My two year old needs naps. My two year old does not agree with this statement. But my two year old needs naps because I said so. It is important for my sanity…and her well-being…that she takes naps. But you see, my two year old is almost a three year old and she has gigantic opinions about things now (because she is female and it is entwined in our very DNA from the moment of conception to have gigantic opinions about things…all the things.) So needless to say, naps are getting fewer and farther between.
Some days naps just aren’t possible. We are out and about. We are busy. We are in the middle of life, and her beauty sleep (read: Mommy’s sanity) has to wait until bedtime. We claw our way through those days and beg God for a smidge of extra patience and a 5 Hour Energy drink. Other days we JUST. DON’T. CARE. and we let her lay on the parking lot at Target and throw the mother of all temper tantrums and we sit in the driver seat and stare at her all the while eating her popcorn and finishing off her Icee. And we glare at all the judgmental people who walk past and comment about how tired she is and wonder why on Earth her mother isn’t doing something about the bedlam. We commit their thoughts to God Himself so as not to pelt them with unneeded things purchased from the dollar spot. I digress…
Some days naps get overlooked and she crashes on the couch at 6pm while Mommy is in the middle of cooking and homeworking and juggling. And those are very bad nights…the nights that she crashes out of pure exhaustion because she has simply passed the point of no return and upon waking she is still past that point and there are many, many tears for the whole neighborhood to hear.
Once in a blue moon she skips about her day in blond-haired, piggy-tail bliss and and glides through bath and bedtime like a saint. Those are the nights that Mommy feels like a rockstar and Mommy awards herself with, not one scoop of ice cream, but four. Those are the nights that Mommy floats into a dream-like sleep (read: sugar coma) and awakes refreshed the next morning to gaze at the angelic beauty because her mercy is renewed. But this is rare.
And my two year old needs naps.
Today was not quite a Target day, but it was on the verge of a point-of-no-return evening, so we opted to enforce a quick respite for the sake of all those who
have get to live with this little cherub. This involved 5 rounds of “it’s time for nap” followed by 5 rounds of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Then the unhappy game of tag in order to catch the mini-triathelete only to scoop her up in a choke-hold of sorts to get her up the stairs. There was a forced visit to the potty and then into Mommy’s bed (because if Mommy has to lay with you she wants to lay in her comfortable bed with her cloud-like pillow, so deal with it!) And then there is holding. Lots and lots of holding.
Enter time to think.
Recently our family has been going through a transition of sorts. A transition that was unexpected in one way, and communicated to us by the Holy Spirit months ago in another way. We are walking unfamiliar territory with the Creator of all territory. This is walking in faith at its finest. During this time, we have been praying. A Lot. And the Lord has told us that in this time of transition we have one objective. Our objective is to REST.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? To rest? That should be a BREEZE! I like movies and hang out time and lazing around! But that’s not it. Right now we have been commanded to rest in Him and with Him and through Him as we go about our crazy life of transition. This has been SO DIFFICULT!
So I am laying there with my 2 year old snuggled into my chest as she is slowly winding down and flirting with sleep. I can’t reach my iPad (tragedy!) so I have to sit there and think while she drifts. (I am female and it is entwined in our very DNA from the moment of conception to think when all else fails.)
Why does she fight me for sleep? She needs it so badly!
WHY DO YOU FIGHT ME FOR REST? YOU NEED IT SO BADLY?
If she would just nap each day and trust that I know what’s best, she would be happier and healthier.
IF YOU WOULD REST AND TRUST THAT I KNOW WHAT’S BEST, YOU WOULD BE HAPPIER. YOUR SOUL WOULD BE HEALTHIER.
For goodness sakes, when she listens to me and finally lays down, she is out in a matter of minutes. I am her MOTHER! I know what she needs!
WHEN YOU LISTEN TO ME AND FINALLY CALM DOWN, YOU ARE AT PEACE IN A MATTER OF MINUTES. I AM YOUR FATHER. I KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.
But I don’t know how to rest!
COME TO ME ALL WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.
And I realized that I am as stubborn and difficult and emotional as my two year old. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing me back to my selfish, immature reality. I need a nap. I need rest. Easier said than done. But I am learning. Some days He says “Rest because I said so” and I say “NOOOOOOO!!!” and He has to play tag and carry me away and let me rest on His chest when I finally concede that His way is better than mine and I don’t know what I’m talking about. And there is holding. Lots and lots of holding.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)