I don’t have a “life verse” like I hear many Christians say. I do have verses that mean a lot to me. But something that I do have is what I call “core prayers.” Repeating core prayers has become a type of spiritual discipline in my life.
For the last few years, this has been my core prayer:
Break me beautifully
Mold me for your glory
Give us (meaning all of us) wisdom.
But over these last few months, and especially the last 2 weeks, I have been OBSESSED with sleep. I have researched endless products and read safety reviews on weighted sleep sacks, sleep suits, crib hammocks, baby nests, the risks of SIDS for side sleeping and tummy sleeping and room sharing and bed sharing and nap schedules and anything else related to baby sleep that you can imagine (including white noise, night lights, projectors, loveys, pacifiers, and on and on). My son does not sleep long enough stretches at a time for me to function, it seems, and he only wants momma, so I can never get a break at night. I was recently encouraged to focus on connecting with my son, understanding his needs, and trusting God ABOVE ALL ELSE for help in this area. I tried to pray, but it was always desperate prayers for sleep followed by googling another sleep idea.
Last night, I decided that my prayers need to be my focus, and I prayed this:
God, give Charles and I both the rest that we need, whatever that looks like.
Give Nathan and I wisdom as parents, especially related to bedtime/sleeping for our son.
Give me patience as a mother in those middle of the night constant wakings.
Rest. Wisdom. Patience. These are my prayers, and I just kept repeating this prayer throughout the night when Charles would wake up after 10 minutes, or after 45 minutes, or occasionally (thank you, Lord!) after an hour.
I didn’t get angry at all last night (I wish I could say this was typical of the last month, but it’s not). I wasn’t really that exhausted until about 5 AM, and now that it’s 8 AM I am feeling pretty good again. I’m sure I’ll be tired more hours today and more days ahead, but I feel like this prayer from last night will become another core prayer for me. Even if sleep training goes well (when and if we start that soon, that’s the earthly plan anyway), I know that there will be seasons where baby is sick, teething, or just needs his mom. I have a feeling that this prayer will come up time and again. It has become a new core prayer, not replacing the old one, but adding to it.
I could be more specific than I am in my core prayers, but for me this becomes a place where I insert MY wishes and MY desires on God, so I feel like these core prayers give the LORD the space to work in the way that he sees best. For example, I pray for rest, whatever that looks like, because God may not have it in my family’s plan that my son sleeps more than 2 hours at a time for the next few months, but if that’s the case then God has a reason. Perhaps I’m learning something in this season, perhaps Charles is kept safer by not sleeping deeply, perhaps I’ll never know why! I’m trusting God to give us the rest we both need, even if it is in small chunks or at odd times of day.
Just some thoughts…