One of my struggles has always been with not knowing how to rest. I always had fifty million things going on, various projects to complete, my children to care for, my husband to tend to, and a home to manage. I always came last on my list. I had done a superb job of weighing myself down and tiring myself out, until I had absolutely nothing left to give anyone. I had repeatedly been telling my husband, “Baby I feel burnt out. I think I need a vacation.” At first it seemed he wasn’t listening until I found that he had purchased two airline tickets for us to go to Puerto Rico for the weekend. Although I was dog tired, just the thought of being in a beautiful place, away from cries for mommy and work related tasks was good enough to keep me going. In my mind, I was already there sipping virgin daiquiris on the beach. My hopes were crushed when a day prior to our departure, our son had an mild allergic skin reaction and our babysitter changed her mind about keeping our children while away. I thought to myself, “Please God, no! I need this! I need to get away from here!” As I desperately thought of ways I could make it happen, the opportunity was slipping right through my hands. And there I was, tired, exhausted, and feeling extremely hurt and upset. Standing in the kitchen washing dishes, everything in me wanted to scream. My husband was standing nearby and was apologizing, and saying we will go another time. I didn’t want to hear that. It was as if his words were the last straw. I began throwing dishes, plates, and cups at him while crying. I was angry and I took it out on him. I thought to myself, “Any good husband wouldn’t let his wife become this tired! If he loved me, we would be on a plane right now going somewhere!” I repented to my husband and to God for responding in that way. While it is good for husbands to be sensitive to our needs, at the same time, we must be sensitive to our own. I had to take responsibility for my own actions and not blame anyone for my exhaustion; I was to blame. More than my need for physical rest, I needed to learn how to prioritize things in my life, and not take on too much so I can avoid reaching that point in the first place. I had to learn that God only provides His grace for the tasks He instructs me to do. God is teaching me, day by day, how to take care of myself, properly manage my life, and how to rest.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28 (MSG)
Your grace is only provided for the tasks that You give. Help me to only do what You instruct me to do. Show me how to pay attention to the needs of my body. I realize I can do more for you and those I love when I am well rested. Teach me how to rest. Show me how to nourish and rejuvenate my own self, without waiting for anyone to tell me to. I rest in You and I receive Your grace, strength, and wisdom right now. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
A sincere thank you to our Daughters of the King Daily Devotional Writers.