How Moms Can Really Find Peace
New motherhood can surely make anyone spin, but I didn't seem able to stop the spiral- at least not without falling over. It became harder to dress each day, to accomplish simple tasks. My productivity waned, but internally my mind was on a tear. I woke most nights in a sweat, worried my baby wasn't breathing and urgently rushing to the crib to check on her. I obsessed about how she nursed, if she was meeting every milestone, and if I was doing enough.
Our cozy home was filled with new index cards, scrawled with instructions to myself about what to clean, how to cook, where to be. Everything had to be calculated. If I veered too far from my plan, anxiety gripped me. I was running ragged. My own thoughts were an echo chamber whispering that I would never get any of it right.
My husband and I stared at one another across the table in the evenings, and I knew my eyes were dull, that some of the light had gone from them. I was mechanical and unfeeling, just inserting reaction and smiles and nods where they seemed appropriate. " Hmmm... Yes...Definitely." Then smile. My personality was slipping away in a postpartum fog, and I didn't know how to connect with anyone. I worried that if I did reach out, they'd discover I was reeling inside, that my heart was in shambles. So I listened serenely, fooling everyone (I thought) as I baked cupcakes and hosted playgroups, always playing a part.
When I faced myself alone, there was no hiding. I'd open my journal and even my pen lay immobile. I cried out for God to draw near, to give me words to pray, but my voice was parched. And through it all, God and I spoke less and less. Sometimes I could hear His voice, but it was no longer a melody in my heart. Instead, I'd begun to become comfortable with a different, more chaotic tempo. I filled my calendar with endless activity, never allowing myself time to slow. I tried to secure for myself days when silence couldn't catch me and I'd never have to be alone.
How many of my sisters have felt the burden of overloaded days and wondered where all their time has gone? how many of us sway to the beat of busyness, only to find ourselves panting for breath? We can so easily ache for peace even as we fear what we will hear if we are truly quiet. Restless, we wear the weight of work, of performance, of expectations, of our own distractions and addictions. And before we know it we are living in discord.
When the psalmists of the Bible had worried that their circumstances or their burdens might swallow them up, they had not withdrawn, as I tended to...they had drawn close. Where I tiptoed before God and others, more content in being busy, and afraid to face a quiet emptiness within, they had shared emotions that were big and loud and desperate honestly before God. Their prayers were honest and intimate.
If you find yourself in a place today where the chaos feels ok because it is something at least, where you fear quieting your heart to God's peace- I want to encourage you that our stillness guides our knowing and opens our hearts to heaven. When the Lord whispers, "Be still..." He instructs us with a promise and an invitation to see Him. There is a quiet hush that heralds knowing God.
"Be still and know that I am God. Stand Firm and see the salvation of the Lord." Psalm 46:10
Moms can really find peace when they draw close. God will meet you there. True peace, true comfort, true rest are waiting in little moments of pause and interlude, right in the middle of your mad-dash days. Right in His arms.
Blessings to you sweet mamas,
This post is in part, an except from Kristen Kill's new book, Finding Selah: The Simple Practice of Peace When You Need It Most. If you are feeling restless, or if there is an ache in you that cries out for peace and beauty, join Kristen as she explores the root of our longing, and the true desire of our hearts, as well as how God meets us and satisfies us right in the middle of our need.
Share this post: