This post was originally published on August 25, 2011. While on family vacation
I am reposting some of my favorite previous posts.
May I just be really honest for a moment?
I'm having quite a time with Sammy right now. I think it's regression. Could just be that he's 2 years old. Could be a personality thing. I really don't know for sure, but I think it's adoption related. All I know is that he's not sleeping well, which translates into me not sleeping well.
Last night, for example, he came in our room at 11:15 PM, 11:30 PM, 2 AM, and 5:55 AM, and then he was up for good. His naps are typically short, some days 30 minutes, some an hour, occasionally he'll do a "catch-up" nap for a couple of hours. This regimen has been going on for a year now...sometimes better, sometime worse. He slept really well through the night for a few months, but now we're back.
This is new to me because Caedmon was/is a great sleeper. At least 11 hours straight at night, nice long naps each afternoon. Our mornings used to be such sweet times of cuddles and stories on the couch as he'd walk around that corner with his messy hair and join me under the blanket where I had been reading my Bible.
But now, the last thing in the world I feel like doing when Sammy comes bounding out of his room before 6 AM is give him a hug. I feel so frustrated because I can't force him to sleep and I don't know how to break the habit of him getting up multiple times a night.
This morning I put Sammy in the pack-n-play in my room when he came in at 6AM. I didn't want to put him back in his bed for fear he'd wake up Caedmon, but I wanted him to rest more. So I just laid there in my bed beside the pack-n-play and spent time praying about the situation, how I was feeling, and how God wanted me to respond. God brought to mind 1 Corinthians 13.
So I preached a sermon to myself from 1 Corinthians 13. Here it is:
Love is patient.
I will love Sammy by being patient with him. Patience is not even required until a situation is challenging. So I will embrace this opportunity as a way to show him how patient love can be.
Love is kind.
My words and responses to Sammy will be kind, even when I don't feel kind in my heart. I can make a choice to give him a hug. I can speak tenderly, instead of harshly. I choose to give grace.
Love does not envy.
I will not compare Sammy to anyone else. Sammy is special, unique, and one-of-a-kind. Comparison only brings despair and jealousy. I will be thankful for the gift that Sammy is instead of focusing on things I wish I could change.
Love is not rude.
I will be courteous and respectful of him, realizing that he is a person with real feelings and he notices how I am treating him. I will use my manners when serving him throughout the day, just like I would if another adult was in the room observing me.
Love is not self-seeking.
I will considered Sammy's needs as more important than my own (Philippians 2:3). Even when his needs seem trivial or unwarranted to me, I will choose to lay down "my rights" to serve him.
Love is not easily angered.
I will practice being slow to speak when I feel anger rise up in me. I will seek to understand how Sammy might be feeling in a given situation instead of only seeing it from my point of view.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
I will forgive. I will choose to let go of the grudge. I will not let a bad night ruin a perfectly good day. I will let my mercies be new every morning.
Love always hopes.
I will remind myself that it will not always be this way. There is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And when he is grown and these days are just a hazy memory, I will miss the smell of his sleepy skin as I carry him back to his room multiple times a night.
Love always perseveres.
Sammy needs to be assured over and over again every day that we will never leave him. We're in this together and we are 100% committed to him. He needs to feel this, not only from what I say to him (that part's not too difficult), but through my attitudes and responses. I will love Sammy with a NEVER STOPPING, NEVER GIVING UP, UNBREAKING, ALWAYS AND FOREVER LOVE...the way Jesus loves me.
I can't love Sammy this way in my own strength, but I have the Holy Spirit of God in me and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. The same power that conquered the grave lives in me!
I don't know who in your life you need to apply this to...a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, a co-worker? I do know that it is God's will for us that we would "Love one another deeply."
Sometimes you have to preach to yourself to remind yourself of the TRUTH that you so deeply believe.