I haven’t written much this summer. I was tired. Not just tired, but exhausted, down in my bones. Have you ever felt that way? I’ve been tired before, but not like this. I’m a presser- througher! (which is part of my problem) I press through sickness, fatigue and injury because, well, with 4 children, this carpool ain’t gonna drive itself now is it? I went into summer on the heels of some major parenting struggles as well as an exciting but busy season with my high school graduate. It’s like my soul wasn’t sure what emotion to have so it shut down and told my body to do the same. Like a power outage. Summer rolled around and I just felt rushed and late and caught off guard, instead of calm and relaxed and refreshed. I’m sure it was all just one big cycle of exhaustion feeding itself the way a storm builds strength, and Im trying to fight my way out of the rubble.
Can you relate?
I tend to say, “Well when this season or that season is over then I will rest. When school is out or when school is back in… then I will rest.” There never seems to be a good time, but lately I have been getting back to basics, if you will, and finding new strength. This soul and body that once shut down are slowly but surely coming back to life.
Heres what’s working for me.
Abiding in the vine (aka spending time with God) Being alone with God is such a necessary but neglected discipline. When I get in the presence of the Lord wether reading the bible and praying or just sitting and listening, the renewal is supernatural. I remember who I am and what my purpose is as He strengthens me. It’s miraculous how God meets our needs so that we can meet the needs of our family without feeling overwhelmed and taxed. In the Bible I read: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I need more of this in my life!
Creating a reserve. My dad used to say, regarding budgeting money, “There’s always something. A surprise flat tire, a trip to the ER, or even a busted water heater. It’s not wise to live paycheck to paycheck with no reserve, so set a little aside each month, not for a rainy day but for emergencies.” I feel the same way about my time and energy. “There’s always something” so there needs to be some reserve. We don’t need to use every second of our day and go at full speed all the time.
We can say “No”
leave. things. until. tomorrow!
As a mom it can be so hard to just close up shop and “leave things at the office” because our work is always in front of us. But I’m trying to stop…before I hit the point of exhaustion.
Leaving a little in the bank for an emergency.
Practicing self care. There is a practical side to renewing my strength and fighting my fatigue. I ask myself, What do I like to do, what brings me joy, what recharges my battery so to speak. My list may be different than yours but it’s a good question to ask yourself.
I have neglected sleep for too long! No more.
Cooking and eating really good food!
Cleaning my house (for real, I turn on really great music and go to town!)
Exercise. (Make it fun not work!)
Laughter and friends.
The doing of nothing.
Tossing burdens or chores or “that thing” or “that event” to the side and just putting my feet up!
Even just getting alone for a few hours driving my car.
Sitting by the pool taking deep breaths and letting my mind slow down.
Reflect on all that is good.
The bible speaks to this- God made the whole world and everything in it and then He RESTED, and he calls us to rest as well. It’s called a Sabbath. I haven’t studied much on the topic but apparently we are supposed to rest. so Im going to try.
Not taking on more than I should. This is a big one for me because I get weary from shouldering all the burdens for all my people all the time. Practically speaking the most revolutionary thing I did this school year was:
- Have them make their own lunch.
2. Make them ride the bus home.
And at night I say… “Do you need me to help you with that? and if not, I walk away and go do something else, maybe from the afore mentioned list! It sounds small but it really takes the load off of me.
And spiritually speaking, I pray more, because the same God that meets my needs will meet their needs and I don’t have to carry all the burden and all the worries. I want to teach them to lean on Jesus the way I am learning to lean on Jesus. So we can all trust and rest in His goodness instead of striving and stressing.
Are you tired my friend?
Parenting is hard work but we are not in this alone. Lean into God my friend, lean on me too!
We are in this together.
We are stronger together.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28