Sleepy Day

Sleepy Day

I woke before six this morning. No reason, except that it seems in this last month of pregnancy I don’t sleep well. 6 am and I are getting well acquainted. Which i probably just as well because all too soon I’m sure it will become a necessary habit. Baby Benedict was awake and squirming and I suddenly realized I was ravenous. And then I couldn’t get back to sleep.

It’s actually kind of nice to be up before everyone else, the quiet early morning actually not so quiet but filled with birdsong. But I am not a morning person, so I don’t maximize that time. I pray and drift and don’t make much of the extra time. 

I was, of course, exhausted by ten, eyes dropping as I sat on the couch trying to juggle two girls and two books: Bella on my left insisting on Madeline and Sophie on my right Sandra Boynton. I’d read a page or two in one book till the other girl got antsy, then switch. After two Madeline stories my head was about to burst. I declared it was time to go outside and bundled Sophie into her jacket and then strapped her into the swing. I pulled up a lawn chair and sat near the swing to give the occasional push while I relaxed. She was having none of it, though. No relaxing allowed. I had to sing or chant nursery rhymes. Whenever I stopped, she started to fuss.

Mid-morning snack of cheddar cheese was a bit of a distraction for all of us. Then I gave up on being outside and we moved in to my bed where I lay down and gave Sophie a handful or random objects from my dresser to play with: my glasses case, a rosary and its zippered bag, a holy card of Mother Teresa. I lay my head on the pillow and drifted. She soon made a game of handing me the holy card, demanding that I kiss it and say a prayer. (Don’t ask me how a 15 month old child communicates such things, it’s what she wanted and I knew it.) After a while, though, I woke from a much longer nod to find that Sophie was being unusually quiet. She’d fallen asleep, slumped with her head against my thigh. I put my head down again and drifted back to sleep, woke up again and settled her in the crook of my arm, and back to sleep for a good, deep twenty-minute snooze. When I woke from that Sophie did too, stirring a bit in my arms. Bella, somehow sensing an end to our nap, drifted in from where she’d been playing in her own room and climbed up next to us on the bed.

Ah sweet bliss of a nap! I’ve not ever been a good co-sleeper. Only in those early newborn exhaustion days. Otherwise the presence of a child next to me keeps me from ever reaching deep sleep and I end up exhausted and very, very cranky. So this was an unusual interlude for us. Very pleasant. I do like the sweet feel of a little warm sleeping body snuggled next to mine when it isn’t squirming, demanding milk and keeping me from my sleep.

Of course, now Sophie and Bella are refusing to take a nap. I hear giggles again. I’m going to have to go in there a third (or is it fourth?) time to tell them to lay down and go to sleep. Usually Sophie is tired enough to just go down without too much of a fight. And Bella is a good napper if she doesn’t have the distraction of a sister who wants to play. But having the edge taken off of her tiredness is keeping Sophie awake and she’s distracting Bella. I’d bring her out to play until she drops, but I know she’s tired and I have to go to the OB soon. Maybe I should put her in the portacrib in my room to cry until she collapses. Probably should have done that in the first place. I suppose the bliss of a nap and my safe drive will balance out with two cranky girls when I get home.

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  • I am definitely fond of the Sacred Heart but my strongest devotion is to the Divine Mercy. Which devotions, just out of curiosity, do you associate with most?

  • Hi Melanie,

    I’m a convert and I never really got the Sacred Heart that much either until I started doing a lot of reading about the Kingship of Christ and also the propers from the Feast of the Sacred Heart in the extraordinary form.  So beautiful!  My devotion to the Sacred Heart has really grown quite a bit in the last year as a result. We also have our home enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • A place to build my(OUR) nest and raise my(our) children, safe from everything that could harm them. –  You’re ALL One in Christ as a family. 
    It’s not just you personally and your children but also your spouse whom God has directed as your spiritual family leader on earth too.  Christ’s Sacred Heart is the pulse & light for each soul & lights the way to Him and the remembrance of His sacrifice.  If you are a family, you are all united in Him and all share in that spiritual growth.

