Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Tired Mama

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child people told me, 'Get all the sleep you can get now, cause once that baby comes 'sleep' will be a forgotten word.'  I waved my hand at them, rolled my eyes and thought, "I don't require much sleep, I'll be fine on five hours."  But as all of you moms know many times you don't even get five hours-sometimes it's just two. Well, after having six children,  all I gotta say is, I'm one tired mama.

I remember after my first child was born, coming home from the hospital to our apartment thinking, 'ohhh, it's so good to be home,' but I had not yet realized that the crying was going to start and not stop for weeks and now I am without a nurse to help me! I could not understand one hour of sleep! I could not believe that it went on for weeks and weeks and no one told me, no one really warned me. The constant crying and no sleep was...are there really any words?

My children all sleep through the night now and I get an average of 6-7 hours of sleep a night, but for the days that I don't, it's like all the years that I didn't get sleep come crashing down on me the very next day. So, when I'm working on a project, or there is stress in my life, a sick child, or even anticipating something good to come, and I don't get sleep- well, the next day I'm a wreck.

I'll give you an example: I woke up really, really tired one Monday morning a few weeks ago and all I wanted to do was to somehow get a morning nap, but I remembered I had promised the kids to take them to the park. So up I got, got dressed, packed lunch and went. As we drove along I thought, "I could kill two birds with one stone- I could jump into Office Depot, drop something off to be copied, and then go to the park." Okay, it sounds simple enough for a person who isn't sleep deprived, but such was not the case for me. I parked the car, got the kids out of the car, went into the store, dropped off my papers, came out and could not find my car keys. I thought, "Oh, no, what have I done!" Well, I couldn't have imagined what I could have done because the worse thought I had was that I had locked my keys in the was far worse than that! I didn't lock the doors, nor had I taken the keys out of the ignition, nor had I turned the car off! The car was still running! Someone, anyone, could have opened the door, sat in my car and drove off. Like I said, "I'm one tired mama."

So, between the years of no sleep with the children, anxiety, fears and just plain nonsense that has infiltrated my life, I'm worn out. Just plain plumb tired.

I also gotta say, I'm tired of being tired. I told a friend that and the response was, " You should work out more." Okay, I started working out faithfully every day and to be quite honest, I'm more tired! I'm not giving up the exercising because I know it's good for me, but something has just got to change.

So, how does one go into combat when the soldier is dog-tired?

Well, I will share a little lesson I am learning. I know that God would have us to rest. God calls us to rest.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and   learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)

The rest He calls us to is not a rest of, "I give up," but a rest of surrender. A surrender that says, "God I know your plan is perfect and I will trust it." A surrender that says, "My plan looks good, but I know your plan Lord is much, much better." If I really trust in Him I would rest. I would rest in my mind, in my emotions, in my body and even get some sleep.

There is no failure in rest. Actually, when we enter God's rest there is success, even victory. A victory because if he calls us into a period of rest and you enter it your obedience will be rewarded.

There is also no rest in fear. There is no rest in worry. There is no rest in anxiety or stress. So, clearly, I have not rested because I have not trusted. I am always planning the next hour, the next day, the next month. My mind usually doesn't give me a break. I am a multi-tasker, and quite great at it, but some times all the planning, and scheduling needs to take a break, exhale and trust God.

Through many, many rough times years ago I would sing this very little song. (It was the opening song to one of the Christian radio programs I would listen to in New York). "Be still and know He is God. He is God. He is God." (This song was taken from Psalm 46:9) I would sing those few little words over and over in my mind. Be still (rest) and know He is God. God sees all, knows all, will never forsake me, and has my back. What rest I would enter as I sang that song.

God welcomes us into His rest 
and I am choosing to walk through His door.

"My soul finds rest in God alone." (Psalm 62:1)

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