What Can Cloud Our Lamp

 The lamp of the body is the eye. (Matthew 6:22) 

For me I can relate to the sleep deprivation, had it with the infants and it visited again, unwelcomely, when our children were teens, but I also know there is much more that can dim my lamp!

As moms we have times when the lamp of our body, our soul, is seeing the world a little darkly.  We have all had those days of being cranky beyond cranky – being sleep deprived. It’s not just new moms who fight trying to get through the day because a new baby has kept them up all night, moms of teens, moms with children with health issues, just any type of stress will keep us up at night.

If we are constantly tired, our whole family will feel it. “…but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.”  We are more involved with life if we have enough sleep; the sleep-deprived brain will swing to extremes of euphoria or crankiness, neither of which is good for decision-making. Sleep deprivation shuts down the brain’s key planning and decision-making regions so we are more likely to overreact, or forget important things, making it hard to discern, to see God in our lives.

Glamorgan Police Hooded Lantern, 1939-45

We can dim our lamp because we are hanging around people with dark lamps.   “And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”  A hooded lantern like this one pictured does not cast much light, just like negative things and people do not cast much light in our lives.

One thing that really cranks my chain….when I allow myself to become a “suffering servant” by allowing the children to be pampered, when I am maid, cook, all of it.  It makes my lamp dim because I cannot let go of the control, so if the children and hubby don’t do it the way I want…I am a cranky camper and will take over the chores.  It makes the whole house dark mooded, and the children feel less than capable, not good.

Stress, sleep deprivation is the next greatest factor to creating mother crankiness.  Cortisol is a hormone released in the brain during times of great stress, causing people to be indecisive, poorly organized and cranky. Over time, cortisol can literally shrink our brain. Jesus is asking us to live the best we can, to store up treasures in heaven, one of the many ways we can do this is to resolve issues, embrace growth.


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Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director

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