First Friday: The Breathtaking Grief of a Child

Grief1

The faith of a child can be breathtaking.

I’ve known it.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve craved it.

But over the last few weeks, I have realized something else entirely can steal your breath when it flows from the hands, the mouth and the heart of a child…

And that something is grief.

As keenly as I’ve felt the unexpected and recent loss of my Daddy, it is no more real than when I have seen it through the eyes of my children.

The moment we told our Grace my dad was gone…

Her heaving sobs.  Her broken heart.  Her understanding.

Ah, her understanding.

The both blessed and blasted grasping of reality and loss that continues to punch me in the stomach.

It is not only what takes my breath from me, but it is also what led me to heave my nearly eight-months pregnant body onto her top bunk to comfort her, despite my husband’s admonition and subsequent near-suffocation when I jumped on him in my attempt to “safely” get down.

I simply could not leave her alone in her grief.

I had to hold her and kiss her and quietly whisper, “I love yous.”

It is there in that bunk bed I learned why a Father bends so closely and keenly and unreservedly in comfort.  Why you can kick and scream and flail and He still holds you with whispered “I love yous.”  Why in the greatest despair you can also feel so strongly and securely held.

But Grace has not been my only teacher…

Our son.

Oh, our son.

The one who fought back little boy tears to say just how deep his love ran for the man he knew. Feelings infused with an unencumbered joy over the years that had been given to us. Made clear in his spoken response to the question, “How do you feel about this, buddy?”

“I am happy…happy because of all the fun things I was able to do with him.”

A declaration made somehow more beautiful a day later when he was watching fireworks and exclaimed, “That one’s for Pop Pop!!!”

For this little guy, grief has been about celebration.

Not only because of the promise of a heaven but also because the time with Pop Pop given to him has been so beautiful.

I see it in his eyes every time he talks about his memories.

It is not grief without hope. It is an expectant joy at the reunion waiting. Where they will eat peanuts and stay up late together and talk about “man stuff” for an eternity.

This.

From a six-year-old boy.

Completely. Breathtaking.

And then…

Well, then, there was the moment we buried my Daddy…

And my Sophie handed tissues out to everyone.

I watched as she wiped my mama’s eyes and patted her hands and unreservedly loved on her. She had no regard for protocol or reverence or the rules. She just simply saw hurt that needed to be salved…

So out came the Kleenex.

A sweet, punch-you-in-the-gut, steal-your-breath-away act of love.

She knows he’s gone.

She says often, “I miss Pops!”

But she also knows I do too…I hear it every time I burst into a flurry of unexpected tears and she asks, “You are sad about Pops?  Me too.  Me too.”  And then I feel it when just like clockwork, she reaches her tiny hand up to my face and wipes my tears as they fall.

She comforts even in her own grief.

I cannot even begin to tell you how like Jesus she is to me in those moments.  Reaching past her little girl hurt to love mightily on another. Seeing the need that is beyond her own sadness.

It is a care more breath “stealing” than taking.

Yes, grief is hard.

But through the eyes of my children, I see so often how it comes from a well of love and the very depth of hope and even faith.

It is not masked with a foreboding sense of fear or hopelessness.

It is just purely love.

A love that cries and hopes and comforts with a faith in what waits for those who love Him.

Oh, Jesus…

May I love and grieve like that.

One breathtaking, punch-you-in-the-gut, beautiful moment at a time.

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.

 

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Encouraging Our Kids to Be Themselves

be yourself

I took my younger daughter shopping for school clothes yesterday. It’s always a process to take her shopping. She’s so petite that it’s difficult to find clothes that she likes that fit.

Up to this point, she’s been a T-shirt kind of girl, but she’s headed off to middle school this year. At one point yesterday, she asked me “Is this what everyone is wearing?” And my heart broke just a little bit.

You see, this is my child who has always marched to the beat of her own drum. This is my child who has never really cared what those around her think. This is my child who has always dared to be different.

But she suffers from the same thoughts that plague us all. Am I going to fit in? Will people like me? What if I’m different?

A little bit of fitting in is fine. We all need to fit in to some degree, but if we let those questions become the guiding light of our lives and our kids’ lives, then we lose a little something of ourselves. We lose little something of who God made us and our kids to be.

