I’m supposed to be “practicing gratitude”, but I confess that lately I have done a terrible job at being intentional in the gratitude department. Yes, I’m incredibly sleep deprived because of my whackadoo toddler whose circadian rhythm seems to have disappeared, but my exhaustion doesn’t give me the right to complain all the time and be a downright jerk, right? Right?
Ask my family. I’ve been Captain Grump lately. I’m definitely not proud of my grumpiness at all. I struggle against it every moment of every day. I know I’m not the only one, yet you know as well as I do that when you’re in the midst of a trial (mild or fiery) you feel like you’re the only one who has ever undergone such circumstances, and you feel alone. Now that I think about it, that fact can then become a focal point of dwelling (at least for me) and then I get grumpier because I am grumpy about how grumpy I’m being toward my loved ones.
So when you’re having trouble getting all the sleep that your body needs, even if you can take the occasional nap (or two or three 15-min naps, haha), what do you neglect? I definitely can’t give up feeding my family or myself. And since bathing is considered a societal norm, I continue doing that as well. Work happens to the extent that I’m able; the glory of working from home and being my own boss is that I can hustle super hard on days when I actually have energy and decide on my lowest days that I just need to walk away. I tend to overwork, so the latter choice is actually really difficult for me even when I’m exhausted. What I do neglect is my time with my Lord Jesus. I’m not even gonna lie.
It’s ironic really, when you consider it. When you’re in “survival” mode because you’re exhausted and over-run, you are looking for a source of strength and sustenance, comfort even. We (or maybe just I?) cling to a string of hope that nap time or bed time is just around the corner. Regardless of the situation, we’re looking for something to keep us going–snacks, caffeine, staying busy, or maybe even looking forward to that end-of-the-day glass of wine. Something.
It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day when I was thinking about surviving my day. I realized that the two things that could actually help me bear the weight of my day were the very two things that were missing: reading/meditating on Scripture and constant communication with Jesus through prayer. Sounds simple, but I swear it seems to take every effort of my concentration to remember to do these things. Right? When I feel like my eyelids can’t hold open any longer or my brain can’t run any slower even at the beginning of my day, my first inclination isn’t to cry out to Jesus for help. It’s to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep trucking along. The biggest problem is that this truck is more like a diesel and I end up mauling over the people who are dearest to my heart just because I can and I’m pretty sure they’ll stick it out because they love me. Un.Ac.Ceptable.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:22-25 ESV)
I’ve got to focus on these verses (and others) so that I remember that Jesus intends for my rest to come not just from a break or a nap or a good night of sleep but also from Him.