Friday, June 7, 2013

Make Me Willing (Prayers From the Midnight Hours)

A happy boy after some daddy-son bonding time.

Let me be clear:  I know I do not have it as hard as my wife does throughout the day.  I get to work in a shop all day, shipping stuff around the world, and she is home every day, each one being an unpredictable day, being dictated around by a little 12 lb boy.  That has to be humbling.  My big responsibilities right now during the week are the midnight hour changing "opportunities" as I'm calling them.  A chance to get up before Noelle to change this beautiful kid and see what he managed to do to his diaper this time. It's really quite a game he and I have going.

All that to say, these changing opportunities have not always been a smooth ride.  Sometimes he's weeping and wailing so loud I can't hear myself think, and even though I want to lovingly whisper sweet nothing's enter his ear so he'll be a happy little boy, nothing works.  By the time Noelle comes in to feed him, my blood pressure is up and my words are better left unsaid (even though, sadly, they usually still get said).  Other times I've just been frustrated that I have to wake up at 12...2... 4:30 or something like that.  After all, Noelle is about to get up to feed him, right?  Why am I bothering to change him when I could just stay in bed?  It only seems necessary for one of us to be up.  This sucks.

Those are some of the thoughts that
this father of a very young child feels.  But, my prayer to the Lord during this time is for willingness - willingness to do what may not be totally necessary but what helps my wife; willingness to still be loving to Colton when I don't understand which cry he is giving me at the moment; willingness to let the frustrating diaper changes just roll off me and not let it affect how I treat Noelle in the moment.  So here's my prayer...

Father, you have blessed me so tremendously with my boy, and I first want to just thank you for that.  He is wonderful, and he is ultimately made in your image like we all are - he will be so much like both of his parents but also so different from us, because you made him and have great purpose with his life. Help me to see the grand picture, to see that every midnight hour changing time is part of what you're using to shape my character into a willing servant who will help the helpless.  After all, that is what you sent your Son to do when he came and helped all of us helpless people; when I see what I'm doing in the context of the gospel, I realize you have done all the heavy lifting and I am now able to live as a follower of Jesus in front of Colton and help him when he is helpless.  Please strengthen me in my moments of weakness and frustration, and please continue to make me more willing, more compassionate, and more humble toward my boy.  I love you, Lord, and I thank you that you have loved me first and far more than I can imagine.  May your Spirit living in me guide the way I think, the way I talk, and my motivation for doing it all.  Blessed be your name.  Amen.

- Chris


  1. Kenny and I call our frustration and anger in the middle of the night, "sleep rage" because it seriously has no good foundation, and is based completely on our own selfish, tired-induced feelings. Had to put Ben down and go in the other room to pray just last night. It truly does help to think of the helplessness of your child, and the ableness of our God, to keep going. Other moms and dads are praying this prayer with you!

  2. I'm glad you are giving it to God. It is frustrating to get up in the middle of the night with the little one. I wasn't good at first to hear my baby's cries and my husband would. I didn't bottle feed so he would just bring him to me and in my half sleep half wake moment I fed him and fell asleep in doing so. I got better as time went on and I learned to listen for my children during the night. Now I stay up way to late and have a hard time sleeping during the night. I realized I still listen for my children in the night. I sleep best during the day for three hour naps. I think that's when I finally feel I don't have to be concerned with them while they are awake and fend for themselves more. Yep still I do this our son is 16 years old and our daughter is 13 in a half+. If you get on a good schedule and work together well all will come together for His Glory! God Bless you both a bunch.

  3. I love this perspective Chris; you are so right and I love your prayer! May God continue to bless you and Noelle as you walk through this amazing journey called parenthood.