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Mothers are tired, worn out and weary. Physically and emotionally. It's hard to have people needing something from you constantly. Children need to be steered away from the stairs, read a book, hugged and encouraged, given a snack, helped with a math problem, put on the potty, driven to that appointment . . . And all the while there is laundry and groceries, bills to sort and dinner needing to be cooked. I talked to a mom-friend on the phone yesterday, and I could hear exhaustion in her voice. When I glanced at the clock -- to encourage her that rest was coming; I realized it was only 8:23 am. Eeeek. The day stretched ahead of us, and she was already running on empty!
When us mamas feel like there is no yoga class long enough or iced coffee big enough to get us through the day- there's hope.
I love that Jesus says to His followers: "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) He is calling everyone who is tired, weighed down, and exhausted to come to Him for rest. Count me in.
But it often seems when I am most tired, stressed and weary, I have the least motivation to go to my Jesus. I turn to all sorts of things for energy- talking to a friend, hitting the drive thru, reading a book, going for a walk. Now, none of these things are necessarily wrong, but they aren’t Jesus. When I think about stopping to pray, and my first instinct is often, “I just don’t have time for that today!”
But, when I do take a minute-- or two or three-- to sit down on the couch or even on the kitchen floor and bring my weariness to Jesus, he meets me there. How does he give me rest? Sometimes he helps clarify my thinking, and the path to my objective is laid out for me. Many times he reminds me of his deep love for me, and that he knows, understands and cares about how tired and overwhelmed I am feeling. That brings me great comfort and strength.
Other times he changes my perspective. He shows me things I need to let go of for an hour or afternoon or day. “But I realllllllly wanted to get that done Lord!” or “I MUST do that or everything else that I’ve planned will fall apart!” I whine and explain. He waits patiently for me to trust in his ability to care for me and my family, not depending on myself or my ideas of what is 100% necessary for the day.
A verse in Isaiah adds a little more understanding to how we can find strength in God: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Is 40: 29-31)
Did you see the clue after the “but”? Those who what in the Lord? Hope. When I place all my hope in myself, my ability to get things done, my plans, my understanding of the situation, I get anxious and things tend to unravel. But putting my hope in the Lord, resting in his deep love for me, in his all-knowingness, in his inability to make mistakes, gives me a perspective that encourages and sustains me, even when everything is swirling and messy.
In your weariness, turn to God, have hope- not because you can accomplish it all, make everyone happy, “power-through” or man-up, but because you can’t do it all, and God knows that. He invites the tired, worn-out, and bedraggled to Himself and whispers truths of sustaining love and eternal perspective in our blown-out ears. And it is sweet.
Jenny Schermerhorn is a writer, speaker and mama. She blogs about hope, humor and modern life at www.reallifemamas.com.