We’ve been starting our days around 4 a.m., sometimes earlier. Certainly not by choice, but apparently, Santa needs to be rocked, tucked in, or put into a ballet leotard by Reagan.
It’s early, and I’m tired.
And not amused
How does she have the strength to pull this chair around the room?
Can I tell you something that’s strange? Ok great. It’s weird when people tell Rob and I how amazing we are at being parents to Reagan. I’m pretty sure (no I’m 100% positive) that I’ve definitely been swearing the past few weeks when I hear my little clydesdale stumble out of her bed for the day.
If you want a peak into our mornings, this video is accurate.
All kidding aside, it’s my hope that anyone who’s following our story with Reagan knows that we do not have things together. Receiving parenting compliments is awkward because we have no idea what we’re doing. Things are hard, I’m angry at 4:30 a.m. We push forward, but trying to harness a wild horse seems futile to be honest.
Instead of Rob and I pushing each other out of bed back and forth each morning during our wild child’s routine, we decided to take days where one of us is “on” in the morning. The goal is simple, protect the other person’s sleep. This has allowed us to 1. be more thankful for sleep and 2. have a clear understanding that the other person has it handled. The other morning I got up at 3:30 a.m. just waiting for her to greet me. As 4 a.m. rolled around Reagan rolled right out of bed and I decided to stay up, encouraging her to go to bed, but not forcing her. I opened my Bible and continued reading in 1 Corinthians. I’ve been praying so hard for help in figuring out how to parent Reagan while remaining sane.
“What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” – 1 Corinthians 4:20-21.
For those who know me, I’m not a gentle spirit type of gal, but I’ve been praying for fresh eyes and perspective. Verses with messages of kindness and gentleness keep speaking to me. Going at Reagan with force doesn’t work. She and I are the same; we are both strong willed. And a lot of times, she’s winning because she’s totally awake, and I’m not thrilled (see above photo).
I know our job right now is to continue to press on even while being tested in the fire.
“It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved – even though only as one escaping through the flames.” – I Corinthians 3:13-15
A long time, before Reagan was born, I prayed that I would have an impact for Jesus. At 30, I felt that I was made for more and wanted God to use me. Rob and I went to church and we were involved, we also made an effort to talk to people about Jesus, we never hid our faith, but we both knew we wanted to have a bigger impact. What we didn’t know was how that would work out. It’s working out through the parenting journey we share with Reagan.
Our pastor recently talked about how life isn’t fair. Of course, here in America…we value fairness, almost above all else. If it’s not fair, we don’t like it.
Our life is not fair. It’s hard, and it’s gruesome sometimes. But here’s what I know: God is not concerned with fairness. The only thing God is concerned with is how to further his kingdom, and He knows which way to further it the most. In our life, it’s with a special needs child. In your life, it could be through another hard walk, like the loss of a child. God uses these unfair things to bring him glory. And people are watching what you do with the tough stuff you’ve been given. I now know how much they are watching.
Recently, a co-worker passed away from cancer. And when I went to the viewing, I introduced myself to her daughter. She asked, “are you the one with the little girl?” and I said, “ummm…yeah.” She told me her mom was watching me as she was wrestling with her new faith in Jesus, and pondering if God was still good, even if the cancer didn’t leave her body. And resolved that yes, he was still good, naming our family as proof. That is humbling.
Rob has always said, “If just ONE person knows Jesus through our story, it’s all worth it”, and it is. I remind myself almost daily that this life is unfair, but it’s also temporary. Heaven is also unfair…we don’t deserve it, but praise God that my office friend for 11 years worked out her salvation in the last months of her life.
We will continue sharing our story and providing a window into our life because if it helps just one person…it’s worth it. And this is our path in life, God has made it clear, this is a way we can make him and his goodness known.