"You're beautiful, strong and loving.
I know you feel as if you're empty at this moment with nothing left to give.
I'm feeling a bit of this myself.
You can do it though!
You are the most amazing woman I know.
You inspire me!"
The above paragraph is a text my husband sent to me last Friday. Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. The accuracy of the word "empty" is much better.
Maybe this is you right now. Maybe you feel the emptiness that a week ago today, I felt.
My little one had a really bad cold, possibly an ear ache and was working on two teeth coming through. She wanted to nurse round the clock, but even when she was nursing, she was still unhappy because she couldn't breathe to nurse. We could've filled up a gallon bucket with how much snot was coming out of her little chunky self. Sleep was very little in my house last week.
Working full time hours, while also being a full time mom is rough some days.
Being a loving, kind, present wife, is even harder some days.
Last week was brutal. I called in to work on Wednesday (usually my full day in the office)because my little girl had cried/whimpered on and off all night, just wanting her momma to hold her.
When I received the above message from my husband, I'm not going to lie, I shed a few tears.
I'm not sure if it was due to his loving encouragement at a time when I know I hadn't been very present in our time together, or due to my lack of sleep and my emotions being all over the place, but his words just hit me. They were just what I needed at exactly that moment.
I truly felt as if I had nothing left to give.
If I had a cup to pour, there wouldn't have even been a drop to roll out.
Ever heard the saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup?"
Wow, is that true.
But that was just it, I may have felt like I had nothing left to give, but I still had to give.
Life doesn't stop for anyone. Whether it's a sick baby, a sick husband, projects at work to be done, calls to be made, dinner to be cooked, laundry to be done. It's all still there.
Waiting. Waiting to be tended to.
I'm one of those people who has to constantly be doing something. Whether it's at work or in my home, I need to be "productive." I just don't do good at sitting still or doing absolutely nothing. By Friday though, I could no longer be productive. Not for me. Not for my husband. Not for my baby. Not until I rested at least.
After getting the text from my husband, I picked up my little girl, got her ready for nap time and cuddled up in my bed with her as I usually do. I nursed her and 10 minutes later, she was out. Normally, at this moment, I crawl out of the bed, head back to the living room and begin the many tasks that await me;dishes, dinner prep, laundry, work projects and if it's a really good day, a short workout. But this time, I didn't. I couldn't.
I just did not have the energy to move from that cozy spot in my bed. As I lay there and began to go over those many tasks in my head of everything I needed to do, I stopped.
And I verbally said out loud (to no one in particular except a sleeping baby and a snoozing dog), "I'm not doing it. Not right now. It can wait."
So I didn't.
Instead, I pulled my legs back under the covers, snuggled up next to my daughter and closed my eyes. Two hours later, I was wakened by two tiny hands rubbing my face, saying "da-da-da-da." Let me tell you, guys, I woke up a new woman.
Isn't it funny though?
We talk about never having time to rest, about always just wanting rest, yet when we have the opportunity, we still choose not to.... most times.
If there's one thing I've learned about motherhood, it's that rest is necessary. Rest is good. Choosing to rest is okay. Boy, did God convict my tired heart last week.
It was in that two hour time of rest that He reminded me how important the quiet times spent with Him are, He reminded me that I need time with Him and that if I don't make time with Him, the hard days are a lot harder. In the same way, I need time to refresh, to recharge and to do so, I need to simply, rest. Who knew a nap with your baby could reveal so much and do your physical, mental and emotional self so much good?
As I got up out of the bed, I was also reminded of the bitter sweet truth that the dishes will still be there, the laundry won't move, but those moments spent with your baby, they'll soon be gone. They won't always want to snuggle. They won't always be small enough to hold. They won't always need momma when life gets rough and there will come a day when they won't always be under the same roof as you.
So I pray you find some rest. Whether it's curling up and physically sleeping for two hours, or spending time in the Word talking with our Heavenly Father, remember, you need rest just as much as the next person.
As you get ready to start your week, don't forget to stop and spend some time with Jesus; grab a cup of coffee, meditate, go on a walk, just take some time to truly rest and be refreshed (fill that cup full!) by the grace of our Heavenly Father.