I’ve tried it all. I’ve done the vitamins, and the cleanses, and the naps. I’ve taken the women’s getaways, and the planning retreats, and the (glorious) evening escapes to Target.
I know what it feels like to be tired. I know what it feels like to be fried, to be overwhelmed, to be D.O.N.E.
I know the kind of fatigue that only we mothers know, and I know how desperate the need for rest.
As mothers we seek rest in many forms. We long for naps and crave quiet.
One thing I have realized recently is that real rest, true rest, is different.
And I know this first-hand. As I type these words, I am sitting (alone) in a quiet Barnes and Noble, on the tail end of a glorious weekend with a good friend of mine. It’s the kind of break moms everywhere fantasize about.
But I want to tell you a secret.
It's wonderful, but it's not the answer. The rest you’re looking for - I'm looking for - isn’t hidden in a Starbucks cafe, or tucked inside the crisp sheets of a luxious beach resort.
True rest, real, soul-lightening, load-lifting, deep-peace-emparting rest is here, in these things.
- A clean conscience - Recently I read that guilt permeates everything you do. If you carry the load of guilt (whatever the reason), then every aspect of your life, every relationship, will be affected. I have so found this to be true. I have learned the right way to handle mom guilt (though I am often so slow to heed this advice). If I long for true rest, I must bring this load of guilt to the Lord. Or I will never, ever find the rest my soul longs for.
- Contentment with my role. I can go on retreat after retreat, but if I'm truly unhappy in the circumstances the Lord has placed me, I will continue to be unsettled. The only way I have found to remedy this is an honest prayer: "God, I'm struggling to accept my lot. Please help me." We can't fix ourselves, but He is faithful and with the command to be joyful, he also provides the strength.
- Freedom from worry - I could write the book on anxiety, and a few sentences here would hardly do the topic justice. I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing me out of my pit, and I want to share the tools that have helped me in this area, and brought true peace into my life.
On-your-knees begging to the Lord. Good things come from God. If you lack wisdom (or strength, or energy, or peace), ask God, who gives freely to all without finding fault. He is able to make all grace abound, so that we can do every good work (James 1:5, paraphrase from 2 Cor. 9:8). These verses give me hope to get down on my knees, on the unvaccummed scratchy carpet in some cluttered bedroom, and beg my Father for help. HE IS THE ONE who gives rest.
Now do not misunderstand. Sleep deprivation is a real thing. Exhaustion, and the need for an undisturbed hour are REAL NEEDS.
But it is important that we know is that our true rest doesn’t come from sleep. It doesn’t come from caffeine or getaways or working working working to make things right. The Lord is our Father, and true rest comes from Him.