As I talked to other moms this week, at church or my sons’ baseball practices, we were all feeling a little tired and overwhelmed by the busyness of another school year. For me, when things get busy, I always return to my mom’s advice (hopefully sooner rather than later for the sake of my family!): Seek God and keep it simple. A few years ago Kristin described how this counsel carried her through an exhausting time with three small boys. ~Nicole
I’m tired and I need more rest. But when? How? These were my questions as family and friends recently sought to counsel me through this exhausting season with three energetic boys.
A typical day begins early and goes non-stop until nap time. My kid’s nap time, that is. While my little ones are resting and recharging their batteries, I am usually trying to bring order back to the house, do laundry—you know, start something and finish it without interruption. Then it’s a whirlwind of dinner prep, dishes cleanup, and jammies on. Usually there’s a meeting, or home projects to tackle, and before you know it, it’s time to do the same thing all over again. Except, I still haven’t recovered from the day before.
For me and every other exhausted mom, we must find our rest and our strength in Christ. One of our pastors wives, Nancy Loftness, reminded me of 1 Peter 4:11, “Whoever serves, [should do so] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” I MUST consistently seek God for joy and stamina to serve my family another day. There is no other way to bring glory to God as a mother.
However, my mom, sisters, and faithful friends have also been helping me take practical steps to alleviate my tremendous tiredness. In a word, simplify. Get strategic and get creative about eliminating needless work. Make rest a priority so I’m better able to serve my husband and my little men.
Over lunch the other day, Mom, Nicole, Janelle and I brainstormed about my daily schedule. We talked through the trouble points and they threw out all kinds of ideas such as buying prepackaged food for my boy’s lunches, getting help with babysitting, and developing a plan for staying on top of laundry.
This brainstorming session has made a significant difference in my life of late, and I want to encourage other moms to try it as well. Gather a couple of friends and fellow-moms together for a strategy session (make it a fun night out!), or ask several “older” women for ideas. Examine every aspect of your day and figure out how you can simplify your life and schedule. The practical changes that serve you best will probably be different than for me. However, by minimizing your workload where possible, you’ll find reserves of strength to serve your family, and more peace along the way.
Simplifying my life has provided me with much-needed rest. It has also required a healthy dose of humility, an honest admission that I’m not “Super Mom.” I’m just an ordinary woman seeking to serve with the strength that God provides—in whatever way it comes. May God be glorified!