I’m a new mom. This means when I hear someone who doesn’t have a kid say emphatically, “I’m SO tired”, I roll my eyes. I’m sure moms have been doing this behind my back for years. Now I know. There is no tired like motherhood tired. Not when I was a student, not when I’ve stayed up all night studying, not when I’ve gone out late many nights in a row, not when I’ve been jet lagged from crossing the ocean, not in my days teaching 3rd-9th graders. No tired compares to this complete physical and mental exhaustion. I never get more then one 3-5 hours stretch in the night. “Sleeping in” doesn’t exist. Some days, sleeping when the baby sleeps is only possible if I want to ignore the piles of dishes and laundry, and I often do. But when my son is awake, he needs all of me focused on all of him all of the time. I know this changes as they grow. I know this is a severely demanding season. I know.
So where does rest fit in?
This weekend I attended a women’s gathering called Deeply Rooted here in Chicago. Some women in my church wanted a retreat type conference to offer worship, brilliant speakers, and rest. A time to simply be with God and try to figure out what he’s teaching us at this moment. I only made it to one evening of worship and a speaker, but the topic, Rest, has stayed with me. How do I rest in ways I didn’t before? What things are most important in life now and how to prioritize? What does rest look like for me today? This week?
Kathy Khong was the speaker, and among other things, she shared the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. Through this refresher, I’ve realized all I really need to do is sit and be with Jesus. That’s what Mary did, and Jesus told Martha “Mary has chosen what is better”. All God wants is my relationship with him to grow, and (not from the story, but my own personal life) for me to take good care of my baby boy. All the other things, if they do not happen, so what? They don’t happen. I only have so much energy in the day, and often these days, Theodore needs every single bit of it.
I’ll keep trying to do my laundry, dishes, keep the room clean, exercise, celebrate friends’ birthdays, write obligatory thank you notes, prepare for holidays. But. If these things don’t happen right now, that’s just fine. Those are things that demand my time and energy, but I don’t need them.
What I NEED is time with Jesus, a cup of coffee, and baby snuggles. And I can rest in that, look for new ways to unwind, look for different moments of rest in my day, ask for help when I need it, and rest. Rest. Rest. It just looks quite different for this tired mama.