I close my eyes for a second and instantly visions of sugarplums attempt to dance in my head. But it’s 8:53 am and I cannot, should not go back to sleep. I already slept close to 10 hours last night yet my body and mind still craves more.
Looking up I see evidence of the biggest portion of my fatigue: the clutter and chaos of three tiny humans who love to play and destroy the existing order I desire. Every room in this house is absolutely destroyed or disorganized at this moment due to their joyful, albeit exhausting, presence and my lack of energy to reorder it all. This all of course rubs me raw as my inward parts longs for order and calm. This has been a refining season for me—these early motherhood years—especially with four year old twins and a wannabe twin #3 who is nearly three now.
I know I should get up and get moving to create order, again, to the subsequent chaos even if it but lasts a few hours before I pick them up from preschool… but I simply cannot get myself to do it. CAN. NOT. My body screams, “NOOOO!” My soul says, “REST!” And so I sit and hope that this message I’m writing is not just for me, but for another soul in a similar predicament, perhaps even stepping over landmines (aka. Toys) like me as you crawl to your coffee pot in hopes to take the edge off the tired.
I know I need to take better care of myself. The knots in my back this morning demonstrates a bit of what I’ve failed to pay attention to. My chest still feels heavy from two months ago fighting a horrible case of bronchitis, which still shows signs of its lingering presence within. My brain is ever so foggy—grace please as these jumbled words spill forth.
Not only are these early motherhood years taxing in every way, along with the ever present fatigue normal to this stage of life (according to other mom’s I’ve confided in), but I’ve entered a busier than normal season where the call by my Creator to create messages of His hope to others beyond myself is something I cannot just shake off. Although it brings a mix of emotions as I keep stepping forward into this role: fear, excitement, compassion, trepidation. I can’t help but feel drawn to serve God in the ways I feel He has gifted me to serve beyond my present family, but it definitely comes with its sacrifices as well.
Less social time with friends.
Less “free time.”
Less order in the home with my focus being shared by other projects calling for my attention.
I desire this role, love this role, want this gift He’s given me—speaking and writing to encourage and inspire the hearts of others—but it is indeed a sacrifice and not always as glamorous as it seems.
I should back up though. This is not meant to be a pity party segment for one, or even a pity party in general. However, I’m pretty sure many of us would rally into a mob of relating if we counted how many of us feel like we are in the same boat. I know I’m not alone.
The balance between being a wife, mother, and working mom (ministry hobby continues to morph into a lifestyle and career), is already a difficult balance to walk.
Then there’s extended family relationships, friendships, and keeping up with household necessities and appointments for everyone. We all have the same number of hours in a day, but it never feels like enough, am I right?
The biggest conundrum I’m facing at this present moment is determining when resting is more important than doing.
I just read in John 6 yesterday about how Jesus was seeking rest away from the crowds who were constantly seeking Him for more. They wanted Him to heal more and demonstrate more miracles, yet Jesus felt the need to rest, away from the crowds. He went up a mountain to do so, and yet the crowds kept following. The striking thing was His response to this predicament. After what I’m sure was still some time spent in prayer, instead of ignoring the crowd, or feeling anger or bitterness for the lack of rest He was able to get, instead He realizes the greater need in that moment and shows compassion for these people by going back to work, although not fully re-energized, performs one of the most magnificent miracles: multiplying the 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed all the thousands of people present who had been following Him.
There are definite times to rest my friend. There are also times when God is telling us to keep pressing forward and trust in His energy and strength to provide not only for what we need, but to bring an overflowing abundance of spiritual satisfaction and strength which will surpass our present needs. From my understanding however, it doesn’t seem to be a black and white answer. The only way I’ve discovered what is supposed to be done at any given time—rest or work—is to pray and ask our Father to show us the way.
I’ve had nights and seasons where I’ve been completely exhausted, and yet through prayer, God’s given me the strength and capacity to keep going, keep serving, and keep showing up even when my flesh tells me to quit. Then there’s other seasons and nights—like last night—when I’ve gone to God in prayer and it was evident through the nudge of His Spirit that resting at the present time was more important than work.
My question for you is, have you asked Him today? Do you trust that He will respond?
When I listen to the Holy Spirit for the direction, steps, activities, or paths for the way in which I should go or the decision for which I should make, I’ve found the more I ask and the more I seek Him, the clearer it becomes and the better I get at understanding His direction for me during those times of fatigue or confusion.
There’s going to be times when God tells you to rise when challenges weigh against you.
There’s going to be times when God tells you to rest when demands pile high around you.
The only way I’ve found how to navigate through this bone-tired season is by submitting to His feet and asking Him to guide me so I can stay steady and filled to overflowing no matter what challenges I face. No matter how tired I am or how inconvenient things get or how little time I feel like I have to get things done, I can trust that God always provides a way, He fills my soul to overflowing satisfaction, and He gives me the strength to keep stepping forward when I have nothing left to give.