Somewhere between the I-can’t-do-everything-around-here and the it’s-easier-to-do-it-myself syndrome I hear the whisper, “Don’t forget Me.”
But the day is full and fragmented. A tiny face with serious eyes bores into my closed ones. Level with my pillowed head they pull me from a dead sleep.
“I gotta go potty,” a little voice announces.
It is the bugle call of a mommy, and I throw back the covers, feel for a damp bottom, then swing a little body astride mine. My bare feet on the cold floor finish off the wake-up job, and abruptly I’m starting another day, another cycle of servanthood, humble in position yet queen of the hive. I forget in my tiredness how privileged mommy-hood is and so I grumble of slave-hood.
I need a break. I deserve one. I will crack. I reach for my mug and shudder at the lukewarm coffee inside.
“I’m your rest,” says a nudge in my spirit.
I spread peanut butter on toast and watch it smear on fingers big enough to hold it but too small to keep it. The bread lies face down glued to the floor.
I stare at it and promise myself chocolate ahead.
I wipe. I wash. I fix.
“I am with you on the floor, at the sink, beside the changing table,” I hear inside my head.
And when the time comes to put the little guy down, I take a moment to breathe. I promise myself just a minute to sit and stare at the dishes on the counter and the toys on the floor. My eyes stray to the bedroom where I see the corner of my bed still unmade. It is calling. At that moment everything I want waits under soft blankets.
“I’d like to meet with you,” whispers in my ear.
There is laundry to do, dinner to plan, and a dishwasher to empty and fill again.
“You need filling. You need respite. You need what only I can give,” God’s Spirit reminds me.
Motivated by guilt more than holiness, I grab my Bible, a pen and my journal and glance at the clock. The moments will be brief before my toddler wakes. My mess won’t go away. Laundry doesn’t fold itself. Dishes won’t wash themselves. Dinner doesn’t make itself.
What I really want is a nap.
I pull the Bible onto my lap and open it. I offer a weary mind and ungrateful rushed heart to Jesus. It is a box to check off like wiping the counter.
As I read, I feel a slowing within accompanied by a wondering question, “What took you so long?”
Some seasons of life do not pave the way for quiet time and its disciplines. Servanthood runs our well dry while at the same time increasing our need. Demands pull us away from dedicated time with God when we most need to be drawn into relationship. Splintered time and distractions are difficult to master.
I wrap myself in the pages of a Book where Jesus meets me, where I am tethered to truth:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” I read from Matthew 11:28.
I forget weariness. I am carried to the feet of Jesus the servant who laid down His life for His sheep to bring them life. My Savior gets shepherding and servanting. This sweet knowledge begins to soften my brittle spirit. He knows me. He understands my life. All the built-up inward churning lessens. Strength even in the shortness of a few moments flows into me. It renews hope, and I cling to it.
“I will be with you,” whispers into my soul.
My head rests back against the sofa. There are tears and a smile. I’m reminded that servanthood is a blessed thing. I am refreshed by true rest found only in a Person, not in longed-for substitutes.
A crackle on the baby monitor, and I put away my Bible.
That was my break for the day, and momma oh momma, I needed it.
Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay