Friday, November 09, 2012

when you feel weary and tired :: embracing God’s sweet gift of sleep

Do you ever feel completely exhausted?

And does it come in seasons for you?

It does for me. I’ve learned October will be the month we are very busy, and that I need two weeks of November to recover.

The older I get, the more I notice that I need rest. And more than I used to.

I’m starting to see these rhythmic patterns in my life- I’m wondering if you have them too?

It’s taken me a while to see these seasons. I have no idea why it’s taken 30 years to see them- I’ve heard Ecclesiastes 3 since I was a tiny girl. Solomon knew what he was talking about. :)

A time to work hard. A time to rest.

Times for parties and spending, followed by times of quiet and saving.

Times for holidays and feasts, and lots of them. Then time recovering from them.

It’s really a beautiful thing, because without one, we wouldn’t enjoy the other quite so much.

I think even our bodies have a natural rhythm of their own. Gain and then lose. Run and then rest.

My body is in a season of rest right now. So very graciously, God has let my mind get out of the do, do, do mode. Suddenly I don’t feel the pressing need to finish the laundry. I just really want to take a nap.

The good girl inside, much like Martha, says, “No naps- you have too much to do. You need to work.”

And the other part of me {Mary?} shakes her head, and says, “No, friend, it’s time to rest and refocus your priorities. Keep your eyes on what’s important…” :)

Last week I slept for more hours than I ever do.  Thanks to my husband, I slept in late, I took naps almost every day. And I never take naps these days.

And you know what? This week, I feel so much better. So much less stressed, even though I’m behind on my house and my kitchen is completely covered in sawdust from our DIY counter installation.  {It’s bad!}

I’m allowing myself to rest this month. And I’m encouraged by the multiple instances of Jesus resting in the Bible. Sometimes I forget that He made resting and listening to the Father in quiet such an important part of his ministry. Sometimes I forget the Bible actually gives us so much encouragement and direction about our weariness!

If you are weary- if you are exhausted, I just want to encourage you today- rest in Him. Sleep is truly a gift to our human bodies from our Father.

If you have a teeny baby or toddlers right now, you are in a season of hard, hard work. I want to encourage you to sleep when they do if you can. You will feel better, happier, and be more productive when you are awake. 

Looking back at all my years with babies- the best years were ones I didn’t demand too much of myself. I just slept and sat down and nursed {a lot!} and enjoyed life with my baby. And you know what? I don’t regret that. I don’t remember the chores I didn’t get done. It was for a season, and then the season was gone.

IMG_9235these hands won’t be little forever…

As they grow up, things get easier, sweet mamas, and most of the time you can even stay up on the laundry. {I’m never, ever done, but the pile is nothing like it used to be, and my kids are bigger now!}.

Seasons change, and just like that, you’ll be in a completely different place than you were even two years ago. The Nester encouraged me with that at Allume in the marriage Q&A. She has teenagers now, and she said it’s so much different than when she had younger kids. I haven’t gotten there yet, but it’s encouraging to be reminded that life won’t be like this forever. There are seasons, and I should enjoy them.

If you’re overwhelmed and exhausted right now, ask the Lord if there is a way you can let some homemaking things go for a while and catch up on a little rest.

Ask your husband what he thinks you can spend less time on. My husband always encourages me to do less, and he gives me specific ways when I ask him {and I try to actually take his advice. I’m certainly not the best at slowing down. ;)}.

Honestly, my husband wants me to be rested for him, as I’m sure most husbands probably want their wives to be. I really think most of them could not care less about the laundry. Choose them and your kiddos over the laundry. You won’t regret it. :)

If you’re weary, choose rest. Sleep for a little while if you can. You will feel so much better when you let yourself recover from a busy season.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for sweet rest. Help us to rest when you want us to rest, and work when it is time. Thank you for all of the seasons!

Ecclesiastes 3

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

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