When I give out at conferences and in ministry, I become not just weary, but empty, depleted, spent. It is then I know that I have to stop in order to be able to sustain the demands on my very busy life. If I do not stop regularly, then I get to the empty place, it is dangerous to my heart, mind and soul. That is what owning my emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health is about, and I will be back when I think I am close to being filled up again. The more often I stop, the less time it takes to refill. So, excuse me please for a couple of days while I take some time to breathe.
My gifted, sweet kindred friend, Kristen, has written a beautiful post that gets to the heart of what mamas need so much to remember. She lives in beautiful, downtown Manhattan with her family and has constant life adventures as she walks this mama journey with her family of 6.
The sink in our kitchen has been overflowing with life; with yeast and eggs and remnants of pumpkin sticking to the edges. The floors trampled with feet heading to the sofa, ready for a rest; bodies needing to shake off the city and be still with a cup of tea in hand. Guests sitting round the table with bellies to be filled; children with minds eager to learn and lips longing to be heard; small ears aching for encouragement…it all consumes my attention.
And my body is weary, my mind wandering, my heart remembering to focus the rest of me, to embrace the small joys and soak in the life around me…the full to bursting, messy whirlwind in my apartment happening right now.
And what I am learning in these busy hours that weave into days and weeks around me, is that I must stop. I must find some place to be still and to follow opportunities to quiet places. Early morning walks in the first glow of sun, tea and candlelight waiting after prayers are said and kisses are smooched onto foreheads; an hour here or there to spend with pens and crisp new paper, spilling out my thoughts and prayers; these places of calm are essential to remaining the woman I want to be.
I have been waiting for these moments to come upon me, expecting them to appear and then take hold of them,
but I am also learning that I have to build them in to the foundations of this life our family is making.
I have to create time set apart to be filled with the Word of the Scriptures, to confess my own depravity, to seek grace in quiet places so that I can cultivate grace in the busy ones.
Today, I am road building, brick-laying; making grooves in my routine to fill my own heart;
establishing anchors in my life that allow me to stop and rest and grow.
A mother, I am finding, who does not take time to fill her own soul, has very little to offer the souls in her care.
May you rest in grace today too sweet friends,