“The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace—all things are there” ~St. Macarius
Recently it seems like our household is getting less and less sleep. With our boy about to be 4 months old we are always striving to find a good balance in our lives but it always seems to be challenged by new developmental milestones such as rolling over and teething. Just when we have a rhythm down all of a sudden something happens that makes us start from the scratch. Our son does not know how to soothe himself back to sleep yet and I find myself spending countless hours on Google trying to find out about baby sleep cycles and how to get your baby to sleep and to help them stay asleep. I always seem to find one solution that it gets back to. The cry it out method. I for one am not for this method but I see why parents choose this option as it seems like an easy solution to the sleep depravation that effects everyone. It seems to me that sleeping is something that parents knew there would be a lack of but not realizing how parenting also rolls over to nighttime parenting until they are faced with this dilemma.
A wise friend once told me that you just have to start functioning on less sleep. Yes, that is what is happening now. At times like these I forget that my attempts at parenthood are wasted unless I bring myself to the point of prayer first. It makes me wonder, who am I serving?
I forget during these sleepless nights that the Lord is the Master of my life, just like the beginning of St. Ephraims prayer states. I bring myself to the point of depending too much on the world for answers and not come to Christ first with prayer and humble heart and ask Him for guidance to raise my son right. As Lent starts and we deprive ourselves of great goodies such as cheeseburgers from In and Out, our struggle remains in the heart. It is almost like it comes at a perfect time for me as always and I realize that I have to focus more on prayer and purifying my heart rather than Google and other peoples opinions. As Orthodox Christians our whole worship is centered around the altar. Even our wedding services are around the altar stating that we need to center our lives around Christ first. When I stand during Liturgy I always forget that. I forget to center my life around Christ first so that everything else will follow. Instead I find myself wondering about things like drool getting on my sons shirt and having that be my top priority. (Insert big sigh here) Deep breath in… Deep breath out. Oh Lord and Master of my life… Forgive me a sinner.