The Maker of Rest for This Home
She creeps her way to my side of the bed as I pretend to still be sleeping. I can hear her soft breathing and her tip toe feet.
‘Mom! The sun’s up!’ she says suddenly in my ear, referring to her Gro-Clock. It was set for 7:00 am, which was truly a miracle compared to the 5:30 am wake ups she was having only six months earlier.
‘Okay, I’ll be up in a minute.’ I groan and bury my head further into the pillow. I feel like a teenager being woken up by her mother, yet it was my four year old daughter doing the waking.
I just need more rest. More time. More time alone. But, alas, before I can even throw the covers back over my head, she is asking for milk and a granola bar and a show.
So begins a day spent with children’s voices ringing in my ears, messes that need to be cleaned, and demands that are waiting to be filled. Okay, okay, there is also the laughter, joy, and love, but at this point all I can think of is the negative.
I roll myself out of bed and begin in a fog, hoping the coffee will kick in quick today. The morning continues in much the same way. I attempt a quiet reading time, a show while I sit and drink my coffee, a podcast while I straighten my hair. But the interruptions don’t stop, and the attempts fall flat.
‘Mom, can I have more milk?’
‘Mom, what are we doing today?’
‘Mom, can you change my barbie?’
‘MOM, HELP ME!’
I. Just. Need. To. Be. Alone.
I dream of letting my head fall back onto that pillow and covering my body in the warm flannel sheets. But instead I am pouring milk, changing poopies, and finding socks. My Bible is left untouched and my notebook remains empty.
Another day has begun.
I look at my clock that reads 5:00 am. I bury myself deep into the sheets and ignore it for just a few more minutes. The house is quiet. But I know it won’t be long until my daughter’s little feet would come interrupting my morning snooze. Unless. Unless I choose to face reality and resist the sleepy urge.
I succumb for only a few more minutes and then I force myself out of the bed and groggily make the coffee I long for.
As I sit sprawled on the couch with a steaming cup and a morning still dark, I read and write and pray and drink. I relish the quiet. The peace before a storm that feels unending most days. It is early, so early. I lose about an hour and a half of precious shut-eye, and yet... Yet here I sit experiencing true rest, more so than I would have even back in a sleepy state.
I become refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready.
Wow, it has been a long time since I could say those words on any given morning. But today, I can feel it.
Soon enough, my four year old comes and joins me on the living room couch. I have her milk ready, and we chat and drink and snuggle. I didn’t get done what I had desired to get done, but that is beside the point. The point is I got to tend to my soul for a short time before I gave the rest of myself up to caring for my sweet girls.
The rest of the morning stays at the peaceful state. I take things slow, and the girls can sense it. Time becomes unimportant and is left open for connection. From reading books to eating breakfast to helping with barbies, I am available for them, and not only physically. When I work to find rest for my soul, I am ready to be and do all they need from me.
Isn’t it ironic that finding rest meant sacrificing sleep? But THIS rest became entirely more filling than another hour of sleep, and in return it brought rest to a morning which usually is chaos.
I can only present a home of peace if peace is present in my soul.
I can only keep this house a home if I allow it to be a place where rest is found.
I can only give from what I have.
I am the maker of rest for my family. I need to be the maker of rest for my own soul, too.