I spent the night in my daughter’s bed last night. I would say that I slept there, but I don’t know if I actually got any sleep. I’m sure I dozed off for a while here and there. You’d figure that after a busy Spring day of chasing her little friend around in the grass and covering the park’s ups and downs at least a dozen times, we’d have had one tired toddler on our hands.

Well, we did. But the crazy-making thing about our daughter is that she has a routine and if that routine isn’t followed, the parents pay. She rushed into the house as the curtain closed on outside play and jumped into her daddy’s arms. He switched her into pj’s and then danced about the living room to some of his favorite music that was playing. She put her head on his shoulder and drifted away in pure contentment, in her daddy’s arms.

Well, hallelujah, all the kids were in bed and snoring by 9:30pm. It was akin to a Christmas miracle for this family! I finished up some tasks in the kitchen. Hubs tied up some loose ends with this editing project and we sat down to catch up on the dvr, for a change. Only, less than an hour later, the dreaded cries started.

Most toddlers who fall asleep after a busy day like hers would sleep solid through the night. The fresh air and the playtime would be enough to give the parents a decent night’s sleep. Our daughter is not most toddlers. If she doesn’t consciously agree to sleep, with stories and prayers and snuggles, then it will be an ugly night. She will cry out, thrash about and fuss all throughout the night in an attempt to wake herself up…only she doesn’t really wake up.

I accepted my fate as I shuffled into her room. I climbed into her bed and put my arm over her. She settled down and drifted into a deep sleep. I sighed a deep breath and started to pray for her. I prayed all the typical prayers – that she would sleep soundly, that God would protect her from harm, for her health and her development, that He would give me patience and wisdom as I walk along the road with her and with our boys. I prayed that I would be an example to the kids – not of a perfect life, but of a life that is blessed enough to know my Savior personally. I prayed that they would be boys and a girl of noble character and that they would make decisions that would lead to life and not eternal separation from their God. I prayed that they would lead others to the cross. I prayed that if it’s God’s plan for them to marry, that those girls and that boy would be of noble character, would know Jesus and would lead others to Him. I prayed for their Dad. I prayed for our marriage to be strong and healthy, for our finances to improve, for our extended family and for our friends.

Then I moved on to the prayer list that grows each day. I prayed for those we know who are expecting babies and for those without jobs. I prayed for friends and family who are far from God right now and for those who need to make some changes in relationships.

Then my mind started to wander to current events – to Boston and to the families who are hurting from the evil that literally blasted their lives apart last week…to the industrial explosion in West, Texas and the town that will be rebuilding after they mourn their losses…to the flood victims across the middle of our country who have lost homes and memories and hope.

It was a long night. When I was praying, Anna slept soundly. When I drifted off to sleep, she got fussy and starting tossing and turning and woke me up. Exhausting.

I’m not a perfect mama by any stretch.  And I was a little bent out of shape about getting up before 6am to get the day and the week of school and work and activities going again. But that time of prayer was a precious time. I don’t often spend the night praying any more, at least not like I did when she was a fussy infant. Perhaps it’s been too long. Perhaps that time spent with God was long overdue.

Sometimes you just have to be thankful for a terrible night’s “sleep”.

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