Mabel is still sick. We’re on Day 5. I took her to the doctor this morning because her fever spiked at 104.6 last night. The doc ruled out strep and the flu, and said she thinks it’s a fever virus that typically takes 5-7 days to clear up. So I’m praying, fingers crossed, that we’re on the tail end of it. Please, Lord, let this pass from us so we can rest and get back to smiling and playing.
I taught my class last night. It was good. They had great energy. But Jason texted as soon as my class was over to say he was hiding out in the bathroom because Mabel wouldn’t stop screaming. He said he’d done everything he could think of to help her and that his chest was hurting over it, so he had to get away from it. So I came home. By then she was quiet, aside from her snoring.
I find that whenever I’m trying to turn away from the trenches of motherhood, to find quiet time to rest and recuperate- that is when the Lord is calling me right to the middle of it- bleary-eyed and elbow deep in the chaos and sleeplessness. Whenever I try to sneak away for solitude is when my children seem to need me the most. When I do get time, I learn that I’m needed back at home. It’s a lesson in selflessness and the molding a servant’s heart. He isn’t anywhere other than in these crying babies that need their mama. He’s not in the magazine I want to read, the trail I want to walk. He’s here in the thick of it too, giving me the push on the back when I just can’t seem to get up to go to the crying child or wipe another runny nose.
I’m feeling burnt out. It’s been three weeks since I’ve had someone come lend a hand for 2-3 hours so that I could go have some quiet time somewhere. A chance to grab a coffee and look at books, go hiking or go for a run. It feels like I’ve been on-on-on for three weeks straight. The holidays and my baby’s sickness only magnify the feeling and make me want to cry. It’s probably a lack of sleep too. Her fever is worst at night, so as soon as I’m falling asleep is when she’s crying and needing medicine. Then I’m awake for the next hour to pop back in there to make sure the meds are working.
Even before the sickness, I was feeling depleted and empty from this Christmas season. It felt like all we did was buy, consume, rush, and go. At the end of it, Christmas morning, sitting waist-deep in wrapping paper, boxes and things, my soul said ‘For what? Where is Jesus in this? Why am I surrounded by all of these things that my babies will outgrow in a year?’ There was no warmth in my soul, just an empty echoing feeling. A feeling of wishing I could snap my fingers and have a redo. A seasonal makeover, if you will. One with slowness and intention. One with service and connection. One with less things and more Jesus. One with less rush and more steadiness.
Last night, after my class, I came home (told my husband that it was safe to leave the bathroom), got in my jammies, and curled up in bed to read my Bible. I chose to read about Jesus’ birth, and something that kept sticking out to me from the scripture was the part where it says (in both Luke 2:19 and Luke 2:51, concerning Mary and the things people were saying about her son, Jesus, and all the great things he would do in the world):
“But Mary treasured up all the things and pondered them in her heart.”
That line kept coming back to me.
The things I treasure in my heart are: quiet and stillness, non-consumerism, my children, Jesus, my faith, slowness, intention, beauty in the natural world, working with my hands, teaching my babies, time with my husband, this calling and this place God has for me, my dreams for the way I want to live my life, and the example I want to be for my children.
None of this came through this season.
Instead, I participated in the opposite, despite the Spirit’s pressing to slow down, to cancel plans, to not go, to think and purchase from the heart instead of the mind. All of that went out of the window, leaving my soul feeling as icky and mucky as my eleven months old nose.
But it’s never too late to stop, to pray the prayer of “I hear You, Lord. Forgive me.” I hope I get another chance at this next year. Another chance to practice saying ‘no’ to the ways of the world, and ‘Yes’ to whatever the Lord is asking of me.
There is always time. Thank you, Jesus, there is always time. If not to act, then to at least to take the half-second and turn our eyes to You. To ask for forgiveness and seek Your face. Here’s to intention, connection and seeking You.