Do mothers ever relax? Do we moms who sacrifice our bodies and very sanity to nurture little image-bearers, take the time to also nurture our souls? Usually, the answer is “No.” We are much too busy cooking meals, buying shoes for our children’s ever-growing feet, answering toddler questions, and trying to go to the bathroom alone. We are just trying to meet the needs of our family. And while being a diligent keeper of the home is our God-given responsibility (Titus 2), we also have a responsibility to be a diligent keeper of our bodies and souls too.
How many days have we rolled out of bed and immediately began our daily tasks without ever reaching for our Bible? Or sitting in the quiet to pray? How many nights have we fallen into bed with the day’s makeup still on our face? I’ll admit, I have! It happens. But that does not need to be our day-to-day and night-to-night reality. If we want to thrive as mothers, not merely survive, then we must take the time to refuel. I have found that when I spend an extra 5, 10, or 30 minutes each morning and night to minister to my soul and care for my body, I am renewed physically and spiritually as a result.
What helps you relax and recharge?
For me, I diffuse essential oil while reading my Bible, a devotional or an uplifting book. Fresh flowers instantly boost my spirits. Taking the time to stretch and do some simple exercises while listening to music or a podcast goes a long in helping my mind and my body. Soft music while lighting a candle and writing in my journal soothes my heart when I am weary.
Your list may look different. It may be a bubble bath. It may be a walk in a nearby park. It may be a hard workout or sipping hot tea on your porch. Whatever it is and however you do it, teach yourself how to breathe and RELAX and how to be restored.
To the stay-at-home-mom, you need to do this. You stay home with your children all day cleaning up after everyone, making meals, folding endless laundry, teaching, planning, running errands, serving, loving, giving, giving, giving. It is not selfish or sinful to take 5, 10, 30, or even 60 minutes at the end of the day to relax. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
To the working mom, you need to do this too. You get up at the crack of dawn and are on the go all day long. You work for your boss and then serve your husband and children. You handle so many different schedules and have a limited amount of time each night to do the work required at home. Regardless of your schedule, you need to take the time to charge your spirit and your mind and your body. You cannot run on pure adrenaline forever.
To the single mom, you must do this. You do the work of two people. You are an employee under your boss, a therapist for your kids, the breadwinner for your family, and the spiritual leader of your home. You are prone to discouragement and you are tired all the time and THAT is the reason you must refuel each day. You cannot live on fumes. You’ve got to have a fire and the only way to keep the fire inside of you burning is to take the time to keep it burning!
Jesus demonstrated this resting and refueling in Mark 6:31-32. What are we doing when we quote “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) but never ever take the time to actually BE STILL? I’ll tell you: nothing. We are simply saying words without obeying the precept. So, sister, rest. In those quiet moments when you are off the grid, God can do some amazing fire stoking.
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