In the middle of the night, I lie awake, pulled from sleep by one of my many alarms–
a husband leaving for work,
a child needing an extra blanket,
my body requiring relief,
a baby crying for milk.
And though the need is met quickly, still I lie there–
hearing the crickets,
the soft buzz of the fan,
the sweet breath of my daughter in her bed.
In the middle of the night my thoughts tumble over one another–two-year-olds clamoring for the first cookie–and though my body craves sleep my mind is busy attending to each needy toddler-thought in turn.
The day before,
the day to come,
Each mistake of many jumping and yelling and requiring attention.
My failures grow before my sleepless eyes from small noisy children to giants, looming all around me until I am lost in them.
And I wonder that anyone anywhere would love me.
In the middle of the night, I see myself held up to the woman I wish I were, and I see how much I lack.
And sometimes, I hate myself.
And sometimes, I am amazed that everyone doesn’t hate me.
And often, I think perhaps they do and I’m just too wrapped up in myself to even realize it.
In the middle of the night, You remind me of my smallness, of my helplessness, of my hopelessness.
And then, You remind me of your mercies, new every morning, and you spread those mercies over my worries and regrets and fears like a soft blanket.
And I sleep.