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When You Receive Tender Mercies

It’s been a long, hard day. In fact, it’s been a long, hard several days. Maybe even weeks. And when it gets like this, those small tender mercies can be hard to notice. Oh there’s happiness mixed in between of course, but with Hubbalicious working such long hours at the shop because we’re short-staffed right now, I’m spending the majority of my days caring for our children alone. And I’m really not one to complain, because I feel like, in the grand scheme of things, we have it pretty good. My children are not overly difficult, and I genuinely enjoy spending time with them.

MOST of the time. :)

But the truth is, even with “not overly difficult” children, it still gets hard! And on this day in particular, I was having a very difficult time. Big D is particularly chatty these days, which can get very difficult when your brain is on overdrive trying to think about why your deposit is off by $400. Set aside the added stress of the deposit being off by $400 in the first place. And that I haven’t been able to get nearly enough of my job done lately because the majority of the child care is being handled by me alone right now. Granted, my job is pretty flexible. I can do it from home, or from work. I can do it in the evenings or on weekends. But here’s what I can’t do: Work with Baby E on my lap. And right now, that’s what he requires. He’s very needy and wants to be held constantly.

Yes, I know it’s temporary. I realize that I won’t have a 15 year old who’s still insisting to be held, so I try not to get annoyed. And if it weren’t for the 67,000 other things I needed to get done, it wouldn’t stress me out. I would sit back and just enjoy it. But today, was hard. Today my deposit was off, and Big D NEEDED to tell me 47 times that I am his best friend and that he has a blister on his foot that popped last night at Kids Club. (It’s true, there was blood everywhere.)

So when I got home from the gym and the bank this morning, it was Baby E’s nap time. #THANKHEAVENS for nap time, right?? Yeah, except he fell asleep in the car for about 10 minutes and intended to call it good. Umm no.

“Baby E, when you’re sleeping is the ONLY time I get something done. And I already told you my deposit is off by $400 and I need to figure out why! You have to sleep today!”

There was no sleeping. I rocked and rocked and rocked and sang and sang and sang…. I tickled, begged, rubbed his back… He was so awake.

Okay fine. You can lay here and watch a movie with big brother during his quiet time, while I work. And he did… for about 10 minutes. Maybe even 15. But then he got fussy, wanted to be held.

Sometimes, even though I know how awesome my life is, and that I’m incredibly blessed to be the mother of these two, I let my frustration get the best of me. And today was one of those days. So frustrated that my sweet Baby E had decided that there would be no sleeping today. <sigh>

I set my work down, picked him up and decided to try rocking again. Unfortunately, he’s realized now that the rocking chair makes him sleepy, so sometimes he gets a little fussy when I sit down. We tried anyway, but he wasn’t having it. And y’all know what this looks, right?? When your baby is SO tired, he can barely keep his eyes open, but he is just fighting tooth and nail against a nap. That was E today. I knew I needed my secret weapon. The “Standing Bouncy Swing” is what I call it. When I cradle him and swing him back and forth with a little bounce to it? He’s powerless against it. It may take him a while, but he WILL pass out. It just wears me out, because seriously y’all… this kid is solid.

I walked into my bedroom with baby in hand and tried to drown out the stress of the work I wasn’t getting done and just enjoy this moment of snuggles with my little baby. And you know what he did? He laughed at me. My sweet, precious baby who makes you work your tail off to get a smile out of him, started giggling his little face off. And this is what I mean by “tender mercies.”

When you’re at the end of your rope and things feel so hard, like they inevitably do sometimes, and God grants you this one tiny moment of sweet release to remind you that everything is okay. And this too shall pass. My Emmett giggled and giggled, through drowsy eyes for about 5 minutes while I rocked and bounced. He laughed for no good reason at all. I wasn’t tickling him, there was no reason. He just laughed and laughed himself to sleep. Literally fell asleep in the middle of a giggle.

And as all the stress of my morning finally melted away, I felt renewed and ready to face whatever came next. So as a “thank you” to my Heavenly Father for helping me thru my rough morning, I’m passing this along to all you momma’s out there who are having a hard day. Sometimes those tender mercies are so subtle, that we blow right past them. But if we can slow down and recognize them, they can provide such relief in our time of need.

I see you. I see you struggling with your kids at the store. I see you carrying 20,000 things out of your house just so you can get to the post office. I see you praying for just ten more minutes of nap to help maintain your sanity. I see you, and I’ve been there. This too shall pass. And today, I’m grateful the Lord helped me remember that there is joy even in hard days.

Leah Sannar Blogger for Crohn's Disease

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