I'm still trying to grasp how February is already over. My calendar says March, but my mind is still stuck in February. The whole month was just a whirlwind; new clients, big events and just life in general. It was such a fast paced month that when I finally had a day where I wasn't just going, going, going, I didn't know what to do. I couldn't just sit. I physically had to be doing something; folding laundry, working on strategies for clients, cleaning the jalepeno popcorn from 6 months ago out of the vacuum.
You would think the first moment I get, I'd collapse on the couch and just not move for a few hours. I legitimately forgot how to rest though. And I was feeling it; mentally, physically, spiritually.
I feel like as a mother, rest is almost impossible. We justify our lack of being able to rest with the fact that there is ALWAYS something to do. Someone's nose to wipe, someone's food to make, someone's toys to pick up. And it's true. We are constantly doing for others, which isn't a bad thing, but if we never stop to do for ourself, it isn't a good thing.
In case anyone hasn't told you lately, YOU are important. Your health matters. Your feelings matter. Your sleep matters.
You need rest.
Trust me, I'm preaching to myself when I say all this. Literally as I type this out, I'm thinking, "man, I have got to rest more."
Because today, I rested. Not necessarily by choice, but because I serve a very good, Heavenly Father who saw I needed rest and was just too stubborn to actually do it. So instead, He knocked out Cox internet for the afternoon across half the country, leaving me no choice but to rest.
Just kidding. Kind of. Our internet did actually go out, did God actually knock it out? Probably not, but regardless, He knows how stubborn I can be and one way or another, I do believe He had His hand in helping make sure I got some rest today.
And let me tell you, it was so, so good.
Did I take a 3 hour nap? Ha, that would be a negative. But what I did do, was bake a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread WITH Kinsley, (call me crazy, trust me, I am) with no clients buzzing/emailing/calling in to distract me. We played worship music, we sat and colored together, we played play dough, we prepped dinner and for a short period, I just sat and watched her; I watched her as she talked to her stuffed bear, I listened and heard how much her vocabulary has progressed, I took in her little features --- sweet grin, soft little ringlet curls, and it just reminded me yet again, how fast it all goes. Time hop popped up earlier this week with those oh, so sweet, but heart wrenching pictures of the tiny baby she was at this time last year. It amazes me how much they grow in the first couple years, both mentally and physically. As I watched her color today, she no longer looked like a tiny baby, but a small child. These are the days.
The reality is, she'll continue to look less and less like a baby, minute by minute, day by day. As much as she may need me, she's becoming very independent in the sense that she wants to try new things, making it very clear that she does not want my help when she tries said new thing, by repeatedly saying "No! No! Nooooo!" until I ask, "you want to do it by yourself?" With her sweet little voice, "Peas."
All that said, I think many times we deny rest because we have this expectation of what rest has to look like in order for it to be rest. Was my day busy? Of course! If you're a parent, every day is busy. But it was still restful. I wasn't connected to a device, writing content, or trying to make deadlines, even though it was slightly stressful for a solid hour, as I scrambled to figure out how to make the 2:00 PM deadline I had, with a sleeping toddler and no internet in my house.
I've been praying for patience lately because it's something I feel like I have struggled with since we've hit toddlerhood. So, let's build some patience I thought, as I gathered the stuff to make banana bread today.
You're probably thinking,"a 19 month old and baking... I see NO rest in that."
To be honest, I figured it would probably be pretty treacherous, but I decided to just not have any expectations for this bread to actually be made. I just wanted to try something that I find fun, with my daughter.
And you know what, we had a blast! Not only that, but we actually made a whole loaf of bread. Chocolatey, banana filled goodness, bread. Kinsley did great!
Let me clarify what "great" looks like though.
I let her help mash the bananas (which she thought was "ew" every time she touched them, but still proceeded to try to mash with the fork). Was there mashed banana all over my counter and on her toes? Yes, not as much as I thought there would be, so that was a pleasant surprise.
I let her stir when needed, and sit right next to the mixer, which she thought was so cool to watch. I made her my Designated Measuring Cup Holder, as well as the Designated Spilled Chocolate Chip Eater, both only the highest of titles.
The best part though was when she wanted to help scoop the flour mixture in.
The scooper may or may not have ended up in the mixer being mixed, along with a beautifully flour covered floor, which she proceeded to help clean, so all was well.
What I thought would be a disastrous time, ended up being possibly one of my favorite memories that I will look back on with her. After that, we cuddled on the couch, listened to worship music, courtesy of Alexa, and just embraced the calm. These are the days.
Slow, simple, chaotic at times, but peaceful at others.
Rest doesn't look the same for everyone, and though it can definitely be a 3 hour nap, if you're a parent, it more than likely won't look like that, and that's perfectly okay. Either way, rest is good and rest is needed.
And if you tell me, "I just don't have time to rest," I get it, trust me, I really do, because I often find myself telling God that exact statement. Lately, I've been feeling really convicted of this, because how many times have I had a break to rest, but CHOSE to do something else? How many times has Kinsley napped, and I did laundry? Dishes? Mindlessly scrolled through social media?
Too many times to count.
So if you're struggling to choose rest, whether it's because you feel you just don't have the time, or have too extreme of expectations of what rest should look like, just remember that in the same way your child has a meltdown when "rest" is missed, you WILL have that meltdown, it might take a little longer to get there, but it will happen.
As the saying goes, you can't pour from an empty cup.
So refill, and embrace this messy life, whether it's full of crying babies, tantrum throwing toddlers, moody teenagers, stressful jobs, sleepless nights, whatever it may be, these are the days. They only come once, once the minute is over, it's over.