thought and every word I’ve said
Every thought and every word I’ve said
Savior, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known me, yeah, You know me
Oh, and as the exhilaration of autumn’s bite
Oh, You have brought these tired bones to brilliant life
And as the swallow knows, she knows the sky
This is how it is with You and I
Oh, this is how it is with You and I
Savior, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known me, yeah, You know me
From the fall of my heart to the resurrection of my soul
You know me, God, and You know my ways
In my rising and my sitting down
You see me as I am, oh, see me as I am
And as a lover knows his beloved’s heart
All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark
Oh, You have formed me in my inward parts
And You know me, You know me, yes
Savior, You, You have known me as I am
Oh, healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known
You have known me, in the morning, in the evening
You’ve known me, God
In the morning, in the evening You have known me
Yeah, You’ve know meYou have always known me
You know me, God, You have known me
You have always known my heart
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2 responses

  1. Meg! The whole time I was reading the top I was singing “Known” in my head. Perfect song to go with your blog. Thanks again for encouraging my heart.

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