Because the truth is that God didn’t make our kids so they would “fit in.” He made each one of them to be fantastically and uniquely them. He made each one of them in His image, but He did it in such a way that they are made in the image of no other person on earth.

Too often, I do a terrible job of encouraging my kids to be themselves. I worry about whether they fit in instead of encouraging them to follow their own path. Instead of rejoicing in who they are, I see other kids and wonder why they can’t be more like that other child.

God tells us that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” and “God’s workmanship.” He tells us He has plans for us. He tells us that we are loved. Yet so often we ignore those words and focus on how we’re different from those around us. We focus on the moments where we don’t fit in.

Here’s the thing, though, when we try to fit in, when we try to fit into a mold that wasn’t used to make us, we only find ourselves miserable. We hide who we truly are for the opinion or approval of people who don’t matter. And I think that must make God sad.

Instead of trying to force ourselves or our kids into a copycat mold of what society says is acceptable, we need to be aware of what God says is acceptable. We need to be examples for our kids of people who care more about what God thinks than we do about what others think. And we need to encourage them to do the same.

We need to encourage our kids to make decisions based on who God made them to be and the path that God has asked them to walk. And we need to remember that those decisions might be different even from what we would choose. Because our kids aren’t made in our image either. God’s calling for them might be different than what we would choose for them. But it’s not our job to choose for them; it’s our job to guide them to make the choices that God has for them.

So as we embark on the new school year, put some focus on helping your kids become the people that God created them to be — fearfully and wonderfully made creations who are the image of Him.

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A Reminder to Be Intentional

intentional

My older daughter is at camp this week with our church’s middle school group. She’s gone for five days with no phone. Our only contact with her is pictures that her leaders are posting on Instagram. She looks like she’s having a blast.

Both girls were gone a couple of weeks ago for a week with my parents. Honestly, I didn’t find myself missing the girls too much then. I really needed the break.

But this week, I find myself really missing my older daughter. With just the three of us at home, it’s like a piece of us is missing. As my girls get older, we see less of them. Between school, practice and church, we have to make an effort to have family time. But even when we don’t see a lot of each other, our family dynamics are designed around four people. When one of the girls is gone, it changes the dynamics.

I love the one-on-one time I’m getting with my younger daughter. We’re getting all her school shopping done and heading out to see a movie today. But this week without my older daughter reminds me that we have limited time left with her. She’s headed into eighth grade this year, which means we really only have five years left with her at home.

As I ponder those five years, I realize there’s so much I still want to teach her. There’s so much love I still want to shower her with. There are so many conversations I still want to have. As happy as I am that she’s growing into a healthy, happy young lady, I find myself wishing for just a little more time for her to be little.

When you bring your kids home from the hospital, 18 years looks like a really long time. And then you blink and she’s 13. Blink again and she’s heading off to college. One more blink and she’s married with kids of her own.

Although sometimes the days are long, time in general seems to fly. I wouldn’t stop it for the world. Every age and stage brings new adventures.

But as we face these last five years with my daughter at home, I’m reminded that I need to be as intentional with my time with my girls now as I was when they were little. When they were younger, we were intentional about creating a solid foundation of faith and love for them. Now, as they’re getting older, I find we need to be intentional in teaching them how to work through problems on their own. We have to be intentional about teaching them to recognize potentially dangerous situations. We need to offer fewer rules and more guidance. And we have to be intentional about letting them make their own mistakes.

Our need to be intentional in the way we parent our kids doesn’t end when they hit the teenage years, but the things we need to be intentional about do. As our kids get older, they still need our wisdom and love. They just need it in different ways.

So, when my daughter gets back from camp and our family dynamics shift back to the way they are designed, I’m going to use this reminder of the time we have left with her to prompt me to ask God to help me remember to be intentional in the way I parent both my girls.

Where do you need to refocus your efforts to be intentional in being intentional in the way you parent your kids?

 

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Make Time to Listen

Listen

I took my older daughter to the Sporting KC exhibition match against Manchester City last night. It was just her and me. During halftime, I looked at her and said, “When was the last time just you and I did anything together?” She smiled and shrugged.

