I used to think that when people say “I need a vacation after my vacation” that they were spoiled, but now as a mom I TOTALLY get it. The Sunday that we headed out to Gatlinburg almost killed me. (insert hyperbole) But really. I had almost everything packed except for a few odds and ends. Judson woke up that morning with huge welts on the side of his head, suspected to be mosquito bites, but we were not quite sure. I dashed out after church to a dermatologist friend’s house to have her look at him before we made the trek to the mountains. She confirmed our suspicions after a careful examination, said to put some hydrocortisone on him, and keep an eye on the bumps. I thanked her, and drove myself and the kids back home, stopping by the gas station on the way to fill up the van for our big trip. I fed them lunch, finished packing and gathering odds and ends, Travis was home packing up his stuff, and I managed to scarf down a turkey sandwich. Travis loaded up the van, I swept the floor, and by the time we pulled out of our driveway it was about 3:30 p.m. Only two hours past our determined time. Always happens.
Fast forward to vacation. There was rest. There was no schedule (which is nice and drives me crazy all at the same time). And new memories were made. There was only one visit to the minor med (Analise got an upper respiratory infection). And every day began as is it always does, vacation or no vacation- it began at 5:00 a.m. Thank you, Judson.
A week went by as quickly as it came, we loaded up the van once again, and made our 500+mile trip back home. My legs ached all the way, and I could not understand why. I did not workout for a minute that week, but my legs felt like I did forward lunges with an elephant on my back. We made it home, unloaded the van, unpacked the suitcases, gave the kids baths, put them to bed, and fell into our own bed flat worn out.
I woke up the next morning feeling tired.
The morning after that I felt pregnant. uh oh.
The morning after that my stomach revolted against the rest of my body with fever, chills, and a strong desire to never eat again.
My body had enough. It waved the white flag and cried “uncle” all week. The thing is that I did not realize how much I take wellness for granted. It is normal for me to feel peppy and motivated with a lot of energy and drive. When I feel sick it is like I have two anvils tied to my feet while I attempt to race through quicksand. It is so frustrating. And this all occurred the week before homeschooling.
The Lord has been teaching me about doing life in His strength, not through my own. Tough lesson for me. Because when I assume to work through my own strength I feel in control and together, which is really pride. And it is also idolatry. Letting some things go that really do not matter in the grand scheme of things so that I can take care of myself, my time, and those under my care is more important than fulfilling every OCD item on my mental to-do list. And I am not rushing around distracted ignoring His voice to “slow down,” “rest,” “trust,” “be still and know” that He is God.
I am loving this book right now: Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace
This gem is packed full of wisdom, and not just for homeschooling moms, but really for all moms. Because we are all instilling virtues and godly principles into our homes, and we all are teachers as we disciple our children, so I feel like all moms should read this book. I have been following Sarah Mackenzie’s (author) blog for quite some time now, and her philosophy of teaching from a state of rest really resonates with me.
“Peace comes from recognizing that our real task is to wake up each day and get our marching orders from God. It comes from diligence to the work He hands us, but diligence infused with faith, with resting in God’s promises to guide and bless us…Rest is trusting that God’s got this, even if I’m a mess, even if I’m not enough, even if I mess up every day. Because I do.” ~Sarah, Mackenzie, Teaching From Rest.
Rest. It is a soul rest, not necessarily a calm, peaceful, easy-going life rest, but a quietness of spirit as one rests in God. That is where I want to reside- in Him- in wellness, in sickness, in the joys, and in the struggles. So, I am beginning this new school year resting. It seems backwards, doesn’t it? When we think about beginning something, we think “On your marks. Get set. Go!” But in order to begin rightly, I am learning to begin resting, not in myself, or in some mystical idealism, but in Christ. I don’t think I got sick because I did something wrong necessarily. I just got run down. People get sick all the time. It is that getting sick for me was a wake up call to not take wellness for granted, to work in His strength, and to make margin in my life while letting go of the things that can be let go of. Needless to say I am ready to rest.
How are you resting? Is there margin in your life? Are you trying to handle everything in your own strength? Do you feel like it’s ALL UP TO YOU? Been there. I challenge you to rest. Trust in Him- He’s got this. Every mistake, struggle, unchecked item on the to-do list, every demand- God sees, understands, and is in control of it all.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.” Psalm 68:19