Yet another night. . .

It's 3:10 am. Ava cried out for the 2nd time that night to eat. She's a growing girl and despite me waiting a bit to see if she goes back to sleep, she doesn't so I jump into my slippers and make my way down to her room.

I gathered my sweet girl up to sit in the rocking chair to feed her. No sooner did I sit to feed her, I hear Olivia stir and whisper "mom, Ava's hungry". Yes my dear, I already figured that out. (they share a room).

But instead of responding, I sit there quietly, hoping she goes back to sleep and doesn't know I am sitting there.

Too late.

I hear the creak of her mattress as she makes her way out of her bed in the dark. Olivia is very trusting as she feels her way in the dark to find me in the rocking chair. Without a word, she climbs up in my lap. I sit there nursing Ava on one half of my body while Olivia curls into my arms on the half of me.

Ava finally succumbs to sleep after she fills her belly. I quietly tell Olivia I am sitting her on the ground so I can lay Ava down.

After I cover Ava's sleeping body with her blankie, Olivia whispers to me and asks, "can I sleep in your bed?" Ah child, it's after 3, and I am desperate for sleep after being up twice already. But I know how precious this time is (& she doesn't do this every night or I might have re-evaluated my answer). I know the many nights my arms ached to hold a sleeping Noah and I was denied that privilege. So instead, I wordlessly scoop Olivia into my arms and take her up to my bed and quietly lay her down.

She makes herself comfy on my pillow while I try to squeeze myself onto the little piece of bed I am given. I lay on my side while she curls herself against my back and puts her little arm around my neck. It took her a little while until she calmed down and fell asleep.

*sigh* I remain awake while I listen to her rhythmic breathing as she sleeps.

I am reminded of how blessed I am to be a mom of 7 children. Yes, one of my children lives in Heaven but I still parent him everyday, just in different ways than I do my living kids. It's mind-blowing to me know he gets to see Jesus every day! Just makes my tie to Heaven a little bit closer in someways.

As I laid there wide awake, I prayed for all my kids. And I am reminded to not ever take one moment for granted. Yes, long are the days of being a mom, they aren't always easy and in fact, some days are quite frustrating. But in those quiet moments early in the morning,I was reminded of the rewarding times of being a mom. Those sweet times of cuddling any of my children like that make those tough days so worthwhile. I am thankful for glimpses like this to override the memories of the challenging days I have as a mom.

So yes, I laid awake while holding my precious 2 year old and wished my 3 yr old was also snuggled up with us. I don't wish away these times at all but instead embrace those sweet moments that remind me of how much God has entrusted into my care. It truly humbles me and I pray I can guide these precious lives in the right direction. Never will I deny them them the love, attention, affection or hugs that ALL children desire! Things my husband & I both missed out on growing up. Things I want our children to look back on and say yes, they loved me & were there for me no matter what!

I love you all so much, Sarah, Susan, Hannah, Erik, Noah, Olivia & Ava!! Thank you for all you have taught me & how you continue to love me despite the mistakes I make every day!

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