Truth is, though, that it’s been a while since my older daughter and I have done anything together without her sister besides drive to and from soccer practice. Part of that is because my daughter doesn’t always think I’m the coolest person to hang out with. Part of it is because her sister has taken up a lot of energy and time this year.

While I try hard to give my girls equal attention, it doesn’t always come out that way. And I refuse to feel guilty about it. There are seasons where one child is going to need you more than the other one. And in those seasons, it’s fine to give one child more attention and time. But the trick is to not just assume your other kids are just fine while you focus on the one having the most trouble.

That’s why it’s so important to set aside some alone time with each kid. It doesn’t have to be a big event like a Sporting game. It can be the small moments — in the car, at the grocery or just going out for a Coke. The important thing is to remember to check in with your kids even when it seems things are going well.

Our kids need our guidance and wisdom (whether they think so or not) in both the good times and the rough moments. They need to know that we’re available to listen when things are going well so they’ll come talk to us when things aren’t going their way. They need to know that we care about the little things and the big things.

Because that’s how God treats us. He’s interested in everything about us. There’s no concern too small or joy too little to share with God. Luke 12:7 says “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” If God knows the number of hairs on your head, then He’s definitely interested in what is going on in your life.

As we model our parenting on the way God treats us, we need to pay attention to the little things in our kids’ lives. We need to make time to just hang out with our kids, to hear what’s on their hearts in the everyday moments. Because it’s in those moments that we can pour love and wisdom into our kids.

Are you making time to listen to your kids today?

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What Do You Say When Someone Else’s Failure Affects Your Kids?

failing

One of the pastors at our church resigned this week due to a moral failing. Unfortunately, this is a road that my husband and I have walked before. But this is the first time we’ve had to explain it to our kids.

After a fun weekend at the lake, we chose to use our time in the car on the way home to talk to our girls about it. It was tough. My older daughter has vague memories of the last time we went through this, but this was a new concept for my younger daughter. She had a hard time wrapping her head around the idea that someone she loved and admired — who worked at the church — could do something that would cost him the opportunity to serve in that capacity.

As hard as it is for us as adults to understand why sin has such a hold on us, it’s even tougher for our kids. Many kids see everything in black and white, right and wrong. It’s hard for them to understand how we can still love someone yet that person would not be allowed to continue doing the things they had been doing.

So, what do you tell your kids when someone they admire fails? How do you explain that sometimes love and forgiveness isn’t enough to take away the consequences of our choices? How do you help them understand that no failing is too great for God’s love?

You simply do the best you can. You pray for wisdom, then you start talking. Talk to your kids honestly and at an age-appropriate level. Even though it would be easy to sugar-coat the truth to save our kids from the pain and questions, it’s better to tell them an age-appropriate version of the truth. In many situations, they’re going to hear it from someone else anyway. Wouldn’t you rather they hear it from you first?

We put the focus on choices. When something like this happens, we talk to our kids about what happens when they make bad choices. We talk about how even though we love them, many times there are consequences for poor choices. Then we simply explain that the person they admire made a poor choice and sometimes when you’re a grown-up, the consequences are greater than being sent to your room or having to apologize.

We also place an emphasis on love. We talk with our kids about how someone’s poor choices don’t mean we stop loving them. We can disagree with what they have chosen to do, but it doesn’t mean we can never talk to them again or pray for them. God doesn’t stop loving us when we make a poor choice, and He doesn’t expect us to stop loving others.

We talk about forgiveness. We talk with our kids about how poor choices often require forgiveness — from God and from other people. Forgiveness from God is between God and that person, but forgiveness from those who have been hurt doesn’t depend on the other person saying they’re sorry. We can forgive someone for the hurt they have caused without ever talking to them — because forgiveness is more about healing our own hearts than it is about the other person.

Last, we talk about not putting people on a pedestal. The truth is that we’re all human. We all fail. Some of our failures affect other people. Some of our failures affect only us. When we give our admiration to humans, we’re setting ourselves up to be hurt. We need to place God on a pedestal — not people. People will always have the tendency to fail. God never will.

Dealing with the hurt and confusion of our kids when someone they admire fails is tough. But it is an opportunity for us to help them understand that choices have consequences. And it’s also an opportunity for us to teach them about the power of grace and forgiveness.

