Sleep Deprivation, True Love, & God’s Grace

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22,23

As a firefighter, my husband works a twenty-four hour shift, and then he is off duty for forty-eight hours. Through the years, he’s worked a number of second jobs during those two days away from the fire station – including loading sixty-pound bags of seed for a local seed company and laying pipe for drainage systems in farmers’ fields during the cold months between growing seasons.

But those jobs are seasonal, and the seed company was recently sold anyway, eliminating that job. My husband looked at the lost job as an opportunity to find another that would provide reliable, year-round work, and – as a bonus – perhaps not require him to work outside in winter temperatures or carry heavy seed bags.

After some research, he discovered a company that hires English speakers to teach English online to Chinese children. After weeks of learning the required teaching methods and earning various certifications, he was hired.

Now, he spends many mornings and evenings teaching little ones online. What an answer to prayer this job has been! But it has also provided our family an opportunity to show true, self-sacrificing love for each other.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

We’ve had to work around each other’s schedules, as we all need to share our desktop computer and laptop for homeschool projects, blogging, teaching, my freelance writing work, and other aspects of our everyday life. We’ve come together to accomplish certain tasks for each other that we couldn’t do by ourselves, everything from autumn yard clean-up, to cooking and cleaning, daily workout sessions, caring for our animals, running errands, and shuttling my daughter to her daily driver’s ed class in town. We’ve had to be understanding of my husband’s need to teach in the pre-dawn hours, in our open office – with no walls to muffle his voice.

As I tend to be the last one up at night, trying to accomplish as much as possible to be ready for the next day, I’m not usually ready to wake up that early, and I crave that lost sleep.

But we all do! My kids’ load of schoolwork is heavier than ever before, and they are mentally and physically exhausted nearly every day. And of course, my husband is tired as well. He tends to fall asleep any time he gets comfortable on the couch.

But strangely, I’ve discovered that sleep deprivation has its benefits. While it makes us more likely to be irritable with each other, we manage to avoid being cranky most of the time. Instead, we laugh. A lot. We laugh, and we move on to the next task.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. – Proverbs 15:13a

We are more sensitive to each other’s moods and levels of fatigue, and we try to encourage each other. My kids and husband have surprised me more than once by offering to do a task that is typically my responsibility.

Image by Anemone 123 from Pixabay

When I was a new mom, a mentor once told me that God doesn’t promise that we won’t get tired, but he does promise we’ll have grace for each day. In this season of life, I’m holding on to that promise.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Are you going through an exhausting time of life? How are you coping? Do you have a favorite verse about God’s grace? I welcome your comments.

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14 thoughts on “Sleep Deprivation, True Love, & God’s Grace”

  1. Thank you for sharing this uplifting account of your family loving each other enough to be flexible and sensitive to one another. Two verses from John’s first letter come to mind, and I am offering them as prayers of gratitude for you and your family this morning: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth (1 John 3:18), You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4 NIV)
    And sleep deprivation, as I have come to know it, is simply another way for me to lean in closer to to God, seeking more of Him so that my tired mind won’t run off at the mouth!
    Blessings to you and your wonderful family,
    Pastor Chuck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that your family laughs when they’re tired! Mine certainly does not 😆
    But yes, I can relate to your season of exhaustion! It’s mainly due to a hectic schedule. Next month I am making a point to schedule in “white space”, at least one day a week, into my calendar!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We must cling to God’s promises in the hard seasons! I feel like I’m going through a season of strain–the strain of living in an inaccessible house as a handicapped person, strain in familial relationships as a result, strain in attempting to be patient in waiting for things to line up so I can move to an accessible place. I hope I’ll look back someday in a different season and see how this one helped me grow.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Things have been hectic most of the year. Some things have calmed down, such as my pastor being back in the lineup, and now others have popped up. Prayers, please, for my daughter near Memphis, whose third pregnancy isn’t going quite as smoothly as the first two.
    When life gets crazy and time is short, I am blessed with a wife who will catch my glance and know we’re thinking the same thought: “This is nuts, but this is what we gotta deal with, and with God’s help, we will.”

    Liked by 2 people

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