Even When I’m Tired
June 9, 2014
I spent the past week and a half visiting my parents, partly so Beckett could ringbear the heck out of Miss Taylor Brooks’ wedding (yes, two Taylor Brooks. It’s been awesomely confusing over the years.) …
(My apologies to the families of those who perished after viewing the photo of that breathtaking gentleman above.)
…but also so I could have a mom break. Regroup, if you will.
I’m finding that the more tiny humans that enter our house, the more self-focused our life becomes. Not out of selfish desires, but rather out of necessity. At any given moment, one of two small children need me. They can’t eat, potty, bathe, or play without me.
Even if I’m physically apart from my family, my mind is still focused on them. “I hope the baby took his bottle. Did I remember to pack extra diapers? Please tell me I put Owl in Beck’s backpack.”
It’s an extremely important and incredibly demanding stage of life – physically and emotionally. (And hygienically, if we’re being honest.)
One thing I loooove about this stage of life, though, is relating to parents who feel the same way. They’re happy and tired. Miserable and proud. All of those feels, all the time. It’s an incredible time to build relationships with others in the same life stage. To break through the feelings of isolation.
But. Sometimes it’s hard to shift a portion of my focus to humanoids outside of my household. Sometimes I use up all of my energy for the next 7 days just to keep my family intact for the next hour. (See this post.)
There’s a balance that needs to happen. Some days call for play dates with like minds. Some days call for watching movies in our pj’s all day. Both are great.
What I don’t want to happen, though, is to become so engrossed in our own lives – in our own desires and wants and accomplishments and extra-curricular activities – that we never set aside time for those around us. I don’t want the universe to always revolve around…us.
I was reading the story of the Samaritan woman last night in John 4.
I’ve heard a kazillion sermons on this story, but something really stuck out to me as I was reading. Check this (super choppy) version of the story:
Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.
A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)
The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”
The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.
The woman took the hint and left.
In the meantime, the disciples pressed him, “Rabbi, eat. Aren’t you going to eat?”
He told them, “I have food to eat you know nothing about.” The disciples were puzzled. “Who could have brought him food?”
Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!”
Jesus was tired. He was sitting down to get a drink. At this moment – of exhaustion and thirst – he stops to talk to the woman of forbidden sex/ethnicity/dating history.
When his disciples come back with food, they watch this chick leave. Surely she was…surprised? Smiling? In a hurry? Some emotion that should warrant discussion.
Instead of asking what just transpired, they say, “Hey, Jesus. You should really eat something. Want some pizza?”
He sets aside a basic human need – eating/resting – and says, “Can’t you see what just happened? Open your eyes. The time for reaching God’s people is now. Not when you have everything together or when you’re at your utmost contentment in life…now. Don’t miss gospel opportunities because of a temporary hunger pang.”
I missed this in the flannelgraph lessons.
He was hungry. He was tired. In spite of it all, he was love.
Man. I’m always tired. Certainly always hungry.
This story hits me.
Not because I don’t feel like I’m doing “enough” with my own family (hello laundry and eating and playing and important stuff), but because I so desperately want us to think outside of ourselves.
I want to be intentional with people right now. In the midst of small-children-crazy-town.
I want to make time to love his people and teach my boys to do the same, even from an early age. Heaven knows we’ll only get busier as time goes by.
For me, in current life, that often looks like opening our home for play dates and dinner parties. It means being intentional about meeting other families while we’re out and about at local kid places. It means finding ways at church for the 4 of us to serve together.
For you, it may be something different.
But let’s find small ways use this time.
Being knee-deep in Goldfish and Daniel Tiger and spit-up is a different kind of mission field, but holy and powerful nonetheless.
Also? Here’s an easy “let’s think about others” idea at home: a prayer calendar with friends/family’s pictures for each day of the month.
It teaches numbers, praying for others…a whole host of good stuff.
(Plus, you don’t have to leave the house OR shower. Huge selling point.)
Here’s a link to the very basic template if you want to add your own pics in! Or write the names, maybe? The sky is the limit, really.
So how does (or did) your family serve together with small kiddos? Please bestow your genius upon us all.