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We All Make Ripples

ripples

I attended a standing-room only event yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t a soccer game. It wasn’t a hockey game. It wasn’t a concert. It was a funeral for a 9-year-old girl.

I hadn’t known this little girl long. In January, I started teaching writing at a local homeschool enrichment program, and this girl was one of my students. She was so smart, so creative and so much fun. She had a sweet spirit and a smile that you couldn’t help smiling back at.

Her death was oh so unexpected. When the head of the enrichment program called to tell me, I was tongue-tied. I couldn’t find anything to say. I struggled with why God would take a little girl who had so much life ahead of her.

As I looked around the room yesterday at the hundreds of people who had shown up for her celebration of life, though, I was struck by how many people this little girl’s life had touched. Every person in that room had had their lives affected by this one 9-year-old girl with the big smile and bigger spirit.

And I was reminded that our lives are like ripples in a pond. When you throw a rock into a pond, it creates ripples and those ripples spread throughout the water. We make ripples, too. We touch lives we don’t even know we are touching. Every action we make, every word we speak makes ripples.

Yesterday, we got to see the effect of the ripples of a 9-year-old’s life. We got to see the lives that were touched. And we were reminded that every life matters. Every word spoken or not spoken makes a ripple. Every smile, every action makes another ripple.

I don’t know why God allowed this little girl’s life to end so soon. I’ll probably struggle with that for a while, but I am oh so thankful that the ripples in her life touched mine.

And I’m reminded that the ripples that we make matter. And I want my ripples to change others for the better.

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Is Your Marriage on the Back Burner? (Or How Doctor Who Reminded Me Why I Love My Husband)

marriage1

“Are you crying?” my husband asked as the tears streamed down my face.

Sniff. “Yes.” I mean who wouldn’t cry when the Doctor and Rose have just been separated forever? (Yes, we’re nerds, and yes, we were watching Doctor Who. We’re a bit late to the Whovian party and just finished up season 2.)

“You do know they’re fictional characters, right?”

With those words, I was reminded why I fell in love with this man. He makes me smile.

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about my marriage in this space, mainly because my husband is a super private person. But today, I wanted to share just a bit.

My kids are gone for the week, spending time with the grandparents on a trip to Chicago. They’re having a great time, and my husband and I have had time to do some things we haven’t done in a long time — go out to dinner, have a conversation of more then three seconds before someone interrupts, watch TV together.

It’s been a long, busy year since last August. Between homeschooling, working and simply being parents to two active girls, our marriage kind of got shoved to the side. Conversations were had in short snippets. Many days we only saw each other in passing. Weeknight dinners went from family affairs to eating in shifts. And our marriage simmered on the back burner.

It was a season, and marriages can survive those seasons. However, our marriages can’t survive years of simmering on the back burner. At some point, we have to put them back on the front burner and turn up the heat.

It’s way too easy to push our spouses to the end of the priority line. Their needs aren’t immediate. They can wait. But when we put our kids’ needs and their activities in front of our marriages, our marriages end up in trouble.

We have to be as deliberate in building our marriages as we are in raising our kids. Because marriage takes work. Marriages crumble when we stop working on them, when we stop making them a priority.

That’s why when my husband asked me last night if I knew the Doctor and Rose were fictional characters I smiled. And I remembered some of the reasons I fell in love with this man in the first place. My husband is a great dad. He’s an awesome person. He’s the total opposite of me — quiet, thoughtful with a dry, slightly off-kilter sense of humor. But too often it’s easier to focus on the things that annoy me rather than things that drew me to him in the first place.

That’s why it’s so important to take time for our marriages, to not let our kids consume us to the point that our spouse is just another person that lives in our house. Genesis 2:22-24 says:

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

God designed husbands and wives to work as a unit. It says “they become one flesh.” That doesn’t just mean the obvious. It means they function together, they work together, they weather the hard times together.

We can’t be one with our spouse unless we’re spending time with them on a regular basis. We can’t function as a unit unless we’re taking the time to talk to our spouse. We can’t create a relationship together unless we remember what it is we loved about them in the first place.

