When Mike needs something in the wee hours of the morning it's a bit of a guessing game. Maybe he needs the head of his bed raised or lowered or maybe he needs something scratched, or maybe he needs to turn over, or maybe he needs to go pee... To find out what Mike needs, I have to turn the light on because I have to see his face to communicate with him. Even his nods lately are somewhat hard to read...was that a "yes" or a "no"? His eyes tell me the most. I run through a series of questions; sometimes I get it right away and sometimes it takes a while, and every time, Mike is patient with me. However, my patience wears thin after the second or third wakeup call.
When I get up to attend to Mike, I put on a sweater, socks and sometimes shoes so I can get a grip on the laminate floor if he wants to turn over. Waking up is one thing, but having to get up and dress is another. Getting out of my warm, cozy bed is usually the last thing I want to do and this is where I come face to face with God's grace. Sometimes I'm a little disoriented, sometimes I get frustrated, even angry almost. Not at Mike, but the situation, not even the situation, I guess its sleep deprivation. I don't say anything in my displeasure, I keep it inside. I'm sure Mike can tell though because I'm not cheerful like I am in the day. Perhaps that's normal, but I don't want to be normal. I want to serve my husband with a happy heart all the time, sleep deprived or totally rested.
God is using this experience in my life in a couple of ways. One of which is to show me another side of His grace. God is with me in the middle of the night, in the darkness just before I turn on the light. By His grace I get up once more to serve my beloved husband. God enables me. He carries me. He loves me. When I think I can't do it again, He says, "Yes you can!" "I am here and I will help you." And He does.
God is also using this experience in my life to teach me about surrender. It's easy to say, "I surrender all" to God, but is it easy to do? Jesus said in order to follow Him you have to deny yourself (Luke 9:23). Wow, that's a little beyond me. But by God's grace, He helps me make strides in that direction and in the middle of the night I am humbled and grateful every time He says, "Yes you can!"
ALS has forced Mike to surrender everything. He hasn't had a choice in surrendering but he has had a choice in how he surrenders. He has done it with such dignity. ALS has forced me to surrender a lot as well and God continues to call me to surrender it all. And He has given an excellent role model: Mike!
I can't guarantee that lack of sleep won't get the best of me, but I can guarantee that God's grace
"Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time." Oswald Chambers.
Following up on my blog post "You're Richer Than You Think" from Dec /13, Madison raised $2855 from her run (Run for Wellness) for Project Wellness. Thank you to those who donated and for all the encouragement and support! The above picture is of my dad in Malawi, Africa just last week. He accomplished a lot once again...he provided food for 200 orphans until June when the harvest comes in, a stove for the new kitchen, medicine and he had a well drilled. This is our 25th well drilled in Malawi!! My dad was named honorary chief of the village, “Chief Nyoni” which means "Bringer of Gifts"! Check out project wellness.ca