I’m not very good at resting. This is a reoccurring theme in my days, made more prominent by the kind of sleep I’m able to get at night this far into pregnancy. There are times when I plow through an entire day with so much energy I’m kind of amazed, and days (like today) when I have so much I want to accomplish but not enough gusto to keep up with myself.
It’s hard to rest if you’re always looking to the next thing that needs to be done.
God makes it very clear we’re supposed to take time for restoration. One day for every seven is a pretty specific instruction, although so many of us have our own definitions of what a sabbath or rest might look like. I think in some ways this is left to translation, but in others, there are clear guidelines for how we put down our normal lives in exchange for prayer, worship, family time and an all-around recharge. If cooking brings you great joy and allows you to serve your family from your heart, then cooking on a sabbath day is entirely your prerogative. If there are things that restore and recharge you (or the people around you) in a way that honors the day you’re shaping and the week you’re preparing for ahead, then I imagine it is honoring to God to do them.
Sometimes I don’t stop at this though…there is always more to be taken care of and more to check off the list.
Certain seasons in life slow us down, and I feel like there’s good reason for this. For someone like me, a life without slower seasons would mean no slowing down until I crash (and the crashing part isn’t pretty). I recognize that living at a slower, more intentional pace is likely more profitable in the long run, which is why I wholeheartedly acknowledge my downfall in this area, even as I try to improve. Occasionally, I wonder why I was created as such a night owl, burning the midnight oil almost always and trying to pack in more than necessary after the kids go to bed. I function fairly well on less sleep than average, but I know that’s not a positive choice long term. I have to fight the drive in myself to keep going, and instead, to quiet down.
Isn’t that life in so many ways? Figuring out how to quiet ourselves in certain areas in order to hear and receive better in others?
The end of pregnancy is a bit of a conundrum for me. I am certainly more tired and definitely slowing down from a physical standpoint, but my mind is going constantly and shows no sign of stopping soon. It’s possible that I live in a little bit of unnecessary fear that baby’s arrival will consume so much of who I am that I absolutely need to take care of a month’s worth of items now, just to head it off at the pass. I recognize that this doesn’t demonstrate a lot of trust in God’s ability to carry me forward (even though I know he will), nor does it leave room for the fact that life will move on if things aren’t in perfect order.
Things won’t be in perfect order–not ever. Not because I couldn’t work crazy-hard to have everything in its exact right place, but because life is life, and you can never predict what new little hiccup is waiting. This isn’t a bad thing at all. I think it just calls us to lean more heavily into grace, and to trust that the world does not stop turning when we don’t have things all figured out.
Even this third time around, I’m learning again and again.
I’m writing in the afternoon today, because life allowed space for that, and because J and I are headed out to dinner with friends tonight and I don’t want to come home to realize I’ve got writing to do at a late hour. (That would be my typical M.O., but I’m rethinking and reordering right now, giving rest my best shot as I’m able.)
Even though I’m thirty four and a wife and mom, I’m still growing up in big areas. I continue to be challenged to become better–not for the sake of the world, but for the sake of my family and in the interest of honoring who God has called me to be and what work he is calling me to accomplish. While my head and heart are so focused on baby and this coming change for our family right now, I can tell that God’s focus is on birthing new things in me as he brings life through me into the world.
it is always so humbling to be shaped more and more, and humbling to trust that i have a perfect Guide while so far to go,