So, today, evaluate where your marriage falls on your priority list. If it has fallen to the bottom, work to bring it back up to the top. Because one of the most important things we can give our kids is an example of what marriage looks like. The opinions they form of marriage now are the ones that they’ll use when creating their own marriage.

Spend some time with your spouse today. Reconnect. Remind yourself why you fell in love to start with. Even if you’re nerds like us, and it takes a couple of episodes of Doctor Who to make that happen.

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Can I Invade My Child’s Privacy?

privacy

I was listening to talk radio yesterday when I heard this story about a teenager who was being blackmailed with a nude photo she had sent to someone she had only met online. I immediately thought, “Here’s one more thing to talk to my girls about.”

The Internet and its surrounding technology has brought some great advances into our worlds. Information is constantly at our fingertips. We can communicate easily with people not just in our own communities but anywhere in the world. But with those advances come new dangers as well.

It would be easy to just tell our kids they can’t use social media. It would be easy to simply remove that concern from our homes. But, here’s the thing: Social media and the Internet aren’t going away. Our kids are going to need to know how to navigate technology and social media to get a job. The trick is teaching them how to navigate those waters without drowning in them as teenagers.

Our kids are growing up in a world where social media is the way they connect. It’s how they talk to their friends. And the truth is a lot of jobs revolve around the Internet and even social media. Not knowing how to use those tools can seriously handicap our kids in the future.

As I listened to the radio yesterday, I was amazed at the number of people who called in and said they don’t monitor their kids’ Internet, social media and phone usage. Too often, it seems we hand our kids these tools with their hidden dangers and expect them to figure out how to use them responsibly on their own. You wouldn’t hand your child the keys to the car and tell him to go for a drive on the first day he got his permit. In the same way, you don’t want to give your kids social media and simply expect them to know how to use it well.

There’s a lot of debate among parents about whether it’s OK to invade your child’s privacy by looking at their texts and their social media posts. Here’s the thing, God didn’t give you your kids to be their best friends. He gave you your kids so you could be their parent. He tells us our job is to guide our kids to follow Him. He tells us it’s our job to train our kids so they know what’s right when they’re older. That includes navigating technology.

I check my girls’ phones at least twice a week. I read texts and social media posts. I look to see what games are on their phones. I don’t do it because I don’t trust my girls. I do it because my girls are 11 and 13 (just for the record, my 11-year-old doesn’t have social media access). They don’t have the life experience to recognize dicey situations. They don’t always have the judgment to recognize when a situation is getting out of hand. I do it because it’s my job to teach them how to recognize those situations and how to deal with them.

We need to view teaching our kids to navigate technology as just another thing to teach them. Just like we teach them to brush their teeth and cross the street, we need to be intentional in teaching them how to safely and graciously use technology. We need to show them how to use the tools of technology to be light in the darkness. We need to teach them how to recognize dangerous situations online just as we teach them to recognize dangerous situations in real life.

As the world around us changes with technological advances, we need to simply look at those advances as another way to teach our kids to become more like Jesus. We need to view those moments as an opportunity to teach our kids just another life skill. Because that technology isn’t going away, and it’s part of our kids’ world. It’s our job to teach them how to use it. Even if it means invading their privacy.

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Love in a Green Coffee Cup

green cup

My dear friend Sara Cormany, who posts here on the first Friday of every month, said goodbye to her dad for the final time last week. In honor of her dad, I want to re-run this beautiful post Sara wrote back in February. Please keep Sara and her family in your prayers as they deal with this unexpected loss.

When I think about the love of my father, I think of a green coffee cup.

I know it seems an odd thought.

That a silly little thing that found its way onto our wedding registry from Crate and Barrel years ago would reflect 36 years of father-daughter affection.

What is perhaps even odder is that there was a time where my husband and I actually thought we were Crate and Barrel people.   I assure you, we are not. We are mismatched, ever-loving messes.

Our dinnerware.  Our sock drawers.  Our linen closets.

We matched once upon a time and then life took over.

Plates broke.  Washers ate socks.  And beach towels became bath towels.

But somehow, even in our mismatchiness, the mugs have made it.

I suspect it is because they are never used save for the days my Daddy comes to visit.

