I try to work late only twice a week – I used to only work late one night a week. Tuesdays were those nights and only until 10 PM, because I know I need enough sleep to function at my best.
However, when deadlines are looming, the family calendar is filling up, and there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day, my late nights will sometimes stretch for a brief period of time into two nights, and last until 11:30 PM.
The alarm still goes off at 4:30 AM the next morning, though, so I’m mindful to make sure that lack of sleep is for a short season, not a new way of life.
Ironically, one of the messages I was editing last night talked about one way to be an effective parent included getting enough rest so that you are functioning at your best.
This morning? I can definitely say I’m missing the mark. After three cups of coffee, my eyes are open more than the slits that greeted me with the alarm, but it’s not taking much to tip the irritation scale in the wrong direction.
I’ve shared a few times over the past year that when my husband and I got married, we had a “dream” that lay dormant. We didn’t think it was the right time to walk into that ministry, but it lay waiting in the back of both of our minds.
About 18 months ago, God started waking that dream back up. I approached my husband first and he was on board. Next I spoke to the kids and while there was some hesitation, nervousness, and a little resistance, they are now excited too.
As a result, we have started walking in the direction of waking up this dream (we’re in the preparation stage), listening for God’s voice to tell us to continue or to stop. So far, continuing is what we’re hearing.
Every morning that I wake up after a late night session of work and I’m more tired than usual, I start to smile (sometimes while I’m growling – I admit, I’m not always at my best when I’m tired). If God allows us to walk through the doors of this ministry, I will have seasons of less sleep. It will be a ministry of pouring out of ourselves and making sacrifices.
However, while I choose to press through and “practice” grace and extra patience and especially kindness when trying to function from a sleepless state now, I also am learning ways to keep myself as rested and with the energy reserves I will need to function well with the ministry God might be giving us. After all, under title of “daughter of the King,” wife and mother are my favorite roles. I don’t believe God’s best is for us to neglect the blessing of the family He gave me in order to serve Him in other ways.
So now, during these seasons of working late, I smile through my tiredness. I know God is preparing our family as well as my heart and schedule to step into a ministry that only He knows exactly what it looks like. However, I’m excited to keep moving in the direction He planted on our hearts 20 years ago and see how it unfolds.
© Cheri Swalwell 2019