The hardest work of my life, hands down, is being a mom. It’s rugged and relentless. Clocking in at 24 hours a day, I’m never off the clock or off the hook. But (a really big but), being a mom is also exceedingly rich and rewarding – beyond all comprehension.
To keep the “rugged and relentless” from drowning out the “rich and rewarding,” moms must have breaks, and they must “take them and run!”
My husband, Tim, made this clear to me in 1997. With three in diapers and making regular treks to a children’s hospital 3 hours from our home, I was drowning in every way. Before children (B.C.), I was an avid personal retreater. It was a rhythm I lived and loved, but with the arrival of our crew, this rhythm became derailed.
Tim got home from work one day to find all four of us crying. I was slumped in a rocking chair with a baby wailing in my arms. One toddler was glued to my leg, sniffing and teary. The other was having a tantrum on the living room floor. I was sobbing harder than them all.
Tim knelt down beside me and I felt a hand on my knee. I opened my eyes.
“Brenda, you need a break. It’s OK. You’re just tired. It’s been such a hard year.” In his other hand, he held my Bible and car keys. “You’re going to go now, and you’re not to come back till everyone is in bed.”
Guilt threatened that gift, but God won out. God began to refill my empty bucket that evening, with the very best he had to offer. It was a wake-up call that opened my eyes and heart to the power of personal retreat.
Mother’s Day is 10 days away. Are you a mom? Consider asking your family for a personal retreat day this year. Do you love a woman (who’s a mom or not)? Give her a personal retreat day . . . whether your mom, your wife, your sister, cousin or friend.
Ask yourself (or them)
- What do I NEED? Do I need time with a supportive friend? Or time alone? Both?
- Do I need quiet? Fun? Time outside? A nap? Plan accordingly.
- Create a small bag of special treats for the day. For me, this would include dark chocolate and licorice spice tea. Would you like to include a 4-page retreat guide? Send me an email and I’ll send you a copy to print and share. email@example.com
Mothering has untold joys and challenges. Days and nights can be long and lonely. The weight is real. Sometimes crushing. The need for rest and restoration is legit, but guilt sabotages the remedy before it sees the light of day. Will you light the way for a woman you love?
3 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Conspiracy”
This made me cry; I love your heart, Brenda. Praying that every woman would have a husband with such wisdom and compassion. Thankful for mine, and for a God that provides total renewal.
Ohhhh – yes! We all need compassionate encouragers, cheering us on to rest, refuel, recharge — to allow Jesus to attend to the deepest places within. I am so thankful God blessed me with Tim. Onward!
The Guilt! Ahh! I am so far behind. There is so much to do. Retreat? I feel like I live retreat. I don’t DO anything. Yes, the attacks against my body are relentless. A simple test can knock me out for days. The emotions! So, for me, a part of retreat was folding clothes. I played worship music. I accomplished some things, but not those have to, or need to, things. It was good. It was needed. Now? What is the next step? I’m seeking some relief. Relief from some of the pain. I’m trying to be among the living….even though I don’t want to…I’d rather not be bothered with life. But God has a plan, and it involves me. He has chosen abundant life for me. He has chosen to love me and work through me. I wish the answers were easy. They’re not. So today…Daddy God, what do You have for me today?