I’m not sure exactly how it happens, but even after a vacation, I am still exhausted. Maybe it was the 12 hour drive back home. Maybe it was all the unpacking and the laundry. Maybe it’s my low blood pressure. Maybe it’s laying out in the sun all day yesterday at my parents’ pool. Maybe I’m dehydrated (which is Michael’s answer to every malady).
Nevertheless, I’m pooped. I need rest.
I remember when Meghan was a baby – that girl hated to sleep. Nighttime wasn’t too bad, but naps were – well, a nightmare. She would either fall right asleep and wake up exactly 45 minutes later, or she would lay in her crib and babble and cry and squirm until I gave in and picked her up.
I remember many mornings struggling to keep my eyes open, watching the clock and counting the minutes until I could put her down for her morning nap so I could crawl back into bed. I would finally get her settled down, fall into my own bed – and I kid you not – the second my head hit the pillow, she would start crying. I would look up at the ceiling and think, “Are you kidding me?!?” Oh, how I just wanted to sleep. I just wanted her to sleep. I was so tired.
When she grew into the toddler stage, naps were even harder. I think she stopped napping before she was two years old – and that is WAY too early – but the girl had better things to do. I mandated scheduled “rest time” during those years – more for my sake than hers – but she very rarely went to sleep. By dinnertime, she was a bear. Or asleep.
And ten years later, she still has better things to do than sleep. Her mind is like the Energizer Bunny, and if she isn’t awake reading or knitting (her new favorite pastime), she is lying in bed thinking of all the things that can’t wait to be thought.
When she was a baby, I longed to reason with her. “You would be so much happier if you would just close your eyes and sleep! Your body and your mind need the rest. Why do you fight it?”
One day, God whispered, Are you listening to yourself? Don’t you think the same applies to you? You need to rest.
I think I require more sleep than the average human – or maybe I just really love my bed – but that’s not what convicted me. My heart/soul/spirit needs rest just as much as my weary ol’ body. My inner self cries out for communion with the Creator, to be reminded of who I am and Who He is. That kind of rest restores me and renews me and prepares me for what I will face in the hours ahead of me.
I haven’t done a very good job of that lately. Between all the raft lounging and clothes washing and holiday celebrating, I haven’t carved out that time for spirit resting. Just like Meghan and her (non)naps, this kind of rest is something I know I need, something I know would make me so much happier, something I shouldn’t fight – but somehow the day slips by without it. And without the rest that my soul requires, my burdens seem heavier and my patience grows shorter. I fall asleep in the middle of my spaghetti dinner, and I miss out on the hidden opportunities to grow and live and serve. I miss out on who I am meant to be.
But, as Scarlett says, tomorrow is another day.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5