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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Habit of Desperation

There is nothing so relaxed and carefree as a sleeping baby.

The youngest one of our clan had a birthday this week.  The season on his birth will forever be marked with mixed emotions because of the events surrounding that time in my own life.  Shortly after he arrived, I discovered things weren't what I thought in my marriage.  My then-husband moved a thousand miles away and I wasn't sure when/if he would return.  Everything about my then-life had changed and the future was so uncertain.

With a breastfeeding newborn, older children adjusting to new caregivers and me learning to be a full-time working family woman, I look back and wonder how I functioned during that season.  I can only credit God for somehow getting me through.  That little wonder above gave me reasons to smile and laugh during the darkest days, as did my firstborn and daughter.  They gave me purpose beyond survival.

When I think of being tired, it is this season that comes to mind.  The absolute exhaustion was overwhelming!  The baby didn't sleep through the night for more then six months.  I had to be up and out of the house with myself and three littles (plus their gear!) in order to get each to childcare/preschool and myself to work.  The afternoons and evenings comprised of important childhood play, home responsibilities, meals, baths, bedtime and the routine was never-ending.  At the time, my parents lived nearby and my father would come to the house late and sit with the sleeping children so I could go to the grocery store alone.  Each day took every ounce of energy I possessed.  Most days, I began wondering how I would make it to the end of that day?

During that season of exhaustion, I began the habit of praying, sincerely and out of necessity, that God would walk me through that day, give me strength to face the demands.  The moment I turned off my alarm in the morning (and rolled back over in denial that I had to face another day), I told the Lord I didn't have it in me to do it.  I calmly thought about each task that had to be accomplished and instead of wondering how it would get done, just said I needed Him to help me do it.  And each day, He did.  He really did!  My most tired days seem to be the ones where I’m most aware I need to access God’s strength, comfort and trust Him to lead my path because I’m just too weary. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed some it, I can only think God somehow carried me. I know He did.

Look at him now!
These days are more restful, but I still pray each morning for strength to rise and face the tasks of the day. It’s a habit of desperation that has inspired me to never give up.  I know my the weakness of my flesh, my real need for rest and the ways I can fall apart, wound those closest to me and let important matters slide when I'm overly tired.  When I trust God to take care of me, I'm best able to care for my family, my home and my work outside the home.  I've learned that when I'm exhausted, that's my greatest opportunity to let God work in me.

Do you feel weary? Exhausted physically or emotionally?  Are you depleted of your own strength? What is draining you?  Try these steps to make it through.  And may I encourage you?  This season won't last forever.  My little man is now a fabulous sleeper.  I still rise early to get three children and myself out the door to school and work, but now they are all at the same location and they can even dress themselves.  I still get weary, but it's not a season of exhaustion like in times past.  I survived.  Looking back, we all did and it is a display of God's goodness that we did!

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