Why did I break down and cry after getting this free Dutch bros today? Was it because this mommy is once again worn out and the precious coffee people took mercy on me? Or maybe it was because the Lord knew I would need to know He loves me and sees this “Mombie” trying to function on two hours of sleep? Probably both.

You see, I seem to forget how hard it is to raise a toddler, and this time I was blessed with the “she never sleeps,” kid. Thanks, Jesus.  I know David and Logan were babies once and had their difficulties too, but now they sleep like happy little logs, and I think God graciously allowed me to forget their trying times so we would keep having kids. ? So we keep breeding, and I keep running to social media to vent about it all as if something new is happening, except this time I’m writing to myself and to you all because I know there’s a lesson here….

In the midst of my complaining, joking, venting, and humorous retelling of my night-capades with Aria, I’m forgetting that the more I invest worry in this one area of her little life, the further I am from seeing the big picture. Even with children, God never gives us more than we can handle without Him.

I’ll be the first to admit it, having kids is HARD. Why do I ever expect anything less? Completely worthwhile and awesome, but So. Much. Work. Why is that? Because pressure makes diamond (no wonder labor is so intense). In order to mold, shape, and craft these precious people, it takes all of me, my blood, sweat, tears, and other forms of liquid. It’s about putting focus beyond their physical and behavioral needs, consistently building trust, commitment and reassurance that I will always be there for them in the middle of the night, just like my Heavenly Father is for me each time I cry out to Him.

Jesus has reminded me over and over that my children are exactly who I was equipped to raise. Sleep issues and all. And yes, God can move mountains and give us peaceful nights, but having Aria has stretched me to see grace through the bags under my eyes. She helps me grow confidence in knowing each child is wildly different and I’m going to just have to do my best and stop looking across the playground at the other babies playing perfectly. It’s never a good idea to take my eyes off of Aria anyway.

“My children are exactly who I was equipped to raise”

Our kids are the ones we prayed for (technically, David was an accident, but we still like him), rejoiced over, and I get to stay up with them at night and breathe in the scent of a real miracle and blessing. If I look closely, Aria sleeps as much as her busy mamma does and that scares me a little. I think this means I will be chasing her ambitious heart like my mom chased mine.

So to the other tired moms out there, I raise a coffee-brimmed glass to you and am remembering that today I will put on LOVE, not disappointment that my life isn’t perfect, I will pull on COMPASSION, along with yoga pants because skinny jeans with buttons are too much work (and not as nice). I will lather PATIENCE, and lots of deodorant because I didn’t have time to shower…again. And that’s okay. For now, I have all I need for today…and hopefully tonight. And if you hear me complaining, just smile and tell me “It is well.”

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.” -Colossians 3:12-15 HCSB