Friday, May 10, 2013

The Kids Need Rest

As a Mother, I’m tuned to the needs of my children.

I know when the whining has more to do with hunger than attitude. When the fighting has more to do with cabin fever than hostility. When the drama has more to do with fatigue than the situation at hand.
This is why most moms I know consider nap time to be sacrosanct. We plan our days—our lives—around that window every afternoon for one simple reason.

Our kids need rest.

We know that when they don’t get enough rest, they turn from chubby-cheeked cherubs to tiny terrors faster than they can spill chocolate ice cream on a white t-shirt.

As mothers, we have a bit more patience with the exhausted child who can’t handle the challenges of supper time. I will often look at my husband and say, “He only slept for an hour” or “She woke up at 5:30 a.m.” as explanation for a meltdown over something as trivial as the color of a cup or the amount of ketchup on a plate.

We aren’t excusing their behavior, but we recognize that in this moment, they simply don’t have all the tools they need to cope with life. Their little bodies are desperate for rest and a good night’s sleep will smooth out their bad attitudes and grouchy dispositions.

I was thinking about this today as I replaced the Spider Man sheets on my four-year-old’s bed—and was wishing I could crawl in it and fall asleep.

As I tucked pillows into cases I could feel God’s whisper in my heart...
“Honey, I know you need some rest.”

I’ve been in the toddler trenches for ten years, but my current fatigue is far more emotional than physical and it runs deep. And to tell you the truth, I’ve been a bit of a brat lately. Grouchy toward a lot of people. Grouchy toward life. Grouchy toward God.

I tend to assume God wishes I would just grow up already and quit acting like a baby.

But as I placed Spider Man face up on the bed (because the other way is “wrong”) all I could feel was His arms wrapped around me. Squeezing me close. Holding me up. Reminding me that He created me—a mother—in His image.

My ability to be tuned to my children’s needs? It comes from Him.

God is tuned to our needs.
He knows His kids need rest.
He knows we don’t always have the tools we need to cope with life. He knows a good night’s week’s month’s sleep could smooth out bad attitudes and grouchy dispositions.

He doesn’t look at us in disgust and exasperation when our nerves are frayed and our tempers are short.

He looks at us with love and tenderness. He’s not excusing our behavior, but He knows—HE KNOWS—we need rest. He created us this way.

I think, if you’ll listen, you’ll hear His invitation.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Happy Mother’s Day. May you find your ultimate rest in Him.


Vonda Skelton said...

Beautiful! Happy Mother's Day to one of the most amazing mothers/women I know!

Beth said...

oh wow, that was a great post...thank you so much for that encouragement...I prayed that verse this morning thinking about how I was going to make it another 6 weeks, but He knows exactly what I need...