Today, my friends, has been one of those days … the ones you want a do-over.
Last night, our sweet P would not go to sleep. Honestly, I was exhausted and on the edge of tears. She was already crying so there were plenty to go around.
Despite offering her a sippy cup, extra snuggles, sweet lullabies and a private dinner with Anna and Elsa at Disney World, she would not give in and close her sweet eyes for more than a second.
As I pleaded for her to sleep, I could feel myself clenching my teeth. I needed to step away, and I did … in prayer.
I moved to the edge of the bed and asked God for strength not to yell or break down and cry. It might seem silly but after a busy day at work, a hour and a half IEP meeting with J’s teacher, checking back into work remotely, loading up the car and kids, and then driving a hour and a half to my parents house for the weekend, I was beat. And it was pushing midnight.
In the middle of my prayers, she stopped her cries, pressed her face into her pillow and went to sleep. And then the mom guilt came. Oh, how the deceiver loves to lay on a extra layer of guilt on moms – nice and thick like peanut butter.
And as much as we try to redirect our thoughts, it sneaks up on us at the worst times.
It’s in these moments, that I think we have to dig deep and listen to God.
I continued my prayers as I laid down next to her and was soon asleep. The kids woke up early, as they usually do at grandma and papa’s house. I was not ready for this, especially on a Saturday.
Apparently, I should have stayed in bed. I knocked over a lamp with my hip. It hit the floor and the bulb broke. Lovely. My left hip then decided to take out a chair and chip it. Nice.
I, then, somehow mastered quite a feat – I flipped a entire pizza as I was taking it out of the oven, it landed right inside the oven door. Please, hold your applause. I was able to salvage the pizza, somewhat, but boy, was I ready to wave a white flag and start the day over.
We all have days like this? So what do we do when we feel “off” but we don’t really get to be “off”? I mean, do parents really ever get to be off? Praise God, for his gentle reminders. We just have to be open and quiet our mind to hear them. This is something I’ve really worked on for the past year and it’s difficult. We are pulled in so many directions every day. He’s that quiet voice we ignore – a lot. It takes time to let it come front and center but once it starts it becomes easier. Today, I knew God was telling me to go easy on myself.
We think we know what’s best for ourselves and so we push, we put on a brave face and move on. And while that’s what God wants us to do some days, other days he wants us to take a step back and lean into him a bit more.
So I did. I played with the kids, we watched movies, I researched some therapy techniques for our J, and we took naps. I woke up from that nap feeling refreshed and thankfully, less clumsy.
My dear friend, I hope you take to God’s gentle nudges and give him all your worries and guilt. Our worries are His.
We have such high expectations of ourselves and even though we know that it’s up to Him, we still try to take control (Can I get amen?) and when things don’t go our way we get frustrated with ourselves, feel guilty and then negative self talk seeps in – it’s a vicious cycle. But you can stop it. It takes serious work but you can break the cycle. I am living proof. You can because God is on your side – always. He is always for you, two steps ahead clearing the path.
You spilled your coffee on the way out the door, so you had to change your shirt and that made you late to work. But what if you were suppose to be spill your coffee so you missed being in a terrible car accident? I feel like that is what God was doing today, he was saving me from being burn out with some clumsy mishaps. He was telling me to take a break, because I deserve it. And so do you.
The laundry will still be there, the dishes will still be dirty, but in order to give the kind of love we want to give our loved ones, we need to keep our cup full. Sweet friend, if we don’t replenish our cup with Him, with time and love for ourselves, then we risk of having a empty cup with no love to give anyone. And that’s the least thing we want. If you are unsure what you need, ask Him. He will tell you, and in the most loving way.
We all have a light, and we all deserve to shine as bright as we can, because that’s what God wanted. That’s why we are here, with Christ living inside us, we were meant to share our light and love with others. And in order to do that, we need to replenish our cup often with Him daily.
Every little thing you do He sees, so please take care of yourself -step back, take a breathe, go for a walk, watch a movie, read his Word, play a game with your kids. We need you here. God needs you here. Know that you deserve a break. You deserve it. Say it, out loud or to yourself as often as you need to. Remind yourself every day that in order to love others the way you want to, you need to keep your cup full – whether it’s full of coffee, vodka or water to make it through the day, that’s up to you (I hope you laughed at that). Just know, you are worthy of a break. We were not made to be “on” all the time. We are not Wifi. So recharge, reboot, whatever you want to call it, just don’t forget that you matter. You are important and you are loved. He loves you, and he’s here for you always.
So take a break – dear friend, warrior- and if that breaks involves seeing a movie, send me a text. I’m game.