Living A Simple Life #88 (A Beautiful Refining)

I feel like God is chiseling away; refining me daily. It’s tough. Some days seem like a grueling marathon, spiritually, as I am constantly prompted to quiet my heart and check my attitude.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter for a little while, you may know that our family has the challenge of an 8-month-old baby that is still not sleeping through the night. (It’s been great to have a “community” that has offered suggestions & encouragement during this season! Stop on by, if you have a chance.) 

Enoch was sleeping well until we moved (very disorienting for him), then he got sick with a cold, had a growth spurt, etc., and developed a “bad habit” of sleep patterns. So, needless to say, the whole family is tired.

We’ve been gradually making slow improvements (finally sleeping in 2-3 hour stretches!), when now it appears teething has probably begun. Now we’re back to having a clingy, fussy baby again (poor guy). *sigh*

I’ve found myself so thankful this week for women in my life who are discipling, encouraging, and mentoring me. These women gently show me by example, calling on the phone, e-mailing, or writing notes, letting me know I am prayed for and supported in my parenting journey. What a blessing!

As I seek to show my children both the compassion and discipline of Christ, I must allow Him to work in me first. I am constantly called back to the throne of Grace, confessing once again my impatience, my self-reliance, and ingratitude. As my Lord’s forgiveness pours over me, I love to spend time in His presence. More than that, this time especially draws me closer to Him, as I simply rely upon Him to equip and sustain me through my days.

It is a beautiful, humbling, refining time… but it is certainly challenging.  My daily devotional/prayer times, along with a weekly planning/prayer “retreat” (on Saturday mornings) have been incredibly beneficial. (Oh… and a bite or two of very dark chocolate occasionally!) :)


As the morning dawns, and I am still awake… laying a baby back down in bed, as my preschooler emerges from her room excited to start the day… sometimes all I can do is whisper a simple, thankful  prayer to my Lord, “Equip me today, Father. I’m yours.” And He does. 


Here are a couple verses I’ve been meditating on lately:

  • “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:5)
  • “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Are you in a challenging season right now? I’d love to hear your heart. 

Photo by Photos8.com

If you would like to put my “Simple Living” button on your blog, feel free to copy & paste the code located on the right sidebar of the blog. Let me know if you do, so that I can visit your blog! If you missed any previous “installments” in my “Living a Simple Life” series, you may want to go back and read them at your leisure. You are welcome to leave comments on any of the posts; I read them all. Let me know if this has inspired a blog post of your own! Each Thursday, I write a new post in this series, so stop by next week!

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7 comments to Living A Simple Life #88 (A Beautiful Refining)

  • […] In our parenting journey, our Lord has gently led us. Our children are still small, and we’re certainly not “parenting experts.” But as we seek to simply place our lives and little ones back into His hands each day, He faithfully shapes us through His refining. […]

  • […] as in any other challenging season of parenting, our Lord is faithful to walk with us, and can use these times for refining us. He may be calling you to simply rest in Him (and on the couch at times), and we cannot necessarily […]

  • […] long for God’s continued transformation in my mothering; I was so inspired to meet Sally Clarkson and to hear her speak in October. […]

  • Alison P.

    I got tears in my eyes as I read this post. I am going through the exact same thing at my house right now. I truly believe the Lord led me to this post! I got linked to it from a blog I regularly read. I have felt so alone and so frustrated and tired – it really gave me hope and comfort to know that I am not alone in this! I haven’t been able to find anyone with the same experience. My 8-month-old has never been a good sleeper, but he has been a downright terrible sleeper for the past few months – probably a mixture of teething, separation anxiety, etc.! The longest stretch he will sleep is 2 hours at night, so that is the most sleep I’ve had in over 2 months. He also rarely naps during the day, so I’m lucky if he sleeps for 30 minutes once a day. I also have a two-year-old, so just like you wrote at the end of your post, I’m up before dawn with my baby and as soon as I finally get him back to sleep, my older son awakens and needs tending to. Anyways, I don’t have any tips or advice (if you have any, please share!). But, I want you to know that I have had months of severe sleep deprivation, too, so I’m going through the same challenges and struggles. I don’t live near family, so I have no one to help me out or let me take a nap once in awhile either. It has been a frustrating road. I will be praying for you, and please keep me in your prayers. I keep reminding myself that this is just a season and that it will eventually come to an end! Blessings, Alison

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Alison P., Hugs & Prayers! Yes, I linked to it on my recent post on Passionate Homemaking. :) Thanks for visiting & reading.

    My little one is now almost 18-months-old, and is *just* starting to sleep 5-8 hours at night. It is a long, tiring road. Teething has been rough for this little guy!

    Blessings to you in this season of mothering,
    Michele

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @Alison P., I also have much experience with child-induced sleep deprivation. My now three year old has always been a terrible sleeper and did not sleep though the night until several months ago, right before my 3 month old was born. She used to be up every 1.5 hours, until nearly age two. Now with the new baby, I’m once again never getting even two straight hours. It has caused me to lean on my Savior more than any other experience in life. Just wanted to let you know there are more of us out there experiencing this! Hoping things get better for you.

    [Reply]

  • I found it encouraging to read this. You have been through so much (and I also feel for Alison after reading her comment). I am challenged at this time with my first toddler, and am also often finding myself needing to repent of ingratitude, impatience, lack of faith, etc. Thank you for sharing the way God has been refining you. It is a good reminder of God’s plan in trials.

    [Reply]

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