  • My devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was implanted at an early age by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (FDNSC).  We used to have a monthly procession in honour of the Sacred Heart and we were taught to say every hour the aspirations “May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart pray for us.”  I still say this aspiration on the hour, eons years later, if I remember.

    The devotion to the Sacred Heart is tied closely to devotion to the Blessed Sacrament which of course comes from the Mass; it is a prolongation of the Consecration outside of Mass.  This is the cornerstone of my spirituality.

    Father Mark OSB at Vultus Christus has some wonderful reflections on the Sacred Heart.

  • What, to me, undermines devotion to the Sacred Heart today are the effeminate pictures of the Sacred Heart e.g. the one on the EWTN homepage. Also, devotion to the Sacred Heart is not promoted as strongly as devotion to the Divine Mercy.

  • Katherine,

    Honestly, I still struggle with the idea of devotions in general. To Mary, to the saints, all of them seem a bit strange to me and I don’t really claim any of them as my own. It is sort of a foreign territory I’ve only begun to explore in the last few years.

    My first real forays into personal prayer were the Liturgy of the Hours and that’s still the prayer that really speaks to me and sustains me, the backbone of my spiritual life. The rosary I have had some sporadic affinity for; but it’s not something I turn to often. I’ve enjoyed the Divine Mercy devotion when I’ve encountered it, and have prayed it occasionally. Since becoming a mother I’ve begin to understand better the idea of a devotion to Mary and have tried to start praying the Angelus at noon and six, especially as a way to pray with the girls. And there are a few saints I’ve grown to have more and more of an affinity for.

    But the prayers that I come back to again and again with regularity are the psalms in the liturgy. Their poetry speaks to me, the sense of praying with the Church, of being connected to people praying the hours all over the world. I’ve only got so much time for prayer in my busy days and trying to add any other devotions, novenas, etc always seems to mean bumping the Liturgy and losing my focus on santcifying the hours. At the same time for me it incorporates so much of other devotions because it does put me in touch with saints on their feast days, and as with today the Sacred Heart devotion, not as separate things but as a part of the great liturgical prayer of the Church. Does that make sense?

  • MumB,

    Thank you. It is very true that we are united in Him and come to Him as a family in our domestic church and grow together as a family. And it’s very good to remember that spousal unity.

    I don’t mean to give the impression of somehow excluding or being separated from Dom or to minimize his headship of our domestic church. I know that in my candor on many subjects on my blog, especially on some aspects of spirituality and motherhood, I can give the impression of baring my soul and revealing my thoughts on everything; but when it comes to my relationship with Domenic,  I don’t write about that here because it doesn’t belong on a public forum.

    I tend to avoid writing about the specifics of our married life because that seems to step over a boundary for me, to be something that is too intimate and private, something to be cherished in the heart of our home. So when I write about the spirituality of parenting and family I do so in the first person. It shouldn’t be read to indicate a lack of spiritual unity in our relationship, merely a veil of privacy over that which I do not choose to share.

  • Sharon,
    Thanks for sharing the link. Some good reading there!

    Since I wrote this post, I’ve found many, many people writing about the Sacred Heart on their blogs and many good things to ponder. Wow, God really dos answer our prayers abundantly!

    I definitely agree about the effeminate images! In searching the web for images I found some lovely icons with a strong Christ that appeal to me much more. And I have found that in a more iconic style the heart somehow works better for me than in an image that looks more naturalistic. I especially liked pictures on this page and this one

    I still don’t find myself to be personally drawn to the devotion; but the wonderful thing about the Church is that there is a great diversity and there are devotional practices to suit every person. We all worship Christ but we each come to Him by the unique path that He has made for us. 

  • Completely. I love the Divine Office when the girls let me focus on it. My struggles, in terms of devotion, are especially with Marian devotions, though the rosary and I have gotten closer at times.