Growing Pains & Sabbath Rest


Saturday I had a nervous breakdown. As soon as I sat down on my chaise lounge with my journal and Bible, I felt my face crumpling and knew that I was about to have a full-on-uglyface cry. It was not pretty. Let me go ahead and confess that last week I didn't get up before 7 a.m. a single time. Well, maybe once. The rest of the week, I dragged myself out of bed around 7:15 or 7:30 because I was so. very. tired.

I'm talking the kind of tired where you just want to crawl into the bed and pull the covers over your head and stay that way all day long. Have you ever been there? I was there.

For the past 361 days, I have been solely responsible for Micah's nourishment, and for 361 days, I have been looking forward to the day when she was weaned so that I could just sleep in on a Saturday morning while someone else worried about what she would eat for breakfast. There we were, just one week away from her very first birthday, and it was my first opportunity for someone else to take complete responsibility of her in the morning.

Except I never communicated that to my wonderful husband.

So when he didn't magically read my mind and know that I wanted him to get up and take care of her just for a little while, I had a little breakdown.

OK, a big breakdown.

I felt the anger and bitterness rising up inside of me, and I counted down the minutes until it was time for Micah to nap. I laid her in the crib and went straight for the bedroom, where I secluded myself and bawled for almost 30 minutes.

Not that Dennis knew about any of this. He was busy working his tail off to get our deck finished up before Micah's birthday party this week.

It was not his fault. It was just easier to blame him for my morning not working out the way I wanted than it was to deal with the real issue.

The real issue is that I'm tired. Very, very tired. I've been working like crazy over the past several months, and I have taken absolutely no time to rest. When Micah naps, I work. When Micah goes to bed at night, I work. Sometimes I work while Micah plays on the floor at my feet. I work, work, work, juggling taking care of Micah and taking care of my business, never stopping to take care of myself.

I started this challenge because I recognized the need for a major change in my routine. My priorities had become ridiculously skewed off-center, and my obsession with being perfect in all areas of responsibility has kept me from taking some time just to enjoy the amazing life that God has blessed me with.

I had gotten into the habit of cramming Bible-reading and prayer into Micah's naptimes, and I honestly chose not to do it more often than I should have simply because there were so many other things screaming for my attention that I had to accomplish while she slept. Since I have begun this challenge, I have spent almost an hour of time alone with God every single morning. I may not have made it up at 6 a.m. yet, but I am very proud of the progress I have made so far.

Life is much better when I start the day with some time with my Savior. Much, much better. I've found that just a taste of peaceful time to myself every day has made me crave it. I look forward to that time, and I have a feeling that this challenge, no matter how difficult it is for me in these early stages, is the beginning of a new lifestyle for me. It's worth getting up for.

I'm pretty sure that Saturday's breakdown was a bout of growing pains. It was God prodding me, letting me know that something has to give if I really want Him to restore my parched soul.

Real rest, Sabbath rest, is absolutely crucial for spiritual growth. I think I need some Sabbath in my life.

So after I cried and prayed and cried some more, I wrote in my journal, read my Bible, and ditched the plans I had to complete work on an article that was in-progress. Instead, I soaked in the tub, talked with my sweet husband, told him how I was feeling, and took the afternoon off while he took care of our daughter.

I didn't do a single bit of work over the weekend, and it was so very nice to simply rest and enjoy the company of my little family. I feel much better now.

As for this morning, you'll be proud to know that I got up about 6:45. It's slow-going, but it is going, and that's what matters.

Until next time, grace and peace.