I like slow mornings. I have learned that though after years of setting my alarm to get up in the dark before my family so that I could
Be still and know…
Now that I don’t have to get up early to get ahead of the morning rush, I can sit in stillness & quiet and be filled.
The need for filling is the same though. My soul needs to know and experience the Presence of God as much now as then. The filling has different uses in this season.
As a mom of littles I was desperate for a sense of peace in the middle of tears, diapering, sibling squabbles, meals that were objected to, misplaced special friends at bedtime. I was exhausted from all the giving of myself. What I thought I needed was more sleep, which of course was interrupted almost nightly by someone.
I shared my frustrations and exhaustion with a group of moms at the park one day. One seasoned mom who had been invited by another quietly asked if she might share an idea that might help. Since I was desperate I quickly said yes please.
She said “Imagine you are a cup and each one of your family is a straw in your cup. Picture adding a straw for every responsibility outside your family: work outside your home, volunteering in the community, at church, extended family, etc. Not all the straws need to draw from your cup daily but some do. And when all the straws need to draw from you at once what will happen?” It was easy to imagine the cup being drained dry. I felt it. A lot.
You have to be filled up before you can be helpful to others.
The answer looks differently for each of us and will look different in various, changing seasons. The first and foremost way though is to start with agreeing that you have a need for rest.
Embracing Rest instead of believing you can be all things to all people in your own strength is the key to finding the best ways of filling your soul.
For many years the most I could do was a variety of little things throughout the days. I love to listen to music of all kinds but it took a comment from my mother to point out that I wasn’t sharing my love for music with my littles. She asked “Why don’t you have music on all day anymore? Your kids would probably love it!” Her question gave me an idea. I started playing music that was upbeat when we needed to get ready to head out for the day and when we did our chores. When it was a quieter time of day I played music of classical composers that I enjoy. Little by little the music had a comforting affect on all of us.
When my littles were transitioning out of naps I still needed a break so we instituted rest time which everyone needs. I put a digital clock in the bedroom and on a 3 x 5 card wrote the numbers of the time that rest would be over. When the numbers matched, they could get up. Calling it nap time to a 3 year old was disastrous. Calling it rest time and giving him the power to know when it was over was money. And ironically he usually fell asleep amid the books on his bed! And of course I got the much needed quiet as well!
I had to learn how to get my cup filled up at the beginning of the day too. For years I had set an alarm to get up early enough to avoid rushing around in the morning to get out the door for work. I hate having to rush. But I had stopped doing that when I began the role of stay at home mom thinking I had all the time in the world and could make my own schedule. Ha! It took me too long to recognize needing more sleep wasn’t the only way to rest.
When I began to set my alarm to get up before my family it was a huge shock to my system. So I adjusted slowly by getting up just a few minutes before their waking pattern so I could get a cup of coffee and read a short devotional.
These are the three that have filled me up over the years. Such great inspiration and Word focused encouragement for the day is found in each of these. I didn’t read all three of them each day… I’ve just lived a lot of years!
Those few moments each morning were just enough to remember that I wasn’t on my own in this job of being Momma. Learning to go to the Source of wisdom & strength daily was filling enough. God multiplied my feeble coming on those sleepy mornings. He changed my priorities from selfish to self care. If He did that for me I am confident He will do that for you…if you ask.
And I am a different woman; embracing rest He offers moment by moment has been key to living in tandem with Him.