The tradition began nearly eight years ago when my Grace was very young.  Every time Pops would come to dote on his grandgirl or babysit, I would find a green mug sitting on my counter.  At some point during his visit, it had been pulled out of the cupboard and filled with water to wet Pop’s whistle.

And every time I would find it, I would smile.

I mean, who uses a coffee cup for water?

My Daddy, that’s who.

It was shortly after I realized how much it warmed my heart that I made it a point to tell him,

“Dad, promise me you won’t ever stop using those green cups…each time I see one on my counter top, it reminds me you were here.”

In his quiet way, he smiled, laughed a bit and nodded.

And every time since, even if he hasn’t needed a drink, just before he leaves, my Daddy pulls a green cup down from the shelf, fills it with water, takes a sip and says,

“Just so you know that I was here!”

Makes. My. Life.

Sometimes, I rinse it out right away, smiling as it goes into the dishwasher.  Other times, I leave it next to the sink so that when things get rough, I see it.  And I am reminded just how much I am loved.

But no matter how long it stays, the sight of it strikes me to my core.

Because a father’s love can change everything.

Especially when you are in the nitty, gritty throes of mamahood.

Yes, this gig is rewarding and fleeting and precious. But it is also tough and daily and sometimes, thankless. And what will often keep us moving one foot in front of the other are the tangible reminders that our Father is with us, loving us, holding us.

It may come from a friend bringing you that life-giving cup of coffee.  Or the kind words of a stranger that lift your heart in the precise moment you’d given up.  Or the little note your baby leaves you that says, “Mom, you rock!” two days after she said she didn’t like you anymore.

Those are God’s green coffee cups.

So don’t miss them, girls.

Because as simple and unsurprising as they may seem, every blessed one will remind you just how much your Daddy loves you. How specifically He has heard your heart’s cry.  And how closely He will bend down to salve a need.

Be it in big ways, in small ways or in silly ways.

For in every remembrance, we are reminded just “how great is the love our Father has lavished on us…”

In coffee. In kind words. In love notes.

All that comes as an answer to anguished and exhausted prayers.

Our Daddy purposefully pulls down a cup from the cupboard, fills it with water, takes a sip and says,

“Just so you know, sweet girl of mine, that in every minute, every moment and every mismatched mess, I was here.”

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.

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Just Tired

weary

I have the only child in the world who can go to bed uninjured and wake up injured. My older daughter walked into the kitchen this morning and said, “My shoulder hurts really bad.”

I almost lost it right then. After some discussion, we decided she probably slept on it wrong and pinched a nerve. Hopefully, it will feel better as the day goes on.

After that discussion, I went to take my shower. I stood in the shower and cried. It wasn’t even 8:30, but it had been a morning. The injured shoulder was the last straw. And I was already tired. Truth be told, I’ve been tired for a while. Just tired.

And that’s what I cried out to God, standing there in the shower with tears running down my face. “God, I’m just so tired.”

Tired of refereeing bickering children.

Tired of trying to make everyone happy and succeeding in making no one happy.

Tired of fighting with knees that have decided they don’t want to work all that well.

Tired of the mental battle to believe that I’m beautiful when the image I see in the mirror doesn’t match the ones on the magazine covers.

Tired of trying to juggle work, family, summer schedules and entitled attitudes.

Just tired.

As I stood there, I was reminded of Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I looked up and said, “So does that mean I get a nap?”

While I wish that verse meant I get about a 3-day nap, it doesn’t. But it does mean that all those burdens weighing down our shoulders, the things making us so tired — the stressed-out husband, the bickering kids, the struggling self-image — don’t have to be ours to carry alone. Jesus said He would carry them for us if we lay them at His feet.

Too often, I want to carry those things alone. I think I can handle it all and do it all myself. But I can’t because it all just makes me tired. And a tired, soul-weary mom and wife doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s only when I lay all of those burdens at the foot of the cross and accept the rest for my soul that Jesus offers that I have any hope of being enough for anyone — enough for my kids, enough for my husband, enough for me.

So, won’t you join me today. Take advantage of Jesus’ promise to give you rest. You might not get a 3-day nap, but when your soul is at rest, you’ll find the peace and joy you need to make it through the day.

Categories: Motherhood, Rest | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments