Some family members sat across from me in the living room while my Little Love happily played on the floor between us. They asked me what I was doing to find rest. I responded about how I had begun reading for fun on Sundays during naptime.* That was something, right? I moved on.
A week or two later, during the first week of the spring session of the mother’s group at Crossroads the question we were to discuss was “How do you seek rest?” The women around me spoke up and I sat quietly fumbling for anything to say. I muttered something about the new planner I had purchased and trying to have a plan each day. It is true that this was helping me to accomplish more, but truly I was treading water and I didn’t even know it. I moved on.
As summer arrived, life changed as Jason began traveling regularly for the first time in over a year. Life seemed to be moving along, but as it did exhaustion was beginning to surface alongside two companions, anger and impatience. These were directed inwardly and toward my poor husband who deserved none of it. At one point I found myself reading a bunch of Kevin Leman books, one about stress. It was like he knew what was going on, but I was still in a place of thinking I could handle everything on my plate. Of course I could. I moved on.
The schedule on my calendar in August was relentless. Jason traveling. Commitments in the evenings. Home projects. Food to make for more than just our family. No breaks. But something had to break. It turned out it was me.
I found myself crying in the arms of my husband’s arms, him asking what was wrong. After weathering the first two weeks, I looked at the rest of the month unable to figure out how I would survive the rest. He asked what he could do. I wasn’t sure.
I was reading my Bible trying to hold on. I was spending time with our family on the weekends, with my girlie at other times. I wasn’t spending much time with just my husband. I really didn’t have any time for me, except in the shower at the end of the day. It was all too much. Jason listened telling me that he had been trying to tell me this for months. I know he had. Finally, I knew. I couldn’t keep going like this.
The crazy thing is that some place in me I felt like I should be able to do this without a break. The truth is the only one who is supposed to be able to do everything is God. I am not God…though sometimes I try to be in my desire to control the circumstances around me (mostly without realizing it). The crazy thing is that while I was trying to read God’s Word and connect with Him I seemed to be unaware of the way He was speaking to me in the midst of my circumstances all along. While I felt like time spent in His word was dry; He was trying to breathe life into my life if I just had eyes to see and would be courageous enough to trust him and give him control.
He was calling out:
"Come to me, [you] 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 soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matthew 11:28-30
So it began. Jason stayed with our Little Love while I ran some errands. Although I had no pressing commitments, I was rushing the whole time. I discovered how inwardly rushed I had become. It turns out it is a lot easier to get into a rut than to find the way out. I have embarked on the journey though. I am working on asking for help from family. I am also working on finding people to trust my Little Love with when family is not free. I am doing all this very imperfectly, but as I have been taking small steps forward I have found that I have a bit more energy to do what I knew that I could.
That seems so very backwards, yet it is true. When we rest we have the energy to work, to create, to respond.
I am learning to rest again. I am learning to follow those little nudges of the Holy Spirit again that lead to peace and life and love and rest so that I can rise to whatever the calendar brings and then some. As I do better, I hope you will find me typing away and sharing the beautiful journey of becoming with you.**
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we pursue Jesus’ promise that when we come to Him we will find rest. May His rest reach into the deepest parts of who we are and breathe His life into us spilling forth His radiant love.
*I read often, nursing has been great for that, but it had been months since I had read any fiction for fun. I tend to devour it and nonfiction is much easier to put down for chores.
**While I hope this means I will be able to post more regularly, I plan to rest as needed. So if you find yourself enjoying this space on A Becoming Life and not knowing when to expect a post, perhaps you might consider joining the email list to get the next post in your email whether it is one week or a month or a few months!