Fatigue Is Not A Sin

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It's the same scene, on repeat.

It's 7:30 a.m., and I'm in bed. Still. The boys are watching TV. (One of the few shows we let them watch, but still...). The baby is snuggled up beside me, finally asleep after a night of gassy/poopy/hungry/who knows what.  I should be up making breakfast and combing hair (like all the other good moms I know) but I shut my eyes for *just a few more* minutes. I feel bad about it, but I'm Just. So. Tired.

And thirty minutes later, already behind and bedraggled for the day, I hang my head and brush my teeth. Why do I just have to be so, so tired? Why can't I get it together?

And I wear the guilt around with my slippers.

In the story of Gethsemane, where Jesus is about to die, and the disciples fall asleep...remember that story? Can I confess something to you? Obviously I feel horrible for Jesus. Horribly, painfully grateful for his loneliness and fear. But you know what? (whispering this) I've always felt a teensy bit bad for those disciples, too.

I'm sure they wanted to stay up. I'm sure they tried to keep awake. And I feel bad for them. I guess I know the painful guilt of having a willing, wanting spirit, but a horribly weak and withered flesh.

As we all know, there's nothing like motherhood to prove just how weak and withered your flesh is, exactly.

I had a thought recently, after months of carrying around that awful, nameless load of guilt - I wonder what Jesus thinks of me right now. No, really. How does he see me? Is it as bad as I thought? When I feel wrung out, and at the end of my rope, and dragging myself through the day...is He mad at me?

It's an easy answer, when I put it like that. It sounds silly - God mad at us for being tired moms? That doesn't sound like the God I know. Being tired isn't a sin, right?

But if you're like me, it doesn't stop there. Maybe being tired isn't wrong, but what if your tiredness leads to sin? What then?

For if you are like me, being tired makes everything harder. You're grumpy. You worry. You're absent with your kids and terse with your husband. You scroll mindlessly through Facebook when you should be praying, or playing Candyland, or just something more productive.

And what, then? How does He see us? What surprise, and relief this week, as it hit me - It Doesn't Matter.

We need Him when we're supermoms; we need Him when we're tired. We need Him when we're praying; we need Him when we're sinning. We. Just. Need. Him.

And how does He treat us in our need?

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." {Hebrews 4:14}

Sweet mama, I know how hard it is to serve when you are tired. I know how it brings out the worst in you. But I know that there is no mom so weak or grouchy or lazy that she cannot come to Jesus. Right now, you can come. Friend, I know how serving through fatigue can feel like wringing water from a dry washcloth. But I know the One who renews our strength. 

 I pray for you, today, as I pray for me. That He would give us wisdom to know when to feel his grace and take a nap - or when to plunge through the tired and allow Him to provide the strength. I pray that he would teach us that in our weakness, he is strong. I pray that he would use our weakness to draw our children to Jesus. Because after all, He is the One we all need most.

Jessica

"smartter" each day

Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt used to be a librarian and an English teacher, but now she works much harder just being a mom. You can find her blogging at “Smartter” Each Day where she pokes fun at the everyday challenges of motherhood, shares all her delicious allergy-free recipes, and rejoices that God loves her no matter what phobia she’s recently developed. She is blessed to the moon and back with two energetic little boys and a husband who actually never worries.

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