This month I have been facing some serious tiredness. I am a mother of three, a wife, and a fifth grade teacher. You know that saying in all the memes…”There’s no tired like teacher tired”? I try not to buy into that. There is also no tired like full-time mom tired, new mom tired, older person tired, chronically sick tired...the list could go on and on until we listed every person and circumstance in the world. The bottom line is: we are ALL tired.
My husband teases me because I love sleep. My favorite place in our house is my bed. I want to sleep in. I want to take naps. If I am trying to find rest and peace, my bed is where I want to go. I want to escape stress and chaos. And there is nothing wrong with having a place where you can relax. The problem is that I can’t always do that. I have adulting to do. As I was reading the articles from the other contributors this month I had a gut check. Am I seeking rest in this world or escape? Am I trying to carry all the burdens that God has asked me to give to Him or am I trusting Him?
I have been pouring all my time and energy into school and whatever is left over I have been giving to my family. Nothing has been left over for God. Not that I have completely ignored Him, but I certainly haven’t been treating him like I should. He’s kind of been stuck in a corner of my mind where I wander from time to time. Not cool. When my priorities get all messed up like this, He has a great way of gently bringing me back into focus. Realignment isn’t always easy, but I am always glad when it happens.
Psalm 28:7 says “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
(By the way, “exults” is another way of saying “is extremely happy”. I had to look it up.)
The LORD is my strength - not work. Not myself. If I am tired, what am I expecting to happen? Suddenly one night I get the perfect sleep and am no longer tired? That my fifth grade students are going to suddenly listen perfectly and understand fractions and long division? That my daughters and husband will start acting like sitcom family members and all problems will be solved within 30 minutes and then we get to have lots of laughs in a house that never seems to be dirty? No. Not even. We aren’t promised perfect. We aren’t promised understanding of everything. We aren’t promised health or happiness at every moment.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
This verse comes after the writer has just complained about all the wicked people around him seeming like they have everything. This verse is his reality check after all that “tired of the world” stuff has been expressed. It struck me as well in a similar way.
Instead of being tired and focusing on being tired, I need to re-prioritize. Give myself 15 minutes extra in the morning to sit and pray and put on my armor of God. Would that help me be a better teacher? It certainly couldn’t hurt! Instead of commiserating with co-workers about how stressful teaching is right now (don’t get me started on that one), use that time to get organized so I can leave work as soon as possible and get home to my family. God gave them to me and they deserve to have some of my “prime time” as well. After putting the kids to bed, take some time to read my Bible and reflect. What better way to leave things at His feet so I can sleep better?
Sometimes these things seem overly simple and obvious, but they aren’t. They are worthwhile and impactful. They can help me to realize that everything isn’t an emergency. I have help from God and in God and all that He has given me. It allows God to become my strength and my rest instead of trying to find rest on my own. (How’s that workin’ for you Angie?)
Tired happens. When it does, we need to rest our minds and our bodies, but more importantly we need to lean into the Lord so he can be our strength and renew and awaken our spirits so we can be good stewards of our lives.
Take some time to read or re-read the other articles on this topic, they are most certainly worth your time. Lyndsay’s article about doing things “unto the Lord” no matter how mundane they are and how this relates to obedience and holiness. Alexandria’s article reminds us that the God who moves mountains still hears our voice and reaching out to Him can be so refreshing and rejuvenating. Gay reminded us to pause and remember that our rest is found in God alone.
I thank God for these ladies and all their beautiful wisdom. I thank God for you all that join us each week as we reflect and study together. I pray that you find some rest and that in doing so, you rise up awakened in mind, body, and spirit in God.
Written by: Angie Reese
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