Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Come Away With Me

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mark 6:31)

"Everyone wants a piece of me, man!" I proclaimed with one child wrapped around my leg demanding while the caller on the other end of the phone laughed hysterically. While I was being playful, it was really true. I joke that my husband has life so much better because he actually gets to use a bathroom by himself multiple times throughout the course of any given day. Some days I feel like I'm going to hit the ceiling if one more person touches me or calls out "Mom"!

This basic condition of parenthood is enough to wear on all of us. The weariness is further compounded when your child has any number of diagnoses. It is truly exhausting, always having to be "on" to process information, make decisions and act in the well-being of this special child. The constant running to appointments with doctors, therapists and schools makes any human heart beat a little faster.

We live a "poured out" life. But we are in deep, deep trouble if we are not refilled so that we actually have a reserve to draw from. Jesus provided us with a remedy for that. Daily He invites, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29) I've mentioned before, my wise Pastor, Don Gephart puts it this way, "Come apart before you come apart!"

When I'm losing my temper with the kids, when I'm making absent-minded mistakes, when I'm not handling the situations around me as the Lord would have it, 9 times out of 10, I haven't been taking my quiet time with Jesus. God doesn't have a quota or a formula He insists that we follow. Just taking a few minutes each morning with His Word and a brief but insightful devotional can equip me for the day ahead. Taking a brisk walk, listening to some inspirational music and praying as I go can help me to relinquish my burdens and carry on. Journaling can dump my emotions at the foot of the cross and clear my head for all that He's allowed in my day.

And there are practical ways to refill my cup as well. Right after my second child was born and diagnosed with hemophilia, I had a friend who did me the favor of giving me a little verbal spanking. "You need to take care of yourself because no one else is going to do it! Reserve one night a week just for yourself and get away to do something that you really like. Get some prepared meals too, because nobody is going to cook for you!" That was some of the best advice I've ever gotten. For a season, every Thursday you'd find me at the local coffee bar enjoying a mocha and reading a book. These days, I can be found with girlfriends catching up on my scrapbooking. Whatever it is, I fill myseslf up for that pouring out that is my calling in life. I urge you to do the same.

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