Day 5: 30 Days of Gratitude

Gratefulness posts about my children are scheduled out over the 30 days. I am spending a few days thinking about them and, specifically, what I’m grateful for. So don’t think I’m only grateful for Blake and Hannah.

Today, I’m grateful for sleep.

I go through seasons of not sleeping every couple of months. It is not something new. It has happened for several years. I will go days or sometimes weeks sleeping only 2-3 hours a night. When it starts to happen, I dread what is coming. The harder I try to sleep, the worse it gets. During these times of sleeplessness, I lay there wishing I was sleeping, getting angry at the situation of not sleeping, sometimes I read, sometimes I pray, sometimes I replay things that have happened in the past in my mind. None of that helps. After a few days of this, I get to a point where my body will finally give up and sleep for a couple of more hours. But I still merely survive the days because without sleep, all the bodily functions seem to conserve what little energy they have in order to survive. I’m sure someone smarter than me knows the physiological terms and processes for this pattern.

I’ve just been in one of these seasons. This time was no different than all the other times. For about ten days I have only slept 2-3 hours (give or take an hour) and that is not always hours in a row but spread out over the whole night (which somehow makes me feel worse than not sleeping at all). <— ***That, my friends, is an example of a run-on sentence — and I’m leaving it the way it is.***

For me, nighttime is when the enemy fights against my mind and heart. It’s when he tells me lies about myself. Lies about things that have happened during the day or in the distant past. Worse still, it’s when he lies about what the Father says and feels about me. That is not unique to me. There is something about the dark and the quiet. During the last few times I have gone through these sleepless cycles, I am glad to say that his lies have fallen on deaf ears. That is thanks to things the Lord has been doing in my heart over the last couple of years — and especially the last several months.

Last night was sweet.

Last night I slept.

I, quite literally, passed out about 9:30 p.m. and opened my eyes at 6:40 a.m. this morning. I slept the sleep of the dead. The kind of sleep when you wake up and don’t know what day it is or even where you are. I’m not certain if I even turned over all night. After I got over the shock of sleeping so long and sleeping way past when I usually get up, I thanked the Lord for His mercies. I thanked Him for seeing me through another season of exhaustion.

I have no idea if I will sleep tonight or not. Tomorrow we will take all the kids to the doctor in Kyiv. Micah is getting an ultrasound for a hernia, so the surgeon can make plans. Matthew is getting a consultation from a dermatologist because of some skin issues he is having. And all five of the kids will get their first vaccine shot. It will be a hard day. So sleep may elude me again because I am really good at borrowing trouble from tomorrow.

But today, as I thought about what I was genuinely grateful for — it’s sleep.

Chris Malone

Chris and his family serve as missionaries near Kyiv, Ukraine. Chris and his wife, Mary, have nine children. Five of their children have Down syndrome and four of those are adopted from Ukraine. Their four older children are in various stages of starting college and starting careers.

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