I lay awake with an unsettled feeling. I searched my mind going over my day, picturing names and faces until I settled on one of my kid’s tucked in bed upstairs.
Yes, that’s the one. She’s keeping me up tonight.
I thought about the tough day, the words we’d flung at each other and I prayed for her. And I prayed for me.
The night before I started thinking about how expensive college is going to be and stayed up an extra hour pondering it.
Two nights earlier, I didn’t rest well because of a tension headache from overthinking all I needed to get done.
The week before that is was the flu, strain A, that put a feverish second grader on a pallet wheezing through the night and I slept with one eye open.
I keep a notepad next to my bed and it’s always got something on it in the morning. Some worry, some reminder, some whispered prayer, something to do.
This morning’s said, “Call ortho. Tell son to stop eating chips.”
Every season of parenting is different and the same. We never move past the worry, the wonder, the what-the-heck-am-I-doing-wrong thoughts, or the bone-tired weary responsibility of raising these little people.
We work hard.
We love harder.
We look ahead at the weeks To Do List of grocery shopping and cleaning and baking and thawing that turkey followed by weeks of Christmas shopping and tree decorating and merry making and we are tired. And not just the sleepy kind (although yes, what a day in bed wouldn’t fix).
Bone-weary, worn out.
Can you feel it? The noise, the never-ending piles of laundry, dishes and demands.
And some days I think we just need permission to leave the worry and the doubts, the fear and the unknown. To walk away. To turn it off. To say no. To take time for ourselves. To lay down the burden.
Here it is.
Here’s the permission to rest, to be quiet, to reflect. To be.
We can kill ourselves trying to create a perfect holiday season or rest in the fact that perfection is overrated.
This week as we prepare for company and cooking, family and friends, let’s put ourselves on the list.
God didn’t tell us to be thankful.
He told us to give thanks.
And we know all about giving, don’t we?
We give our kids the last cookie we were saving for ourselves.
We give them our hoodie off our own back because they are cold at the park. We shiver through.
We give to our children first. Because that’s what we do.
Giving thanks might just sound like another thing on our list. Someone else who needs something from us.
But here’s the beauty of giving him Thanks when we’re empty, tired and worn down, worried and burdened:
In exchange, He gives us rest.
This week, take a moment to put your feet up. Trade your worry and doubt for peace and rest. Give God your exhaustion and He will renew you. “He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s,” Psalm 103:4