My parents visited us a couple weeks ago. Mom would not stop bugging me about a bird feeder! Finally I hung one up just to please her. But you know – I have been having so much fun trying to capture these little guys mid-flight. They are so cute! Mostly sparrows, but then there’s this jay that keeps coming and chasing the others away. Jays are so ornery! Bossy and obnoxious. But strikingly beautiful.
You’ve all heard it: “Sleep when your baby sleeps”, but really? Have they actually tried running a household while sleeping when baby sleeps? I mean, the baby is awake for the grand total of 1.5 hours, and 97.2 percent of that time is consumed with changing their diaper, feeding them, and trying to get them back to sleep. In the approximately 3 minutes remaining, it is pretty hard to make a meal, launder grungy clothes, clean the bathroom, and comb your hair. Let alone get the nail polish out of the carpet in your toddler’s bedroom, or actually eat a meal.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me who never outgrew their dislike for childhood naps. Or maybe it’s because every time I decide to be good and lay down for a nap – that’s when my 3 year old decides to wake up early from her nap, or my 6 year old feels its an appropriate time to start screeching “NOT FAIR!!” at her brother (who made sure I was drifting off to sleep before starting to teasing her).
Perhaps I am the only one who has no ‘off’ knob on my brain – and as soon as I lay down in a (relatively) quiet spot for 3 seconds, my brain thinks it’s a perfect time to remind me of that closet that needs organized, and that gunky stuff I saw this morning in the fridge, and did I remember to send the car payment or am I gonna wake up from my nap with no car in the drive?
I try. I really do. I think:
“Today I will get a nap no matter what.” I carefully instruct and warn (threaten) the older kids: “No fighting! None! A scream will earn you extra chores and you know how bad you hate cleaning the fridge when there’s gunky stuff in there! NO teasing! Actually, you two don’t even talk to each other! On second thought – you all go outside and don’t come back in till I say you can!”
“What If we’re hungry or thirsty?”
“Drink from the creek – pretend you’re pioneers, OK? And you won’t starve in 1 hour, I promise… now go.”
I then carefully get the baby asleep and immediately lie down myself. Its quiet. Peaceful. I will put all thoughts of empty socks drawers and crunchy floors out of my head. We can go barefoot tomorrow. It won’t be fun – with the crunchy floors an all – but I am getting a nap!
I am drifting off to sleep, finally, after several stern self-talks and mental floggings. Then I hear it – screams.
Happy screams. Shouts of laughter and joyful calling to one another, but right outside my bedroom window! I sigh and stick my head under my pillow. That does next to nothing for the volume level. I decide I can sleep through it, and will myself to ignore it and focus on the bird songs and whirring of the bathroom fan that I left running to drown out kid-noises.
Except it doesn’t. Nothing drowns out those happy shouts from 10 feet away. I grin a little, and roll out of bed. Sitting there on the edge of the bed I say aloud:
“I give up. I just give up.” And I stand up and walk to my waiting laundry.
“Sleep is not that important”, I tell myself, soothingly. “You can sleep all you want when the kids are gone.”
I know that’s probably not true – but visions of long, uninterrupted nights in my (very distant) future gives me the umph to go on putting one foot in front of another, sorting laundry and sweeping up kitchen floor crunch. I yawn a few times, and whisper pleadings for strength and grace for the rest of this day. To be happy and patient. To love unconditionally and relentlessly. To have a calm and sweet voice and not bark at my family. Because God has been so good and gracious to me – how can I be less to His children? He does, you know. He does give me grace and patience. Love upon love. And joy. True joy that tiredness can’t quench.
But I have to stay nestled in His arms, covered with His grace, and bathed in little prayers throughout my day. Church and friends and good books and long naps won’t get me through. Only my Father God and His power.
We love each other! :)
Note: I don’t recommend having your kids drink from a creek. Especially where 800 head of cows also have access to it, if you know what I mean. They will probably get cooties and leeches and all sorts of gross things. Yuck. Please send a bottle of water out for them to drink. 😉
Hospital stay for the little man. Baby K had a bout of RSV, that dreaded respiratory illness that strikes babies especially hard this time of year. He (and I) spent 4 days in the hospital. I’m thankful the illness never became really bad. My sis pitched in and helped my kids at home while mom was gone, and sitting with me in the small peds room, helping the time pass.
Calving isn’t over! While night-calving has ended, my man still has mama cows to check daily. They like to pick odd times of the day to calve.
I caught up on some cinch orders. Some, I say, not all. I have more orders here – just hard finding time to fit them in. I enjoy making them, though, so I have a hard time saying no to orders! 😉 (I am not taking rush orders, there is a waiting list at this point.)
School. Oh yes. Fitting in school for 3 kids somehow – not a small task. OK, so the older kids are pretty independent by now. But mom still needs to oversee. And the younger ones take more time. Reata, my 3 year old, thinks she must do school too, since big sis does!
Then there’s housework. Oh yeah, that. Carry on, fellow moms! Every task, no matter how small, when done for the glory of God is not small at all.
Rest Assured is a plan to create room to breathe in our souls again. Ideas for relief from the current hectic lifestyle so many of us are caught up in.
I liked how she calls us to quiet the distracting noises of technology and society, in favor of focusing on Jesus. I also like that she included practical ideas at the end of each chapter.
A “Rest Stop” challenge is included at the end of each chapter for use in Bible studies and book clubs. Bonus material includes a 30-Day Restitution Plan and 100 Ways to Give It a Rest.
Some things I wasn’t happy with…
In chapter 6, she talks about spending time in nature alone with God – no phones, no companions, not even the Bible. So we can focus just on God. My reaction was: “What?!?”
Scripture is the one true test of all the spirits and words we hear. How can my time alone with God be better without Scripture there? I am not speaking of prayer. I am speaking of a retreat specifically to know God better. That seems contradictory to the words of Scripture, that says that Jesus is the Word. John 1:14 You can’t know God without knowing His Words.
Also, the practical ideas would work better if I had a different lifestyle. And that’s the problem.
I have 5 kids in my home, 3 of those I homeschool.
I cook 3 meals a day, and my husband comes home for all 3, so no pb&j here!
I also have a garden, yard, and large home that must be maintained by me & the kids.
I am randomly called on to cook for the crew.
I am a fostermom.
So no, I cannot just ‘escape’ for several hours per week, or go on a 3 day retreat, nor do I have any desire to! My desire is to learn peace and rest at the feet of Jesus, in the midst of my daily duties.
One of my favorite quotes is from Annie Poonen: “The whole world is God’s footstool, so we can sit at the feet of Jesus wherever we are.”
Another from Brother Lawrence, loosely quoted, as I can’t find the exact words: “I can be as much in the presence of God amid the clanging and clatter of pots and pans in the kitchen, as when I am in silence at my times of prayer.”
That’s the kind of retreat and renewal I desire – daily, hourly, at the feet of my Jesus in my heart.
Overall, the writing was a bit tepid for my taste. It did not stick with me, did not challenge me, convict me, or change me. I found it a bit boring, really. When I read an inspirational book, I want it to inspire. This did not do that for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”