April 20, 2016
How to Climb the Mountain of Motherhood
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6 (NIV)
Some days it seems everywhere I look, I see “mountains” — mountains of laundry to fold, papers to sort and dirty dishes to clean. Tending to the mountains in my life often leaves me exhausted. It also triggers frustration because no sooner have I dealt with one of these mountains, when they start to pile up all over again, staring me in the face and leaving me defeated. Have you been there?
Being a mom also brings emotional mountains to scale as well. We train and teach the toddlers, navigate the often-tumultuous teen years and tend to the changing needs of aging parents. These life-tasks often unsettle our souls.
Constant physical tasks, coupled with emotional stress, can make for a difficult climb. Perhaps a little lesson on the sport of mountain climbing can give us insight into how to make our trek a little less daunting.
Mountain climbing is not for the faint of heart. Besides being physically strenuous, there are changes that take place in the climber’s body as they ascend. The higher you go, the thinner the air becomes, decreasing the oxygen concentration. If climbers aren’t careful to take precautions, the change can wreak havoc on their lungs. This can cause serious medical conditions resulting in hospitalization and in some cases, even death.
In order to prevent these potentially damaging conditions, an experienced mountain climber knows how important periods of rest are. And not just stopping at the current altitude to take a break. There is a strategy where climbers retreat to a lower elevation than the one to which they have climbed in order to give their lungs a rest — especially at night. This tactic is referred to as “climb high — sleep low.”
Mountaineers will trek as high as they safely can during the day, but return to a lower elevation to sleep, thereby diminishing the chances of developing a potentially lethal altitude-related lung condition.
Similarly, the expedition known as motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
Although the highs and lows we traverse each day might not adversely affect our lungs, they can wreak havoc upon our hearts and drain us physically. Oh, how important it is to rest our bodies and nourish our souls! To pull back from the “mountains” we are scaling — laundry, paperwork, dirty dishes — or the obstacles we encounter such as physically exhausting toddlers or emotionally testing teens. When we lay low to connect with Jesus, our souls can replenish to scale new heights the next day.
Today’s key verse states it perfectly: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6).When we carve out time to rest in God — taking a physical break and filling up our spirits — we gain hope and acquire strength to face the challenges of life. When God is our fortress, nothing can shake us.
Have you been trying to scale the mountain of motherhood at break-neck speed, rarely stopping to refresh and refuel? Maybe it’s time to adopt the “climb high — sleep low” strategy yourself. It will make a difference. Even if it is just stopping long enough to savor a cup of coffee with the Savior, drinking in deeply the truths from His Word. When we pull back for a bit, we’re better positioned to return to our tasks with renewed strength and a fresh perspective.
As you scale the mountain of motherhood, God will be with you in the highs. He’ll refresh you in the lows. Press pause, and meet with Him today.
Father, please help me carve out time each week to get alone and meet with You. May I find rest and rejuvenation so I can continue to climb the mountain of motherhood for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 121:1-3, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber.” (NIV)
Psalm 127:2, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” (NLT)
For more encouragement, head to Karen Ehman’s blog today, where she’s giving away three gift baskets, each with a bag of her favorite coffee along with a copy of her new devotional for mothers,Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
As you scale the mountain of motherhood, what new phase are you entering? What issues, concerns and challenges does this phase bring? How can pulling away to stop and rest help you to face these matters with confidence?
© 2016 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 20 April 2016.