Every Tuesday night, as soon as my husband walks in from work, I kiss him, kiss the kids, and run out the front door. I don’t look back and I don’t come back until those sweet babies are sound asleep. Sometimes I have plans with friends, but more often than not, I’m not even sure where I’m headed. I’m just going. Sometimes I go to Barnes & Noble to sip coffee and read a novel. Sometimes I take myself to dinner and a movie at the mall. Sometimes I just sit in my parked van and look at stuff on my phone. It’s glorious.
It started back in the "tiny people" days when sleeping through the night was a distant memory and not likely to return anytime soon. When my days were ruled by naps and breastfeeding, and when my boys just needed so very much from me. On some days, my husband would come home to a wife, pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, with a babe in her arms and a toddler clinging to her ankles, desperately trying to prepare dinner. The witching hour, I believe it’s called? I would be overwhelmed and possibly in tears and I would plead for some time to myself. Fortunately, I happen to be married to an amazing and understanding man, so he would take over dinner and the kids, and send me on my way. It occurred often enough that we finally just put it on the calendar – my once a week escape.
Life is different now and for the most part less overwhelming than it was in those years, but still, every Tuesday, I go. Sometimes it’s a cure – a balm on a rough week. Other times it’s a vaccination – a moment of peace to bolster myself for the week to come. Either way, it’s a good and essential moment of rest.
Our verse this week is Mark 6:31. “Jesus said, 'Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.' For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.” I read that and feel more in common with Jesus than I ever have before. Motherhood is a constant coming and going. And who has time to eat, right? We all need a moment to ourselves, a moment to take a break and get a little rest. That’s what my Tuesday nights are for me.
What about you? Where do you find rest in your life? What do you do to refresh your spirit and rejuvenate your soul? What helps to fill your tank so that you can go back to pouring out for those around you? Or are you running on empty? Going and going, afraid to stop for a moment, lest you let someone down, or drop the ball? If that’s where you find yourself, I get it. Sometimes life is busy - so many people need so many things, and the to-do list is never-ending. But listen, put yourself on that list too. You matter. Even Jesus needed rest. And if the dishes sit in the sink overnight or the kids eat cereal for dinner, or you say “NO” to yet another obligation, the world will keep on spinning. Trust me…I haven’t managed to halt the globe even once and I’m over here dropping balls all over the place!
Take a nap, friends. Rest up, relax, refill, rejuvenate…and then get back to that list. It’ll still be there.
Jenn is a book-reading, quietly nerdy introvert who has, one choice at a time, managed to completely surround herself with chaos. Wife to one incredible man, and homeschooling-mama to three crazy-awesome boys, life is almost never quiet...but in each day there are moments - brief pauses in the crazy - and it is there that she finds God. He is in a quiet breeze through the trees, in a one-on-one conversation, in a lingering glance at a sleeping child's face. It is enough.